We all know that our sign determines a lot about who we are and how we behave, but Ekaterina Tuvaeva tells us that it also reveals what poses can help you re- align your outlook, work through your difficulties and feel energized.
Aries governs the head, brain, eyes and ears, predisposing born under this sign to anxiety, frequent headaches, eyes and ears problems. Impulsive go-getter Ram is always action oriented. Meditative practices would help him a lot with nervousness. But the very idea of just sitting still, contemplating the mysteries of this Universe, is excruciatingly boring for this zodiac sign. Mighty warrior postures seem like a good compromise here. Strong and energetic, all
Virabhadrasanas are beautifully in character with Aries ruling planet Mars, the warrior planet. When held longer, these asanas cultivate focus, patience and stamina, curbing fervent energy of Mars. Translated to daily life, it helps Aries to stay steady and strong to his purpose. Because while he has tremendous power to take action, endurance or persistence are not his forte.
Body parts ruled by Taurus are the neck, throat and thyroid gland. He tends to have an achy upper back as well. Partly because of neck-upper back musculature connection. Partly due to long hours spent hunched over the computer. Handworker of the zodiac, Bull doesn’t see fitness as his first way to unwind stress. He’d rather end up at a fancy quiet restaurant instead. Seal pose is a twofer for Taurus. This big yin backbend opens the chest and resets the spine. Extended neck stimulates the function of the thyroid gland. Seemingly easy this asana demands a lot of attention and work, things the ever-patient Taurus is good at. Instead of just hanging on your joints engage the muscles of the upper body and the arms. Soften the backbend if the neck and the lower back feel strained.
Gemini energy is housed in their arms and shoulders, lungs and nervous system. The Twins have a lot of enthusiasm for life. They try new hobbies, get involved with different projects at work. Curious and open-minded they love being in the vortex of events and people.
Downward facing Dog, yoga practice staple, benefits Gemini the most. As a mild inversion Down Dog lowers anxiety levels and calms the mind, down regulating Gemini’s sensitive nervous system. In this inverted V shape, Gemini can pause, reflect, check in with what’s happening on the inside, for a change. The added blood flow to the brain increases focus, encouraging the Twins not to squander their energy among multiple endeavors. While some yoga poses work only flexibility and others – strength, the Down Dog does both, reflecting the dual Genimi nature. More importantly for Gemini, the asana strengthens the hands and the arms and stretches the shoulders.
Just like the actual crab has a sensitive underbelly, Cancer’s weak spots are the chest, stomach, liver and gall bladder. All supine backbend are good for this sign. This group of poses unblocks the energy flow that tends to get stagnant around Cancer’s digestive tract.
Introverted by nature Crab is shy and soft-spoken. He doesn’t like to stick out. Yet, the most amazing things in life happen outside of our comfort zone. People of this sign need to be constantly reminded of it. Bow pose actively stimulates digestion, massaging the abdominal organs. Big heart-opener, Dhanurasana puts focus on the solar plexus, the center of our willpower, linked to empowerment, selfesteem and confidence. This energetic practice urges Cancer to leave his shell and stay out in the world.
The spine and heart are the major areas to watch with Leo. He’s subject to a number of possible ailments from back pain to diseases of the heart and blood. Heart-opening poses come in line with the king of the zodiac. This asanas family cures slumped shoulders. Leo knows well that being confident starts with your posture (if you don’t look confident, you’ll never feel confident). Always up for a challenge, Leo would enjoy advanced Camel pose. It improves spine flexibility, boosts circulation, lowers blood pressure. Ustrasana opens the chest and exposes a part of the body we actively protect by hunching our shoulders forward and rounding through the upper spine. Physically forced into a vulnerable position, usually determined and fierce Leo could use a chance to release some tension. People of this zodiac sign are known for their fiery spirit, so let that energy flow out from your chest, let that light shine!
Intestines, pancreas and spleen are linked to Virgo. Together with Gemini she also rules nervous system. As a result people of this sign are prone to indigestion and anxiety. Makes sense – digestive process is highly susceptible to shifts in the emotional body. Maybe that’s why Virgo is so in tune with the tummy and her ‘gut instincts’. This hypochondriac of the Zodiac worries a lot. Due to her overactive nervous system the best postures for Virgo are of the restorative nature. Head-to-knee forward fold activates the body’s parasympathetic nervous system – the rest and digest response. Abdominal organs compression stimulates and improves digestion. This mind-calming asana honors precision and is more complex than it seems – a quintessence of Virgo. Janu Sirsasana is a way for her to bring this meticulous personality trait to yoga practice. Big stretch that runs along the whole back side of the body helps fastidious Virgo loosen up (physically and figuratively).
Kidneys and lower back are the known areas of weakness for Libra. Libra’s energy represents balance. That’s the reason she inherently feels drawn to the mat. The Scales find twists very therapeutic. The above group of yoga poses alleviates tension in the whole spinal column, lubricates and lengthens it, releases excess heat and toxins from organs and tissues. With Libra the focus needs to be on the lumbar spine. This area contains large vertebral bones which support all the weight above it. If lower back muscles and joints are weak and unstable, or poorly supported by the abdomen, they won’t be able to balance everything that comes on top. Not only extreme seated twist Lord of Fish provides excellent compression and extension to the nerves and muscles of the spine, it tones and strengthens abs, supports the function of adrenal glands. As a lover of all things beautiful Libra will enjoy the esthetics of the pose. Something to ponder over when on the mat for Libra is that balance isn’t something you find, it’s something you create.
Scorpio governs urinary and reproductive systems, making bladder and genitals natural weaknesses for people born under this sign. Scorpios are ruled by intense deep emotions. Their ability to profoundly perceive and feel provides them an astonishing insight and creativity. Being an introverted sign, however, Scorpio doesn’t easily express his feelings outward. In psychosomatics unprocessed, stagnant emotions are stored in hip and pelvis region. That makes hip-openers an amazing way to release emotional tension. Scorpio benefits from poses that engage, stretch, and relax hips and pelvic floor muscles. Malasana yogi squat opens hips and groin, tones abdominals, stretches the lower back.
Sagittarius oversees hips and thighs. That makes him prone to hip tightness, sciatica, IT bend syndrome. Centaur is optimistic and full of enterprise and energy, eager to experience anything beyond the physically familiar. Not only he’s curious to try new things in life (and in yoga), but also someone who likes knowing that there’s freedom in his practice. An exceptionally powerful Chair pose will ground down Sagittarius. “Fierce pose”, as translated from Sanskrit, this killer asana is so in character with Sagittarius boundless energy. Utkatasana is worth all the hard work as it increases strength and stamina in legs, improves overall body balance, helps to focus, both physically and mentally. There are variations that can be made, including hand and leg placement, that are perfect for someone like the Archer to feel as free as his spirit.
Capricorn governs skeletal structure, joints and skin. He may be apt to fractures, strains, spinal stiffness and skin problems. Steadfast and rational Capricorn likes form and structure. Alignmenttricky poses suit his nature. Tap into your inner power with Half Moon pose by establishing deep internal and physical balance. Ardha Chandrasana challenges leg muscles, stabilizes joints, strengthens ankles and knees. As a mild inversion, the pose reduces anxiety and relieves stress, a benefit that uber-responsible and reliable Capricorn will certainly appreciate. People of this sign are so rational, logical and clear headed that getting them to open up emotionally can be quite a challenge. Nudge your emotions out with your arms radiating outward, opening the heart center. Disorienting Half Moon improves proprioception (the sense of the body’s position in space). It can help Capricorn to prevent injuries by cultivating body awareness and coordination.
Aquarius rules ankles, calves and circulatory system. That makes him susceptible to cramping in the legs, varicose veins and hypertension. Aquarius should be paired with ninja squat, aka surfer lunge. The pose is excellent for improving blood circulation to the ankles and calves. It strengthens and lubricates the ankle joints and ligaments to cultivate more stability and focus. This rebel of the zodiac is known for his out-of-thebox thinking. Intelligent, creative and psychically intuitive, Aquarius is always ahead of the pack. Innovator, trendsetter, he makes future happen. Use descending nature of side lunge to ground and stabilize. All squats send energy downward, calming, bringing along serenity and balance.
Pisces natural weakness lies in the feet and lymphatic system. They often suffer from inflammation issues. Instinctive and sensitive, Pisces are deeply in touch with the ebb and flow of their emotions. Dreamers of the zodiac, they spend a lot of time projecting and reflecting. Get barefoot, and mindfully ground yourself to the earth. Strengthen and stretch the feet to cultivate stability and focus. The edgy toe squat opens toes and soles of the feet, strengthens ankles, helps to build greater mobility and find ease in your body’s foundation. A pretty simple pose as far as mechanics go, but boy is it intense. As feet are compressed in this pose, all the major meridians of the body that start in the feet are stimulated.
A lifelong lover of both movement and learning, Ekaterina is always in a quest for better ways to help her students to live better in their bodies. In her yoga classes she combines different movement modalities and insights from all walks of live. Try it out at The Studio Yoga and Fitness.
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