Sections of this article appear in The Yoga Almanac: 52 Practices and Rituals to Stay Grounded Through the Astrological Seasons, March 2020, New Harbinger Publications. Reprinted with permission: New Harbinger Publications, Inc. © 2020 Lisette Cheresson & Andrea Rice.
They say the "veil is thin" at this time of year when Scorpio season begins to terrify our inner witches as we ride the celebrations of Halloween and All Souls' Day (Day of the Dead) into late fall. While the leaves of the trees show their last cloro and give way to decay, we too are preparing for the hibernation of the long journey into winter that will lurk around the corner next month. As such, Scorpio season is marked by a sense of nostalgia or emotional heaviness, a sense of endings, and difficult transitions. This cycle begins on October 21st or 22nd each year and takes us straight into the holiday season in the United States. This is of course appropriate when we settle into feelings of nostalgia and cosiness, sinking into the longing for rituals and the comforts of our home.
The water sign Scorpio is associated with the sacral chakra and governs our reproductive system, the intestines and the sexual organs. It is, of course, symbolized by the Scorpio, whose totem meaning is the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. We are born from our organs ruled by Scorpio and from them we give life. We watch the world lose its luster during this time of year and trust that it will be reborn in spring. Ruled by Pluto, the Scorpio energy is powerful, transformative, and even karmic. Pluto, as god of the underworld, witnesses this energy conversion and guides us through the never-ending cycles of life.
Not only reflected in the outer landscape of the natural world, but also in our relationships and our experience with ourselves during the Scorpio era, the themes of birth, death and rebirth show up. It is important to note here that death does not just mean the end of life or some kind of profound loss. Here, death can also mean the shedding of that which no longer serves to release the purification through the waters of the Scorpio of what is possibly time for us.
Intensity is a predominant theme that we can experience during this cycle as we face the final transition of the fall season. It is in the smallest details in which we can grasp the intensity of an experience. The tiniest drops of hail announce the strength of an autumn storm; The deep reds and oranges of the changing leaves create the fiery flame of an autumn landscape. Attuning to the simplicity of the body-breath connection enables us to tap into the fervor of the practice. When we cultivate sensation through movement and observation, we can enjoy the clarity of the here and now.
This intensity then gives way to the dissolution of ego and self, which enables a Scorpio rebirth. In the Sankhya philosophy – one of the six Hindu schools of thought – the world is perceived as consisting of two opposing realities: Prakriti (tangible matter) and Purusha (consciousness). In practice, we learn to free ourselves from the bondage of Prakriti and to immerse ourselves in the stream of Purusha. We begin to untangle the insignia of ego and expectation known in the Vedic context as ahamkara. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna instructs Arjuna to free himself from the state of prakriti, since the true self (which exists in the state of Purusha) can never be present when it is shackled by Ahamkara.
The dissolution of the ego and the resulting connection to Purusha is one of the greatest and most challenging tasks of the heart. Autumn is, of course, an appropriate time to explore this idea of transition; but it's not seasonally exclusive. Life is cyclical. We will dissolve and bind to the ego, then dissolve, let go and grow again and again.
Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)
The mythical sphinx has served as a symbol of mystery, fascination and intrigue since ancient Egypt. This heart-opening pose embodies the lower, grounded phase of Scorpio energy and invites you to laser focus or drishti from a place of calm. Sphinx Pose stretches the abdominal muscles and strengthens the gluteal muscles at the same time. The thoracic spine is mobilized by rooting in the forearms. Pressing the toes and pubic bone can relieve the strain on the lumbar spine, and engaging the glutes will help protect this area.
As the top of your head extends upwards to open your crown chakra (sahasrara), you can think of this as an energetic exchange between the underworld below and the sky above. The throat chakra (Vishuddha) is also opened when your cervical spine stretches. When your inner gaze is focused on the third eye (Ajna) chakra, your intuition and visualization power will be heightened.
Pyramid posture or intensive lateral stretching posture (Parsvottanasana)
Pyramid Pose is an inversion that provides an intense stretch along the hips, hamstrings, and shoulders. A slight external rotation of the thighs enables the SI hip joints to be stabilized so that the pelvis can remain more or less neutral. The engagement of the core supports the lumbar curvature. Allowing the knees to soften can help the spine neutralize rather than twisting forward excessively. Pyramid Pose can improve balance and core strength, as well as strengthen legs.
You can put your hands on blocks to raise the shape for more accessibility, or keep your back heel raised. You can also rotate your palms and point back with your fingertips to stretch your wrists and triceps. When your pelvis and core are stable enough, bring your hands behind your back in an inverted prayer to open your chest.
This stretch promotes the flow of apana, the downward or outward breath. The forward pivoting of the pelvis stimulates the flow of energy from the solar plexus (Manipura) and the sacral chakra (Svadhisthana) – especially through the back body. Putting your feet in the earth strengthens the grounding of the root chakra (muladhara).
Eagle pose (Garudasana)
Eagle Pose is named after Garuda, the mythical King of Birds, portrayed with an eagle's beak, an impressive bright red wingspan and the golden body of a man. According to Mahabharata, Garuda's mother, Vinata, the mother of birds, was tricked into becoming a slave to her sister-wife, the mother of snakes. The snakes agreed to free them from bondage if Garuda could bring them the elixir of immortality – which he did by allowing snakes to lose their skin and be reborn.
The eagle pose can be changed depending on the range of motion. You can tie your arms and raise your elbows to your shoulders or press the backs of your hands together. Wrapping the legs creates a sensation in the IT tape that connects the hip to the knee, but does not elongate in the same way as the muscles. You can invite more stability into the form by pressing the top of the wrapped foot into the back of the opposite calf muscle and pulling the torso back slightly.
Eagle Pose is a standing pose that activates the root chakra (Muladhara). The ability to bend forward and pull the wrapped elbows towards the abdomen attacks the core to stimulate digestion and awaken the solar plexus chakra (manipura). As with any balancing pose, the Eagle is held with a drishti, a point of soft, concentrated focus. This stimulates the third eye (Ajna) chakra. The upward flow of energy from the traditional family center to the personal power center and the center of intuition is an empowering feeling.
Lord of the Dance Pose or Dancer Pose (Natarajasana)
Natarajasana is named after the portrayal of Shiva Nataraja, the king of dance. This is the evocation of Shiva, whose angry, destructive dance advances the cycle of life and perpetuates Shiva as creator, preserver and destroyer. Shiva Nataraja appears on Apasmara, a soul bound by ignorance and earthly pursuits.
Dancer's Pose is a heart and chest opener that mobilizes the shoulder girdle and stretches the upper body, thighs and groin. A stable stand is essential for preservation
g balance. To avoid compression in your lower back, keep your chest raised as you bend forward.
When your thoracic spine is mobilized to lift your chest, the heart chakra (anahata) opens. The sacral (Svadhisthana) and the solar plexus (Manipura) chakra are also activated. As we go through the cycle from birth to rebirth, we need to examine both our deepest desires, rooted in our sacred center, and what kindles our fire, burning in our solar plexus, to keep us from a place of the true To move the integrity of our hearts.
<img alt="lisette_cheresson_2021_headshot "width =" 200 "height =" 300 "srcset =" https://wanderlust.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/lisette_cheresson_2021_headshot-513×768.jpg 513w, https://wanderlust.com/wp- content / uploads / 2021/08 / lisette_cheresson_2021_headshot-662×992.jpg 662w, https://wanderlust.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/lisette_cheresson_2021_headshot-768×1151.jpg 768w, https://wanderlust.com/wp- content / uploads / 2021/08 / lisette_cheresson_2021_headshot-1025×1536.jpg 1025w, https://wanderlust.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/lisette_cheresson_2021_headshot-1367×2048.jpg 1367w, https://wanderlust.com/wp- content / uploads / 2021/08 / lisette_cheresson_2021_headshot-200×300.jpg 200w, https://wanderlust.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/lisette_cheresson_2021_headshot-scaled.jpg 1709w "src =" https://wanderlust.com /wp-content/uploads/2021/08/lisette_cheresson_2021_headshot-513×768.jpg "data-sizes =" (max-width: 200px) 100vw, 200px "class =" alignleft wp-image-297056 lazyload "/> Lisette is the author, Yoga teacher and content director. She is a member of the founding leadership team of Yoga Unify, a new yoga non-profit, director of marketing at the Mammoth Yoga Festival, and co-author of The Yoga Almanac. Lisette completed her 200-hour training in Brooklyn and her Reiki attunement in India and deepened her studies with Leslie Kaminoff from the Breathing Project, Tiffany Cruikshank and Andrew Holecek. She is also a grief coach and death doula whose work focuses on integrating the tools of mindfulness and asanas for grief healing and end-of-life anxiety. As a previous life filmmaker, Lisette has made videos with community leaders such as Dharma Mittra, Eddie Stern, and Eoin Finn. She lives in the Hudson Valley, NY with her husband and animals.
Andrea Rice is a health and wellness writer and editor. Her work has appeared in the Yoga Journal, The Wanderlust Journal, mindbodygreen, Astrostyle, SONIMA and New York Yoga + Life. She also worked as a journalist for The New York Times and INDY Week. As a yoga teacher with ten years of experience, Andrea completed her 200-hour training in New York, NY; and promoted her training with Elena Brower and Alexandria Crow. She has also studied astrology extensively with The AstroTwins, Ophira and Tali Edut. Andrea has taught yoga, meditation, journaling, and creativity workshops in Brooklyn and Manhattan in New York, NY; and was a moderator at Wanderlust. She lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband and cat, where she teaches yoga at Blue Lotus and the North Carolina Museum of Art.
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