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Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Mercury Retrograde

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Plus, how your yoga practice can help you deal.

No matter your Sun or Moon sign, whether you care about astrology or not, Mercury Retrograde treats everyone equally.

Mercury Retrograde has quickly become one of the most popular—and feared—events in astrology.

You’ve most likely heard one of your friends or co-workers mention it in conversation, blaming it for some technological breakdown. As one of the few astrological phenomena that affects everyone the same way, Mercury Retrograde attracts the attention of everyone from bankers on Wall Street to yoga teachers in Santa Monica. Where the Full Moon, for instance, may bring one person energy while making another feel like they can’t get out of bed, Mercury retrograde does the same number on all of us. No matter your Sun or Moon sign, whether you care about astrology or not, Mercury Retrograde treats everyone equally.

See also What Your Sign Says About Your Yoga + Fitness Personality

When Does Mercury Retrograde Happen?

Although it seems to always be occurring, Mercury Retrogrades take place three times a year for three weeks at a time. In 2019, Mercury will station retrograde from March 5th-March 28th, July 7th-July 31st, and October 13th-Nov 3rd.

The first step in understanding Mercury Retrograde is to know when it is happening. Mark your calendars and know that there are certain things you’ll want to avoid during this period, but there are also opportunities for growth.

What is a Retrograde?

When planets station retrograde, they appear to move backward in our sky. Mercury is not actually backpedaling though; it is just an optical illusion.

Mercury is the fastest moving planet in the Solar System, circling the Sun every 88 days. Retrogrades occur when Mercury passes Earth. Have you ever been on a train and another train passes you? For a moment it seems the faster moving train is going backward until it finally overtakes the slower one. This is the same effect which occurs in our sky when Mercury passes the Earth.

What Does Mercury rule?

Mercury rules our communication, including all of our technology and systems of information exchange. Mercury affects the part of us that absorbs information and transmits that information to others.

When mercury retrogrades, the normal flow of energy is reversed. Ideas and thoughts seem to get stuck within our mind instead of easily pouring outwards. The same occurs with our digital communication: e-mail servers go down, social media platforms show their bugs, and our normal connections fail to work as expected. It can be a frustrating time when information is lost or misconstrued. Communication seems to get stuck, then like a slingshot, it breaks through in an unorganized way, confusing everyone.

See also 5 Poses to Help You Reconnect With Your Partner After a Miscommunication

Tips for Mercury Retrograde

Below are a few simple practices that can help you navigate Mercury Retrograde without falling prey to its havoc or spending three weeks feeling frustrated over lost emails:

Mercury Retrograde Tip No. 1: Collect your words when speaking. Pause before you speak and take a few breaths to center your thoughts. Also, don’t rush yourself if you’re not ready. Silence is better than mixed messages.

Mercury Retrograde Tip No. 2: Give other people space. In conversation, encourage both parties to take a deep breath during moments of confusion or interruptions. Mercury Retrograde can cause our minds to move very fast, giving way to people talking over one another and not listening. Stay centered in yourself and your grounded energy will help everyone else.

Mercury Retrograde Tip No. 3: Check for typos. Mercury Retrograde is infamous for causing typos, grammar errors and hitting “send” before the message is complete. Again, our mind speeds up during this time, jumbling our thoughts and our fingers. Read your message a few times and even ask someone else to edit your important work during this period.

Mercury Retrograde Tip No. 4: Read the details of contracts. It’s technically best not to sign important agreements during Mercury Retrograde. If you must, read every line three times. Know that Mercury Retrograde “breaks” anything that is not perfectly aligned. So even if you do miss something in the terms, chances are it will fall apart naturally, if it isn’t the right fit for you.

Mercury Retrograde Tip No. 5: Confirm plans. This goes for your own plans, like travel itineraries, and your meetings with others. Double check those dinner plans, so you don’t find yourself eating alone. Also, try to have compassion and understanding for when people do miss calls and meetings.

Mercury Retrograde Tip No. 6: Connect with nature, especially when you are experiencing technological breakdowns. Time with Mother Earth will re-center your energy and get you out of your head for a moment. It will also give you, and your technology, time to reboot.

Mercury Retrograde Tip No. 7: Spend time journaling. One of the benefits of Mercury Retrograde is greater access to your thoughts and feelings. During this time, conversations with yourself are easier and answers effortlessly rise to the surface.

Mercury Retrograde Tip No. 8: Be open to redirection. If Mercury Retrograde breaks something in your world, consider it a good thing. If energies are perfectly aligned, Mercury won’t be able to affect them. See any “destruction” as an opportunity to build something stronger and more aligned with your internal energy.

See also How to Work With Your Thoughts to Manifest a Bright Future

Yoga can help you get through mercury retrogrades a little easier. 

How Can Yoga Help You Handle Mercury Retrogrades?

Yoga is very beneficial during Mercury Retrograde. The key to navigating this period with your sanity intact is to stay centered in your body. Your connection with your breath is vital during this period, as it will slow down your mind and clear away any frustration.

Here are a few poses that will help ground and center your energy. Practice them anytime you feel your nerves become rattled or you need to a reset:

1. Mountain Pose

This pose will leave you feeling strong, centered and capable of persevering any storm MercuryRetrograde may throw at you.

2. Goddess Pose

Feel your inner power with this pose, and then open your body to receive strength from the universe to conquer challenges in front of you.

3. Eagle Pose

It’s impossible to think about computer problems, much less anything else, in this pose. Find your focus, and your confidence, while having a bit of fun too.

4. Standing Forward Bend

When you need a moment to relax your nervous system, take a simple forward bend. You can do this anywhere and at any time. It’s also the perfect energetic reset as you wait for your computer to do the same.

5. Child’s Pose

When all else fails, connect your head to the ground and breath. There are times when you need a bit of comfort, and this pose is the perfect remedy for the anxiety Mercury Retrograde can bring.

The most important thing to remember during Mercury Retrograde is that it will pass. The problems this astrological phenomenon can cause are temporary. Stay centered in your breath and look for the silver linings. There are just as many opportunities during this period as there are frustrations. Keep a positive outlook—and when that’s not possible, give yourself space away from technology and others to re-center yourself.



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Ayurveda

6 Yogi Dads Inspiring Us This Fathers Day

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Here are six yogi dads who inspire us to continue to cultivate deeper and more meaningful relationships with the children in our lives through their sacred fatherhood. Thank you, dads!

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1. Jah Sun

“If you’re seeing this, it means you have a father. I had one too. He’s was a brilliant chemist of a top firm in NJ. Seen him twice my entire life. I’m thankful he made me. Truly! As much I longed to see him more as a kid, The Universe knew what I needed and having him more fully in my life could’ve been more damaging. Who knows? Doesn’t matter. What I do know it that’s it’s perfect – as is – and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I wouldn’t be me otherwise. So, today, I’m not simply offering up some generic “Happy Father’s Day” to all fathers. Because being a “Father” takes very little skill, 3 minutes behind a school bleacher at age 15-16 (some start younger than that) – if we’re keeping it real like adults. I’m raising the bar. Elevating the standard. I’m unwilling to continue to celebrate the bare minimum. Honoring men with zero, or little connection to their children and send money like they’re paying a car note. In and out, when it suits them, like a revolving door at a hotel. Instead, I’m standing up to SALUTE ALL DADS! Men who are there, present and CONSISTENT for their children (and being with Mom is not a requirement to be available for your baby). MEN who have taken up the mantle to raise another man’s child (that they left behind), and became Dad for them. I stand up and SALUTE ALL MOMS doing double duty as BOTH parents. I was a single dad for 5 years, so I don’t empathize – I sympathize because I did it too. Real life experience. The pain of that hurts on levels many can’t comprehend. So, I see you, and I’m proud of you! For the True DADS of all genders, skin colors and geographical location – SALUTE! Keep up the amazing work. Our children deserve nothing less!”

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2. Aubert Bastiat

“3/8/2019. Today I’m celebrating Cairo’s 1 year on this earth. Today I’m celebrating beautiful @divinedavana who I love more everyday. Today I’m celebrating my mother, my sisters and the Sacred Feminine in all Her expressions. ⁣

I celebrate not by word alone but by holding the highest vision and I do so through love, intention and action. ⁣ Although it’s only been a year since Cairo was born truly this last year has been the most EPIC of my entire existence. It was after becoming a father to Cairo at 33 that my vision became grounded to this earth in such a way that the manifold expressions of my service to this world crystallized into a singular focus – anchoring the Sacred Masculine to this earth.⁣ Because there is no greater gift that I can give to my family, community and this world than embodying the Sacred and anchoring it to this earth through every aspect of my life.⁣”

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3. Alonzo Nelson Jr. M.Ed

After 9 months and 41 hours of labor, my princess has arrived. April 10th at 6:43pm, Harper Renee Nelson made her grand entrance into my life. Fatherhood is my new favorite job. Sorry math!”

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4. Brian Delmonico

I didn’t know what to expect when Mia Luna was born. Like any new parent to be I received a love blast like nothing else I’ve ever experienced before. Holding her, calming her, changing her, smelling her, and loving her is a feeling I don’t think I could ever put into words. [The first two weeks of her life] changed my world, and brought new meaning to every moment of my life.”

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5. Adam Jackson

“Listening to music with Noah makes me hear it differently. I can hear it for the first time through him. We’re doing a little dance here. I want to show him everything. I can’t wait for him to show me everything.”

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6. Peter Maldonado

My favorite girl. Being a dad to such a gentle delicate little kid like her comes with challenges. Sometimes I have no clue what I’m “supposed” to be doing with her. I just make sure she’s fed, clean, and genuinely happy. I feel like she teaches me way more about life than I teach her. Grateful that recovery has enabled me to be the best dad I can be to this kiddo. Because she’s pure love and deserves the best.”



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Adventure Travel

5 Yogis Share The Lessons They Learned From Traveling the World

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From learning to love to finding their life’s purpose—these are the stories from yoga teachers who found meaning in their travels.



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Balance

The Western Yogi's Guide to Traveling Through India

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From the must-see places and pilgrimages to top tips on how to stay healthy on the road, here’s what you need to know before you plan your trip.

Yoga Journal gives Western yogis an in-depth look into planning a trip to the birth place of yoga consciously and mindfully. 

I started practicing yoga in a crowded New York City gym, my mat so close to the student’s next to mine that I couldn’t tell whose sweat droplets were whose. Like many Americans, I was introduced to yoga as a physical activity—I considered it a complement to the triathlon training I was doing at the time—and thought of it as only that for the first five or so years I practiced.

See also What is Yoga? Understand The History Behind the Practice

Then, I started practicing with a yoga teacher who dropped lessons about yoga’s lineage into her classes. That led me to another instructor, who taught me even more about this ancient practice, the origins of which date to pre-Vedic times (1500–500 BCE) and are widely believed to have morphed into the Hatha Yoga that spread during British colonial rule of India and that Westerners practice today. The more I learned, the more I realized that eventually, I’d want to make a pilgrimage to yoga’s birthplace so I could understand more fully the practice I’d come to love.

See also What’s the Difference Between Cultural Appropriation and Cultural Appreciation?

I had that chance three years ago. What I learned is that, similar to my journey on my yoga mat, a meaningful trip to India can’t just be about taking. Rather, it should be about studying up on the places you’ll  visit and cultures you’ll experience, connecting meaningfully with the people you meet when you’re there, giving back through seva (selfless service) work, and, most important, staying open to learning. It’s my sincere hope that this guide will help you do just that.

The Yoga Journal India Travel Guide



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