How To Design Your Own Home Yoga Practise

Why Design Your Own Home Yoga Practise?

I should probably start here, given that you might be someone who attends yoga classes either in a group or individually, or maybe you follow some teachers online, be it on YouTube or elsewhere.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m a huge fan of both group classes, tutoring and good old YouTube… but in recent years, I’ve come to see a real value in crafting my own, personal practise.

A practise free from the pressure of another’s eyes, in step with my own beat and my own breath.

The problem I had however when I first started to do ‘D.I.Y.’ Yoga (D.I.Y.Y.?) is that I had NO CLUE how to… do it. I had a rough idea of how to start on my mat: seated or lying down perhaps. Take a few nice stretches… But what then?

I’d usually just end up rolling around on the mat, and not feeling particularly satisfied with my time there.

Since my Yoga Teacher Training, I’ve embraced the art of sequencing a yoga class, and I’m amazed there isn’t more good info out there for anyone who practises yoga to create a solid, custom-built flow.

My hope is that I can offer you just that, now.

What You Need To Do To Design Your Own Home Yoga Practise:

1. Check in with how you feel

If you skip this part, you’ll likely design a yoga practise that leaves you feeling less well than when you started. Naturally, we want to avoid that!

The practise of yoga itself has helped me tune into my body much better than before, but if you struggle like I do, here are some pointers that help me:

  • How energetic do you feel, on a scale of 1-10? 1 = I could fall asleep with my eyes open, 10 = I could reach the ceiling if you gave me a pogo stick right now.
  • Do you have any aches or pains, are any body parts inside or outside playing up? A body scan might be helpful here, starting with your head, work down to your toes.
  • What mood am I in? Agitated? Excited? Relaxed?
  • What mood do I want to be in? Again, this will be crucial when it comes to shaping the practise.

Optional: Consult the stars

Naturally, I love to have a nosey at what my beloved sky is looking like at the time of my practise. If there’s a funky transit that might be reflecting my own feelings of impatience and agitation, then I’m going to try to create a grounding, soothing practise.

You can check out my Yoga for Your Zodiac Sign series here, for some inspo.

I’ll also recommend the app AstroMatrix for its clear and helpful guidance on the current transits and how they might affect your chart specifically.

​2. Decide when and for how long

Different times of day affect us in different ways. You might already know this about yourself. You might feel more energised in the morning than your partner, but they come to life at night.

Daniel Pink has studied this, and has found that for the majority of adults, our mood and thinking styles follow a common pattern throughout the day. Our ability to focus and analyse peaks in the late morning, takes a plunge in the afternoon, and recovers in the late afternoon and evening.

With this knowledge, you might decide that you want to feel more energised in the afternoon, so you choose an exhilarating practise to get your mojo back. Or, you might choose to go with your natural energetic flow, and choose a slower flow.

It’s also worth noting how long you have. If you have 10 minutes, then perhaps your practise is a few sun salutations and some pranayama practise.

If you have longer, you can be more generous with your time. A 10 minute warm up, a few sun salutations, 20 minutes of standing and balancing poses, 10 minutes of seated poses and a nice cool down with at least 5 minutes for savasana, would be a good guideline if time allows.

​3. Choose a ‘peak pose’

A peak pose is simply the pose that the class centres around. It doesn’t have to be something dramatic or spine-shattering (in fact, best lay off the spine-shattering altogether) but it likely is something that you want to be ‘warmed up’ for.

Let’s take Half-Moon pose as our peak pose.

Source

In this pose, hips need to be quite open, so we’ll want some nice hip-opening poses in our warm up. In addition, we want the glutes to be active, so this is something we can include in the standing poses leading up to the pose.

This is probably the most challenging part of designing a yoga practise, but after some time I promise it will become quite intuitive. I recommend studying some different teachers you enjoy, and listing the poses in order from one of their classes (naturally this will be a lot easier with online classes!)

​4. Work out your warm up and cool down

There are lots of ‘go-to’ favourites for the beginning and ending of classes, from starting in a reclined bound ankle pose, to ending with some supine twists and a happy baby. But have a think about what you (1) like and (2) need.

As mentioned above, if your peak pose is centered around the hips: try to incorporate this into your warm up. In the cool down, you may want to back off the hips or focus on closed-hip twists, like reclined Cow-face pose.

Source

Whatever you do, don’t skip these parts! Hopping straight from your desk to a vigorous back-bending sequence is not recommended. Do a google-search for ‘poses to warm up…<INSERT BODY PART>’ for inspiration.

​5. Make sure to leave time for savasana

I’m not kidding when I say, this is what I yoga for.

My approach to savasana (or Corpse pose) goes beyond superstition (though the yoga spirits will get you if you leave a class before savasana…) It’s the feeling of genuine peace that comes from laying down after a series of poses that is really comparable to nothing else.

When this is rushed, I almost feel like I didn’t get the full juice out of my practise: like I’ve left some drops in the cup and I’m still thirsty for more.

In a public class, you can’t choose how long you stay in savasana, so here’s your chance: take as long as you need!

Optional: breath work

If you’re curious about adding more diverse yogic practises in to your day, I recommend nadi shodana, or alternate nostril breathing for a great way to end your practise, before or after savasana. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials on it, but effectively you’re breathing in through one nostril, sealing with your fingertips, breathing out through the other, and repeating on that side.

Explore pranayama practises, but be careful if you’re doing these alone: you don’t want to pass out.

Top tips:

  • ​When in doubt, say hi to the Sun!

Oh the Sun Salutation. What better way to get your energy flowing at the beginning of your practise? I still like to warm up on the ground first, but coming to the top of my mat for 2-3 Sun Salutation A’s and maybe 1-2 B’s is guaranteed to set me up for the rest of the flow.

  • Think about transitions

A good yoga teacher won’t have you hopping from bridge pose to Warrior II back down to Bow pose and back up for a Triangle… that would be kind or absurd, and kind of exhausting.

Have a look at the traditional Ashtanga sequence for an idea of what I mean. Each section is carefully placed in an order that makes sense. Poses (for the most part) flow naturally together, and this allows for comfortable, safe transitions.

  • ​Keep it simple!

If I took one lesson from my Yoga Teacher Training it was this: Keep It Simple! For one, you don’t want to spend too long faffing about with your notes: you want to have a rough idea of it as you hit the mat. And if your memory is anything like mine, you’ll keep it simple for that reason alone!

In addition, the simpler it is, the more you’ll likely be able to drop in, reconnect with your breath and really enjoy your practise.


How Transformational Spaces Help Us Grow

Recently, a friend gifted me an incredible book, Yoga and the Quest for the True Self by Stephen Cope.

Part of my new approach to reading rich and complex books like this is to make notes; putting the ideas into my own words, as I understand them. I figure it’s worth keeping those notes here, where I can be accountable for actually going through this process and integrating what I learn.

Here’s the first of these notes, based on chapter 2.

What Are Transformational Spaces?

These are the spaces we intuitively seek out (or get thrust into) at periods of great change in our life. They come in many forms: from institutions to physical spaces to relationships with an individual. Schools, college, the army, a mentor, a psychotherapist or a spiritual community are some examples Cope gives.

When we find one and hook into it, growth most certainly occurs. However, there are also spaces that pretend to be transformational – and fail to provide the conditions we need.

Here are the qualities Cope lists:

1) They create a quality of refuge

Rather than being forced to don a certain role like we do in most of our lives, these spaces offer a break from all that. If there is a role we take, it’s the role of the child, or the Fool card in the tarot deck. We approach our time there with a ‘don’t know’ mind, free from assumptions and our typical posturing.

In these spaces, our innocence is held in safety; free from judgement, accepted as we are. This is also why initiation rituals are so common when entering them: it marks our exit from the chaotic theatre of the outside world, and our rebirth.

When I was at an ayahuasca retreat centre in Peru, ritual was a major part of creating the transformational space in the Maloka: a circular, traditional building we used for the ayahuasca ceremonies.

Palo santo smoke circled us, lights were dimmed, candles lit, Florida water was sprayed, and our facilitators outlined how the night would proceed. It was the same every time, and it never failed to help steady my nerves – and at the same time open my mind and heart for what was to come.

2) They create safety through constancy in relationship

The relationship between mentor and student is key here.This mentor could be a teacher, facilitator, or leader of any sort – but there must be someone who is in a position of authority for the student to go through any real change. Ideally, this person is a constant, and doesn’t change radically or leave throughout the student’s time in transformation.

If you’ve ever felt uneasy when you were expecting your regular yoga teacher and someone else is covering the class for them, you’ll likely have experienced a taste of how unsettling this change could be on a grander scale.

Of course this person does not abuse their power: they ensure the student is safe and they provide a dependable home base, like in a (healthy) parent and child relationship.

3) They encourage creativity and experimentation

There is no one way of making a breakthrough or creating change. It happens through experimentation, and these spaces provide the stage for that.

When in Peru, I was having a particularly difficult moment involving a lot of lemongrass flavoured tea (apparently a purgative that would do me some good) and I was reminded by a helpful facilitator: ‘This isn’t a pass or fail thing.’

This, not the lemongrass, was the purgative I needed; I instantly broke down and released a lot of years of self flagellation. It was my first taste of what a true experimental, creative and playful attitude could be like. And it was a major relief.

Maloka
4) They are organised around ‘traditional objects’ that are constant and reliable

To expect us to make our transformational journey without a boat to travel in, is unreasonable. Well, a metaphorical boat anyway. But these objects, that serve as our boats, can be very real.

A child might bring their favourite toy to school with them (though ideally they’ll have discarded it by the time they go to college.) It provides that little bit of home, a reminder of a safe haven and a means to internalise the comfort and stability home provides.

I’ve been returning to the book The Artists Way by Julia Cameron as a yearly ritual, as working through its 12-week process provides me with a reliable, consistent and therapeutic structure. At some point, I’ll stop, as I internalise the teachings and have received all I can from the exercises and words of wisdom inside.

5) They do not deify these transitional objects, or themselves

On that note, an object like a book or set of beads are recognised for what they are: tools to assist in our transformation, not deities to be regarded in their own right. The same goes for the teachers.

Even the most ‘enlightened’ of all are simply representations of our highest potential: they are not it. They are not perfect, all-knowing or infallible. They can (and should) be challenged, just as much as they are respected. Ultimately, they set us free and we are able to internalise the gift they give us.

When I attended my yoga teacher training program, I was reassured by the open-minded nature of the teachers we had. They encouraged us to challenge their ideas, and reminded us that they are still learning to: which in turn, instilled an open-mind and commitment to lifelong learning in all their students.

6) They provide us with a way of finding out who we are

As much as I love a personality test that tells you who you are and what you’re like; that is not the role of a good transformational space. Instead, these spaces provide us with techniques and practises to help us discover who we are directly.

This might happen in the most unsuspecting ways; being given a job we initially despise, being taught a new style of meditation or having lunch with someone new in the community cafeteria. We can’t know in advance what will show us what, but the ingredients are all there, provided for us.

7) They do not have to be perfect

There is even a danger, Cope suggests, in a space that believes itself to be ‘perfect’. When under this guise, there is no room left for criticism or growth of the space itself, let alone the student.

Expecting perfection from a space is also going to be a let down for the student, because of the unearthly demands this places on it: no person or place can live up to that.

Instead, we must make our peace with having ‘good enough’ teachers, mentors, schools and communities, and remember that it isn’t their job to be perfect, just to assist and encourage our own transitional period.

8) They are open to and support, other paths to development

The assumption is that any good spiritual seeker should commit to one path, one lineage, one guru, or one church and devote themselves to it. Even a standard therapist might recommend sticking to them alone.

The result of experimenting with other paths might even make us feel guilty at first, but it’s in this pick ’n’ mix approach that we can truly explore the path that is best for us.

What do you think? Do you have any experience with a true transformational space?

Moon Tracking Using A Moon Phase Calendar

Last week I covered why you might consider tracking the Moon, and shared some different ways to do just that.

Now, I thought I’d share a tool I’ve been using a lot recently, particularly in my New Moon and Full Moon rituals.

Which is… a Moon Phase Calendar. It’s a simple diagram really, mapped out like an astrological chart in Western Astrology. It maps the houses (mine is based on the equal house system) and depending on your rising sign/ascendant, you can map what Zodiac sign falls where.

Rather than mapping the position of the planets on this chart though, I map the New Moon date in it’s particular sign, and the Full Moon date too. 

So this is what it looks like for 2019 for my rising sign (Cancer):

Moon Phase Calendar

Here are the steps to Moon tracking using a Moon Phase Calendar

Step 1: Write/draw your Rising Sign/Ascendant in the place marked by House 1 in the diagram.

Step 2: Continue to fill in the other Signs in order (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces.)

Step 3: Fill in the House that corresponds to each Sign in the table below.

Moon Phase Table

Step 4: Add the dates of the New Moons and Full Moons in the diagram.

Note: There is no New Moon in Cancer in 2019, and two in the month of July.

 

What to do next?

So once you’ve finished filling in your lovely Moon Phase Calendar, you have some options.

Option #1: Forget about it. Yep, I mean put it away until after you’ve experienced the first New Moon in 2019, and you’ve journaled about that day or couple of days either side on the New Moon in Capricorn.

As mentioned in the Moon Tracking post, I believe in the value of reflecting after these notable days, rather than hyping yourself up about the events that might occur.

Part of this reason is pure superstition: the idea that fate or fortune won’t come to pass if you’re expecting it.

The other part is more psychological: I know I’m likely to act in a certain way or be more biased in my thinking if I’m hyper aware of the current astro weather.

This is just something I’m playing with whilst I’m tracking and learning more intimately about how these events affect me personally.

Option #2: If you’re less prone to overthinking and want to embrace the power of ritual a bit more, then I recommend using this calendar like you would any other, and possibly integrating it in your main calendar.

For example, adding a note on iCal or whatever you use, that yep, Jan 5th = a full solar eclipse in Capricorn, which happens to be your 6th house. Then you can reflect on what it means to have Capricorn in your 6th house, the house that signifies health. 

Does it mean you want to release unhealthy patterns or habits and implement a new exercise regime? Is there a lesson to be learnt in how you’ve spent the month since the last Full Moon?

If you are looking to honour the lunation in a more proactive way, here is a guide that you can use to work with the Moon and this Calendar:

Meanings & Tips for Understanding the Moon Phases

New Moon

This is the time our sky is at it’s darkest: our Moon is hiding behind the Sun.  From our perspective, the Sun and Moon are in the same Zodiac sign – at the exact same degree – and therefore, the same House. It’s a time when our ego (the Sun) and our emotional self (the Moon) are sitting down for tea; they are meeting. I see this as a good time to start something new, set intentions, and focus on external matters. Your desires – conscious and unconscious are in alignment, and you may experience harmony that helps drive you forward.

Full Moon

When the Moon reaches its maximum reflection of light and sits in the opposite sign and degree to the Sun, we have a Full Moon. Unlike the New Moon where they are in the same place in the chart, a Full Moon sees a stand-off on opposite sides. This can feel like tension between our ego and our emotional self, and emotions may run high. You may feel more sensitive than usual. Use this time to observe and release unhealthy emotional patterns or habits, and show care towards yourself. Spend time with loved ones, get out into nature and journal about your experience.

Month of Journal Prompts For Every Moon Phase

Eclipses

Eclipses are like super-charged New or Full Moons. It’s when the Sun and Moon are taken offline, allowing for dramatic changes to be made. They can feel like a rug that’s been pulled out from under you. The best you can do is to see the potential for growth, change and course correction, and reflect on what the eclipse brought you. The sign and house the eclipse falls in will provide a clue to what changes may come and where they are likely to show up. Be easy on yourself at these times.

Houses 

In astrology there are 12 different Houses, each describing a particular area of life. Some Houses deal with the outer world and other houses describe the inner or more psychological plane. The House where a New or Full Moon will occur is specific to you, based on your Rising Sign. This is deserving of a post all of it’s own, but until then, you can refer to posts like this which describe the Moon in various Houses.

Signs

Finally, you have the 12 different signs of the Zodiac. Just as the Houses describe what life area that particular lunation will affect, the sign the Moon is in will give a hint towards how that affect will manifest; it’s flavour or the nature of it. Again, this is a bigger topic than I can fit in here, but you can get an idea of the Moon in different signs here.

As a rule of thumb, a formula I use for understanding how a lunation might affect me is:

I will feel (because it’s the Moon) pragmatic (because it’s in Capricorn) about my health (because it’s in my 6th House).

Of course, there’s much more to this, depending on your other planets and the aspects they make and what sign they’re in but… you get the picture.

Special Considerations

Pay particular attention to lunar events happening in your Sun, Moon, and Rising signs, as you’re likely going to be more effected by these.

I’d love to know how you get on with your Moon Phase Tracking and if you have any questions about how to use the calendar, or want a more in-depth chat about how the Moon might affect you over the course of the next year, feel free to get in touch.

How To Track The Moon

Why Track The Moon?

Self-awareness

This process requires you to keep a journal, which in my experience is incredibly helpful for building self-awareness. Just noting what happened in your day can, over time, help you see patterns over time. In turn you can become more aware of what’s working and what causes disruption in your life. From there, you can adjust either in taking different actions or changing your reactions.

Intuition building

These patterns I just mentioned, over time, create something I’m calling intuition. This is a tricky word because people have lots of different interpretations of it, but in this case I really just mean a deep knowing, that might feel like it’s coming from your subconscious (and maybe it is) that isn’t a result of reading a book or watching a Youtube tutorial.

One way to build this inner knowing, is through pattern recognition. The study of astrology, in this case, is a great way to start to note those patterns and in turn, build intuition.

Guide your yoga practise

Naturally, I recommend using the Moon to guide your yoga asana practise, partly because I know how important it is to physically honour the waxing and waning of your own energy, and the Moon is a great external guide.

I have a daily yoga practise, and much of the time it is self guided. If left to my own devices, I’d likely hurt myself (and have done in the past.) I forget that just because I was full of beans yesterday, doesn’t mean I’ll be as energetic and limber today.

When I connect to an external source, I can honour that need for balance much better. And let’s face it, the Moon is a lot more fun than a reminder on your phone or note on your calendar.

That said, do keep in mind your own intuition will become an even better guide than a simple note of whether the Moon is in a ‘yin’ sign or a ‘yang’ sign. As you start to track the Moon, you might find that your own bodily patterns are more intricate, and need a different system.

Fortunately, that’s exactly what tracking the Moon will allow you to do.

Connection to… something bigger

Finally, and one of my core reasons for learning about astrology, is to connect with something bigger. The sky has been, for thousands of years, our way to do just that.

However you choose to see the connection between the above and below, it’s hard to deny the sense of meaning you feel when you get to experience that unity.

Noting that when the Moon was in Sagittarius, you happened to feel an emotional need for freedom and space, for example, might help you make sense of what may sometimes feel a random and chaotic existence.

For that alone, tracking the Moon is well worth the time you invest.

How To Track The Moon

There are various apps to track this, which I’ll list at the end of this post, and you can always go to astro.com and click ‘Chart of the moment’ to see where the Moon is.

Tracking the moon

I’ll list a few different ways to do this, each more complex (but also rewarding) than the last!

Option #1: Track The Moon Phase

This is probably the best place to start for most, because it isn’t difficult to find out what phase the Moon is in. Heck, if it’s a clear night you could just look up.

Ezzie Spencer introduced me to this idea before I really ‘got into’ astrology beyond a hobby, and I started to track the Moon as a way to plan my week in terms of rest and work. My main reason was to get my hormones back in check, and after hearing Ezzie’s story, I figured it could work for me.

As someone who struggles to ‘back off’ and take rest, whether it’s in the gym or at the laptop, just having an external marker to remind me when to slow down and when I can drive forward, is a huge help.

There are 8 phases of the Moon – New Moon, Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Last Quarter and Waning Crescent.

You can find different rituals or practises to honour each of these phases (or check out my journal prompts) OR you could simply track your own life events and note what Moon phase you’re in.

Here’s a list of some Moon phase significations, though I’d encourage you to track and try to spot patterns that are true for you. Even if you just paid attention to the New Moon and Full Moon, you’ll undoubtedly get a lot from that outer guidance.

Option #2: Track What Sign The Moon Is In

The Moon moves through a zodiacal sign every 2–3 days, which definitely gives the Moon a different vibe. A Moon in Cancer is going to feel very different to one in Virgo.

What I also like about tracking the Moon through signs, is how speedy it is. You don’t have to wait a whole month to start to tune into that zodiac sign vibe, yet it’s just long enough to feel it’s effects.

Option #3: Track What Aspects The Moon Is Making

The idea of this is to look at any planet the Moon is connected with, within 3 degrees. So if the Moon is at 7 degrees of Gemini, and Neptune is at 9 degrees of Pisces, then a square is happening and you have something to work with.

It’s well worth checking out this video from Adam at Nightlight Astrology, as he goes through the interpretation of a Moon transit:

Option #4: Track All The Above Overlaid On Your Natal Chart (!)

You might have an idea of your birth chart or natal chart (and if you’d like to delve into that further than a free chart online will allow, feel free to check out my offerings). You might now also have an idea of the current Moon phase and transits.

But how are the current transits effecting your own chart? Your own astrological blueprint? This article is a great step-by-step explainer for working out how the current transits map onto your own natal chart.

Houses are the most important things to look at when you interpret these Moon transits, as they will tell you what area of your life is being affected.

However, planets also transit signs (Aries, Taurus, Gemini etc.) and make aspects to your natal planets (conjunction, trine, square, opposition etc.) so there is plenty to keep you busy here!

Additional Moon movements of note: Lunar Mansions, Lunar Days and Void-of-Course periods. 

How To Set Up A Moon Tracking Experiment

I learned this from Adam Elenbaas of Nightlight Astrology, who has videos on his experiments on tracking the moon, and are well worth a watch.

The key is to not think about the Moon during the experiment. The more you think about the Moon while you’re tracking, the more likely you are to (1) throw off your findings – as you’ll start to ‘make’ things happen even subconsciously to match the Moon and (2) go crazy! Well, there’s a chance you’ll become a bit of a hypochondriac if you’re checking your tracking app every hour to see what ‘should’ happen.

In short, to run a successful Moon tracking experiment:

  1. Pick a short period of time, 2-3 days to track
  2. Journal carefully every day you track about the day’s events
  3. Only check the Moon transits and phases after your experiment period

Once your experiment is up, pull up your tracking app or online tool and compare your journal with the map of the sky. Ideally, you’ll have exact or close-to-it times for each event you recorded, as the Moon moves pretty quick and aspects will change throughout the day.

Month of Journal Prompts For Every Moon Phase

Journal Prompts for Moon Phases

If you’re new to astrology, just Google what you see. If you aren’t sure what a balsamic Moon can signify, Google it! If you don’t know what Moon conjunct Uranus means, Google it!

I can’t recommend this enough for learning about astrology and the possible interpretations (there are a LOT!) of the planets and aspects are.

Some resources I’ve found helpful:

Moon giant – great for tracking the Moon phase – probably the best designed, clearest of the web apps for this.

Lunarium – a calendar displaying the phases and signs the Moon is in, as well as lunar days, the mansions of the Moon, void-of-course periods and the apogee and perigee moments for any month.

Luna Solaria – a free app for iOS and Android that gives you a beautiful, real-time view of the Moon, telling you the sign and phase it is in.

Astro.com – excellent site with lots of options for viewing the current sky.

In conclusion…

Tracking the Moon can be a great way into understanding the significance of certain positions of the planets above, as well as paying greater attention to the connection in your own life to them.

It’s a matter of opinion, but I find a lot of meaning when I connect to the sky in this way, and it seems to help me be a lot more compassionate for the circumstances I find myself in.

What Does The Moon Do? Fact vs. Fiction

I recently had a heated debate with a friend about the impact of the Moon on our little lives down here, and had to sit with the realisation that I *might* not have all my facts straight about the Moon. Questions like what is the Moon, and what does the Moon do exactly, really got my Googling and I’ve come away with a better understanding of that thing in the sky, as well as some of the myths and legends surrounding her.

What is the moon?

This is probably a good place to start, and quite a fun place, given the conspiracies hanging around that orb.

Here’s what we know:

  • She’s massive. The Moon is nearly a third the size of Earth, the 5th largest Moon in our solar system. The other planets with Moons that size are massive gas giants. Neptune has a Moon closest in size to ours, but is four times the size of Earth.
  • She’s musical. When the Apollo crew released the lunar module in 1969, it’s impact with the Moon caused their seismic equipment to register a continuous reverberation like a bell for more than an hour. The same effect occurred with Apollo 13’s third stage which caused the Moon to ring for over three hours. This gives weight to the argument the Moon is hollow.
  • She’s metallic. Rocks have been found to contain brass, mica, titanium, and elements uranium 236 and Neptunium 237, not found naturally on our planet.
  • She’s independent. Not completely, but the idea that the Moon simply orbits the Earth, just ain’t so. There’s another point, the Earth-Moon Barycentre that both the Earth and Moon revolve around. If Earth disappeared, the Moon would continue to orbit the Sun pretty much as it does now.
  • She’s a mystery. We don’t know how she got to us: some say a giant impact knocked off the raw ingredients for the moon off the primitive molten Earth and sent her into orbit. Some say we stole her from Venus. Some say she’s older than Earth, others say they were born at the same time. No wonder conspiracies are so captivating…

What does the Moon do to us?

Full Moon Mania

This was the source of the debate betwixt me and my friend, as I suggested that if a full Moon could affect the number of people who enter emergency rooms worldwide, then surely she has an influence on our own mental wellbeing.

It’s the stuff of horror movies: the howling werewolf in the light of the full Moon, and there even appeared to be evidence from studies on Full Moon behaviour. However, these are likely flawed. A study published in 1982 reported traffic accidents were more frequent on full Moon nights than on other nights. But… they forgot to take into account that in the period under consideration, the full Moons they studied were more common on weekends, when more people drive. When the authors re-analysed their data to eliminate this confounding factor, the lunar effect vanished. Whoops…

So where did the Moon come from? Well, there’s a plausible reason, and one you might have experienced in your own life. Before we had outdoor lighting, the bright light of the full Moon would have had quite an impact on our ancestors’ sleep. It deprived people who were living outside of the darkness a good night of sleep requires. We know that sleep deprivation often triggers erratic behaviour, particularly in those with certain psychological conditions, such as bipolar disorder, so it seems understandable that the full Moon has been linked to a heightened rate of bizarre behaviour.

No excuses for yelling at your neighbour on the next full Moon then, so long as you get a good night’s sleep.

Tidal pulls

One of the reasons I (and many others) believe the Moon must have such a strong effect on humans, is the classic: the Moon’s gravitational pull creates tides. And tides are big! And humans are mostly water, so… the Moon must affect us similarly!

This too is a bit of an old wives tale. The Moon has a mighty gravitational pull, yes… but only on open bodies of water, like the oceans and seas. Not on enclosed water, like inside us.

But it’s still pretty cool, and super strong, depending on what phase the Moon is in. Spring tides, for example, are particularly strong tides that occur when the Earth, the Moon and the Sun are in a line (during the full moon and new moon phases.) Hence the dramatic sea you might see (heh) at these times of the month, adding to the lunar drama.

Keeps us steady

The earth’s axial tilt is only as steady as it is (between 23 and 26 degrees) because of our Moon. Contrast that with Mars, whose axial tilt varies from about 15 degrees to about 35 degrees over time!

Fun Fact for numerology geeks (like me)…

You could place 108 Moons between us and the Moon and 108 Suns between us and the Sun. How neat is that? It’s also why the Moon and Sun look roughly the same size to us from Earth.

Coincidence or otherwise, it’s a pretty mind-boggling fact that is worth marvelling over when you gaze up.

 

…It’s up to you

So whilst the tides, our tilt and our sleep may be affected, the Moon isn’t exactly the most in-your-face luminary in the sky. Unlike the Sun, she doesn’t give us an excuse to go on holiday, or make us slap on sunscreen at certain times of year (or all year if you’re a redhead like me.)

The Moon is subtle.

But that doesn’t mean she ought to go unobserved, unnoticed and unacknowledged.

Until relatively recently, the Moon played a much bigger role in societies mundane lives.

The Vedic people (c. 1750–500 BCE) would do ‘Surya Namaskar’, or salute the Sun, every morning. They saw the Sun as much more than just a big fireball in the sky. To them, it was the representation of a god, Surya — the deity of the Sun.

Vedic culture also tracked the Moon very carefully. Today, some of us are keeping this tradition alive, noting the astrological sign the Moon passes through on her travels. Since the Moon moves relatively quickly, we get to acknowledge her placement through all 12 signs of the Zodiac over the course of a month. This is an excellent calendar to keep track of that.

The term ‘Hatha yoga’ literally means to unite the Sun and Moon. Taking this concept further, the philosophy of the Vedic people states that the Sun and the Moon rule the ida and pingala nadis (right and left nostrils respectively) — the active and passive breath, the hot and cool, the yang and yin.

If you’ve tried alternate nostril breathing (nadi shodana) then you’ll know how powerful embodying this metaphor really is, on a real, physical level. Regardless of the story or the science, this stuff works. If it doesn’t work for you, or you have a snotty nose, then leave it behind!

The point isn’t to shove the philosophies down your own throat, but to sample them, taking what you want, and leaving the rest behind or for another time.

 

Other ways to work with the Moon

If you’re still with me, and willing to sample and explore other traditional approaches to working with the Moon, here are some things to explore:

  • Yoga for the Moon phase – this is a great way to sync your physical yoga practise up to the Moon. Again, the yogic tradition honours this; Ashtangis typically taking days off on Moon days.
  • Journaling – I’m a big fan of journaling anyway, but sometimes I get stuck for what to write about. Setting intentions, letting go of old thought patterns or habits – these are all great topics you can journal about depending on what phase the Moon is in.

Month of Journal Prompts For Every Moon Phase

Journal Prompts for Moon Phases

 

  • Use it to garden – I can’t pretend I’m of the green-fingered variety, but I love the idea of timing your gardening activities to the Moon phase, and there’s plenty of evidence from various cultures to explain potential benefits of doing so.
  • Acknowledge when it’s Void of Course – this is something Horary astrologers take into consideration, but it might be worth considering in your own life. The idea is that when the Moon enters a new zodiac sign, there is a pause, a period in which the Moon is thought ‘Void of Course’, and a time that is rather inauspicious for action-taking. It might be worth downloading an app like iLuna for iOS and iLuna for Android.

 

In conclusion…

The Moon is undoubtedly mysterious, and whether you want to believe in or just act like you believe in her magic is up to you. Personally, I think my life is richer when I look up and take note of her size, shape and luminosity and when my routine – whether it’s action taking, yoga, resting or journaling – has her as my guide.

 

Sources:

http://www.thelivingmoon.com/47john_lear/02files/Earths_Moon_and_Human_Evolution.html

https://io9.gizmodo.com/is-the-moon-a-planet-1064356920

https://www.space.com/22966-earths-moon-from-venus.html

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/lunacy-and-the-full-moon/

https://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2013/08/08/the-top-5-things-wed-miss-if-we-didnt-have-a-moon

https://www.lunarium.co.uk/articles/void-of-course.jsp

Geppi, Sam. Yoga and Vedic Astrology: Sister Sciences of Spiritual Healing (Essentials of Vedic Astrology Book 1)

Full Moon Yin Yoga

What is the Meaning of the Full Moon?

The full Moon marks a time for completion: of coming to terms with what has been ‘grown’ since the new Moon, and taking stock of your bounty. It also acts as an energetic spotlight, literally shining a light on things that need to come to your attention.

It’s thought that the effect of full moon is more noticeable on the physical body whereas the new Moon’s effect is more evident on the mind. Many find that their physical balance is more unstable on full Moon days, making practise of asanas that require great balance, quite a challenge.

Month of Journal Prompts For Every Moon Phase

Journal Prompts for Moon Phases

What Does The Full Moon Mean For Your Zodiac Sign?

Every new Moon is different, because of where the Moon is in relation to you and the heavens. This gives you the chance to work with the energies of each different Zodiac sign as the Moon passes through. (It does so quickly too: moving through one sign approximately every 2.5 days.)

Even if you you don’t have any planets in the sign the Moon is passing through, you can still look at your chart to see what House that sign rules in your chart. We all have elements of the entire Zodiac in our make-up, with some more emphasised than others. Noting what part of your chart the Moon is passing through is helpful in determining what energies you can focus on for that full Moon phase.

 

What’s The Best Way To Honour The Full Moon?

 

1) Check out your birth chart

As I mentioned, the full Moon will be moving through a certain part of the sky, a Zodiac sign (like Aries, Cancer and so on) so it’s worth having a look at your own birth (or ‘natal’) chart to see what’s happening in that Zodiac sign of your chart.

Are there any planets in that sign? What house is that sign in? Where are the planets that rule that sign in your chart?

If this is sounding a bit complicated, feel free to book in a chat with me to discuss your birth chart in greater depth.

 

2) Review your intentions

Working with the cycle of the Moon each month, you can use the new Moon to ‘plant’ your intentions, and revisit them at the full Moon to observe how they have come to fruition.

This isn’t test: you aren’t being judged on how well you ‘manifested’ during the cycle. This is about noting where you’re at, how you feel and what opportunities you have been given.

You can take this time to ask yourself (and ideally write down or make art) about what’s changed in your life since the new Moon, or the last full Moon. Is there anything you have learned? Anything that surprised you? The more you take note of these subtle shifts, the more adept you’ll be at paying attention to your needs, emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.

 

3) Practise Yin Yoga

In the Astanga yoga tradition, yoga (the physical asana portion) isn’t practised on ‘Moon Days’ – that is, the full Moon and the new Moon.

So whilst I don’t recommend a vigorous practise, I don’t see any harm in a gentle, restorative or Yin Yoga flow that assists you tuning in with the sky above, and helps you process the fruits that the past Moon cycle has brought you and integrate what you’ve learned.

Here’s a sequence you might find helpful on the new Moon:

  • Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Stand with feet hip-width apart and knees soft. Exhale as you slowly bow forward, hinging at the hips, bringing your hands towards the ground. Keep the knees bent to be gentle on the legs and allow the spine to be long.

Stay here for approx. 2 minutes.

  • Garland Pose (Malasana)

From forward fold, bend your knees a bit more, and heel-toe the feet out until they’re mat-width apart, with the toes pointing out at 45 degrees. Drop your hips down as you continue to bend the knees.

Inhale lengthen up through your crown. Exhale, lean your torso forward and fit it snugly between your thighs. Expand your elbows into your inner knees, bringing your palms to together in prayer position (Anjali Mudra) and draw the knees into the elbows.

Stay here for approx. 2 minutes.

  • Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Taking your hands back to the floor, step your feet back carefully to all fours (table pose). Bring knees out wide and big toes to touch. Sink the hips back and actively reach the arms towards the front of your mat.

Ground down through the palms, as the tailbone releases towards the Earth. Take deep cleansing breaths in through the nose and out of the mouth for an audible exhale. Breathe into the back body.

Stay here for approx. 3 minutes.

  • Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

Come back to all-fours. Plant the palms firmly down and step your right foot forward, lowering the back knee to the mat. Ground firmly through both legs and draw energy up from the ground, through your hips and core, inhale to bring your hands to your front thigh, lifting your crown up.

Stay here for approx. 2 minutes.

  • Lizard pose

Bring both hands back to the ground, on the inside of your front foot. Turn the toes of the front foot towards the outer edge of your mat, making sure the knee is still tracking over your ankle.

If you feel comfortable here, bend your elbows and bring forearms to the mat, lowering yourself further down.

Stay here for approx. 2 minutes.

***Step back foot to all fours/table top pose, and repeat Lunge and Lizard pose on the opposite side***

  • Supine twist

Come to lie on your back. Bending your right knee, take it over the left leg. Extend your arms out long (you can also take your left hand to add weight onto your right thigh). Turn your head to gaze gently over your right arm. Ground your right shoulder blade to floor.

Stay here for approx. 3 minutes.

***Repeat on opposite side.***

  • Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Time to relax. Bring your legs out long, feet as wide as the mat. Hands by your side with palms facing up to absorb the new Moon energy. Draw your shoulder blades down your back, neck long and let the eyes close. From the crown of the head to the tips of the toes, relax. Calm the mind and explore your inner landscape. Stay here for at least 5 minutes to let the practise fully absorb.

When you come out of corpse pose, consider taking some time either seated in easy pose or on a chair, to think about what has been revealed to you this full Moon.

This would also be a wonderful time to write in your Moon Phase Journal. If you’d like further prompts and clarity, you might try the journal prompts I offer freely below. 

Month of Journal Prompts For Every Moon Phase

New Moon Restorative Yoga

How Is A New Moon Different From the Full Moon?

The new Moon has a more inward feel, with a void or empty quality, and therefore can feel a bit scary to those who are uncomfortable with uncertainty. Which is… probably the majority of us.

It’s very natural to feel discomfort as we face the unknown. But on the flip side, the unknown is also pure potential. How exciting is that?

You can learn to trust the dark. You can embrace the moment when the old fades away, and the new is not quite here yet here. It’s the space between the in breath… and the out breath.

For this reason, the new Moon is an incredibly powerful time for sending out your intentions, wishes and desires to the Universe, and starting a fresh.

Month of Journal Prompts For Every Moon Phase

Journal Prompts for Moon Phases

What Does The New Moon Mean For Your Zodiac Sign?

Every new Moon is different, because of where the Moon is in relation to you and the heavens. This gives you the chance to work with the energies of each different Zodiac sign as the Moon passes through. (It does so quickly too: moving through one sign approximately every 2.5 days.)

Even if you you don’t have any planets in the sign the Moon is passing through, you can still look at your chart to see what House that sign rules in your chart. We all have elements of the entire Zodiac in our make-up, with some more emphasised than others. Noting what part of your chart the Moon is passing through is helpful in determining what energies you can focus on for that new Moon phase.

 

What’s The Best Way To Honour The New Moon?

 

1) Check out your birth chart

As I mentioned, the new Moon will be moving through a certain part of the sky, a Zodiac sign (like Aries, Cancer and so on) so it’s worth having a look at your own birth (or ‘natal’) chart to see what’s happening in that Zodiac sign of your chart.

Are there any planets in that sign? What house is that sign in? Where are the planets that rule that sign in your chart?

If this is sounding a bit complicated, feel free to book in a chat with me to discuss your birth chart in greater depth.

 

2) Set your intentions

Try writing down your intentions, for the period beginning at the new Moon. The act of writing down our intentions clarifies them and communicates them more strongly to our subconscious. Remember to return to your intention at the full Moon (approximately two weeks later) – the more you practise this, the more you are likely to see results in the manifested world.

You can also get visual and kinaesthetic with your new Moon intentions. On the days leading up to the new Moon, you might gather pictures and objects symbolic of your goal, creating a new Moon collage. You can do this physically, or digitally. I like to have fun with Pinterest collecting images to represent my current focus. This can then serve as a visual reminder of your dreams.

 

3) Practise Restorative yoga

In the Astanga yoga tradition, yoga (the physical asana portion) isn’t practised on ‘Moon Days’ – that is, the full Moon and the new Moon.

So whilst I don’t recommend a vigorous practise, I don’t see any harm in a gentle, restorative flow that assists you tuning in with the sky above, and helps bring your mind, body and soul in alignment.

Here’s a sequence you might find helpful on the new Moon:

  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Begin standing tall with feet hips width distance apart. Feel the grounding energy of the Earth as the crown of the head reaches up towards the Moon. Take a few slow, deep breaths in and out through the nose as you bring your awareness inward.

  • Moon Salute (Chandra Namaskar)

Inhale, raising your arms up and overhead. Palms connect at the top as you gaze up towards the Moon.

  • Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Exhale as you slowly bow forward, hinging at the hips, bringing your hands towards the ground.

  • Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

Plant the palms firmly down and step your right foot back, lowering the knee to the mat. Grounding firmly through both legs and drawing energy up from the ground, through your hips and core, inhale to lift arms up. Lengthen through the side body, gaze toward the hands.

  • Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Exhale as you bring your palms to the mat. Lift the back knee and step the front leg back for downward facing dog, tailbone lifts to the sky, head and heels relax down to the ground.

  • Table Pose (Bharmanasana)

Exhale and lower both knees to the mat. Align wrists under shoulders and knees under hips. Bring the belly button towards the spine and relax the shoulders back, away from the ears.

  • Cat/Cow Pose (Marjaryasana/Bitilasana)

From table pose, inhale, lifting the heart and sitting bones up, dropping the belly – cow pose. Exhale, round the spine as your tailbone and chin tuck in – cat pose. Push evenly through the palms and lower legs to create greater movement and expansion of the spine. Repeat for 3–5 cycles of breath, taking care to sync movement to breath.

  • Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Come back to table pose and inhale, raising the knees and tailbone up to downward facing dog.

  • Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

Keep the hands planted as right foot steps forward between the hands. Lower left knee down to the mat and inhale to raise the arms up.

  • Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Exhale palms down to frame the right foot. Bring your left foot up to meet at the top of the mat. Both toes together, head hangs heavy, lengthen through your spine.

  • Moon Salute (Chandra Namaskar)

Inhale, raising your arms up and overhead. Palms connect at the top as you gaze up towards the Moon.

  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Exhale, bring the palms to prayer position (anjali mudra) at the heart center. Inhale here. Maybe closing your eyes. Exhale palms by your side as you return to where you began.

Optional: Flow through these poses 3-5 more times, maintaining deep inhales and exhales.

Cool Down

  • Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Bring yourself carefully down to all fours (table pose). Bring knees out wide and big toes to touch. Sink the hips back and actively reach the arms towards the front of your mat.

Ground down through the palms, as the tailbone releases towards the Earth. Take 5–10 cleansing breaths in through the nose and out of the mouth for an audible exhale. Breath into the back body.

Gently lift back up to table pose, swing the legs out to one side and roll onto your back.

  • Knees-to-Chest Pose (Apanasana)

Keeping the entire spine against the mat, hug the knees in towards to chest wrapping the arms around the shins. Gently rock right and left massaging the lower back.

  • Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)

Bring knees wide and in towards the chest. Wrap the hands around the inside or outside of your feet, keeping both feet flexed, soles facing the sky. Open your knees slightly wider than your hips and as you kick your feet up, draw them in towards the face, creating resistance with your hands. Option to rock left to right.

  • Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Time to relax. Bring your legs out long, feet as wide as the mat. Hands by your side with palms facing up to absorb the new Moon energy. Draw your shoulder blades down your back, neck long and let the eyes close. From the crown of the head to the tips of the toes, relax. Calm the mind and explore your inner landscape. Stay here for at least 3 minutes to let the practise fully absorb.

When you come out of corpse pose, consider taking some time either seated in easy pose or on a chair, to think about your new Moon intention.

This would also be a wonderful time to write in your Moon Phase Journal.

Month of Journal Prompts For Every Moon Phase

Yoga For Pisces Sun or Rising Signs

Sun Sign Birth Dates for Pisces: Feb 19–Mar 20

Is Pisces your Rising Sign? Your rising sign, also called your ascendant, is the sign that was rising over the eastern horizon when you were born, and is the sign in your 1st House. If you know what time you were born, you can calculate your Rising sign.

 

Pisces is the final sign of the zodiac, and takes us right into the realm of the spiritual; our higher self and the world of dreams and imagination. Someone with a Sun or rising sign in Pisces is likely to come across as artistic, intuitive and sensitive.

 

What to play up:

  • Compassion
  • Creativity
  • Intuition
  • Wisdom
  • Kindness

What to watch out for:

  • Overly fearful
  • Overly trusting
  • Acting the martyr

 

Your Element, Dosha and Guna

Water is your element.

Water signs are likely to be predominantly Kapha in nature.

When there is too much Kapha nature in someone, it results in excess lethargy and can lead to feeling dull and heavy, as well as the physical manifestations of congestion.

Because of this, it’s recommended to keep your yoga asana practise regular and incorporate a more rigorous flow. Incorporate powerful standing poses, creating heat in your body to counter your natural tendency to feel cold and sluggish.

You could also try incorporating Bhastrika (Bellows Breath), which helps to remove excess congestion in the lungs, create warmth and energise the mind.

The Guna associated with Mutable signs is Sattva. Sattva can be symbolised by a newborn baby; the state of balance and equanimity. Sattva goes with the flow; accepting and working with change as it is.

Although Sattva is likely the Guna you want to cultivate most, too much can lead someone to be too ‘spacey’, disconnecting from reality or unable to be motivated to do something. That is why all three Gunas work together; some grounding and stability from Tamas makes Sattva more stable, and a little fire from Rajas makes Sattva dynamic.

Because of this, it’s recommended to keep your yoga asana practise varied to maintain your stable balance of all three Gunas and keep Sattva in check. Full-bodied practises, incorporating dynamic asana, pranayama and quiet periods of meditation is best.

 

Your Ruling Planet

Neptune is your ruling planets.

Neptune is represented by the lord of the sea – think Triton in The Little Mermaid. It represents the desire to escape the world of the mundane, and encourages us to dream of distant shores. Neptune is also connected to music, so those born under it’s influence are likely to reveal music preferences early in life.

 

Body Part Focus

The feet are most associated with Aquarius, as well as the lymph system, immune system and the pineal gland.

 

An Affirmation For Your Practise

“I am living my dream.”

 

Yoga Asanas For Your Sign

 

1) Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Stand with feet together or hips-width/two fists apart. Lift toes, spread them out, place back down. Lift through the arches and up through the knees and thighs. Internally rotate thighs. Soften tailbone down to lengthen back. Shine chest to sky whilst pulling ribs in line with hips. Bring back of head in line with back of heels. Drop chin slightly, lengthen through crown to sky. Ground down whilst lifting up.

Expressions of this pose:

Hands to heart in prayer, raise arms and stretch from side to side, arm swings.

Modifications:

Could be done partly on a chair.

Mountain pose
Source: https://www.everydayhealth.com

2) Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Come to all fours, hands and knees. Set your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly forward of your shoulders. Spread your fingers wide, index fingers facing forward, and turn your toes under.

Ground firmly through your hands and toes as you bend your knees slightly, lifting your tailbone straight up. Work toward straightening your legs, but prioritise ease and length through the spine.

Expressions of this pose:

Lift one hand and take it to the opposite leg into a twist, look under shoulder.

Modifications:

Keep knees bent, add blanket under heels.

Downward facing dog
Source: https://www.gaia.com

3) Upward Facing Dog

Lie on your belly with the tops of your feet on the floor. Bring your palms to the floor beside your waist and bring your elbows in towards your body. Inhale and straighten your arms, simultaneously lifting your torso up and your legs a few inches off the floor on an inhalation. Keep the thighs firm, the arms strong and turned out so the elbow creases face forward. Ground strongly into the hands and toes/top of foot.

Modifications:

Often it’s difficult to keep the legs strongly suspended above the floor. Before you move into the pose, position a thick blanket roll below your top thighs. When you are in the pose, lightly rest your thighs on this roll as you press the tailbone closer to the roll.

Upward Facing Dog
Source: https://www.yogajournal.com

4) Half-Frog Pose

Lie on your belly. Press your forearms against the floor and lift your head and upper torso. Bend your right knee and bring the heel toward the same-side buttock. Reach back with your right hand and clasp the inside of your foot. Use the base of your palm to press down the top of the foot. Keep shoulder square with the front of the mat and continue to keep your left shoulder lifted.

Modifications: 

Support the lift of the upper torso with a bolster under your lower ribs, and press your free forearm on the floor in front of the bolster.

Half-Frog Pose
Source: yogainternational.com

5) Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor. Inhale, slide your hands, palms down, below your buttocks, tucking your forearms and elbows in to your sides. Inhale and press your forearms and elbows firmly against the floor then lift your upper torso and head away from the floor. Release your crown back onto the floor. There should be a minimal amount of weight on your head to avoid crunching your neck.

Expressions of pose: 

Raise your legs straight out, up to a foot off the ground.

Modifications:

Perform the pose with your back supported on a thickly rolled blanket. Be sure your head rests comfortably on the floor and your throat is soft.

Fish pose
Source: https://www.yogajournal.com

Yoga For Aquarius Sun or Rising Signs

Sun Sign Birth Dates for Aquarius: Jan 21–Feb 18

Is Aquarius your Rising Sign? Your rising sign, also called your ascendant, is the sign that was rising over the eastern horizon when you were born, and is the sign in your 1st House. If you know what time you were born, you can calculate your Rising sign.

Aquarians are the revolutionaries, the visionaries and someone with a Sun or rising sign in Aquarius is likely to come across as cool, forward thinking and very direct.

What to play up:

  • Fairness
  • Affectionate
  • Imagination
  • Truthfulness
  • Forward thinking

What to watch out for:

  • Overly frank
  • Unpredictability
  • Detachment

Your Element, Dosha and Guna

Air is your element.

Air signs are likely to be predominantly Vata in nature, but Aquarius is Tridhatu.

This describes those of us whose natural constitution is an even combination of all three Doshas. Tridoshic or Tridhatu त्रिधातु, means ‘threefold.’

Because of this, it’s recommended to keep your yoga asana practise varied to maintain your stable balance of all three doshas. Full-bodied practises, incorporating dynamic asana, pranayama and quiet periods of meditation is best.

The Guna associated with Fixed signs is Tamas. Tamas can be symbolised by a tall mountain; strong and steady. Having too much Tamas can lead to laziness, apathy, depression, and a general heavy or ‘stuck’ feeling.

Try to practice more vinyasa and sun salutation-type sequences, as well as incorporating backbends and balancing poses. These are great for increasing energy and invigorating the body.

Your Ruling Planet

Uranus and Saturn are your ruling planets. Lucky you – you get two!

Saturn is the ruling planet from ancient times, before more modern equipment identified Uranus. As the farthest visible planet in our solar system, Saturn is all about boundaries. If you try to take short-cuts in life, you may get into trouble later on. But if you do your work sincerely, then you will be rewarded. Saturn never gives you more than you can handle.

Uranus is quite a counterbalance for Saturn: it’s the radical genius, the lover of freedom. Uranus is all about surprise, flashes of insight (it rules electricity) and overhauling the old to make way for the new.

Body Part Focus

The ankles are most associated with Aquarius, as well as the lower leg.

An Affirmation For Your Practise

“I love and accept myself fully.”

Yoga Asanas For Your Sign

1) Lotus Pose

Seated, cross right foot to left thigh, left foot to right thigh, externally rotate hips. Bring hands to knees. Lengthen through crown, ground down through sitz bones.

Expressions of this pose:

Fold forward, take hands behind in prayer or interlace fingers.

Modifications:

Sit on blanket to raise hips above knees.

Lotus Pose
Source: https://www.shape.com

2) Garland pose (Malasana)

Lower into a squat with your knees tracking your toes outward. Inhale lengthen up through your crown. Exhale, lean your torso forward and fit it snugly between your thighs. Expand your elbows into your inner knees, bringing your palms to together in Anjali Mudra and draw the knees into the elbows.

Expressions of this pose:

Take a twist, placing one hand on the floor in front of you, and one hand toward the sky. Gaze toward raised hand. Repeat on the other side.

Modifications:

Keep heels lifted if necessary. Place a rolled up blanket under heels if they are far from the ground.

Garland pose
Source: https://www.yogajournal.com

3) Eagle pose (Garudasana)

Spread toes and firm down through all four corners of feet. Bend left knee and wrap right leg around standing leg, placing toes behind shin or as far as possible. Extend arms out wrapping left arm under right. Lift shoulders and press palms together. Sink hips down.

Expressions of this pose:

Take a forward fold, keeping length in your spine.

Modifications:

Touch toes to floor.

Eagle Pose
Source: yogainternational.com

4) Revolved Side-Angle Pose

Inhale, step feet 3–4 feet apart. Turn right foot out 90 degrees, left foot out 60 degrees. Left hand to outside of right foot, taking right arm up. Gaze to sky, draw belly in and create length, keep legs strong.

Expressions of this pose:

Bring right arm around back, or bind by taking left arm under right leg, holding right hand.

Modifications: 

Come into from low lunge (knee on floor) and arms in prayer. Use of block. Modify neck position.

Revolved Side Angle
Source: https://www.yogajournal.com

5) Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Resting pose. Kneeling, sit hips back to heels, rest forehead to mat, arms by sides, palms up.

Expressions of pose: 

Extended: knees wide, toes in, arms extended in front (active or passive arms).

Modifications:

Block or blanket under the head.

Note for Aquarius: This is a wonderful resting pose. If you feel like you’re taking the weight of the world on your shoulders, it might be worth spending 5 or more minutes resting in this pose. Unlike savasana, it won’t leave you ready for bed: it is both restful and invigorating, restoring your energy so you can keep on keeping on.

P.S. You can also find a class for Aquarius Season on my YouTube channel:

Yoga For Capricorn Sun or Rising Signs

Sun Sign Birth Dates for Capricorn: Dec 22–Jan 20

Is Capricorn your Rising Sign? Your rising sign, also called your ascendant, is the sign that was rising over the eastern horizon when you were born, and is the sign in your 1st House. If you know what time you were born, you can calculate your Rising sign.

 

Capricorn is signified by the mountain goat: committed, hard-working and steadfast. Someone with a Sun or rising sign in Capricorn has an incredible work-ethic, are ambitious and go-getters.

 

What to play up:

  • Determination
  • Ambition
  • Diligence
  • Reliability
  • Patience

What to watch out for:

  • Selifish
  • Cold
  • Boring

 

Your Element, Dosha and Guna

Earth is your element.

Earth signs are usually Kapha, but Saturn is actually Vata in nature.

When there is too much Vata nature in someone, it results in excess nervousness energy, anxiety, panic and fear. Physically, you may feel dry, weak and cold.

Because of this, it’s recommended to keep your yoga asana practise regular and incorporate a calm, stretch-focused form of yoga, such as Yin. Sun Salutations should be done at a slow pace. It is also balancing to include twists, forward bends, and calming inversions. Due to the hyperactive nature of Vata, make sure to allow for a longer Savasana, for fifteen minutes or more.

You could also try incorporating Alternate Nostril breathing, which helps to calm and focus the mind.

Your Guna is Rajas, associated with Cardinal signs. The nature of Rajas can be symbolised by an erupting volcano; it is attraction, longing, and attachment. When in excess, Rajas can be a source of anxiety, over-thinking, and hyperactivity.

Practicing at least one restorative pose every day will be very effective at reducing Rajas. It’s also worth holding poses for longer and minimise or slow down vinyasa and sun salutation-type sequences.

 

Your Ruling Planet

Saturn is your ruling planet.

The farthest visible planet in our solar system, Saturn is all about boundaries. If you try to take short-cuts in life, you may get into trouble later on. But if you do your work sincerely, then you will be rewarded. Saturn never gives you more than you can handle.

 

Body Part Focus

The knees are most associated with Capricorn. Also affected is the skeleton; all bones.

 

An Affirmation For Your Practise

“I am committed and content.”

 

Yoga Asanas For Your Sign

 

1) Hero Pose

Kneel on the floor with your thighs and knees together. Slide your feet apart, slightly wider than your hips, with the tops of the feet flat on the floor. Bring your thumbs into the backs of your knees and draw the skin and flesh of the calf muscles toward the heels. Then sit down between your feet.

Expressions of this pose:

Interlace fingers bringing arms up overhead.

Modifications:

Half hero pose, one leg out in front. Sitz bones can also be on a block.

Hero pose
Source: https://www.yogajournal.com

2) Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Stand with feet together or hips-width/two fists apart. Lift toes, spread them out, place back down. Lift through the arches and up through the knees and thighs. Internally rotate thighs. Soften tailbone down to lengthen back. Shine chest to sky whilst pulling ribs in line with hips. Bring back of head in line with back of heels. Drop chin slightly, lengthen through crown to sky. Ground down whilst lifting up.

Expressions of this pose:

Hands to heart in prayer, raise arms and stretch from side to side, arm swings.

Modifications:

Could be done partly on a chair.

Mountain pose
Source: https://www.everydayhealth.com

3) Chair pose (Utkatasana)

Stand with toes together, slight gap between heels inhale bending knees and lifting arms up by ears. Draw tailbone down and back, keep spine long and neutral. Exhale to sink deeper as if going to sit in a chair. Knees should stay behind toes.

Expressions of this pose:

Take Eagle arms, try with feet hips-width distance apart, add a twist with arms at prayer, elbow reaches to opposite thigh.

Modifications:

Block between thighs, hands at heart centre.

Chair pose
Source: https://vinyasayogatraining.com

4) Warrior II

Inhale step feet 3-4 feet apart. Turn right foot out 90 degrees, left out 45. Keep feet in one plane. Lift arms up and out to the sides on a horizontal plane, wrists over ankles. Bend right knee to 90 degrees, keep back leg strong and straight, ground through back edge of left leg. Gaze past right fingertips.

Expressions of this pose:

Take Eagle, or Cowface arms.

Modifications: 

Bring feet closer, less bend in front leg.

Warrior II
Source: https://www.yogajournal.com

5) Tree Pose (Vrkshasana)

Lift right foot, place on inside of left thigh. Ground through standing foot. Press sole of foot and thigh together. Hands in prayer at heart centre.

Expressions of pose: 

Reach arms up, take a mudra.

Modifications:

Keep toes on ground, or foot to calf – don’t bring to knee.

Tree pose
Source: https://www.verywellfit.com

Note for Sagittarius: In Tree pose, imagine you are growing roots down from your feet into the earth. Feel solid, stable and supported. Raise your arms like branches of a tree, receiving energy and inspiration from the Sun.