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Here’s Why You Should Align Your Yoga Practice With Your Birth Chart

An intro to Astro Yoga—plus, the best postures for your zodiac sign.

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You already know that a regular yoga practice helps you to energetically and physically integrate your body, mind, and spirit. But have you ever aligned your practice with the timing of the stars? This combination of yoga and astrology, called Astro Yoga, calls in radical alignment with both yourself and your present circumstances to improve your overall understanding of yourself and your place in the world.

By combining your yoga practice with astrology, your inner and outer worlds begin to align and integrate. Energy seems to flow easily from your heart to the world around you, and vice versa. This heart-world alignment comes naturally as you connect with the timing of the cosmos, which is one of the most direct links we have to the flow of energy in the natural world, from moon cycles, to seasons, to more subtle planetary influences.

See also: This New Moon Yoga Practice Will Open You to the Luck You So Deserve

What is Astro Yoga?

Yoga and astrology have been linked for thousands of years, yet as these disciplines combine modern life with ancient techniques, they continue to grow. Astrologers in the ancient world had a different array of concerns than we have today, as well as a different set of assumptions and information. For example, the modern discoveries of Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto added new depth and perspective to astrology and Astro Yoga.

You may already be practicing Astro Yoga without realizing it. Any time you practice a moon salutation (Chandra Namaskar) on a new or full moon, you’re practicing Astro Yoga. The same goes for the traditional practice of 108 Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar) on the solstice days, or balancing postures near the equinoxes.

But Astro Yoga also goes beyond solar and lunar events. These cosmic alignments happen at all levels of the physical and energetic yoga practice. There are astrological associations with the physical body, chakras, koshas (subtle body layers), nadis (energetic channels), mudras (energetic seals), mantras, pranayama exercises, and more. These yogic staples have direct alignment with the planets, zodiac signs, elements, and luminaries. When you apply this knowledge, it helps you flow with your astrology chart, rather than fighting against yourself or conforming to social norms that aren’t a natural fit for you.

All of these astrological associations make it possible to both create individualized yoga flows for your birth chart/season of life and to create group flows that align with the timing of the stars.

Why you should practice Astro Yoga

There are a few ways Astro Yoga can help you in your life. The first major way is by aligning your energetic and physical body with your astrology chart. When you’re aligned with your chart, your highest potential and most heartfelt goals begin to effortlessly come to fruition. This occurs because energetic alignment actually magnetizes aligned situations toward you. Your astrology chart shows a map of the energies in every aspect of your life, from relationships, to career, to your physical form, to finance, to your deep inner work. Astro Yoga can be used to influence any of these areas.

You can also use Astro Yoga to help you navigate the current astrological transits. If you’ve ever noticed that the collective energy feels heavy or intense, Astro Yoga offers the toolkit needed to work through that energy, without either denying it or numbing it until it goes away. Most heavy energies come with a simultaneous gift, if you’re willing to work with them, and Astro Yoga helps you access those powerful gifts while navigating challenge.

How to get started with Astro Yoga

Astro Yoga can be complex, but you don’t need to be an astrologer to get started.

For individuals seeking to balance their personal charts, I suggest starting with your sun sign (or moon or rising sign if you know it). You can do yoga poses that support and balance these energies (some examples are outlined below).

For yoga teachers looking to guide group flows for the current transits, I suggest tracking the movement of the sun and moon, creating flows themed around those transits. Solar transits show up as the seasons. Increased activity and opening postures are great for the warmer seasons, and the colder seasons are the perfect time for restorative, low-body, or strengthening postures. Major lunar events, such as the full moon and the new moon, are perfect for working with moon salutations, Yin Yoga, or restorative postures.

To get started with Astro Yoga for your sign or the current zodiac season, you can explore the body area and the chakra associated with your sign or the sign of the current season. Of course, these basic approaches can be used to go much further and deeper. Astrology is a language of association that creates a map nearly as complex as your physical body.

Getting started is simple, and even small steps in this practice can leave you feeling invigorated and ultimately more in tune with yourself.

Astro Yoga for each Zodiac sign

Below you’ll find the basic Astro Yoga physical and energetic associations for each of the 12 zodiac signs. Incorporate the suggested pose into your practice. To go deeper, I suggest looking at your rising sign, moon sign, or sun sign.

Aries

Aries is associated with the head, the planet Mars, and the manipura (solar plexus) chakra.

Try practicing Sirsasana, which balances the head and gives strength to the manipura center of the body.

Taurus

Taurus is associated with the neck and jaw, the planet Venus, and the anahata (heart) chakra.

Try practicing Matsyasana, which both opens the heart and strengthens the neck.

Gemini

Gemini is associated with the shoulders, arms, and hands; the planet Mercury, and the vishuddha (throat) chakra.

Try practicing Bakasana, which opens the shoulders and encourages balance in the throat chakra.

Cancer

Cancer is associated with the chest and stomach, the moon, and the ajna (third eye) chakra.

Try practicing Navasana, which draws steadiness and spinal alignment in the chest and abdomen, aligning with the ajna chakra.

Leo

Leo is associated with the heart and upper back, the sun, and the ajna (third eye) chakra.

Try practicing Urdhva Dhanurasana, which creates strength in the back, opening in the heart, and energetic flow to the ajna.

Virgo

Virgo is associated with the lower belly and digestive system, the planet Mercury, and the vishuddha (throat) chakra.

Try practicing Ardha Matsyendrasana, which creates flow in the spine and gives energy to the digestive organs.

Libra

Libra is associated with the lower back and upper buttocks, the planet Venus, and the anahata (heart) chakra.

Try practicing Virabhadrasana 3, which creates balance, strengthens the low back, and draws the heart into alignment.

Scorpio

Scorpio is associated with the reproductive organs and pelvic floor, the planets Pluto and Mars, and the manipura (solar plexus) chakra.

Try practicing Malasana, which tones the pelvic floor, and encourages a strong spine with balanced energy.

Sagittarius

Sagittarius is associated with the hips and thighs, the planet Jupiter, and the svadhisthana (sacral) chakra.

Try practicing Virabhadrasana 1, which engages the thighs and hips, while rooting down to allow for an open svadhisthana chakra.

Capricorn

Capricorn is associated with the knees and skeletal system, the planet Saturn, and the muladhara (root) chakra.

Try practicing Utkatasana, which engages the muscles which support the knees, and brings you to your root.

Aquarius

Aquarius is associated with the ankles and circulatory system, the planets Saturn and Uranus, and the muladhara (root) chakra.

Try practicing Vrksasana, which supports the ankles and draws you to your root.

Pisces

Pisces is associated with the feet and lymphatic system, the planets Jupiter and Neptune, and the svadhisthana (sacral) chakra.

Try practicing Baddha Konasana, which opens the feet and creates possibilities for svadhisthana-aligned expansion.