This month we once again welcome the arrival of the Mercury in retrograde. This is one of those astrological events we hear so much negative talk about, but in all honesty, it serves a purpose. One interesting thing I have noticed during this period, that even skeptics of astrology, during this period would complain about their mood or overall state without knowing what is going on. Planetary aspects affect us all to a degree, depending how sensitive we are to energy.
What does it mean when Mercury is in retrograde? In short, Mercury doesn’t actually move backwards it just looks as though it’s going backwards, but this is just in contrast and its position to the other planet’s movement. It’s kind of on a standstill, hence why things can seem to be slow moving and we can become frustrated and impatient during this period. Mercury is the planet that represents communication of all kinds, whether verbal, written, listening etc. It also rules travel and buying and selling, including negotiations. So during this time, we are advised to not make any hasty decisions, but instead take things slow and consider our thoughts, actions, words and decisions more carefully. During Mercury retrograde, we can also feel uncomfortable and perhaps even get into arguments more easily. So what can we do to embrace this time and create a shift to be in alignment with what Mercury is guiding us to do?
WORK ON YOUR THROAT CHAKRA
The energy centre in the body which governs communication is Vishudi, or the throat chakra. This is located at the centre of the throat and when in balance we can easily express ourselves, voice our ideas but also listen to others effectively and with good intention. As Mercury is the planet of communication, it’s a great idea to do some work in this area of the body. To activate and balance Vishudi, we can practice journaling, by expressing our thoughts, feelings and ideas on paper; we can do mantras to clear out toxins from the throat and activate the vocal cord and bringing balance to this part by the vibration of the mantra. Through hatha yoga, we can focus on a few asanas that open the throat and release toxins and blockages from this area. Click here to learn more about the throat chakra.
Fish pose/Matsyasana – opens the throat and expands the lungs capacity for deeper breathing by opening the chest. (click here for instructions in the pose)
Cobra pose/Bhujangasana – by bringing the head back, we open the throat. This asana also requires us to open the chest, therefore creating more space in the lungs for the breath to become deeper. (click here for instructions in the pose)
Plow pose/Halasana – regulates the thyroid, compresses the throat and opens the back of the neck. (click here for instructions in the pose)
TAKE A BREAK FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media has become one of the main mediums we now use for communication and connection with the world. But during this month, it would be a good time to take a break from the online world, and connect with the real world. Taking a break from social media will also give you more time to focus on yourself, reflect and go within. Since Mercury rules all forms of communication, it’s best to stay away from having to put too many things in writing, especially electronically. You might find yourself making rash comments or simply feel annoyed or aggravated by what you see people post, so take it easy and engage in real life conversations with supportive people who have good intentions towards you and vice-versa.
REFLECT, REVISIT & TAKE IT SLOW
There is a positive side to Mercury retrograde and that is that it requires us to take on a spiritual journey inward. As the levels of impatience, frustration and emotional outbursts may increase, this period asks us to slow down, to finish any unfinished business and to deal with let go of wounds from the past. Mercury retrograde periods can also sometimes bring back people from the past whom we have not yet got closure from or them from us. So it’s important to take this time and give yourself a spiritual, mental and emotional cleanse and release any past emotional energies from your energetic field so you can attract new ones in. As communication is so important this month, write down your thoughts, your fears, emotional state etc, find the root of the cause, and then learn to let go. After stormy Mercury retrograde, you will have much more clarity in your mind.
Whilst it can be a difficult and challenging period, if we choose to embrace this period and create some order in your life, this could really be a blessing. Remember to breathe in, breathe out, take a moment, consider what you are about to say, decide if it is important, and then decide if you will continue with it or not.
As February is coming to a close, we are getting ready to welcome beautiful March. Last month was all about practicing self-love, and now it’s the perfect opportunity to start a new month with a fresh approach. Getting to know yourself is such an important part of life. The truth is that we are always evolving and although at our core, we can have a strong foundation on who we are, life teaches us that we can change. And this is good, it’s how we grow and progress through life.
I recently discovered a great way to spend some quality time with myself and get to know who I have become. I love journaling, but I wanted to take it a step further. So I came up with a “me inventory” which can be practiced by everyone. It’s an easy way to see where you are at in this moment and remind yourself of all your dreams, aspirations and the greatness you possess within. It’s like speed dating yourself really, a fun and light hearted way to hit refresh mentally, physically and emotionally and discover yourself again.
Choose one afternoon/evening, brew yourself a nice cup of coffee or tea, get in your comfys and embrace your new self.
1. What is your favourite colour?
2. What is your go to snack?
3. Something you cannot live without…
4. Something you never leave the house without….
5. A habit or object you can easily give up…
6. What is our favour part of your body?
7. If you could have a super power, what would it be?
8. What is your favourite fitness exercise?
9. What is something that always makes you feel good?
10. What helps you relax?
11. What is something you wish you could do more of?
12. What is your life motto/mantra?
13. Who is somebody you always turn to when you have a problem or need advice?
14. What is your favourite season and why?
15. What is your favourite song?
16. What is a habit you love to do and why?
17. How do you best express yourself creatively?
18. Name 3 people who inspire you and write 3 qualities about each one as to why…
19. Your favourite fashion trend…
20. A fashion trend you detest…
21. How would you describe your personal style?
22. What is your favourite animal?
23. Favourite social media channel…
24. If you were a politician, what law would you bring in the world/what change would introduce for better?
25. What inspires you in life?
26. What is something people don’t know about you?
27. How would others describe you when they first meet you?
28. What is your pet peeve?
30. If you could do anything/career wise, what would it be and why?
31. Name three people in your life you love and write down 3 qualities about them that you appreciate…
32. What is your greatest fear in life?
33. Who is your ideal life partner? Write down the qualities that are important to you…
34. Your best qualities…(name 5)
35. Your not so good qualities…(name a few)
36. If you could go back in time to an experience in your life, what would you do differently and why?
37. Going back to that experience, what did you learn from it?
38. If you could give your 20-year-old self some life advice, what would it be?
39. Your biggest achievement in life so far is…
40. You in the near future…How do you envision your life to be?
41. Hidden or greatest talent…
42. What is one country on your “must see” list?
43. Your favourite city is…
44. Your all-time favourite movie is…
45. The TV show you can watch over and over again…
46. Your favourite drink is…
47. First thing you always do when you wake up in the morning…
48. Favourite hobby…
49. Write in order of preference: beach, mountain, forest
50. Your ideal Friday night is…
51. This always helps me relax…
52. When in love, I am….(write a few qualities)
53. If my life was a movie, it would be called… (name a few characters who would play an important role in it and why)
54. If today was my last day on Earth, I would…
55. A habit I would like to do more of this year is…
Hello super blood wolf full moon. This is quite a rare and beautiful event for us to become more still and create self-awareness. As this is the first full moon of the year, we have the opportunity to reflect and create space in the mind, body and soul to discover our hidden talents, what we really want to be doing and new wonderful ways in which we can express ourselves and our ideas to the world.
Starting the sequence with trikonasana and grounding to the earth. This asana works on the root chakra, our energy centre of balance and stability in the world. Place your feet firmly on the ground, connect with it and experience the beauty of feeling secure in your own body, knowing that when you have inner balance, the outer world will feel just the same.
HALF MOON POSE
Ardha Chandrasana seems like the appropriate asana to do during a full moon day. But this asana has many great benefits, including grounding and stillness of mind. Ardha Chandrasana strengthens the legs, tones the abdomen and helps relieve any stress or excess energy created by the mind’s wandering thoughts.
Like any of the warrior asanas, Virabadhrasana III is an empowering asana, bringing self-confidence and embracing your true self. Balance, strength and grounding are all qualities of a warrior and this asana will help you identify these within yourself.
DOWNWARD FACING DOG
Adho Mukka Svanasana wakes up the mind and energises the body. This asana provides a great stretch to the whole body and opens the chest, allowing for the breath to deepen. Adho Mukka Svanasana helps release any blockages from the physical, mental and emotional self and relieves fatigue and worry. Appreciating this present moment and letting go of whatever is no longer serving you. (Click here for step by step instructions)
On an energetic level, Kumbhakasana activates Manipura, the solar plexus chakra. This is the energy centre in the body where we connect with our inner power and embrace our will power. It requires you to engage the abdominal muscles and find your inner balance by trusting yourself, knowing you have the strength to pursue any experience with complete self-trust and self-awareness.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana energises the mind therefore giving you a boost of confidence. As this is a back bending pose, it empowers you to let go of the old and open your heart to the new. Wonderful experiences are everywhere if your perception of the world is in a state of clarity and inner peace. Setu bandha sarvangasana provides flexibility of the spine and with this comes flexibility of the mind. When you are open to adapt to different experience, you learn that each one comes with its lessons, all impacting your self-development in a growing, progressive phase.
Urdva Dhanurasana provides an even greater flexibility to the spine, but it also teaches you to see the world from a different angle. Sometimes, turning your world upside down, will provide the clarity you need to know where your path is headed. This asana might bring to surface unexpected past issues or emotional experiences you have buried in the past, not to take you back to those moments but to help you move on, removing the heavy burdens, releasing the old experiences, and welcoming in the new.
RECLINED HERO POSE
Supta virasana helps release symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression. Sometimes, we can be too much in our head and experience excess worry and overthinking. This asana provides a lovely calming effect to the nervous system and empowers you to relax, let go and just be in the present moment. As we are at the beginning of a new year, we need to create space in the mind in order to manifest the beautiful experiences that await.
Matsyanasa activates and balances Vishudi, the throat chakra. This is the energy channel in the body that represents freedom of expression and clear communication. Matsyasana empowers you to open this energy channel and release any blockages created by feeling afraid or ashamed to share your ideas with the world. When you release these negative blockages and realise that you have a voice, you can move forward with a liberating feeling of joy and communicate clearly.
Balasana is a reflective asana, providing you with a nurturing feel. This asana doesn’t require any physical effort, but instead it provides a peaceful moment of tranquillity, to reflect, release and move forward with self-love and self-confidence. I always think of balasana as giving myself a big hug, giving thanks to my body, mind, emotional and spiritual self and embracing all that I am in the present moment. It's also a good idea to repeat an affirmation during this asana and connect with its meaning, giving yourself the encouragement you need in order to believe in your mantra.
LEGS UP THE WALL
Viparita karani is another asana that requires no physical effort. All that is needed is your willingness to be still and create some space within. Letting go of any thoughts or feelings, during viparita karani you are open to connect with your consciousness and letting go of the ego’s needs to continuously guide you to the next moment. This asana boosts blood circulation in the legs, leaving you feel energised and ready to walk your path with confidence and clarity.
Valentine’s Day is almost here making February a month of love, warmth and kindness. Love itself can be expressed in different ways, but most importantly we need to be open to the idea of love ourselves. If we are not able to understand its power, we cannot accept it nor embrace it. Practicing the following asanas will help bring your awareness to your heart centre, purifying this space and bringing it into balance. When the heart chakra is balanced, we are able to give and receive love freely, allowing its powerful energy to travel outward and attract it inward.