In addition to being associated with unique personality characteristics, each zodiac sign has a traditional correspondence with different parts of the body and realms of health. Thus, we can turn to astrology when looking to design a holistic wellness regimen that meets our individual needs. I recommend yoga! Below you'll find a yoga pose that matches the characteristics of each of the 12 zodiac signs.
Aries: Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana 1)
Warrior 1 seems custom-made for pioneering Aries, the hero always ready for battle.
How to: Stand tall with your feet 3 feet apart. Turn your right foot 90 degrees to the right and your left foot 30 degrees in the same direction. Pivot your pelvis to the right, turning it toward the front of your mat. Lift your arms to the sky. Bend your right knee so it is over your ankle. Hold for 60 seconds and then do the pose on the other side.
Taurus: Cow Pose (Bitilasana)
A pose named after your astrological totem and one that honors your slow and steady rhythm.
How to: With your hands and shins on the floor and your back in tabletop position, have your neck in a neutral position with your eyes gazing toward the floor. As you inhale, lift your chest and sit bones to the sky while also dropping your belly toward the floor; this should create a gentle arch in your back. Lift your head and look straight in front of you for several seconds. Exhale, and then move your spine back into a neutral tabletop position. Repeat 12 times.
Gemini: Cobra (Bjujangasana)
If you're a communicative Gemini that spends a lot of time hunched over the computer, Cobra — and its shoulder- and chest-opening benefits — may be right up your alley.
How to: Lie facedown on your mat with the tops of your feet touching the floor. Place your hands on the floor next to your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body. Keep your pubic bone, legs, and feet rooted into the floor, and then press through your palms to lift your chest in a slight backward arch. Keep your shoulders rolled back and down as you lift through your sternum, staying in the pose for up to 30 seconds. To leave the pose, exhale and come down slowly.
Cancer: Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
This asana stretches the legs while also enhancing the health of the Cancer-ruled sinuses and stomach. It's also known as waterfall pose, a name well-suited to your aqueous nature.
How to: Stand tall with your feet together and hands on your hips. Bend forward at your hips. Bring your fingertips or palms to the floor in front of your feet, and keep your legs straight without locking your knees. If the floor is not within reach, slightly bend your knees, let your arms hang down and grab opposite elbows. Let your head hang down, and stay here for up to one minute. To rise, roll up through your spine one vertebra at a time.
Leo: Cat (Marjaryasana)
This feline-inspired posture reflects the spirit of your animal totem, the lion, while also gently opening up your middle back, creating more space in the Leo-ruled heart.
How to: Place your hands and knees in tabletop position. Your neck should be in a neutral position with your eyes gazing toward the floor. Exhale, and round your back toward the ceiling. Release your head between your arms so the crown of your head points toward the floor. Hold for several sections. Inhale and move your spine back to tabletop position, staying here for several seconds. Repeat the sequence 10 times.
Virgo: Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottansana)
This mind-calming asana honors precision and is more complex than it seems — a great way to describe denizens of your sign.
How to: Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Make sure your sit bones are on the floor. Push your legs into the floor and flex your feet. Inhaling, lengthen your torso and slowly bend forward at your hips. Grab in front of you, the sides of your feet or your shins, while you point your gaze toward your toes. Lengthen your torso with each inhalation, going gently deeper into the bend. Stay in the pose for one to two minutes.
Libra: Boat Pose (Navasana)
This is a great way to practice balance, something your sign inherently feels magnetized toward doing.
How to: Sit on the floor. Your knees should be bent and your feet on the floor. Hold the back of your lower thighs, lift your sternum, and lean your torso back slightly. Gently roll back so that your feet lift off the floor and you're balancing on your sit bones. Allow your shins to be parallel to the floor or try to straighten your legs. If you can, release your hands and straighten your arms, pointing them toward your feet, having them be parallel to the floor. Stay in the pose for one minute.
Scorpio: Garland Pose (Malasana)
This intense pose is a match for intense Scorpios, and one that will help open up tension in areas of the body — including the pelvis —governed by your sign.
How to: Move into a squat, having your feet as close together as possible. If your heels don't rest comfortably on the floor, support them on a folded mat. Lean your torso forward and separate your thighs a little wider than your torso. Press your elbows against your inner thighs, and bring your palms together. You can also go deeper into the pose by outstretching your arms forward and then swinging them around the outside of your legs. Reach your hands for the backs of your ankle. Hold the pose for up to one minute.
Sagittarius: Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana 2)
In this expansive pose you can gaze toward the horizon, something that Sagittarius is inclined toward doing.
How to: Stand tall and walk your feet about 4 feet apart. Outstretch your arms and have your palms facing down. Rotate your right foot 90 degrees to the right and your left foot 30 degrees in the same direction. Ensuring your heels are in the same line, bend your right knee so your shin is perpendicular to the floor, and it is above your right foot. Extend your arms wide, stretch your shoulder blades, and gaze over the top of your right fingers. Stay in pose for up to one minute and then repeat on the other side.
Capricorn: Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Steadfast Mountain Pose for Capricorn, the pragmatic mountain goat — it's a perfect match!
How to: Stand straight with your feet together. Tighten your quad muscles and lengthen your spine. Press your shoulders down, lengthen your neck, and rest your arms at your side, or bring to the center of your chest. Feel a strong line of energy from your feet to the crown of your head, stretching your head toward the sky. Stay in the pose for up to one minute.
Aquarius: Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
This is a great pose to bring circulation to the calves and ankles, parts of the body governed by your sign.
How to: Place your knees and hands on the floor, with your knees below your hips and your wrists in front of your shoulder. Your fingers should be spread wide with your middle finger pointing forward. Push your knees gently away from the floor, straightening your legs. Your knees should not be locked. With your sit bones lifted to the sky, try to move your heels down to touch the floor. Draw your broadened shoulder blades down your back as your head rests between your arms. Stay in the pose for a couple of minutes.
Pisces: Child's Pose (Balasana)
Not only does this pose stretch the Pisces-ruled feet, but it's also said to stimulate the third eye, the seat of your psychic abilities.
How to: Kneel on the floor; your knees should be together and the tops of your feet should be on the floor. Rest your buttocks on your heels, and bend forward so that your torso rests on your thighs and your forehead on the floor. Either extend your arms straight out in front of you or place them by your sides with your palms next to your feet. Stay in the pose for one to two minutes.