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The Llewellyn Journal

Yoga for the Sun Signs

This article was written by Robin Ivy
posted under Astrology

Mental clarity, physical tone, emotional balance, and spiritual connection are all benefits of a regular yoga practice. Yoga is at least five thousand years old, yet it's a modern form of exercise and relaxation. In our technology-based world and fast-paced lives, yoga is restorative, working all the muscles and unifying mind, body, and spirit. Encompassing control and surrender, the philosophies of a yoga practice can extend to our daily decisions and tasks. There are many styles of yoga, and for some of us one seems more compatible than another. However, in all forms of yoga, we benefit from conscious breath, physical movement, and meditation, or rest.

The Sun Salutation sequence is made up of postures that correlate with and can benefit everyone from Aries to Pisces. Sun Salutation is an asana central to the Hatha style of yoga. This sequence of postures, traditionally performed at sunrise, has origins in Hindu worship of the solar deity. As there are twelve signs of the zodiac, there are also twelve postures that form the Sun Salutation. Completion requires moving through the series twice, alternating left and right sides of the body and inhalations with exhalations. The entire body stretches backward and forward in turn, as well, indicating a connection to the signs Leo, ruler of the spine, and Aquarius, sign of the nervous system. Sun Salutation, in name and energy, has a natural connection to Leo and indeed does work the part of the body correlated to this regal and strong sign of the Sun. Integrated in the salutation are postures that energize, move and strengthen the Capricorn bones, Pisces feet, Cancer abdomen, Sagittarius hips, and Gemini wrists and hands, among others.

Follow the sequence of Sun Salutations postures either by mentally picturing or physically acting out these descriptions and find your sign in the commentaries. If you are having difficulty with feeling energized in a certain area of your body, consider your connection to and the traits of the ruling sign for insight, and perhaps extra attention in your yoga practice.

To complete the Sun Salutation, repeat in reverse the first three postures that began the series, using these instructions as a guide.

Sun Salutation represents just one asana, or series of postures, that happens to integrate all and activate all the body parts, systems, and chakras. However, there are many forms of yoga to explore and practice. If Hatha does not strike a chord for you, you might try a form of hot yoga like Bikram, where the room is heated and a regular series of postures are practiced in each session. In some styles of yoga, poses are sustained, while in others a flow is created and we move from posture to posture more rapidly. Some signs, like the Fire signs, might prefer heat and a strenuous or athletic workout while others might find meditation and restorative poses more well-suited.

Whichever practice you choose, yoga's focus on the breath, on stretching and working the muscles and body systems, and on centering the self applies to all elements and signs of the zodiac. Awareness and attention to each part of the body helps bring us back into balance, cooling fires, heating where motivation might lack, releasing emotion, and grounding us solidly to the Earth.

Excerpted from Llewellyn's 2012 Sun Sign Book. Click here for current-year calendars, almanacs, and datebooks.

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