Sections of this text seem in The Yoga Almanac: 52 Practices and Rituals to Stay Grounded Through the Astrological Seasons, March 2020, New Harbinger Publications. Reprinted with permission: New Harbinger Publications, Inc. © 2020 Lisette Cheresson & Andrea Rice.
As August sees summer season heating up, we discover ourselves strutting our stuff on the seaside, round bonfires, and in revelrous metropolis parks. It’s a season for self expression and of confidence—identified astrologically as Leo season. Starting on July 20 or 21 yearly, Leo season is characterised by this sense of “stepping out,” of shaking off the shell of Most cancers introspection and nourishment, of shining our face ahead towards the mighty solar. Because the pure world places on a present of full bloom, so too can we step into our private energy because the seasons of nurture and nourishment we’ve handed by present fertile floor for self-expansion.
Leo is symbolized by the Lion, and as such is related to themes of self-expression, self-confidence, and pleasure, and guidelines the guts, higher again, and backbone.
It’s apt that Leo, related to the internal stability essential to make large strikes and confidently go after one’s objectives, additionally guidelines our spine. It’s only when we’ve that steady basis to bend, twist, and adapt, that we’re in a position to absolutely harness the ability of our dream.
Leo’s ruling planet is the solar, which may function a candy metaphor for the Lion, picturing the solar’s rays as a mane of blazing gentle pushing us to develop. All of us have the power to create life; to nurture and to nourish. Having stated that, the solar is definitely related to the divine masculine. Like moon-ruled Most cancers final month is related to the divine female, nevertheless, this divine masculinity isn’t gendered. It pertains to tendencies of taking motion, of pushing ahead, that almost all of us have inside.
How Leo Themes Present Up on the Mat
Leo season is prime for the ego pushing entrance and heart. We will flip to the teachings of yoga that encourage us to method trappings of the ego with cautious introspection and a willingness to vary. Self-confidence, then, is balanced by vulnerability. Delight is tempered with humility. In relation to self-expression, we are able to flip to the yama satya, or truthfulness. Discovering our personal self-expression will not be an invite to lie or exaggerate. It’s about expressing ourselves throughout the context of integrity in all we expect, do, and say. After we combine the energetic themes of Leo with the tenets of yogic philosophy, we are able to assuredly stp into the blazing gentle of our personal private solar, and embody a Lion’s power.
Poses for Leo Season
Low or Crescent Lunge (Anjaneyasana)
Picture by Yogapedia
Anjaneyasana is called for the mom of the Monkey God Lord Hanuman, Anjani, and the form of a younger little one reaching in devotion towards the solar.
Stabilizing the pelvis and concentrating on the deep core muscular tissues engages the transverse abdominis to facilitate a slight backbend. This helps stimulate the circulation of prana in an upward movement alongside the spinal wire. Crescent Lunge stretches the hip flexors, whereas participating the quadriceps and glutes. To keep away from overstretching the psoas and “dumping” into the form, emphasize the rootedness of this posture from the waist down, lifting up and out of the lumbar. Lengthen either side of the physique and create extra spaciousness in-between the ribs. Urgent the entrance foot into the earth helps to stabilize the hips.
Leo is dominated by the Solar, and corresponds to the guts, chest, thoracic backbone, and higher again. By strengthening the core and hips, this pose faucets into the third (Manipura) chakra, our energetic energy heart, constructing confidence to stay a lifetime of vulnerability. The pure backbend encourages the opening of the guts (Anahata) chakra to embrace vulnerability from a spot of compassion.
Humble or Devotional Warrior (Baddha Virabhadrasana)
Picture by YogaPedia
Humble Warrior stretches the shoulders, strengthens the again muscular tissues, mobilizes the thoracic backbone, and opens the chest and coronary heart (Anahata) chakra. To keep away from straining the knees, take a shorter and wider stance to hone the power of the legs. Keep optimum vary of movement within the shoulder extensors (Latissimus dorsi, aka “lats”) by bending on the elbows to stabilize the triceps. The form tones the belly muscular tissues and prompts the photo voltaic plexus (Manipura) chakra, bettering digestion. This power heart sustains one’s objective, humor, and wit, because the ego is alleged to be cast inside these proverbial fires.
Humble Warrior is a bowing to the divine. Any yoga posture that places the top under the guts may help to fireside the heart-brain neurotransmitters. This regulates perform of the pineal gland (opening the third eye (Ajna) chakra)—the small endocrine gland that balances hormones and produces melatonin to handle Circadian rhythms, positioned between the 2 cerebral hemispheres within the mind.
Upward-Dealing with Canine (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
Picture by YogaPedia
The identify for this posture is derived from the Sanskrit phrases ūrdhva, which interprets to “up,” and mukha, that means “face.” Within the Mahabharata, there’s a story of the Pandava brothers. Upon arrival in heaven, Indra informed Yudhisthira that his canine couldn’t accompany him. Citing the canine’s loyalty, Yudhisthira refused to desert him; the canine was revealed to be Yudhishtira’s godfather and Yudhisthira was rewarded. Upward-Dealing with Canine is a reminder of devotion to the expression of private fact.
Leo governs the guts, backbone, and higher again. Upward-Dealing with Canine stretches the trapezius muscular tissues, chargeable for motion and stabilization of the shoulder blades. On this slight backbend, the again of the neck (the cervical backbone) lengthens to assist open the throat and chest. Keep area between the ears and shoulders by maintaining a slight bend within the elbows. Be cautious of collapsing into the the decrease again, overarching the neck, or dropping the top again, which compresses the cervical backbone.
Upward-Dealing with Canine opens the guts (Anahata) chakra because the shoulderblades protract aside, increasing the back-body and broadening the collarbone. Stimulation of the throat (Vishuddha) chakra permits us to talk this fact with confidence. By drawing focus towards the third eye (Ajna) chakra—related to the solar, the ruling planet of Leo—we are able to be taught to attract from quiet instinct and knowledge. That’s the seat and the expression of our satya.
Reverse Warrior, Exalted Warrior, or Peaceable Warrior (Viparita Virabhadrasana)
Picture by YogaPedia
Reverse Warrior is a gesture of opening to all that’s coming; an providing of the guts as love is radiated inwardly and outwardly. This posture stretches the chest, shoulders, and higher arms, mobilizes the thoracic backbone, lengthens the torso, and strengthens the belly wall. The ankles, quadriceps, and glutes interact to stabilize the hips. By bringing a micro-bend into the again knee, weight could be distributed between the back and front leg extra evenly.
The gaze, or drishti, is concentrated towards the fingertips reaching overhead, awakening the third eye (Ajna) chakra. The center (Anahata) chakra is opened to permit messages to circulation from the guts to the pineal gland. The photo voltaic plexus (Manipura) chakra can be activated, empowering the practitioner to make the most of their innate presents along with the wishes of the guts.
Wild Factor Pose or Rock Star; “Flipping Your Canine” (Camatkarasana)
Picture by YogaPedia
Camatkarasana has been described as “the ecstatic unfolding of the enraptured coronary heart.” It’s an invigorating, enlivening posture that opens our hearts to unfettered pleasure. It’s uncommon to see a frown or furrowed forehead on a yogi actively exploring this pose; even the identify, Wild Factor, begets a smile.
The form mobilizes the thoracic backbone by opening the chest and higher again, and stretches the shoulder girdle. Hip flexors lengthen whereas the quadriceps strengthen, and there’s a sense of playfulness as the entire world is turned upside-down. Getting into the form from in-between Downward Canine and Plank Pose helps you flip over with extra ease, stability, and security. By lengthening the neck (cervical backbone) and reaching by the crown of the top, the gaze will naturally comply with the palm extending overhead.
Wild Factor helps facilitate the heart-to-head transmission of data, activating the pineal gland to evoke the third eye (Ajna) chakra. The pose helps unblock the throat (Vishuddha) chakra, encouraging unabashed self-expression from a spot of fact. An incredible heart-opener, Wild Factor creates spaciousness to make room for pleasure.
Lisette is a author, yoga trainer, and content material director. She’s a member of the founding management group for Yoga Unify, a brand new yoga non-profit, the Director of Advertising at Mammoth Yoga Pageant, and the co-author of The Yoga Almanac. Lisette accomplished her 200-hour coaching in Brooklyn and her Reiki attunement in India, and furthered her research with Leslie Kaminoff of the Respiratory Venture, Tiffany Cruikshank, and Andrew Holecek. She’s additionally a Grief Coach and Demise Doula, whose work is concentrated on integrating the instruments of mindfulness and asana for grief therapeutic and end-of-life anxiousness. A filmmaker in a previous life, Lisette has made movies with group leaders similar to Dharma Mittra, Eddie Stern, and Eoin Finn. She lives together with her husband and animals within the Hudson Valley, NY..
Andrea Rice is a author and editor protecting well being and wellness. Her work has appeared in Yoga Journal, The Wanderlust Journal, mindbodygreen, Astrostyle, SONIMA, and New York Yoga+Life. She has additionally labored as a journalist for The New York Instances and INDY Week. As a yoga trainer with a decade of expertise, Andrea accomplished her 200-hour coaching in New York, NY; and furthered her coaching with Elena Brower and Alexandria Crow. She has additionally studied astrology extensively with The AstroTwins, Ophira and Tali Edut. Andrea has provided yoga, meditation, journaling, and creativity workshops in Brooklyn and Manhattan in New York, NY; and has been a presenter at Wanderlust. She lives in Raleigh, NC, together with her husband and their cat, the place she teaches yoga at Blue Lotus and the North Carolina Museum of Artwork.