Wanderlust Yoga for Sagittarius Season


The sections of this article appear in The Yoga Almanac: 52 Practices and Rituals to Stay on the Ground During Astrological Seasons, March 2020, New Harbinger Publications. Reprinted with permission from New Harbinger Publications, Inc. © 2020 Lisette Cheresson and Andrea Rice.

Check out this collection of new moon astrology classes from the author on Wanderlust TV


We have almost passed another natural year, and the energy of the adventurous Sagittarius comes to remind us of the last important tasks or desires we hope to fulfill when we reach the winter solstice. From the 21st or 22nd of November each year until the winter officially begins on the 21st or 22nd of December, the Sagittarius season asks us to start taking stock of where we have been, so that we can prepare to sign up. where are we going. It’s a season that includes the start of the holidays, a hectic time of year when we can feel thrown in various directions. Sagittarius energy reminds us of the independence of our personal needs, even when we care about those around us.

The fearless enthusiasm of the Sagittarius fire sign inspires us to explore what is possible. Ruled by Jupiter, the planet of good luck and luck, Sagittarius is a visionary, reminding us that stagnation only keeps us small. As we begin to review our year, we may find ourselves drawn to risks that once seemed out of reach. Symbolized by the brave Archer, Sagittarius encourages us to take risks; a reminder that risk pays off. The courage sought during the Sagittarius season is often found in maintaining a sense of optimism, as we know that the dark days of winter are just around the corner. As we fall into the precipice of possibility and immerse ourselves in the unknown, the excitement of playing in the game of life broadens our perspectives, regardless of the outcome.

Yoga is a practice of courage, because it demands that we stand (or sit, or lie down) completely naked with ourselves, with our own authenticity and wisdom. This is what the lessons and themes of Sagittarius season are all about: cultivating personal authenticity so that we can continue to be brave and courageous in our outdoor activities. It is appropriate for the Sagittarius season to begin with a rumor about gratitude in the U.S. (a note here to acknowledge the troubled history of Thanksgiving regarding cultural genocide). In order to enter into our own courage and authenticity, we often need to experience or nurture a sense of gratitude for where we have been. When the Archer asks us to point and enter into this bold energy of this sign of fire, it is imperative to carry an attitude of gratitude for all that has brought us to the climax of now.

Wisdom is another important theme of the season, as we close the final cycle of the fall transition and prepare for the long inner winter journey. When we have taken stock of where we have been, and with authenticity and courage we have set out to aim for where we want to be, we must not only rely on our inner wisdom, but we must achieve it. The transition from autumn has given way to ruminations and the introspection of the solstice. Sagittarius is the bridge that prepares us for the final journey of the astrological year.

malasana

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Squat or garland position (Malasana)

Sagittarius rules the hips, and this squat posture is known for its ability to strengthen the pelvic floor. As the flexors and groin of the hip receive a deep stretch, the shape also strengthens the ankles and feet. The abdominal wall attaches slightly to lengthen the back body and attract the spine to neutrality. The squat posture can be made more accessible by placing a block under the seat to support it. This helps build stability in the ankle joints and root at the outer edges of the feet.

He joins the palms of his hands to his heart as a gesture of gratitude. Squeeze the lower part of the inside of the thighs to hold the opening as the sensation seeps into your hips. The inner edges of the feet can be joined to send the knees wide as the spine flexes forward. This posture engages and opens the root chakra (Muladhara) and stimulates the sacral chakra (Svadhisthana) as the transverse abdominal muscles are activated.

warrior 3

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Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III) with Jupiter “Lock” Mudra

Hindu mythology describes the warrior Virabhadra, an incarnation of Shiva, in three respects, providing fodder for the three positions of the warrior. Daksha, a powerful priest, celebrated a yagna (ritual sacrifice) and did not invite her daughter Sati or her husband, Shiva. Angry with her father, Sati threw herself into the fire in retaliation. Shiva was so devastated that a lock of hair was ripped from his head, from which arose the thousand-headed warrior Virabhadra, who beheaded Daksha with his mighty sword. The form of Warrior III comes from the moment in history that Virabhadra offers the head of Daksha forward.

Warrior III stabilizes the hips, strengthens the back body and engages the abs. The shape tests and improves balance, and requires coordination of the whole body. Jupiter’s mudra can be incorporated into the posture by intertwining the palms of the hands above and extending the index fingers toward the expansiveness of one; to the great possibilities of the future.

The throat chakra (Vishuddha) is activated by both posture and mudra as the cervical spine lengthens. The crown chakra (Sahasara) awakens the higher collective consciousness, and the third eye chakra (Ajna) awakens greater understanding and clarity. The chakras of the sacrum (Svadhisthana) and the solar plexus (Manipura) are also stimulated as the abdominal wall sticks to maintain shape.

Dhanurasana

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Posture of the bow (Dhanurasana)

The 700 verse conversation al Bhagavad Gita between Krishna and Arjuna it occurs when Arjuna leaves his dhanu, his weapon bow, and refuses to fight. Krishna works to convince Arjuna that the battle is in fact his dharma and part of the larger plan. The bow shape of this posture is an archetype for cultivating courage in the face of transition, for delivering the ego and coming out with courage and grace.

Bow Pose is a tremendous back flexion. While the shape requires hip flexors to move beyond a functional range of motion for many practitioners, you can make Bow Pose more accessible with a strap. As your back body mobilizes and your abdominal wall stretches, Bow Pose expands your chest and pectoral muscles to the front of your body to open your heart. The length is generated from the coccyx to the crown, especially along the cervical spine to open the throat.

This posture is energetically significant, as the heart chakra (Anahata) is the transition point of the lower chakras (material) and the higher energy centers (spiritual). Bow Pose also activates the throat chakra (Vishuddha), stimulating the courage to express our true truth.

Hip circles

It is not a traditional yoga asana, but is commonly invoked in a modern class, wrapping your hips is an exploration of the pelvis. Start in a supine position, with your knees just behind your hips and your palms facing the width of your elbows, and fix your knees, shins, upper legs, and palms on the floor. Rotate back and forth to stimulate upward energy flow from the base of the column. Pressing your hands away from the floor will open up more space between the shoulder blades at the back of the heart.

Moving in a circular motion helps to release and strengthen the lower back, as the outer hips receive a gentle stretch and the pelvic floor sticks. Perfecting the core muscles stretches the intercostal muscles between the ribs while toning the arms and shoulders.

Hip circles are an energetic “pot remover,” which awakens creativity by sending the flow of prana directly to our sexual center, the sacred chakra (Svadhisthana). This is the seat of our creative and passionate forces where who we really are and what we are cultivating resides. In this four-legged position, it is recommended to explore any kind of intuitive and organic movement that the body may desire, invoking the practice of physical svadhyaya. Hip circles are a great way to start a real conversation with your body.

easy seat

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Easy Seat (Sukhasana)

When Prince Siddhartha sat under the Bodhi tree for seven weeks to understand the meaning of existence, he vowed not to leave his seat until he could find a way to end the suffering of the world around him. even if it meant his own death. During these 49 days, he realized that the cause of human suffering was greed, selfishness, and madness, and that if we could free ourselves from these meaningless emotions we might find true happiness and satisfaction. With this revelation, he attained enlightenment and resurrected as the Buddha.

This simple sitting posture helps to relax and open the hips and groin, the region of the body ruled by Sagittarius, to lengthen the external muscles of the thigh, or abductors, and to stretch the ligaments of the knees and ankles. By keeping the spine upright, the back is gently strengthened. If your hips and knees are tight, sit on a folded blanket or yoga block for extra support. Easy Seat also works wonders to reduce stress and anxiety.

Energetically, there is a feeling of anchoring to the seated bones to activate the root chakra (Muladhara) at the base of the spine. Because the entire spine is held upright, a sense of length that is generated from the base of the column through the top of the head could essentially open the seven chakras.

lisette_cheresson_2021_headshotLisette is a writer, yoga teacher and content director. She is a member of the founding leadership team of Yoga Unify, a new non-profit yoga organization, the marketing director of the Mammoth Yoga Festival, and the co-author of The Yoga Almanac. Lisette completed her 200-hour training in Brooklyn and her Reiki attunement in India, and continued her studies with Leslie Kaminoff of Breathing Project, Tiffany Cruikshank, and Andrew Holecek. She is also a mourning and doula trainer of death, whose work focuses on integrating the tools of mindfulness and asana for the healing of pain and anxiety at the end of life. A filmmaker in a past life, Lisette has made videos with community leaders such as Dharma Mittra, Eddie Stern and Eoin Finn. She lives with her husband and her animals in Hudson Valley, New York.

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andrea rice

Andrea Rice is a writer and editor who covers health and wellness. Her work has appeared in Yoga Journal, The Wanderlust Journal, mindbodygreen, Astrostyle, SONIMA and New York Yoga + Life. He has also worked as a journalist for The New York Times and INDY Week. As a yoga teacher with a decade of experience, Andrea completed her 200-hour training in New York, NY; and expanded his training with Elena Brower and Alexandria Crow. He has also studied astrology extensively with The AstroTwins, Ophira and Tali Edut. Andrea has offered yoga, meditation, journaling, and creativity workshops in Brooklyn and Manhattan in New York, NY; and has been a presenter at Wanderlust. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband and cat, where she teaches yoga at the Blue Lotus and the North Carolina Museum of Art.

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