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Hello spring, Hello Aries: Yoga for Awakening

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CosmoMuse yogini, Brooke Musat, helps us on our journey to awaken to this new astrological year with yoga poses to ignite our bold inner warriors.

There is something about the onset of spring that makes anything seem possible. Whether it’s tackling a major chore you’ve been putting off, or taking the time to treat yourself to something you thought you didn’t deserve, spring—inspires a certain amount of assertiveness to get things done.

In Aries reign we are granted permission to be bold in realizing our deepest desires while finding the strength to put fears, insecurities, and timidities, to rest. From Aries we awaken a sleeping warrior, ready to fight for our soul’s self-interests and transform dreams into realities.

Robert Frost said, “freedom lies in being bold,” and Aries’s reign is our gateway to finding freedom through a boldness that lives in each of us.

Try the poses inspired by Aries to call upon your sleeping warrior, bring clarity to your path, and ignite an internal fire of boldness. In One Legged Downward-Facing Dog you’ll be forced to find balance in a posture that may feel familiar but demands a heightened sense of awareness to achieve. In the Low Lunge variations boldness will come in the dual opening of hips and side body. Lastly, in the Warrior III variation, you may need to find boldness through trial and error. Traditional Warrior III, quite bold on its own, can be difficult to execute, and the Aries’s Warrior III variation brings about a new element of difficulty. Read on below for details on each posture’s benefits and instruction on how to effectively assume each pose.

One Legged Downward-Facing Dog :: (Eka Pāda Adho Mukha Śvānāsana)

In One Legged Downward-Facing Dog, try to keep the hip of the leg suspended in the air closed and toes of that leg pointing down toward the earth. Avoid the tendency to bring weight into one shoulder or the other, instead keep the shoulders square and focus on bringing equal weight into both hands.

Pose Benefits:

o Strengthens the shoulders and legs

o Tones the core

o Increases flexibility in the shoulders, hamstrings, and calves

o Opens the chest

Low Lunge :: (Anjaneyasana) with hands clasp above the head variation
In Low Lunge, make sure the knee of the bent leg is aligned directly above the toes. Work toward squaring the hips by drawing the front leg’s hip back into the socket and inviting the back leg’s hip forward. Be mindful about protecting the lower back by drawing the naval toward the spine.

Pose Benefits:

o Releases hip tension

o Stretches hamstrings

o Strengthens the quadriceps and knees

o Opens chest and upper back

Low Lunge :: (Anjaneyasana) variation side body opening
In Low Lunge, make sure the knee of the bent leg is aligned directly above the toes. Work toward squaring the hips by drawing the front leg’s hip back into the socket and inviting the back leg’s hip forward. To open through the side body, plant the fingertips of the hand (same side of the front leg) firmly into the earth then reach up and over with the other arm and hand. Be mindful that the shoulder of the hand reaching over the head does not start to lift toward the ear.

Pose Benefits:

o Releases hip tension

o Stretches hamstrings

o Strengthens the quadriceps and knees

o Opens chest, upper back, and side body

Warrior III variation :: (Virabhadrasana III)
In Warrior III variation, push the hand firmly into the thigh of the lifted leg to bring length to the spine. Be cautious not to twist the shoulders, but instead keep them squared toward the font of the mat. Just like in One Legged Downward-Facing Dog keep the hip of the leg suspended in the air closed and toes of that leg pointing down toward the earth.

Pose Benefits:

o Strengthens the ankles and legs

o Strengthens the shoulders and muscles of the back

o Tones the abdomen

o Improves balance and posture

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