“Yoga offers the practices we need to access our deep sense of well-being, and astrology offers tools of how to navigate time and our life purpose,” says Emily Ridout, a yoga and astrology teacher. “Together, they form a powerful practice that can catapult you on the path to becoming a more potent version of yourself. Aligning your yoga practice with the timing of the cosmos and nature returns you to a more aligned, natural state.”
- Emily Ridout, author, folklore expert, and yoga and astrology teacher
Intrigued? Below, Ridout explains how astro yoga works, and how you can start practicing it ASAP.
How astro yoga works
The basic idea of astro yoga starts with each zodiac sign being associated with specific body parts. To harness and tap into the energy of a particular zodiac sign, you can practice yoga postures and flows that strengthen and energize the body part it rules. Here’s a brief overview of what rules what:
- Aries rules the head
- Taurus rules the neck
- Gemini rules the arms, hands, and lungs
- Cancer rules the breasts, chest, and stomach
- Leo rules the heart and upper back
- Virgo rules the digestive tract and lower belly
- Libra rules the lower back
- Scorpio rules the womb and reproductive organs
- Sagittarius rules the hips and thighs
- Capricorn rules the knees and skeletal system
- Aquarius rules the ankles and circulatory system
- Pisces rules the feet and lymphatic system
Once you have a general understanding of which sign rules which body part(s), there are a few ways you can merge the two practices together.
3 ways to practice astro yoga
1. Work with the transits
One way to get started with astro yoga is by adjusting your yoga practice to correlate with astrological transits, which Ridout says can help you navigate the natural shifts of what's happening in real time in your life.
Start by figuring out where the sun is in the zodiac. For example, is it Pisces season, when the sun moves into the Pisces sign? Or Scorpio season, when the sun is entering Scorpio? (Each of these “seasons” lasts about a month, and a simple Google search will tell you what zodiac season we're currently in.) Once you know, you can focus your yoga practice on postures and flows that energize and strengthen the body parts ruled by that sign.
During Sagittarius season, for example, you’d do a lot of hip openers and thigh stretches. Leo season is great for heart-openers and backbends. And during Pisces season, you’d benefit from grounding, feet-focused poses like the butterfly pose.
For a hip-opening yoga flow, watch the video below.
2. Flow with the yearly seasons
You can also work with the traditional seasons (spring, summer, fall, and winter). Each of these seasons rules certain body parts, so you can do postures and flows that align with the current season. For example, Ridout says big heart-openers are great during the summer because the season rules the area of the upper and middle back and chest.
“Fall signs rule the low back, hips, and sexual organs, so balancing on the feet, which stabilizes the hips, low back, and pelvis are the key for this season,” she adds. “The winter months rule the low body, thighs, knees, and feet. Spring signs rule the head, neck, and arms, so arm balancing is a great choice in spring. And in the winter, forward folding and restorative postures are key.”
3. Look at your natal chart
Another way to incorporate astrology into your yoga practice is by developing a flow based on your personal birth chart. “This may also include transits, but in this method, the practices are targeted to help the practitioner integrate specific areas of their chart and life to achieve a particular outcome, such as emotional resilience, increased joy, or personal growth in career, relationships, or other areas,” Ridout says.
This strategy might require the help of a practitioner, as there are many layers and specific configurations to consider. But if you want to give it a go on your own, pull up your chart and look at which planets are in which houses in your chart. Each house rules a certain area of life. So, to energize any particular area, you’d look to see what zodiac sign rules that house. For example, let’s say you’re feeling stuck around your relationships. In this case, you’d look at seventh house, which explores how you pair up in partnerships and relationships, see what zodiac sign rules it, and then hold poses associated with that sign to awaken the energy in that part of your chart. “You can pick areas of life you'd like to see movement in and literally create that movement using your practice,” Ridout says.
You can also just stick with your own zodiac sign to optimize your astro yoga practice with poses that awaken your sign and stimulate energy associated with its corresponding body part(s). For a few examples, Aries is associated with the head, so anyone who is an Aries may try headstands, which will help tap into their inner fire. Cancer is associated with the chest and stomach area, so cat-cows would be very soothing for that sign. Libra energy is all about balance; since the sign is associated with the lower back, a tree pose would help ground that energy. And Aquarius rules the ankles, so if that’s your sign, do the eagle pose, which is great for stretching the ankles.
You might be surprised to find how well your body—and maybe your life?—responds to yoga once you align you practice with the stars.
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