Why you should perform yoga poses that are specific to your zodiac sign

Turns out your sun sign can give you more than just clues about your personality and tendencies. Here are ideal yoga poses for each sign of the zodiac:


Warrior I (Virabhadrasna I). This pose is perfect for the pioneering and champion-spirited Arien, reflecting the energy of the hero who conquers adversaries.Stand tall at the front of your mat with your hands on your hips. Step your left foot back about three feet, and bring your left heel to the mat. Rotate the toes of your left foot out about 45 degrees. Your pelvis should remain parallel to the front of your mat. Lift your arms straight up over your head without scrunching your shoulders, and then bend your right knee so it is in line with your right ankle. Hold for up to sixty seconds, and repeat on the other side.


Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana). When your grounded nature needs an energizing lift, this all-over workout awakens the senses and is especially beneficial for neck and thyroid health. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip distance apart. To ensure proper foot placement, extend your arms along the ground, and place your heels in the spot where they touch your fingertips. With your feet flat on the floor, lift your hips. With your arms straight, clasp your hands behind your back. Stay in the pose for up to sixty seconds. When finished, gently roll down vertebra by vertebra as you exhale.


Dolphin Pose. Like a Gemini, dolphins are considered to be extremely intelligent. This pose can help you stretch and strengthen your shoulders, arms, and wrists. Place your hands and knees on the floor in the tabletop position (your knees should align directly below your hips, with your elbows and wrists below your shoulders). Drop your elbows to the floor underneath your shoulders. Keeping your elbows in place, interlace your fingers together. Tuck your toes under, and send your hips toward the sky while pressing your forearms and wrists into the ground. The crown of your head should be facing the mat and contained within the triangle-shaped space created by your arms. Your knees can be straight or slightly bent, whichever allows your pelvis to lift away from your shoulders. Stay in the pose for up to sixty seconds.


Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani). This gentle, restorative pose inspires calm and relaxation, helps with Cancerian water retention, and can move blood through the stomach and reproductive organs. Sit on the floor with the right side of your body next to a wall and your legs bent and feet on the floor. Lie on your left side (perpendicular to the wall) and roll onto your back, bringing your legs straight up to rest against the wall. Scoot your buttocks forward so that they are as close to the wall as possible. Close your eyes and relax for at least five minutes.


Lion Pose (Simhasana). This asana will help you to embody the inherent courage and fearlessness that reside in every Leo’s heart. Kneel on the floor and sit back on your heels. Spread your fingers wide, and place your palms on your knees. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth, opening it wide. Stick out your tongue, reaching it down toward your chin, and loudly make the sound “ha.” Simultaneously, look up and lightly focus your eyes above the bridge of your nose. Repeat several times.


Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana). While this posture may seem simple, it provides a mindful experience of being present as you fold into yourself, and it helps to calm anxiousness and the overanalytical Virgoan mind. Sit on the floor with your legs extended straight in front of you. Adjust your buttocks so that your sit bones are on the floor. Without locking your knees, activate your legs by pushing your thighs into the floor and extending out through your flexed feet. Inhale and lengthen your torso, and then slowly bend forward at the hips. Grab the sides of your feet, or shins, with your hands. Point your gaze toward your toes. With each inhalation, lengthen your torso, and see if you can naturally go deeper into the bend. Stay in the pose for up to two minutes.


Tree Pose (Vrksasana). One of the basic balance postures in yoga, Tree Pose can help reinforce a Libran’s sense of equilibrium. Stand tall with your feet together. Shift your weight to your right foot, lift your left leg, and grab your ankle with your left hand. Place the sole of your left foot on your right inner thigh or calf. Bring your palms together in front of your heart, lightly gazing at a spot several feet in front of you to help you balance. Stay in the posture for up to one minute. Return to the original standing pose, and repeat on the other side.


Garland Pose (Malasana). Intense like a Scorpio, this wide squat pose is sure to unfasten any tightness in your pelvis, stretching your groin and bringing energy to your genital region.
With your feet close together, move into a squat, separating your knees so they are slightly wider than your torso. If your heels lift off the mat, widen your stance to allow for flat feet. Bring your torso forward between your thighs. Press your elbows against your inner knees and bring your palms together, creating openness in your chest. Hold this position for up to one minute.


Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II). Within the expansively open posture that characterizes this pose, you can see the speculative nature of the Archer. In this posture, you gaze into the distance over your outstretched arm, peacefully visualizing a goal that lies ahead and just over the horizon.
Stand tall at the front of your mat with your hands on your hips. Step your left foot back about three feet, and bring your left heel to the mat. Rotate the toes of your left foot out about 45 degrees. Open your pelvis to the left so that it’s parallel to the side of your mat. Bend your right knee 90 degrees so it’s in line with your ankle. Extend your arms out to either side, keeping your shoulders down and your chest open. Gaze over the top of your right fingertips. Stay in the pose for up to one minute, and then repeat on the other side.


Chair Pose (Utkatasana). Not only does the bending involved in Chair Pose promote flexibility and range of motion, but it also greatly strengthens the quadriceps muscles, supporting proper alignment of the Capricorn-ruled kneecaps. Stand with your feet together, big toes touching and heels slightly apart, and evenly distribute your weight through your soles. Raise your arms overhead, palms facing each other, and shoulders relaxed away from your ears. Slowly bend your knees until your thighs are almost parallel to the ground. Try not to round your back. Stay in the pose for up to one minute.


Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Savasana). This is one of the best poses to bring circulation to the Aquarius-ruled calves and ankles. Place your hands and knees on the floor, with your wrists slightly in front of your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Spread your fingers wide—your middle finger should point forward. Curl your toes under, and gently lift your knees away from the floor, straightening your legs without locking your knees. Push through your palms to raise your sit bones to the sky, and push your heels down toward the mat (it’s OK if they don’t yet touch). Broaden your shoulder blades, and draw them down your back. Your head should rest between your arms. Stay in the pose for up to three minutes.


Child’s Pose (Balasana). This pose stretches and massages the feet and stimulates the third eye, the seat of Piscean psychic abilities. Kneel on the floor with your knees together and the tops of your feet on the floor. Rest your buttocks on your heels, and bend forward until your belly rests on your thighs and your forehead on the floor. You can either extend your arms out in front of you, palms down, or rest them along your sides, palms facing up. Stay in this restorative pose for as long as you like.

Reprinted from PLANETARY APOTHECARY: An Astrological Approach to Health and Wellness by Stephanie Gailing. Copyright © 2009. Published by Crossing Press, an imprint of Ten Speed Press.

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