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.
8 Times Presidents Sounded Like Yogis
B.K.S Iyengar or J.F.K? Yogic wisdom can inspire a class – and a country.
Being a yogi requires patience, perseverance, and passion. So does running a country. This Presidents Day, reflect on these 8 quotes from past Presidents that encourage people to challenge themselves.
See also How to Lead in Challenging Times
9 Healthiest (and Trendiest) Places Every NYC Yogi Loves
Don’t miss one (or more!) of these healthy hot spots the next time you’re in the big apple.
Looking to make your next trip to New York City a health- and wellness-focused getaway? Good news: There is no shortage of yoga studios, vegan food options, non-toxic beauty spots, and more to check out in the big apple. If you’re planning a sometime soon, here’s a list of the trendiest spots every NYC-based yogi loves.
See also 8 Most Romantic Yoga Retreats To Take Your Sweetie
7 Simple Ways to Be Your Own Valentine Today—and Any Day
When was the last time you treated yourself as well as you treat everyone else?
I used to have a vision board in my living room with the words in huge letters emblazoned across the top: “All of me loves all of you.” This was a non-negotiable in calling in my forever partner. The problem was thatI did not yet love all of me, and as I learned through the years of many Mr. Wrongs, we only attract people who love us as much as we love our selves.
For a long time, I was searching for someone(thing) to complete me, when what I really needed was to learn how to be whole on my own. I am now married to the man of my dreams. (Scratch that, I could not have dreamt him up, because I did not yet know that I deserved to be loved as much as he loves me.) It took a lifetime of personal work and self-love practices to finally understand that a good partner does not complete us—they complement us.
You see, the real love story of our lives is the one we have with our selves.
See also 5 Poses to Inspire More Self-Love, Less Self Smack-Talk
So, how do we remember this when every store and advertisement is blasting the messaging that Valentine’s Day is a holiday for couples? By letting this holiday be a celebration of love. Love of others and love for ourselves.
Some people have deemed V-day Singles Awareness Day, which is a great way to take the day back. It is also helpful to do a little digging into history of the holiday. As it turns out, while we have all heard of St. Valentine, for whom the holiday is named, there may have in fact been multiple St. Valentines, and each has a different day of celebration. Translation: While society chooses to honor February 14th as Valentine’s Day, there are numerous other dates in the calendar that could count. What does this mean for us? The date is arbitrary. Everyday can, and should, be a day of love.
So, here’s an idea: How about this Valentine’s Day, you be your own valentine. Give yourself a hug. Hold your own hand. And if that sounds weird, you should be doing these things every single day. Self-love is not selfish or indulgent. When we love ourselves, we are more loving in the world. The kinder we are, the kinder those are around us can be.
Our yoga practice reminds us that we are already perfect exactly was we are and when we can embrace every aspect of our selves, others can, too. Here are some ideas for the perfect self-care day to celebrate self-love this Valentine’s Day, and every day.
See also 5 Poses to Help You Stand in Your Own Power
Look yourself lovingly in the eyes. Mirror affirmations are positive statements spoken aloud while looking into one’s reflection. They are a powerful way to change your view of yourself. You receive messaging all day long, whether you are conscious of it or not. Every time a bus passes or an ad plays on TV or you scroll through your social media feeds, you are receiving information. Most of that information comes with the messaging that you are not enough. Hear/read/see this enough and you start to believe it. Positive affirmations rewire your brain. Studies are now showing that this work improves self-esteem and strengthens your ability to combat negative stimuli, such as stress or others’ negativity. My favorite statement comes from the Queen of positive quotes, Louise Hay: “I am worth loving. There is love all around me.”
Go to the water. Water is the element of emotions and feelings—and the strongest and most powerful feeling is love. On this day, it is therapeutic to use the element of water to immerse yourself in love. If you live near the sea or a lake, go to the shore. If you are near a river, find a place along the edge. If you have access to a pool, dive in. If you are unable to get to any of these bodies of water, take a long soak in a bath. Soaking in water is a way to cultivate union with the deeper parts of our selves and with the world around us. When we are sad, we cry. When we exercise hard, we sweat. When we laugh, we tear. Allow the water to wash love all over you.
See also Recognize Your Strength with this 10-Minute Guided Meditation
Take yourself to a yoga class. Yoga is a unique activity in that it can be practiced in a group, but it is also an individualized experience. When you are feeling lonely or in need of connection, going to class is a wonderful way to feel a part of something—even when you’re flying solo. Moving as a collective and being in something together automatically cultivates a feeling of unity. I travel the world alone a lot and generally do home practices. When I am in need of company or craving connection, I go to a public yoga class—even if I do not speak the native language. There is something about breathing and sweating as a collective that reminds us that we are all connected, no matter how alone we sometimes feel.
Get a massage. The benefits of massage are numerous, from reducing stress and anxiety to improving sleep, digestion, and immunity. Often the resistance to getting one is financial, but there is no need to go to a fancy spa to get a good massage. Sometimes a $10 foot massage at your local nail salon can be just as impactful. Treating yourself to something nice also sends a deeper message of being cared for to your unconscious. You are your own caretaker. Just as acts of kindness from strangers can change your day, being kind to yourself can have an enormous impact as well.
Buy yourself flowers. When I was 17 years old, my sister bought me my first plant. She said it was going to teach me how to take care of myself. Soon after she gave it to me, I accidentally knocked it out the window of my 3floor dorm room. How is that for symbolic? I felt terrible, but a desire was ignited in me to take better care of my things and myself. Unfortunately, I do not have the best green thumb. I tried having plants in my apartment, but they would always die. I even tried fake plants. After a very hard breakup years later, I wanted to do something nice for myself, so I started buying myself fresh flowers every week. Having living organisms in your home ushers in prana, or energy. You can feel the life force emanating around you.
See also 5 Simple Ways to Fall Back in Love with Your Yoga Practice
Take yourself to the movies. There is nothing I love more than going to the movies by myself. No arguing over what film to see. No one asking questions or chewing loudly next to you, making it hard to hear. And you get to eat allthe popcorn! While it takes courage at first to do things by yourself, it also teaches you how to be comfortable in your own skin. The more content you are on your own, the less likely you’ll be to seek validation from others. It is easy to be swayed by a group. To worry about other’s opinions and to lose sight of our true desires. Without other people around, you learn to hone your own our choices and opinions.
Order in and don’t forget the dessert. Cap your day off by ordering in from your favorite restaurant. Eating alone is a great opportunity to practice mindful eating. When you’re not distracted by company or devices, you can be much more present with the taste of your food. You’re more likely to eat more slowly and chew every morsel more thoroughly when you’re not speaking. It is also nice to journal when dining alone. The temptation will be to reach for your phone and distract yourself with social media or texting friends. Try not to do that. Instead, relish the time to connect more deeply to yourself. Ponder questions like, “What am I grateful for?” or “If I could do anything, what would I do?” Give yourself a compliment by answering the question, “What do I love most about myself?” Just don’t forget the dessert!
See also These Photos of Famous Yogis will Inspire You to Find Your Light
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