Breathe

Yoga Poses to Command More Warmth & Creativity

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Cosmo Muse yogi, Brooke Musat, introduces a new regular feature focusing on poses that help us balance our yin & yang energy for the current season. Photography by Bus Couch.

Leo Season is upon us in all its grandeur. Falling under the fire element and ruled by the sun, this time of year brings a passionate heat to everything it touches, whether that is recreating in the outdoors or enhancing your commanding presence on the stage. When the sun is in this sign, it’s at home, and eagerly wants us to enjoy both the sunlight and the spotlight. During Leo Season, striking while the iron is hot is never an issue; instead, there may be more struggles with recognizing when it’s time to step back and cool off. Finding balance between hot and cold, too much and too little, and maybe even what’s wrong and what’s right, is something we will all experience a little more of during this sing’s reign.

While Leo Season brings an extroverted, yang influence into focus, the below poses were designed to give balance to our yin and yang energy, while this sign is at play in our lives. The yang pose will help us get in touch with our bold inner diva, bringing up feelings of courage, leadership, and creativity as the yin pose guides us to soften our hearts and recognize if our ego’s need a time-out.

Read on for how to adapt the yin and yang postures of Leo Season for your sign’s fire, earth, air or water element – for an added balancing effect!

YANG POSE

Variation of Camel :: (Ustrasana) helps balance an excess of yin during Leo Season.

o Stretches front body including ankles, thighs hips, abdomen shoulders, and neck

o Stimulates the thyroid

o Strengthens the muscles in the back

o Opens the heart

Leo and other Fire Signs (Aries, Sagittarius): Practice this pose somewhere cool in nature. Fire signs bring their own heat, so avoid practicing in the middle of the day or in direct sunlight. Early morning or late evening rituals will help fire signs strike a healthy balance and set achievable goals.

Earth Signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn): Earth signs may feel the desire to linger in this pose for too long. Instead, attempt this pose several times in a row (with short breaks in-between) or once daily. If possible, Earth signs should practice this pose in a dry warm place. A desert venue, or your living room at noon, are perfect places to strike a pose or two.

Air Signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius): Stay in this pose longer than feels normal if you are an Air sign. When in the expression of this pose, focus on breathing into areas of the body that feel stuck. As an Air sign you may feel an urge to fidget or strike the pose quickly and move on. Fight these tendencies and embrace the drama of stillness.

Water Signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces): Practice this pose in a warm loving environment that brings about a sense of peace. Be cautious not to practice this posture if you are feeling extra vulnerable or over extended. Beware that the exposure of the neck in this pose can bring about the waterworks or stoke an anxious fire.

YIN POSE

Variation of Cat :: (Marjaryasana) on elbows helps balance an excess of yang during Leo Season.

o Increases mobility in the spine

o Releases tension in the neck and lower spine

o Provides a gentle massage to digestive organs

o Brings about mental rootedness

Leo and other Fire Signs (Aries, Sagittarius): Practice this pose in a shaded place outside. The nature of this posture is already calming and cooling but a little extra shade for our Fire signs is never a bad idea. When practicing this pose focus on extending the length of your inhales and exhales.

Earth Signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn): Earth signs are welcome to hold this posture for up to 10-12 breaths, but should focus on letting something go with every exhale. Another option would be to move between cow pose with every inhale and cat pose with every exhale. Practicing this pose in a hot place is recommended if your health allows.

Air Signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius): Avoid practicing this pose late in the evening; instead, practice this pose in the morning after a solid breakfast but before your daily activities begin. Air signs should focus on drawing attention to the parts of the body that are connected to earth (forearms, knees, elbows, hands, shins, ankles, tops of feet and toes). A warm and humid venue would be a great place to strike this pose.

Water Signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces): Marjaryasana on elbows would be a great posture to explore after exiting the warmth of the shower. Water signs could use this posture as an excuse to look inward. Cat pose for Water signs, is a great way to begin or end any day.

For more Leo Season inspired yoga, try this fire igniting sequence set against a beautiful Uinta Mountains backdrop!

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