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.
Purifying Libra season brings harmony back to relationships. Restore beauty and balance while the Sun shimmers here from September 23 to October 22.
By working with astrology and asana during the equalizing energy of Libra season, we can transmute the justice-seeking qualities of the Scales, the zodiac’s only inanimate object, into tangible form. As a leadership-driven cardinal sign and an innovative air sign, peaceful Libra distinguishes between right and wrong, good and bad, light and dark. Ruled by beautifying Venus, Libra energy can easily teeter on indecision, but reminds us that life is always a bit of a balancing act.
Libra rules the kidneys and lumbar region, and also the endocrine system. The following partner yoga poses are inspired by Thai massage, designed to alleviate tension in the lower back and relax the glutes (the body part Libra rules). And with a couple of assisted backbends, you’ll embrace your softer, more vulnerable side, and consciously connect to your partner as you open your heart chakras together.
For musical inspiration, I recommend the upbeat grooves of “Libra” by Toni Braxton; a little throwback for your low back. Fittingly enough, this pop album was released during Libra season in 2005.
Take My Hand: Seated Spinal Twists
Holy hand-eye coordination! This seated twist lubricates and lengthens the spine; an ideal warmup before moving into back-bending postures. Begin in a comfortable seat (optional: each partner takes a Half Lotus position with the feet). Partner A (right) reaches their left hand to Partner B’s waist, grabbing hold of their right hand which has been placed behind their lower back. Meanwhile, Partner A’s left hand is behind their back as Partner B reaches to the right side of their waist. Inhale to sit up tall and root down into the sitting bones; exhale to twist, looking over the shoulder. Repeat for 3-5 cycles of breath and then switch sides.
Remember: opposite limbs attract!
The Double-Down: Child’s Pose Assist & Supported Downward Dog
Partner A (right) begins in (Mountain Pose) Tadasana, while Partner B (left) takes a Child’s Pose with the knees wide, grabbing hold of Partner A’s ankles. Partner A hinges forward at the waist and gently walks their hands down the flanks of Partner B’s back, gently massaging them toward their lumbar—careful not to press onto their spine. In this shorter Downward Dog, Partner A can bend their knees slightly and stretch their heart back, lengthening their own lumbar toward the sky. Partner B meanwhile is receiving a lumbar stretch from Partner A. Breathe together for 5-7 deep cycles of breath, and then switch roles. For Partner A: To come out, gently walk the hands up Partner B’s back and then bring hands to hips. Inhale to return to a standing position.
Double the Pleasure: Boat Post with Assisted Heart Opener
Partner A (right) begins sitting on their heels in Hero’s Pose (Virasana). Partner B comes to Boat Pose (Navasana) by rooting into their sitting bones and pressing the balls of their feet into Partner A’s mid-back—on either side of the thoracic spine. Grabbing hold of Partner A’s wrists and pulling toward them, Partner B is assisting Partner A in a tremendous heart-opening backbend here. Bonus: Partner B can gently massage into Partner A’s mid-back—again, careful not to press directly into the spine, but on either side of it. Partner A continues sending their chest upward while gently letting their head drop back. Tip for Partner A: extend through the crown of the head to continue lengthening the neck (cervical spine). Breathe deeply for 5 cycles of breath and switch roles.
Double the Fun! Downard Dog-Supported Wheel
Partner B comes to Downward Facing Dog and presses actively into their palms to stabilize their torso. Partner A (top) stands on the outsides of Partner B’s triceps and reaches their seat and lumbar back to connect to Partner B’s lumbar. Partner A can then gently lean back, walking their hands down Partner B’s legs toward their ankles. Communication is essential here, as is moving slowly and with intention. Breathe deeply together. To come out, Partner A will bring their chin in toward their chest and slowly walk their hands back up Partner B’s legs. Switch sides.
Better Together: Wide-Legged Seated Forward Fold
Begin seated facing one another, bringing the legs wide apart and adjusting your distance so you can actively press into each other’s feet. Grab opposite wrists or forearms and inhale to sit up nice and tall, together. On an exhale, one partner folds forward while the other leans back and extends through the crown of their head. Inhale to draw each other back up to a seat; exhale to allow the other partner to fold forward and receive this same juicy release. Tip: when folding forward, reach the tailbone back to lengthen the spine. Enjoy!
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.