“When the spirit of a man is decisive and firm, the space clears around him and others give him room.” — John Watson Foster

giant-scorpion-1076314__180.jpgThis week marks the rise of Scorpio.  The scorpion is considered to be a loner, a survivor and, yes, a bit fierce.  I myself am a scorpion.  So, I will come to the defense of my sign and let you know that despite its bolder features, the scorpion is also known as a protector, healer and a transformer.

The people born under this sign seek resolution.  They stand by their beliefs and move toward sincerity. Whether through influence, control, or even possibly hypnosis, Scorpions will discover the truth. They detest lies, dishonesty and unfairness.

As a water sign, Scorpions are tied to passion as their emotion. Anatomically, Scorpio is connected to the pelvis, hips, reproductive organs and sacrum.  These areas need attention for this population of stingers.

The yoga posture called the “scorpion” would be apropos but not attainable for all.  To catch some of its benefits, begin with the strength building postures of

Dolphin and Dolphin Plank  yoga-263673__180

then practice Ustrasana (camel) ustrasana to generate more flexibility.

Finally, moving toward Sirsasana (headstand) {under guidance please} will put _h400_w284_m1_bwhiteyou in a confident place and improve your balance.

Baddha Konasana (bound angle) is a wonderful stabilizer for the hips and pelvic region.  And, its restorative version Supta Baddha Konasana (reclined bound angle) is one of my favorites for balancing prana and pacifying the lower body.

Next month we catch up with another truth-seeker, the Sag.

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Tip the Scales to the Diplomatic Libra

A perfect two for one post – yoga astrology and autumnal equinox – a super combination!

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Tomorrow marks the Autumnal Equinox – when days and nights become equal for a brief period before the nights grow longer.  It is also the phase of Libra, the bringer of balance and equality (certainly, something we can all use in the wind swept days of fall).

The element air is definitely integral to this sign of Libra. As the winds of change mark the season, the scales analyze the direction and balance the flow.  No conflicts are involved  – the emissary Libra acts in harmony to make the necessary changes.

As Libra governs the lower back, these yogis require stability to avoid injuring this vulnerable area of the body. Poses that bring strength, balance and a sense of center are what this sign needs to stay confident and strong.

Begin with Table Balance images

and find your center as you extend one arm along with the opposite leg.  Be sure to keep your alignment and stay connected to your center.

Another powerful pose to strengthen and balance the back and front body is

Virabhadrasana III or Warrior III.6191965341_293d25e4f2

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana builds stability in the lower back.  hp_216_09Start easy with supine cat-cow and slowly build to the traditional bridge pose over time.  This one can be done supported with a block holding the body at the level of the sacrum.

Finally, a supreme balancer is the pranayama technique Nadi Shodhana.  It promotes a clear channel for the mind to make decisions and think objectively.

When you need more encouragement, reflect on this all encompassing quote by Gary Kraftsow:

A Yoga Prayer

May my physical body have strength, stability, and structural integrity,May my vital body have health, vitality, stamina, and immunity.

May my intellect be clear, capable, curious, eager, and open.

May my character have faith, wisdom, compassion, humility, integrity and patience.

May my emotions be stable and joyful.

May my heart be open.

May I be totally integrated structurally, physiologically, intellectually, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Photos taken from Yoga Journal 

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It’s Your Mane Event Leo!

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If you were born under the sign of Leo, also known as the Lion, you are governed by the element of fire. Your sign rules over the heart, spine and hair (in other words, your Lion mane). Therefore, you may be more prone to illnesses or biases that stem from these areas.

A Leo should leap boldly into the Sun Salutation series. It speaks to their fiery spirits. And, a bonus is that Uttanasana or the forward bend portion of the series creates abundant blood flow in the scalp which maintains healthy hair.

Another posture made for this zodiac sign is, of course, Simhasana or Lion Pose:

  • Sit back on your heels and rest your palms on your knees. Keeping your chin down, look up to the ceiling. Inhale deeply through the nose and as you open your mouth wide, stretch out your tongue and release an audible “HA” sound. This is a fine opportunity to practice your Lion’s roar!
  • Repeat two to three times and follow up with a resting position such as Balasana or Child’s Pose.

Simhasana_Yoga-Asana_Nina-Mel

For a gentle backbend, try Ardha Salabasana or Half Locust Pose.  It’s a superb way to keep the spine healthy and a nice warm-up for…Half-locust_pose

 

…the more adventurous Ustrasana or Camel Pose. However, don’t go overboard with this heart opening asana – stick with the variation that is best suited for you.
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And, finally,

lions-253505__180   even a Lion should let down his/her guard and balance the ferociousness with a soothing Savasana.

Next Month:  We “tip the scales” in favor of those diplomatic Libras!

 

Happy Birthday Crabs!

2973805If you were born under the sign of Cancer, also known as the crab, you are governed by the element of water.  Your sign rules over the chest, breast, stomach and digestion. Therefore, you may be more prone to illnesses or biases that stem from these specific areas.

Yoga to the rescue! There are a wonderful assortment of postures that can target a cancer’s particulars.

My first recommendation would be Pavanamuktasana or Wind Removing Pose. Wind-Relieving-Posture-YogaDesigned to relieve gas and improve digestion, this is something that will benefit all Cancers.

If you are prone to coughs and chest ailments, focus on a heart-opening pose like half moon pose or Ardha Chandrasana. Ardha-Chandrasana_Yoga-Asana_Nina-Mel Since the Sun Sign Cancer is ruled by the Moon, Half Moon posture is especially relevant. It can also balance the fact that as a crab, you like to retreat into your shell (winky face). 

Vision weaknesses as well as varicose veins are also attributed to the Cancer sign. Shoulderstand  or Salamba Sarvangasanasarvangasanais an asana that can increase the blood circulation to the eyes, brain, ears and nose, thereby improving their functioning. It brings relief from constipation, indigestion and varicose veins. This pose also helps you detoxify and maximizes the performance of all of the other organs.

So get cracking crabs – next month we take on the Lions!

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