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Yoga Poses

Flow Into 2022 With This Intention-Setting Yoga Practice

Plus, new year intentions according to your zodiac sign.

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Every time we enter a new year, we welcome a new beginning. It’s a time when we can celebrate and release the past, while looking forward to what’s to come.

The exact date of the new year, of course, varies depending on the culture. For the Gregorian calendar (which is commonly used throughout most of the world) it’s January 1; for many Asian cultures, it’s the variable Lunar New Year, which begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar (February 1, 2022) and ends on the first full moon, 15 days later; and for others, it’s the spring equinox. Some people mark all three.

In astrology, the unique alignment of the planets and stars during this time of transition sets the tone for the year ahead. Each sign of the zodiac—and by extension, your personal birth chart—interacts with the current moment in time in a distinct way.

As the new year season begins, create a small personal ritual to set and seal your intention for the coming year. This is a moment to revisit and honor where you’ve been, reflect on what went well or what could have gone better, and apply the wisdom and experience you’ve gained to set yourself up for better alignment and expansive growth in the new year.

See also: I’m a Goal-Setting Expert. Here’s How to Set—And Keep—Your New Year Intentions

New year intentions for each zodiac sign

Aries

You’ll receive a wave of Jupiter-inspired expansion this year, Aries. It’s a time to recognize any fears as they come up when you take steps toward the life of your dreams—and to move through those fears with confidence. You know what’s best for you. Follow your intuition. Forge your authentic path this year.

Taurus

Uranus, the planet of sudden changes, continues to transit Taurus this year and the Lunar North Node moves into Taurus as well. Align your intentions with practical steps to manifest your aspirations. How can you take your values and ideals and turn them into definite, skillful action? Set your intention for practical growth this year.

Gemini

Gemini energy is ending an 18-month North Node transit, which means it’s time to recognize and celebrate all the ways you’ve grown, shifted, and adapted in that time—and what you’ve learned along the way. This year, apply past lessons to the present and set an intention to keep a record of your personal growth.

Cancer

Cancer energy is at the end of a challenging Pluto opposition, so now is a great time to focus on pampering and caring for yourself. How can you add more beauty, joy, and resilience to your daily life? Consider the answer, and then set an intention—coupled with a practical plan—to regularly add these self-nurturing things to your life.

Leo

Leo, you’re in a position to align with your true leadership qualities in 2022. Now is the time to glow up by giving back—whether you donate old clothes, volunteer for a local charity, or otherwise serve others. Set an intention for generosity in the new year.

Virgo

The new year begins with favorable energy for you, Virgo. Your energy would do well to spend time in nature. Spending time outdoors will help nurture your more mundane goals. Steep yourself in areas with flowing waters, greenery, and open skies.

Libra

Libras can often see how others are thinking, feeling, and behaving. As such, Libra energy is a gift to those around you. This year, set an intention to bring this back to yourself and schedule a little extra “you time.” About an hour each week should suffice. Whatever you like to do when you’re alone, set an intention to prioritize that throughout the year.

Scorpio

Scorpio energy is going to be trine Jupiter this year, which means it’s at a favorable angle, so set an intention to schedule ample time to be creative. Activities done for creativity’s sake tend to have no ulterior motives, no need for them to be done “right,” and no demands on how they turn out. By practicing the art of creativity, you give yourself permission to view yourself and your life as your own creative project. You are free and able to be molded into your vision.

Sagittarius

Sagittarius has spent the last 18 months with the South Node of the moon traveling through its energy. This might have felt as if life was temporarily stalled as circumstances shifted and you had to deal with any pressing issues. Now is the time to refocus some energy on your own expansion and edification. Set an intention to do something to expand your mind, whether means taking a class, reading some excellent material, taking a trip, or something else entirely.

Capricorn

Capricorn, you’ve had a series of challenging transits over the last several years. Now is the time to realize how far you’ve come and how much you’ve overcome. For the new year, align your intention with the energy of gratitude, including for yourself. You might decide to begin or expand an existing gratitude practice, or consider finding a practical way to keep track as you continue to navigate life with a grateful heart.

Aquarius

The new year is the ideal time for you, Aquarius, to organize and build structures that will support you in the coming year and beyond. Saturn’s presence in Aquarius will help you find success, provided that your intention draws on organization and systematic process that will help you toward your desired goals. Ensure that each small step aligns with your bigger vision.

Pisces

2022 is a powerful time for Pisces energy, with both Jupiter and Neptune—both rulers of Pisces—traveling through the sign. Set an intention to unabashedly move toward what you want and know you deserve and release any vices, beliefs, or inner obstacles that stand in your way. The more you align your daily reality with your broader vision, the more good will come your way. Let yourself flow.

See also: Yoga for Your Zodiac Sign

Set your new year intentions with this yoga practice

A person demonstrates Anjali Mudra in yoga
(Photo: Benjamin Wilkinson)

Anjali Mudra (Prayer Hands)

Why: “Mudra” means seal, and when you perform Anjali Mudra, you’re creating a seal, or container, around your intention. Doing this mudra symbolically aligns your will with the eventual actions needed to manifest your intention.

How to: Press your palms together. Remain here for as long as it takes to set your intention.

A person demonstrates Ardha Utkatasana (Chair Pose) on tiptoes in yoga
(Photo: Benjamin Wilkinson)

Ardha Utkatasana (Half Chair)

Why: This posture strengthens the areas of your body associated with the zodiac transits that will be the hallmarks of 2022. In particular, Aquarius and Pisces play an important role, and Aquarius and Pisces rule the ankles and feet, respectively. This posture leans into these areas while strengthening the Capricorn-ruled knees.

How to: From standing, bend your knees toward Chair Pose and then lift your heels and come onto your toes. From there, lean forward with your torso, keeping your spine long and your core engaged. Reach your hands back, keeping your arms in alignment with your torso. Stay, breathe, and balance.

A person demonstrates Warrior II Pose in yoga
(Photo: Benjamin Wilkinson)

Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)

Why: With one hand steady toward the future and another steadily remembering the past, Warrior II is perfect for anchoring you in the present moment. It also serves as a reminder that you can remain stable in the face of challenges, and that you have stores of strength that you can call upon any time you need.

How to: Stand facing the long side of the mat with your left leg forward and bent. Turn your right toes slightly inward. Reach your arms straight out from your shoulders, and turn your head to look out over your left fingertips. Stay and breathe. Repeat on the other side.

A person demonstrates Natarajasana (Lord of the Dance or Dancer Pose) in yoga
(Photo: Benjamin Wilkinson)

Natarajasana (Lord of the Dance Pose)

Why: This posture is a dance in itself. It recognizes—and requires you to do the same—that things are always shifting and changing. This awareness and willingness to flow through imbalance is one of the most powerful things you can do in your intention-setting flow. Do this posture to remind you to dance with life as it is now, and to continue to do so as you move toward your most aligned intentions.

How to: Stand on your left foot and bend your right knee to lift that heel toward your buttocks. Hold your right ankle or foot with your right hand, your palm facing away from you. Press your right foot up and back toward the wall behind you, opening your shoulders and quadriceps as you go. Keep your gaze (drishti) steady and straight ahead on a single point. Reach your left hand into the sky in Abhaya Mudra (palm facing forward). Balance for a few breaths, then repeat on the other side.

A person demonstrates Pranam Bowing in yoga
(Photo: Benjamin Wilkinson)

Bowing Pose

Why: This is a posture that helps you release any resistance you may have in aligning with your intention. When you do this posture, you let go of the piece of you that is afraid of your own success as you pursue your highest self.

How to: Kneel on the floor with your toes tucked under. Bow forward, and reach your hands forward (like an active Child’s Pose). Tent your hands by lifting up on your fingertips, keeping your arms active. Stay here and breathe.

A person demonstrates Sasangasana (Rabbit Pose) in yoga
(Photo: Benjamin Wilkinson)

Sasangasana (Rabbit Pose)

Why: Rabbits are symbols of luck, particularly in times of new beginnings. Perhaps more relevant, opening the back of your heart chakra is an energetic secret for receiving more abundance into your life. Doing this posture invites luck, receptivity, and synchronicities in your intention.

How to: Kneel on the ground with your knees together, bow forward, and place your head close to your knees. Come onto the top of your head as you reach back and grab your heels with your hands. Then lift your hips, round through your spine, and breathe.

A person rests in Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose) in yoga
(Photo: Benjamin Wilkinson)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound-Angle Pose)

Why: This posture opens your heart, so you’re better able to receive the good that begins to come your way the moment you set your intention.

How to: Sit with the soles of your feet together and your knees wide. If desired, place pillows or blocks under your knees so you can relax your thighs. Place a bolster or a couple of pillows behind you and lie back. Let your arms fall to the sides, palms up. Stay here and breathe as you allow your heart and hips to open as you relax into the posture.

See also: What the Stars Have in Store for Us in January 2022