Sections of this text seem in The Yoga Almanac: 52 Practices and Rituals to Keep Grounded By way of the Astrological Seasons, March 2020, New Harbinger Publications. Reprinted with permission: New Harbinger Publications, Inc. © 2020 Lisette Cheresson & Andrea Rice.
After a worldwide pandemic and a tumultuous political winter, the nascent blossoms, longer days, and hotter evenings have by no means felt so good. Spring is the season of planting seeds—each metaphorically and actually—of what we need to harvest come autumn. As we relish in these longer days and hotter evenings, we’re compelled to fling open the home windows and filter the cobwebs. Spring is an apt time to contemplate what a brand new starting can imply, how we need to develop into it, and what we have to do to harness the facility of this oft-frenetic contemporary begin.
The vernal equinox, on March 20 or 21 every year, corresponds with the beginning of Aries season. The equinox—when day and evening are equal—is characterised as a religious rebirth, or new starting. Simply because the leaves are starting to emerge and buds starting their bloom, so too can we emerge from the introspective season of winter, armed with the teachings we discovered by that lengthy, darkish, inward journey. It’s no shock that this will likely really feel extra related than ever, given the precise bodily hibernation of this previous winter introduced on by Covid lockdowns.
Rebirth + Awakening in Yogic Philosophy
The concept of rebirth is foundational to yogic philosophy. Reincarnation is, after all, a component of most religions within the Sanatana Dharma custom, together with Yoga, one of many six faculties of Hinduism. Reincarnation is the awakening after loss of life into the following life, circumscribed by karma. At its core, yoga itself is a apply of awakening. In Hinduism, Shakti is the primordial vitality of the universe. That is related to the divine female and the goddess Shakti or Devi, Lord Shiva’s all-powerful consort, however isn’t particular to gender.
Once we apply yoga, we’re aiming to awaken this Shakti vitality, depicted as a coiled snake curled in our root (Muladhara) chakra, that travels by way of our Sushumna (central column, akin to the spinal wire), towards our crown (Sahasara) chakra. Patanjali’s eight limbs are directives to stay a life in pursuit of this awakening as we proceed alongside the cycle of delivery, loss of life, and rebirth (samsara)—till we attain reunification with the divine.
Apply asks us to look at the interior blockages that preserve us from figuring out ourselves. This requires not solely willpower, however joyful willingness. By accepting our bodily limitations and celebrating our private progress, we develop into energetic contributors in our lives. Anchored on this basis, we plant potent seeds from which satisfaction and freedom from our personal inhibitions could develop. Simply as the foundation methods of crops and forests are interconnected, so too are we. Yogic principle posits that there is no such thing as a freedom from struggling—no awakening to final fact—until all beings are free.
What Does This Need to Do With Aries Season?
As the primary signal of the zodiac symbolized by the Ram, Aries is taken into account the astrological child, and is synonymous with contemporary begins. The vitality we really feel and share throughout Aries season has the awe and marvel of childhood—a brand new journey is usually circumscribed by emotions of pleasure, wholesome anxiousness, and braveness. Aries is a hearth signal and dominated by the celestial warrior Mars. This ensures that our awakening isn’t akin to that of childhood, however a driving drive that compels us ahead into the brand new astrological 12 months.
The Ram symbolizes this type of pioneering management, that helps us encapsulate the forward-moving momentum of the season. Aries is related to taking motion, and, similar to the blossoming timber, rising into the intentions we set throughout winter. Aries guidelines the top, face, and mind; a bodily illustration of the charging vitality introduced on by the Ram. Aries pushes onerous and quick, moderately than taking a measured method. A warning this time of 12 months to be cautious of burnout—give the seeds you plant ample time to take root.
Poses for Aries Season
Little one’s Pose (Balasana)
picture by YogaPedia
Little one’s Pose is symbolic for getting into into the world in a weak place. Once we start apply on this form of being born, we nurture our connection to supply. It’s a pose we revisit all through apply; a form the place we really feel at house in our our bodies. Little one’s Pose could also be practiced with knees collectively or huge, arms launched by your sides. This relieves rigidity within the higher physique to ask pure flexion in your thoracic backbone. To help your knees and hips, place a blanket between your seat and the backs of your knees. Prolonged Little one’s Pose is practiced with arms reaching overhead, facilitating shoulder extension. You can too stack your palms beneath along with your elbows huge to help your head and neck.
Little one’s Pose grounds us into our root (Muladhara) chakra, and prompts the third eye (Ajna) chakra by urgent brow to the bottom.
Ahead Fold (Uttanasana)
picture by YogaPedia
Translated from Sanskrit, Ut means intense; Tan is to stretch or lengthen. Logical Aries guidelines the mind, face, and head. A delicate inversion, Ahead Fold locations the top beneath the center, growing blood stream to the face. Ahead Fold stretches the fascia of the again physique, the connective tissue that encapsulates muscle and bone. The plantar fascia of the ft can also be manipulated because the soles anchor into the bottom. Training Ahead Fold doesn’t imply you need to contact your toes or the ground or preserve your legs completely straight. Maintain a comfortable bend within the knees to stabilize and strengthen your hamstrings, which in flip helps a wholesome and useful decrease again and impartial backbone.
Hinging on the hips engages the sacral (Svadhisthana) chakra, our heart of ardour and sexuality. Stabilizing the backbone by participating belly muscle tissues prompts the photo voltaic plexus (Manipura) chakra, the fiery heart of Aries’ proactive vitality and the seat of digestive organs. Ahead Folds are mentioned to enhance digestion and relieve menstrual cramps.
Arrow Lunge (Anjaneyasana variation)
picture by YogaPedia
This tailored model of a Crescent Lunge prompts the muscle tissues of the again physique (posterior chain). The dynamic form will be explored both with the again knee lowered and lifted, with the arms overhead or stretched behind, or with palms interlaced. Arrow Lunge strengthens the the glutes, hamstrings, lats, shoulder girdle, and the decrease again. You’ll be able to discover motion from a low lunge to Arrow along with your arms overhead and again knee down, after which carry your again knee, hinge ahead, and attain your arms again by your sides.
As you focus your “purpose” by extending by way of your head, you keep a powerful and impartial backbone and facilitate a gap of the crown (Sahasrara) chakra. Take into account what it’s you’re powerfully aiming towards. Embody the qualities of the unstoppable Ram in daring pursuit of your goals!
Lisette is a author, yoga trainer, and content material director. She’s a member of the founding management workforce for Yoga Unify, a brand new yoga non-profit, 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 Grasp Grief Coach and Dying Doula, whose work is targeted on integrating the instruments of mindfulness and asana for grief therapeutic and end-of-life anxiousness. A filmmaker in a previous life, Lisette has made movies with group leaders reminiscent of Dharma Mittra, Eddie Stern, and Eoin Finn. She lives along with her husband and animals within the Hudson Valley, NY.