To infinity…and beyond! Just in time for Sagittarius season and an expansive cosmic cycle, we’re thrilled to bring you our latest installment of zodiac-themed yoga poses by Andrea Rice, a Libra with a Sagittarius moon and Astrostyle’s Managing Editor. For each astrological season, Andrea will share her favorite planetary poses tailored to the traits of the corresponding star sign. By embodying astrology and asana, you can move more in tune to the natural rhythms of life; enhancing your perceptions and elevating your spirit. Namaste! –Tali & Ophi
Broad-minded, live-out-loud Sagittarius season shifts our attention toward the vastness of the cosmos; a time for taking bold risks and honing our authentic truth.
Much like the zodiac wheel, our bodies are always shifting, progressing and changing form. From the “birth” of Aries season to the “death” of Pisces, we too are experiencing a continuous life cycle. In other words, we cannot be born again until the outmoded parts of ourselves are released in some way. And it is only when we stop spinning our wheels incessantly to actually witness our patterns—old habits, beliefs and ways of being—that we can become aware enough to break free from them.
Picture yourself like a spiraling galaxy, where at your galactic core is your light, your source, your divinity. It is by moving into that very center of serenity that change and growth can occur. It is where yoga begins. Astrology is a wonderful complement to yoga asana, as both disciplines require self-study. And since the purpose of yoga is to stabilize the fluctuations of the mind, we can more readily look to astrological insight from a place of clearer perspective with acceptance and without any judgment. In other words: Free your mind—and the rest will follow.
By viewing life through a multifaceted spectrum, from its deepest depths to highest heights, we can work with astrology and asana during the expansive cycle of Sagittarius season and enhance our perspectives. By embodying the courage and wit of the brave Archer, we can transmute the outspoken qualities of horizon-broadening Sagittarius into tangible form. As a passionate fire sign and an adaptable mutable sign, optimistic Sagittarius is also known for their high-minded wisdom and as the bearer of good fortune. Ruled by abundant Jupiter, Sagittarius energy is boundless and can indeed be hedonistic at times, but also reminds us that in order to take a chance on life we must trust in ourselves first.
Planetary Poses for Sagittarius Season (November 21-December 21)
Sagittarius rules the hips in the body. The following yoga poses are designed to stabilize the hips in an effort to practice more challenging postures that can steer us outside of our usual comfort zones. After the Sun’s alchemical cycle through transformative Scorpio, Sagittarius season invites us to rise from the ashes with our new vision in mind, and move boldly in pursuit of our wildest dreams. For musical inspiration, I recommend the high-minded optimism of Alice Coltrane’s “Transcendence,” to elevate your consciousness and channel your inner philosopher.
The Trailblazer: Pyramid Pose “Pumps” (Parsvottanasana)
This grounding, hip stabilizing posture lengthens the hamstrings while providing a rooting foundation through the soles of the feet. From Downward Facing Dog, step your right foot in between your hands, closer to your right hand and anchor the left foot behind you, turning the toes toward the front left edge of your mat. As you begin to straighten through the front leg, send the right hip crease back to stabilize the hips. Inhale to look forward and create more space; exhale to fold forward and in, letting the head go. Repeat a more few times with the breath—lifting and lowering—and creating more length which every inhale; more softening and surrender with each exhale. Switch sides.
The Vision Quest: Side Plank (Vasithasana) Series to Monkey Pose (Hanumanasana)
This choose-your-own-adventure series ranges from beginner level to more advanced, so try to remember that this is “practice” and not perfection. In other words, know when to back off and rest, and acknowledge when it’s time to move forward and expand. From Downward Dog, step your right foot forward in between your hands, closer to your right foot and keep the back heel lifted. Inhale to sweep the right hand up as you anchor your left palm down. To continue into a modified Side Plank, heel-toe the right foot to the right, so that all five toes are turned to the right and the foot is stacked and stabilized directly underneath the knee joint. Simultaneously, spiral the inner thighs toward one another and find the outer blade of the back foot, as you continue to reach the right hand toward the sky, keeping the hips lifted and left shoulder stabilized over the left palm.
For Side Plank B, grab hold of the right big toe with the two peace fingers of your right hand. Inhale to pick the foot up and pause—and then, you can either exhale to rotate the hips and extend the foot skyward or simply put the foot back down and practice little lifts. From Side Plank B, keep holding onto the big toe and extend the heel out in front of you as you slowly lower (with control!) and square the hips, entering your expression of full Monkey Pose (Hanumanasana aka “the splits”). I recommend placing hands on blocks here, or bending the back knee to 90 degrees for a half Monkey Pose variation. Repeat the sequence to suit your abilities on the left side.
The Awakening: Handstand Hops (Adho Mukha Vrsksasana)
Remember, yogis: this is practice. The point is not to do a Handstand on the first try or even the thousandth try—the purpose is to simply enjoy the journey that may one day lead you there. From Downward Dog, step your right foot halfway up your mat and shift your weight forward so that your shoulders stack and stabilize over your wrists. Extend the left foot toward the heavens, like an antenna, and know that it is lifted this way as a guide rather than generating any sort of momentum. Lift to the ball of your right foot and bend through the right knee. This is where your power comes from. Begin taking little hops here, and don’t overdo it. Rest in Child’s Pose after a few tries and then, if at first you don’t succeed, then give it another go! Eventually, the right leg will extend overhead to meet the left as the shoulders stay stacked over wrists, with hips over shoulders and feet over hips. Rest again, and then repeat on the left side. Onward and upward!
Photos courtesy of Beth Kessler
Andrea Rice is the Managing Editor for AstroStyle and is also a writer and yoga teacher in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, Yoga Journal, New York Yoga+Life magazine, Wanderlust Media, SONIMA, mindbodygreen and other online publications. Connect with Andrea on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and sign up for her quarterly newsletter on her website.
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