Mid-tour for her second book, Aim True, Kathryn Budig offers YJ readers a sample of her signature Artemis-inspired yoga sequence. Grab your imaginary bow and take aim at your deepest intentions.
I just completed the first chunk of my book tour celebrating my 2nd book, Aim True. It’s a lifestyle book that fuses yoga, meditation, cooking, partnership and philosophy all under the umbrella of what it means to aim true.
My philosophy was inspired by the Greek goddess Artemis, the huntress and goddess of the moon. She is always depicted with her quiver of arrows and bow in hand, so I decided to take the traditional dancing warrior yoga sequence and give it an aim-true spin: adding archery in the upper body.
This sequence prevents us from relying on resting our hands and arms on our body or the ground, so expect a bit more heat and challenge. I recommend setting an intention of what it means for you to aim true, and then put that intention behind every draw of your arrow.
Start in Downward-Facing Dog. Step your right foot forward to your right thumb and spin your back heel flat (slightly wider than heel-to-heel alignment). Keep your front knee bent as you lift your torso upright into Warrior I. Extend your left arm straight out in front of you. This is where your imaginary bow is–grab it. Pluck your imaginary arrow out of your quiver with your right hand and bring it to your left hand. Using your right hand, draw your string back with resistance (imagine a huge bow with 35 pounds of resistance) all the way to your right cheekbone. Square your ribs and hips forward with this movement. Hold for 5 breaths.
See also Sequence by Shape: Half Handstand
Open up your stance to heel-to-arch alignment, externally rotating your front hip. Start with traditional Warrior II stance. The bow will already be in your right hand. Bring your left hand to your right, grab the string and draw back with resistance to your left cheek. Keep your ribs in, lower belly active, and upper traps soft. Hold for 5 breaths.
Keep the lower body and arms in Warrior II, but change your aim: Point your arrow up and away from you. Keep your lower belly lifting to prevent collapsing in your lower back. Hold for 5 breaths.
See alsoThe Beauty of Being a Beginner
Side Angle Pose
Look directly behind you. Shoot you left arm straight behind you to grab your bow. Right hand reaches to left to pull the arrow to your cheek. Lean your torso over your front thigh without resting your elbow. Aim your arrow up and back. Stay even on both sides of your torso and keep your chest and core revolving open. Hold for 5 breaths.
About Kathryn Budig
Kathryn Budig is the yoga teacher behind AIM TRUE, a regular writer for Yoga Journal, and a presenter at Yoga Journal LIVE!