Find your balance through every zodiac season with our Astrology & Asanas series by yoga instructor, Astrostyle editor (and harmonious Libra) Andrea Rice. Follow along with these postures to connect to the natural rhythms of life, enhance perceptivity and elevate your spirit.
Stabilizing Capricorn plants your feet on solid ground. It shifts your attention to practical goal-mapping. Symbolized by the mythical sea goat, Capricorn roots your dreams in reality and with tireless ambition. Reach for the stars with these Capricorn season yoga poses!
The following Capricorn season yoga poses are designed to strengthen and lubricate the joints, and stretch the ligaments in the knees. Capricorn rules the joints in the body, the kneecaps most of all.
After the Sun’s horizon-broadening stint through philosophical Sagittarius, Capricorn season roots our dreams in reality with gumption and confidence, as you pursue your grandest goals. Capricorn season coincides with the Winter Solstice, the shortest and darkest day of the year. It signifies a rebirth of the Sun and a return to light. During this cycle, you are invited to realign with your goals as you look to the new year ahead.
Sturdy Capricorn is a leadership-driven cardinal sign symbolized by the unusual paradox that is the Sea Goat—a testament to the persistent energy of this ambitious, yet grounded earth sign. Ruled by stern Saturn, the tough teacher planet known throughout astrological lore as “Father Karma,” Capricorn reminds you that while it is okay to have lofty dreams and visions, they must be rooted in reality.
For musical inspiration, I recommend the self-titled album by Diana Ross, and listening to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” on repeat.
Capricorn Season Yoga Poses to Try
Climb Every Mountain: Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Stand tall and proud and feel the earth beneath your feet (or snow boots!). Soften the kneecaps and engage the quadriceps to avoid locking out the joints and hyperextending the knees. Climb up the spine and lengthen through the crown of the head, while broadening through the chest and drawing the shoulder blades together down the back. Turn the palms face out and spread the fingers wide, as though they could stretch all the way to the earth below. Breathe deeply, and set an intention for your practice.
Squat Goals! Squat Pose (Malasana)
This grounding, hip opening posture lengthens the spine while strengthening the ankles and knee joints. From Tadasana, widen the feet and sit low, bringing the palms together at the heart and pressing the thumbs into the center of the chest to help keep the sternum lifted. Root into the outside edges of the feet and use the elbows to press the inner thighs outwardly. Keep lifting through the chest and extending through the crown of the head. Gather the process behind your intentions, and as you breathe, consider the framework for which your intentions could be made manifest.
Intention Activation: Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
Return to a wide stance and turn the back heel slightly inward. Separate the arms wide and gaze over the front fingers with a soft, yet focused concentrations. Take a deep breath in, then exhale to reach long out of the waist and let the front hand fall to the right shin as the other hand reaches toward the heavens. Let your gaze follow whatever it is you’re reaching for overhead and pause here. Then, reach the lifted hand behind you and engage your side waist to lift the torso back to stand. Pause, and repeat, giving yourself the opportunity to try again; to continue building your foundation. Switch sides.
Calm in the Storm: Dancer’s Pose (Natarajasana)
Return to Mountain Pose. Shift your weight into your right foot and swing the left knee behind you to grab the inside edge of the left foot. Lift the right arm high and stabilize, mindful not to hyperextend the standing leg. Take a deep breath in, then exhale to hinge forward and extend the right hand out long in front of you. Keep the chest lifted and gaze focused. When you’re ready to come out, lift the right hand back up toward the sky to return to stand. Switch sides.
Falcon Focus: Extended Hand-to-Big Toe Pose (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana)
Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe is a BIG pose with many building blocks, so it’s up to you to decide when it’s time to go further, and when it’s time to stop. From Mountain Pose, shift your weight into one foot (left pictured) and lift the opposite knee to 90 degrees while grabbing hold of the outside edge of that foot. Inhale to stand up tall, exhale to straighten through the leg any amount. Pause here. Optional: extend the foot out to the side, keeping the hand on the hip. Optional: extend the hand from the hip out to the side. Optional: turn your gaze to follow the lifted foot. Breathe deeply, and then one movement at a time, return back to where you started. Switch sides.
Satisfaction Guaranteed: Bound Angle Pose (Buddha Konasana)
The time has come to rest and reflect. Come to a comfortable seat, pulling the flesh back from the sitting bones and bringing the soles of the feet together to send the knees out wide. Grab hold of the tops of the feet and sit up nice and tall. Feel a stretch in the groin and outer knees, optional: butterfly the knees gently to release tension in the hips. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done, and be sure to thank your body, too.
Photos courtesy of Beth Kessler
Andrea Rice is a writer, author, movement and meditation teacher, and yoga festival presenter. Her articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Yoga Journal, The Wanderlust Journal, mindbodygreen, SONIMA, and Astrostyle, among other publications. She has been teaching yoga since 2010, first in Brooklyn and Manhattan and now Raleigh, NC, where she currently resides. She is currently co-authoring a book about the application of seasonal rhythms and yoga philosophy to modern life which will be published in early 2020. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram, and sign up for her quarterly newsletter on her website: www.andreariceyoga.com.