Yoga Poses for Your Zodiac Sign in 2017
Stretching Past Your Comfort Zone
Yoga poses — asanas — are medicinal. For any ailment, imbalance or difficulty we have, there is a yoga posture that can help to alleviate the symptoms and reverse most any pathology. Every sign of the zodiac has a somatic correlation and it can be very beneficial for each sign to spend time in 2017 cultivating awareness and a relationship with the part of their body that their Sun sign rules.
Aries rules the head, so it’s important to not let yourself get too hot headed! To work this part of the body in a safe and calming way, set yourself up in Downward Dog with one or two blocks under your head. Make sure that you can easily rest your hairline on the block without jamming or straining your neck. Find the calmness in the pose, and breath deeply for 5 to 10 breaths.
Taurus rules the neck and throat, which is an area of the body that is foundational in all yogic practices. If we don’t breath properly in yoga, then it’s not really yoga. Practice Ujai Breathing by slightly constricting the back of the throat muscles making a sound that is reminiscent of ocean waves. This can be practiced anytime, anywhere and is one of the most effective yogic exercises for de-stressing. Try it in traffic — works like a charm!
Gemini rules the hands and arms, parts of the body that are engaged and used in many yoga postures. One great way to get into the hands and arms (not to mention abs) is Plank Pose. Focus on connecting each knuckle, especially the index and thumb knuckles to the ground. Roll your inner arms forward and slide your shoulder blades down your back. Then smile and breathe for up to 10 deep breaths.
Cancer rules the belly and its important for you to learn how to relax this area of the body as you tend to hold so much tension here. Lay in Child’s Pose with your forehead touching either the ground or a rolled up blanket. Let your knees be wide apart with your big toes touching. Relax your belly and breath deeply, letting it expand with every inhale. Draw towards the spine on every exhale.
Leo rules the heart and center of the chest. Bridge Pose is a safe way to open the chest and connect with the heart chakra. Lay on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor, lift your hips and chest up towards the sky and breathe into the front, sides and back of the chest for 5 to 10 breaths. You can do up to three rounds, pausing in between to feel the effects of the pose.
Anything that aids the elimination of toxins will make a Virgo very happy (which is no small feat) as it rules the digestive system. A seated twist a day definitely keeps the doctor away. Make sure you spend at least 45 seconds on each side with either your eyes closed or your gaze shifted down towards your checks. Breathe deeply and slowly, focusing on your exhale.
Libra rules the kidneys, and backbends are key to stimulating these organs. Spend 8 breaths getting into your final version of the pose with each inhale lifting you and each exhale lowering you back to the ground. With every breath let yourself come up a little higher until you’ve reached your full pose on the final breath. Stay in the full pose for 5 to 10 breaths focusing on the exhale to keep your core engaged.
Scorpio rules the reproductive organs (and regions) of the body. In yoga, it’s very important to not leak our sexual and creative energy. Practicing Mula Bandha (similar to a kegel exercise) is a way to ensure that we’re regenerating the energy in this part of the body. Practicing this in active poses like handstands and Warrior Pose is highly beneficial — but remember to relax these muscles at the end of your practice!
Sagittarius rules the thighs, and there’s no better way to feel the strength and beauty of yours than getting into Chair Pose. If you want to add a little extra to your throne, try doing breath of fire while holding the pose. It’s a great way to tone belly and thighs (not to mention glutes) in one go. Hold for 10 to 15 long, deep breaths or 20 sharp short breaths. Do up to three rounds at a time.
Capricorn rules the skin and bones. Any weight placed on the bones helps to strengthen them and doing standing balancing poses is a great way to challenge both your bone and muscular strength. After warming up, try Warrior Three with your hands over head if you can (if not by your sides is fine) and hold for 5 to 10 breaths.
Aquarius rules the ankles, which are key to maintaining balance and agility. Stand in Tree Pose with your hands either folded at your heart or above your head. To challenge yourself try either closing your eyes while in Tree or lifting your heel off of the earth. Hold whatever variation for 5 to 10 breaths, and repeat on the other side.
Pisces rules the feet — the foundation of any standing pose. Try a silent walking meditation and focus on what every part of your foot feels like as it touches the ground. Notice what your shoes feel like or if you are barefooted what the Earth feels like under your feet. You can practice this for as long as you like and at any point during the day. Taking a moment to feel your feet can ground even the dreamiest of Fish.