Hello spring, Hello Aries: Yoga for Awakening

[two_third][/two_third][one_third_last]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. [/one_third_last]

[full_width]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. [/full_width]

[two_third padding=”9% 0 0 0″]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 [/two_third][one_third_last padding=”0% 0 0 0″][/one_third_last]

[two_third padding=”8% 0 0 0″]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
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[two_third padding=”8% 0 0 0″]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
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[two_third][/two_third][one_third_last]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[/one_third_last]

Aquarius New Moon: Complex Progress with Eris

[two_third][/two_third][one_third_last]Wander with us as Astrologist, Allie Couch, takes us on a tour of a new moon post that is complex and longer than usual, as it’s a pertinent one. Don’t worry if you don’t grasp it all, take what you can, and use it toward making the best Aquarius new moon intentions that you can.

Tomorrow marks our yearly return of the sun and moon aligning in the sing of Aquarius, or, the Aquarius new moon. New moons mark times to plant new seeds, walk through new doors opening to you, and to set new intentions. In Aquarius, our group orientation and need to see progress for humanity are the focal points. It’s time to break out your CosmoMuse 2017 Seasonal Astrology Guide, review Aquarius Season, if you haven’t yet (or get yours here if you don’t have one yet), and starting tomorrow evening, write out your new moon goals in this guide so you can refer back to them during the year. [/one_third_last]

[full_width]It’s been a complex year in the Aquarius realm, as seems obvious with the angst and powerful movements currently rising up, and the trend will continue with plenty of cross-roads, challenges, and oppositions to contend with regarding the initiations in the Aquarius realm of our charts, this year. It’s a mess really, but not without golden nuggets. This new moon is quintile Uranus and Eris, bringing creative activation through a warrior goddess (hence the successful Women’s March), and planet of earthquakes, lightening and awakening. We also look at the planetary co-rulers of Aquarius, Uranus and Saturn, to get the whole picture of what will play into our initiations at this time.

Uranus is conjunct the goddess of retaliation, Eris, in the ultimate warrior sign of Aries. Aries is great for getting things off of the ground but is also rash, confrontational, and more than a bit selfish. Be sure that your new intentions have the good of your relationships or issues of equality in mind or you’ll have some equilibrium problems this year. With Eris here, feelings of wanting retribution may arise, a negative thing that will ultimately lead to discord—this goddess asteroid, in Aries, has lots of symbolism and linking to the epidemic of terrorism. We need to ask ourselves: With things initiating now, are we just trying to make progress in the race for personal glory and advantage? As well as: If there’s a fight aspect involved in an initiation, will it bring warranted and important winning for the collective or is it flavored with a need to see others fail badly and bloodily, out of retaliation (here’s a whole article about just Eris’ discovery and alignment with our seasonal ruler of Uranus, that I would HIGHLY suggest reading). Jupiter is in opposition to these two planets, so our new goals will also find opposition around expansive themes of fairness and equality. To make it even more complex, Pluto, planet of transformation, as well as messenger, Mercury, will square off to Uranus and Eris. I’m not going to sugarcoat this, these are some pretty heavy aspects bringing cross-purposes and issues of control. Get creative by pushing into the challenge, or heat, brought and take initiative to solve things in this vein.[/full_width]

[two_third]Luckily, our second seasonal co-ruler, Saturn, sheds a bit of relief, but not without its own challenges. Saturn makes a nice angle to Uranus and Eris, so some responsible planning and structuring can help us in our new initiations. Jupiter and Saturn are also in good angle, so this same planning and structuring can be used to alleviate and bring peaceful mediation to some of the oppositions coming our way from issues of fairness, partnerships, and equality. This is the thing that could actually spark responsible innovations that are inspired from the strife and competitive atmosphere. On another note, Mars, planet of war, and Venus, planet of beauty, are at odds with Saturn, throwing some illusionist and delusional traps at our feet. Ugh.

We all have this sign of Aquarius reigning over an area of our charts so we all have new things that will initiate, connected to the area this sign rules for us. Check your guide for the cycle it brings up for you.

My plea: Remember, no matter what area of your life this group, cause, and future oriented sign ignites for you, the divide and contentions in our communities, nation, and world, are already fragile. Really, all anyone wants in this part of their chart is to feel progress and hope for the future. This is the root of all of the dramas that will play out over the course of the year in connection to what starts in the next week. Give positive energy and a collaborative spirit to all that surfaces at this time, as well as remember that when conflicts arise, you do not have a full perspective of anything unless you have listened with kindness and empathy (putting yourself in another’s shoes) to your foe’s story. Although you may still feel that they are incorrect, once you’ve listened, if you understand where and why they are taking the stances they are, you can create movement and foundations that are more inclusive, whether or not they recognize that. [/two_third][one_third_last][/one_third_last]

[full_width]I like to call this the power of yin. When we listen to another with compassion, if we do not agree and still decide to act in opposition to them, minimally they have felt heard, softening them to you and your actions, even if only slightly. A seed has been planted, and it may take a year, or the seed may never break open, but when and if it does, you are the originator of a heart opening in this foe, who may then feel comfortable seeking you out for guidance on how to graciously change their stance. There is no guarantee, and likely no immediate gratification in this yin practice, but just that act of empathetic listening has the power to change people, in time. This also takes place in you, and you may suddenly feel a jolt of insight, helping you realize you have been on the wrong side of things.

Those who can see the positive side of competition and challenges are our greatest hope for this year’s Aquarius new moon initiations, and as always, AMAZING work can come from such issues of complexity (such as this musical piece). Look for those who rise above vengeful feelings, be inspired by them, and model yourself after them. This is the season that can ignite our greatest forward thinking and out-of-the-box solutions to propel our species forward in more harmonious alignment with our dying earth and polarizing issues. We also need to confront the initiations and goals put in place now to make sure they are not related to vengeful feelings towards others, rather competitive and progressive hopes for humanity. [/full_width]