Go clean and green! Just in time for Virgo season and a grounded cosmic cycle, we’re thrilled to bring you our latest installment of zodiac-themed yoga poses by Andrea Rice, a lovely Libra 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
Purifying Virgo season shifts our attention toward living clean and optimizing well-being; a time for boosting productivity and prioritizing self-improvement.
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 working with astrology and asana during the efficiency of Virgo season, we can transmute the analytical qualities of the Virgin, the zodiac’s methodical perfectionist, into tangible form. As an adaptable mutable sign and a stabilizing earth sign, analytical Virgo knows how to streamline and systematize to run like a well-oiled machine. Ruled by meticulous Mercury, Virgo energy can teeter on obsession at times, but also reminds us that practice does indeed make perfect.
Planetary Poses for Virgo Season (August 22-September 22)
Virgo rules the digestive system, gallbladder and pancreas, as well as the nervous system. The following yoga poses are designed to stimulate and even improve digestion by wringing out impurities while cultivating clarity to help thwart anxiety and nervousness. After the bold Sun’s live-out-loud stint in expressive, passionate Leo, Virgo season invites us to turn inward and sweep away the unnecessary mental clutter. For musical inspiration, I recommend the album, “Anxiety” by Ladyhawke to remind you that at the end of the day, we are all perfectly imperfect.
Ready, Set, Digest: Cat & Cow
Cat and Cow postures stoke digestive fire and lubricate the spine. Begin on hands and knees, fingers spread wide and hands placed just wide of the elbows. Moving with the breath, inhale to let the belly drop and gaze lift, opening through the chest, then exhale to lift from the back of the heart space to round the spine and tuck the chin, drawing the navel in toward the spine. Repeat for several rounds of breath, as rhythmically and organically as you like.
Let’s Twist Again: High Lunge Variations
From Downward Dog, step the right foot forward in between the hands and inhale to sweep the arms overhead to a high crescent lunge, staying low in the front thigh and tracking the knee over the ankle. On an exhale, draw the navel in toward the spine and twist the torso to the right, opening out the arms like wings and turning the chin over your right shoulder. Take a deep breath here, then exhale to tip back and reverse, sending the left hand skyward and right hand to support the low back or slide down the back of the right thigh. Breathe deeply, then use an inhale to draw yourself back into a revolved high lunge, repeating a few times as you like. Switch sides.
Power Purge: Modified Side Plank (Vasithasana)
Returning to Downward Dog, step the right foot halfway up toward your hands and shift weight into your left hand as you pivot all ten toes to the right and find the outside edge of the back foot, reaching the right hand toward the sky. Let your attention drift toward the heavens, drawing the navel in toward the spine to facilitate the twist. Press actively into the left hand while lifting the right hip. Breathe for a few deep cycles of breath and then step back to Downward Dog, repeating on the other side.
Relax & Surrender: Seated Forward Fold w/Half Lift
Forward folds help to activate the body’s parasympathetic nervous system; the rest and digest response. Come to a seat with the legs extended long and pull the flesh back from the sit bones. Inhale to sweep both arms overhead, exhaling to hinge forward at the waist and lead with the heart, letting the hands naturally reach for the shins, ankles, feet or two big toes. Inhale for a half lift, leading with the heart, exhaling to bend the elbows in at the sides to draw yourself forward and in. Move slowly with the breath, surrendering deeper into the posture with each forward bend.
Unwind Your Mind: Seated Spinal Twist (Marichyasana III)
From the same seated position, cross your right foot over your left thigh and plant the sole of the foot down. Hug the right knee into your chest to square the torso first, then crawl the right fingertips behind you. Inhale the left arm overhead, then exhale to hook the left elbow on the outside of the right thigh. Inhale to sit up tall, and exhale to turn the chin over the right shoulder to deepen the twist. Continue lengthening your spine by extending through the crown of your head. Send the breath all the way down into the belly as you breathe in, exhaling to draw the navel into the spine to help facilitate the twist. Keep the gaze soft and steady, and allow yourself to smile as you receive the healing and detoxifying properties of this twist.
Photos courtesy of Beth Kessler Photography
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 monthly newsletter on her website.
Other articles by Andrea Rice:
Astrology & Asana: Yoga Poses for Leo Season
Astrology & Asana: Yoga Poses for Cancer Season
Astrology & Asana: Partner Yoga Poses for Gemini Season
Astrology & Asana: Yoga Poses for Taurus Season
Astrology & Asana: Yoga Poses for Aries Season
5 Yoga Poses to Find Calm and Balance During Mercury Retrograde