Sections of this text seem 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.
Summer time’s on: the season of lush blooming, levity, and play. The summer season solstice kicks off Most cancers season on June 20 or 21 of yearly—the start of a type of non secular homecoming. Whereas this playful and relaxed season might really feel busy for its rush of social occasions and holidays, Most cancers season is a chance to think about precisely what permits a way of safety and security, even within the throes of exterior obligation. On this season of bounty, our practices grow to be a conduit for exploration of the abundance inside; a way to have a tendency our inside gardens in order that we might maximize the consumption of our non secular harvest.
Most cancers season asks us what it actually means to come back dwelling to ourselves, and to create the situations to thrive in that nest.
Because the fourth signal of the zodiac wheel, Most cancers symbolizes the divine female and is dominated by the moon, and is related to the third eye (Ajna) chakra in Vedic astrology. Throughout Most cancers season, taking time for introspection and nurturing the self might help us get again in contact with our coronary heart’s true wishes. On the solstice, then, we will acknowledge the solar in addition to the moon. Most cancers is symbolized by the Crab, with its laborious protecting outer shell that gives a house wherever it goes. Regardless of its thorny exterior, the Crab, after all, has a gentle, delicate underbelly that actually feels each bump on the highway. It’s the dichotomy of security and sensitivity, of safety and vulnerability. As social engagements ramp up, the Crab’s gentle underbelly reminds us to stay gentle and straightforward, whilst we guard our personal time.
The symbolic relationship of the Divine Female and the Crab is attention-grabbing to notice, as maternal vitality is without delay fiercely protecting, whereas remaining a delicate salve for ache. Within the wake of the pandemic, the energies of Most cancers season are much more pertinent, as we embrace the return of in-person gatherings whereas remaining delicate to our collective losses and protecting of our private (and collective!) well being.
How Cancerian Vitality Reveals Up on the Mat
The thought of nurturing a house inside oneself is, in reality, one of the vital primary concepts of yoga philosophy. Within the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali outlines the niyamas, the code of ethics that asks us to go inward, and have a tendency to ourselves with a purpose to be of service. The 5 niyamas are saucha (cleanliness, that means caring for your physique); santosha (contentment, creating the situations for sustainable serenity); tapas (self-discipline, a “burning away” wishes or wants that preserve us spiritually trapped); svadhyaya (self-reflection or self-knowledge); and isvaraprahnidaha (give up).
After we flip inward and create the situations for a wholesome, balanced, protecting however gentle relationship with ourselves, we’re most in a position to embrace the enjoyment and levity of the summer season season.
Poses for Most cancers Season
Supine Knee-to-Chest Pose (Apanasana)
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Prana is our life pressure, the vitality that strikes by way of us, carried on breath and nurtured in apply. Apana, conversely, is the discharge of prana; the breath shifting outward, clearing the physique of poisons. Straight translated from Sanskrit as “wind relieving pose,” Knee-to-Chest Pose cleanses the house of our physique with important life pressure. Starting in Corpse Pose connects us to the bottom. Tilting the pelvis barely ahead might help to launch pressure within the lumbar to attract the decrease again right into a pure C-shape curve, and alleviate sciatic ache. Rocking forwards and backwards and in round motions across the again of the pelvis can mitigate pressure on this area. Hugging knees to chest stimulates the abdominals and improves digestion.
Connection to the earth grounds us into our root (Muladhara) chakra, our seat of familial ties and ancestral reminiscence, encouraging us to connect with that basis from which to develop. Our third (Photo voltaic Plexus) chakra is our heart of confidence; the facility heart of self. After we nourish the house of our physique, we create the sense of confidence to go ahead into the world.
Reclined Sure Angle, Cobbler’s Pose, or Butterfly Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
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Sure Angle, also called Cobbler’s Pose, was named for the sitting place of cobblers in India. This posture cultivates softening and stillness, serving to to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, our rest-and-digest response. In yin yoga, the form, generally known as Reclined Butterfly, is commonly supported with props, resembling blocks positioned beneath the outer knees, for consolation, longevity, and a deeper, extra meditative expertise.
Reclined Sure Angle is a restorative hip-opener that stretches the groins and inside thighs, and stimulates the belly and reproductive organs. This rouses the sacral (Svadhisthana) chakra; aligning with these inventive waters invokes the fertility of the goddess Shakti to provide beginning to new concepts. A delicate opening of the chest and coronary heart (Anahata) chakra is facilitated by inserting the arms broad, grabbing reverse elbows overhead, or drawing the arms right into a cactus form. For a deeper inner expertise, palms might relaxation on the stomach because the gaze is directed to the third eye (Ajna) chakra.
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Historical Buddhist artwork depicts Lotus Pose because the posture the Buddha, Siddhartha, took whereas sitting in meditation for seven weeks, which led to his enlightenment beneath the Bodhi tree. Full Lotus is a complicated seated pose that requires flexibility within the legs and knees, and energy within the core. If vary of movement is restricted within the hips or the knees are delicate, strive crossing one leg for half Lotus. If half Lotus shouldn’t be accessible, strive Straightforward Pose (Sukhasana) in its place. Lotus cultivates a robust sense of stability and grounding, and permits the backbone to elongate. Constant apply might help to stimulate blood move within the pelvic area, which helps relieve menstrual pressure or sciatica ache.
A meditation pose, Lotus engages the basis (Muladhara) chakra and the third eye (Ajna) chakra. The third eye is related to the moon, the cosmic ruler of Most cancers. Drawing your consideration to the area between your eyebrows gives a direct lifeline again to your personal sense of inside understanding. Lotus Pose is most related, nevertheless, with the opening of the crown (Sahasrara) chakra. Symbolized by a thousand-petaled lotus flower, an open and receptive crown chakra is the manifestation of our private blossoming; of the deep private work that has allowed us to develop into our fullest potential. Optionally, deliver the heels of the palms collectively, with the thumbs and pinky fingers to the touch, to kind a Lotus mudra.
Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana)
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Goddess vitality, the inventive vitality of the universe, is mentioned in tantric texts as Shakti vitality, the female psycho-spiritual pressure that balances the masculine Shiva. It will possibly manifest in myriad methods: A name to delve into private discovery, to nurture a deep, trustworthy relationship with the innermost self, and to at all times reside within the pursuit of ardour. “Utkata” roughly interprets from the Sanskrit as “highly effective” or “fierce.” Goddess Pose awakens the Shakti vitality all of us, no matter gender, possess.
This empowering pose requires stability and stability, and gives a deep stretch to the inside thighs, hips, and groin, in addition to core engagement. It’s a heat-building pose that stimulates and helps good circulation, and can be a pelvic ground strengthener which may be utilized in preparation for childbirth.
Goddess Pose stimulates the sacral (Svadhisthana) chakra, the middle of creativity and sensuality. Because the third (Manipura) chakra is engaged, the backbone can lengthen to permit vitality to move freely. Engagement of this energy heart bolsters the muse of our inside reserves as we pursue our private passions.
Lisette is a author, yoga trainer, and content material director. She’s a member of the founding management crew for Yoga Unify, a brand new yoga non-profit, the Director of Advertising at Mammoth Yoga Competition, and the co-author of The Yoga Almanac. Lisette accomplished her 200-hour coaching in Brooklyn and her Reiki attunement in India, and furthered her research with Leslie Kaminoff of the Respiratory Venture, Tiffany Cruikshank, and Andrew Holecek. She’s additionally a Grief Coach and Dying Doula, whose work is targeted on integrating the instruments of mindfulness and asana for grief therapeutic and end-of-life nervousness. A filmmaker in a previous life, Lisette has made movies with group leaders resembling Dharma Mittra, Eddie Stern, and Eoin Finn. She lives along with her husband and animals within the Hudson Valley, NY..
Andrea Rice is a author and editor overlaying well being and wellness. Her work has appeared in Yoga Journal, The Wanderlust Journal, mindbodygreen, Astrostyle, SONIMA, and New York Yoga+Life. She has additionally labored as a journalist for The New York Occasions and INDY Week. As a yoga trainer with a decade of expertise, Andrea accomplished her 200-hour coaching in New York, NY; and furthered her coaching with Elena Brower and Alexandria Crow. She has additionally studied astrology extensively with The AstroTwins, Ophira and Tali Edut. Andrea has supplied 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, NC, along with her husband and their cat, the place she teaches yoga at Blue Lotus and the North Carolina Museum of Artwork.