Sections of this text seem in The Yoga Almanac: 52 Practices and Rituals to Keep Grounded By means of the Astrological Seasons, March 2020, New Harbinger Publications. Reprinted with permission: New Harbinger Publications, Inc. © 2020 Lisette Cheresson & Andrea Rice.
Virgo season — when the chaos of social summer season provides strategy to the pull of order and group; once we really feel referred to as to simplify our lives, and strip again to fundamentals. Starting on August 21 or 22 yearly, Virgo season is related to themes of accountability and order. (In social media memes, Virgo power is usually depicted as craving construction and regulation above all else.) As such, as summer season winds down, we could really feel referred to as to emotionally put together for the approaching harvest. This implies performing some emotional home cleansing in order that we could also be prepared for the laborious work of the transitional season to return. It additionally means purifying our lives of what not serves, and looking for easy contentment with what we have already got, somewhat than looking for what we don’t.
Earth-sign Virgo is symbolized by the virginal maiden, carrying a shaft of wheat. Not solely does We’ll chalk the concept she represents “purity” as much as the truth that the astronomer Ptolemy, largely credited with popularizing the Western zodiac together with his guide, Tetrabiblos, was writing when “smashing the patriarchy” was removed from inception. The wheat that she carries is a nod to the truth that in Historical Egypt, the start of Virgo season demarcated the start of the wheat harvest.
Virgo’s ruling planet is, like Gemini, Mercury — the planet of communication and order. On this cycle, in fact, it’s Mercury’s order that’s most felt throughout Virgo season. It’s related to the nervous system, the digestive system, and the intestines; in truth, the Virgo glyph, which seems one thing like an “M,” is supposed to characterize the intestines.
Perfectionist Virgo has rather a lot to show us about releasing concepts of expectation, and about getting our personal thoughts’s chatter so as in order that we could discover contentment and ease with what’s, somewhat than capitulating to our expectations. We might speak concerning the tenets of Bramacharya or Saucha, instructing us towards measures of austerity and purity. But Sutra 2.33, which alludes to the Vedantic precept of Pratipaksha Bhavan, which is an fascinating educating to remember throughout Virgo season.
The follow of Pratipaksha Bhavan instructs that when a unfavorable thought overtakes our thoughts, we have now the flexibility to purify that thought and discover order by merely overwriting it with one thing optimistic. This is usually a thought, phrase, or deed — one thing as straightforward as talking a optimistic reality out loud, taking a look at a picture that brings peace, and even working towards seva. All of us have a accountability for the standard of our ideas and the best way through which we present up on this planet. Generally it’s the only approach of doing so positively that brings us probably the most content material.
Crescent Lunge with a Twist (Anjaneyasana variation)
Anjaneyasana is called for Hanuman’s mom, Anjani. It’s thought-about a devotional pose; symbolic of an individual reaching towards the heavens.
This standing twist is a purposeful tackle a Revolved Crescent Lunge (Parivrtta Anjaneyasana), through which arms are introduced collectively in entrance of the center and backbone is torqued to attract elbow to reverse knee. Carry ease to the posture by remaining upright and lengthening arms out broad. By discovering rotation from the rib cage, Crescent Lunge with a Twist widens the wingspan to open the chest and shoulders, and mobilizes the thoracic backbone. It’s usually speculated that twisting postures assist stimulate digestion and wring out impurities as blood stream circulates to the interior organs and kidneys.
Turning the chin barely opens the throat (Vishuddha) chakra, as long as the cervical backbone maintains its size. As the interior organs are stimulated, the photo voltaic plexus (Manipura) chakra turns into activated. Spaciousness cultivated within the back-body and chest additionally facilitates a gap of the center (Anahata) chakra.
Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
Legs Up the Wall Pose is a restorative posture that is a perfect substitute for Shoulder Stand (Salamba Sarvāngāsana), because it doesn’t place weight on the neck. Classical Hindu yoga texts describe the upward transferring power, or Kundalini, by means of the spinal wire that an inversion similar to this may facilitate.
Maybe the best posture to ease discomfort within the decrease again, Legs Up the Wall stimulates the rest-and-digest state of the parasympathetic nervous system. It’s a mild stretch to alleviate foot, leg, or menstrual cramps, and helps to manage blood strain, scale back nervousness, alleviate complications, and even mitigate signs of delicate melancholy. If pressure arises within the lifted legs, deliver the ft collectively and let the knees fall out broad, or let the legs launch right into a straddle.
Legs Up the Wall retains the pure curvature within the cervical backbone which helps to open the throat (Vishuddha) chakra. The backbone lengthens from the tailbone to stimulate the foundation (Muladhara) chakra, as much as the crown (Sahasrara) chakra. The thoracic backbone is subtly mobilized to open the entrance of the torso. When the arms are held broad or in a cactus form, the entrance of the physique broadens to open the center (Anahata) chakra. The interior gaze can concentrate on the area between the brows, the third eye (Ajna) chakra, in self-inquiry and reflection.
Seated Ahead Fold (Paschimottanasana)
Seated Ahead Fold will increase circulation to the liver and kidneys and to the uterus, making it a possible reduction for menstrual or menopausal discomfort. As the bottom of the seat is anchored, the backbone lengthens from the tailbone to the crown of the pinnacle. To deepen the posture, the knees can bend barely, maybe with a rolled up blanket beneath them.
To fold into oneself is humbling. Once we come right into a Seated Ahead Fold, we’re bowing not solely to ourselves, however honoring our small but important place on this very huge world—a vital sentiment in seva. This pose prompts the foundation (Muladhara) chakra by grounding right down to the earth, releasing into gravity. Because the neck and cervical backbone launch, the throat (Vishuddha) chakra opens gently. The posture additionally stimulates the photo voltaic plexus (Manipura) chakra, our heart of outward motion and empowerment.
Seated Spinal Twist, Sage’s Pose, or Marichi’s Pose (Marichyasana III)
Marichi is loosely translated as “sage,” or a ray of sunshine from the solar or moon. Marichi is the son of Brahma, and one in every of seven seers (rishis), or lords of creation (prajapatis). Marichi can be the great-grandfather of Manu, who, in Vedic custom, is taken into account the daddy of the human race.
Seated Spinal Twist might help enhance digestion. Once we are likely to this “second mind,” we create readability and alleviate nervousness, whereas gently stimulating the physique’s pure cleansing course of. The posture additionally advantages a wholesome backbone when rotation is pure and never pressured.
Seated Spinal Twist rouses the foundation (Muladhara) chakra and faucets into our basis, our place of non-public peace. Tuning into our sacral (Svadhisthana) chakra—the middle of our creativity—permits us to hone what makes us tick, what helps us really feel centered and complete. By opening the throat (Vishuddha) chakra, the twist will increase the flexibility to speak from a spot of serenity and content material.
Lisette is a author, yoga instructor, and content material director. She’s a member of the founding management crew for Yoga Unify, a brand new yoga non-profit, the Director of Advertising at Mammoth Yoga Pageant, and the co-author of The Yoga Almanac. Lisette accomplished her 200-hour coaching in Brooklyn and her Reiki attunement in India, and furthered her research with Leslie Kaminoff of the Respiration Venture, Tiffany Cruikshank, and Andrew Holecek. She’s additionally a Grief Coach and Loss of life Doula, whose work is targeted on integrating the instruments of mindfulness and asana for grief therapeutic and end-of-life nervousness. A filmmaker in a previous life, Lisette has made movies with neighborhood leaders similar to Dharma Mittra, Eddie Stern, and Eoin Finn. She lives along with her husband and animals within the Hudson Valley, NY..
Andrea Rice is a author and editor masking well being and wellness. Her work has appeared in Yoga Journal, The Wanderlust Journal, mindbodygreen, Astrostyle, SONIMA, and New York Yoga+Life. She has additionally labored as a journalist for The New York Instances and INDY Week. As a yoga instructor with a decade of expertise, Andrea accomplished her 200-hour coaching in New York, NY; and furthered her coaching with Elena Brower and Alexandria Crow. She has additionally studied astrology extensively with The AstroTwins, Ophira and Tali Edut. Andrea has supplied yoga, meditation, journaling, and creativity workshops in Brooklyn and Manhattan in New York, NY; and has been a presenter at Wanderlust. She lives in Raleigh, NC, along with her husband and their cat, the place she teaches yoga at Blue Lotus and the North Carolina Museum of Artwork.