Monday, January 20, 2020

Top 4 Yoga Poses For Aquarius

January always seems to have a sense of newness and beginning. Oddly enough, even though January is shared by Capricorn and Aquarius, neither actually starts the zodiac cycle. In fact, Aquarius isn't even the last one but the second to last. Aquarians, those who have birthdays falling between January 20th - February 18th, are commonly mistaken for being water signs due to AQUA being in the name and that they are also symbolized by the water bearer but they are actually an Air Sign!

Air signs - which also include Gemini and Libra - are known for their intellect and curiosity and this certainly rings true for Aquarians. They are highly intelligent and ultimately truth-seeking people. Though they may have strong views and opinions on matters that mean most to them they are gifted with the ability to approach any matter with an open mind. They are great at being able to see multiple perspectives and can sway their position, provided enough proof is given.

Their way of thinking is clear and logical and they put a lot of dedication and devotion into their work. The symbol of the water bearer represents bestowing water - life - to the land. It is this that makes Aquarians absolute humanitarians. They feel all deserve equality, understanding, and care and they have no problem taking the lead when it comes to fighting for a cause.

So, here are 4 yoga poses to keep your intellectual game going strong into the new year!

Uttanasana - Standing Forward Fold

Do not be fooled by this seemingly simple posture. Though it will quite likely find its way into nearly every yoga sequence it is not without good reason. Within the first few breaths in this pose, you will begin to feel the stress and anxiety roll right off of your back. Take your time coming into this pose and watch yourself grow and gain more flexibility in the backside of your body - keeping knees bent if it feels right. Your head and neck should hang freely, completely relaxed. 

Shishulasana - Dolphin Pose

Similar to the more commonly known "downward facing dog" this pose lays the full forearm on the ground and you should be able to feel yourself pressing into the mat along the entire area. Though yoga is often assimilated with increasing flexibility, this pose works on building strength and with increased physical strength, we also attain increased mental strength. This practice helps to create the building blocks for more advanced inversion poses. 

Salamba Sarvangasana - Supported Shoulder Stand

If you are at all like me then you probably made your way into this pose a million times as a kid and never even knew it was a yoga pose. Now as adults we like to practice but with a bit more clarity on how to do it safely and why. This pose is great for mental calmness and has anxiety-reducing effects as well as aiding with digestion. Upper arms and shoulders rotate outwards and hands should be on the back helping with the lift and opening of the chest. It is important not to turn your head while you are in this pose. Your gaze should be relaxed as you lengthen through the neck taking full, deep breaths. 

Halasana - Plow Pose

This pose is great for stimulating the immune system and quite often goes hand in hand with the prior pose during a yoga sequence. While in your shoulder stand, hinge at the hips on the exhale bringing your toes down toward the ground. When toes reach the ground imagine pulling upward with tailbone and thighs to maintain an upward flow of energy. Neck and shoulders should still be relaxed. Hands can remain where they were on the back or they can extend out to firmly press into the ground or clasp. To come out of the pose, return hands to the back and while engaging with your core come back up through the shoulder stand slowly rolling through to your back. This is an advanced posture and should only be practiced in the presence of an instructor or if you have already established a regular, safe practice. 

While in all of these postures it is very important to stick with your breath. Your body knows its limits and you should never try forcing a posture. If your body or your mind is not ready for it, simply respect where you are today and thank yourself, showing gratitude for your efforts. 

Yoga has its own way of humbling us when we practice. In a world where we are so often faced with the idea of perfection, Yoga is our guide to remind us that perfection simply does not exist. For my Aquarius friends, taking just a few breaths in these postures will surely get your mind on track to handle the next task at hand! 

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