Wondering how the sun, moon, and stars might affect your yoga practice or teaching this month? Here are the big, astrological shifts happening right now, plus expert advice on how to get inspired by these seasonal and energetic changes.
While last month was as full as could be with Scorpio intensity, it’s opened us up to seeing the places in our lives where we’ve been covertly resisting change. Because of this, December will feel like a breath of fresh air, as Sagittarius guides us to take our newfound (and hard won) insights and use them to craft a life that has more meaning.
See also 3 Tips on Realistic Goal-Setting and Actually Keeping Them
On December 2, Venus moves into Scorpio
Scorpio (yes, Scorpio again!) wants us to alter stagnant situations in our lives—and that call to duty isn’t quite over yet, because although Venus isn’t moving backward any longer, she must still complete her retrograde mission by returning to Scorpio for a few more weeks. Venus represents love and self-worth, which makes this a potent time to look back at your life since October 5 (when the retrograde transit began) and ask: What do my relationships with myself and others look and feel like now? Have I gained any confidence? What does inner pleasure mean to me? As Venus finalizes these lessons, know that change is still available, and Scorpio highly encourages it.
Practice: Venus is often related to both Svadhishthana (the sacral charka) and Anahata (the heart chakra). Utkatasana (Chair Pose) supports both by building energy in our sacral area and opening our hearts. For more ideas, check out 11 Poses to Ignite Your second Chakra and Spark Creativity.
On December 6, Mercury stations direct
Starting December 6, we have a cascade of excitement as Mercury, our opinionated planet of discourse, stations direct in the late degrees of Scorpio. This particular Mercury retrograde cycle began on November 16 with Mercury in Sagittarius, where we were reminded that a strong opinion about something doesn’t make it right or true for everyone. As Mercury begins to move forward in Scorpio, we complete the teachings with some Scorpio wisdom—which means you might find yourself questioning the validity of everything. (Not with the intent to argue and cause division, but with the idea that true self-awareness means acknowledging that even when things seem black and white, we can choose instead to perceive them in shades of grey.)
See also The Power of Self-Inquiry for Uncovering the Real You
Practice: Mercury retrograde periods activate our minds, and if yours seems particularly busy right now analyzing and processing ideas, concepts and beliefs, A Flow to Calm Your Crazy Monkey Mind for Meditation may be the very thing you need to slow everything down.
On December 6, there’s also a new moon in Sagittarius
Later in the evening, when the Moon in the sign of Sagittarius becomes completely enshrouded in shadow, we have opportunities. When the Sun and Moon join each other (as they do during a New Moon) it creates the perfect environment to birth new things into the world. This is especially true when Jupiter is involved. Jupiter bestows us with the gift of grace and reveals things that make our spirits soar. Use this New Moon time to hatch new plans. What big talent do you have that wants to be expressed?
See also Want to Thrive as a Yoga Teacher? 5 Tips from a Yogi Who Cut Through the Competition with Grace
One caveat: The sky is busy right now, as Uranus (a.k.a. the changemaker) squares the nodes of the moon (the points where stagnation versus growth come into play). The result? We may feel extra pressure to create change in our lives at this time. The Sun and Moon also make a tricky connection to both Neptune and Mars, slowing our pace and mixing clarity into frothy confusion. Just know that even with the noise in the background, our higher selves will be leading the way.
Practice: When we’re in times of creation, precision is key, but it’s not always available. If cultivating some certainty sounds appealing (and you need some extra help doing that) Elena Brower’s Yoga Sequence to Create Space + Find Clarity will help loosen and move energy.
On December 21, the sun moves into Capricorn and we welcome the Winter Solstice
Capricorn gets a bad rap. High and exacting standards feel hard to meet sometimes, but it’s those very structures that, when in place, allow us to relax. As the Sun moves into Capricorn, be aware that a tightening of the belt may be necessary in the coming month. We may find that some of our soft spots will be called to the table to be reworked and strengthened. If we’re willing to reality check ourselves, inner authority and self-mastery develops naturally, and it’s those things that allow us to soften into what is.
The Winter Solstice falls on this day in the Northern Hemisphere, too, which is always a powerful time to go within and contemplate the meaning of the Sun. After all, this is the darkest day of the year, making the Sun a powerful force and worthy of honor on this day.
Practice: If you’re called to meditate, but the idea of sitting in stillness feels difficult, how about a moving meditation instead? 17 Poses to Prep for Mindful Meditation is a great precursor for sitting, or you can simply make this flow the meditation.
On December 22, there’s a full moon in Cancer
With the Sun in Capricorn and the Moon in Cancer, this particular full moon brings us into the tension we all experience when trying to make sense of the differences between our inner emotions and our external individuality: feelings versus identity; instinctive response versus worldly success. This duality may be particularly strong during this time, as the moon in Cancer has us feeling moody and in need of extra nurturance, while the sun wants us to buck up and focus on cold hard logic.
See also Learn to Listen to Your Emotions with Meditation
A difficult connection to the planetoid Chiron (The Wounded Healer), may bring up old hurts that beg to be tended, so we’ll have to decide whether to honor the healing of those wounds with compassionate nurturing or with a more rational approach. Either would work.
Practice: Learning to maintain emotional equilibrium is a never-ending project, but one that is especially important during a full moon. Fortify your physical body with balance poses or incorporate an entire sequence like Fall for Yoga: 15 Poses Proven to Build Better Balance.
About the Author
Natha Campanella is a Certified Life Coach, professional astrologer, and podcaster. More than just analyzing astrological archetypes, she gives dynamic interpretations of entire life stories by opening windows straight into the personal, family, and relationship dynamics of her clients. She aims to transform the people she works with by helping them make meaning of the gifts, burdens, and various complexities of being human. You can find her on Instagram, and Facebook or schedule a reading with her by visiting nathacampanella.com.
A 5-Minute Meditation to Release Anxiety
Detach from anxiety and come back to the present.
Rina Deshpande shares her quick 5-minute meditation to release anxiety and let go of attachments.
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Yoga Helped Me Face My Fears About Marriage Once and For All
I went to Mexico to rejuvenate, detox, and practice yoga with my boyfriend. Turns out, it would also be where I faced my fears about marriage.
It was a humid sunrise on a quiet, sandy beach in Tulum, Mexico. Despite our previous late-night mezcal tasting beneath the jungle leaves, my longtime boyfriend, Anush, had dragged me out of our tiny thatched-roof cabana at first light.
I adjusted my Beyoncé t-shirt and gray cotton shorts I’d worn to bed as I scanned the horizon. When I turned back to Anush, he was kneeling in the sand, holding a typed love letter and a tourmaline engagement ring.
“Will you marry me?” He asked.
I was so incredulous, I couldn’t speak. Feelings of doubt and darkness coursed through me, even though I’d always imagined a future with him: He was the one person who made me feel seen and cared for and uplifted. Still, I was reluctant to commit.
My parents went through a dramatic and corrosive divorce when I was 13, but the fallout had lasted long after. Most of the great pain in my life has come from marriage—and its ending. Marriage is the thing that has made me most likely to run, and least likely to trust
See also This Guided Meditation Will Inspire You to Live From Your Heart
As I stared at the man I love, these past traumas lit my body from head to toe with alarm bells. How could I marry anyone? But, as I looked at him, I calmed myself down. I silently told myself something I had learned in my yoga and mindfulness practice: Be here now. With that mantra, I slowly came back to the moment. With that mantra, I reminded myself where I was, who I was with—and most importantly, who I am now.
He waited patiently. I started to cry. Finally, I said, “Yes! Yes. Yes. Of course, yes.” He put the ring on my finger, and he held me while I cried. In that moment of “yes,” my world expanded.
We drank champagne and ate fruit in front of the ocean while the Tulum sun rose, pink and hot on our skin. I could hardly believe my good fortune—engaged in Tulum at sunrise. In that moment, instead of fear, I chose gratitude.
I saw a beachfront yoga class almost immediately after—Tulum, thankfully is crawling with them—and I asked my fiance(!), if he’d like to take it together. I was still shaking from the metamorphic decision I had made: unwavering commitment in the face of fear. I hoped familiar asana would steady me. Internally, I repeated my mantra as we walked into a large triangular wood pavilion, perched on a hidden natural cliff in the jungle, overlooking the beach as if it had been there forever.
See also 17 Poses to Prep for Mindful Meditation
Our yoga teacher, a young woman from Mexico City with a sing-song voice, instructed us to let go of our fears, to open our hearts, to experience the beauty of the moment we were in.
I was exactly where I needed to be. I still had my dark corners—I may always—but I could learn to live with them and still claim the life I wanted and deserve. I could live in the present and not in the past. I could be here now, soaking in the jungle, the ocean, in a magnificent place where afterward we would eat fresh coconut and bike carefree down the beach road and hike up Mayan ruins and speak a little Spanish and accept a glorious chocolate mole cake that said “Felicidades.”
As I looked over at the joyful, patient man doing yoga next to me, the waves crashed out ahead. I took his hand for just an instant, and he smiled. And then we raised our arms together, side-by-side, to salute the sun.
See also 7 Simple Ways to Call in More Joy—and Feel Less Stressed
About our author
Gina Tomaine is a yoga teacher and magazine editor in Philadelphia. Her work has been published in Prevention, Women’s Health, Runner’s World, and other publications. Learn more at gina-tomaine.com.
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1. Under Armour Cotton Fleece Logo Hoodie
“A sweatshirt with pockets and a big-enough hood that I can pull over my eyes and take a quick snooze or do a little yoga nidra on the plane.” —Rosie Acosta
2. Vuori Performance Jogger
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3. Magic Bullet Mini
“I love having the ability to make matcha or a smoothie wherever I go. It’s a game-changer.” —Eoin Finn
4. Primal Defense Ultra Probiotic Formula
5. Ujjaya Balance Bottle
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6. BCOZZY Chin Supporting Travel Pillow
“A travel pillow that supports my neck is vital for falling asleep on the plane!” —Rina Jakubowicz
7. Mantisyoga Guru Backpack
8. Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II
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9. HITOP Classic Plaid Tartan Blanket Scarf
“An oversized scarf and my essential oils: I put the oils on my neck and wrap the scarf around me so I can push out airplane germs.” —Kathryn Budig
(from $14, amazon.com)
10. Pangea Organics Frank-incense Essential Oil Roller
“Frankincense helps me connect with my intuition and stay grounded while traveling—plus, it doubles as an organic insect repellent!” —Lauren Eckstrom
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11. Yoga For Bad People Travel Mat
“My travel mat is great for practicing in tropical and humid climes, and it’s super yummy when thrown over a gym or hotel mat—extra cushion without the gunk!” —Heather Lilleston
12. Vivobarefoot Primus Lite Shoe
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