The next zodiac sign in our series of astrological yoga is Gemini: a mutable air sign—where air represents the mind—that's considered the most intelligent of the zodiac. Geminis (who just recently celebrated their birthdays, May 21 through June 20) are great teachers, writers, reporters, and salespeople due to their charm, wit, and great facility for communication.
Geminis tend to overwork their strong minds, thereby overloading their nervous systems and bodies. In order to balance their lives, they must learn how to quiet their minds. Therefore, yoga for Geminis has to be designed in a way that the poses they perform take up all of their attention. By using these, they give a much-needed rest to their busy minds. A challenging yoga sequence will work best.
The symbolism for Gemini is the duality between the human and the divine. When balance through yoga is achieved, divinity is reached.
Focus: In the physical body, Gemini rules the shoulders, arms, hands, lungs, and nervous system. Eagle pose is a challenging asana that works on all these elements and is therefore a great start for this sequence.
How-To: From standing, bend both knees slightly. Lift the right leg off the ground and wrap it around the left with the right toes working to hook around the left calf. Cross your arms across your torso with the left underneath the right. From there, work toward crossing the forearms to bring the palms together. Hold for 6 to 8 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Revolved Chair Variation (Parivritta Utkatasana)
Focus: This deeper and more challenging balance requires even more concentration than eagle pose. This focus will work well to quiet the busy Gemini mind.
How-To: From standing, bend both knees deeply, lowering your hips as if sitting in a chair. Lift your right leg off the ground and place the end of your right shin directly above your left knee. Bring your torso parallel to the ground with hands joined at heart center. Twist your torso toward the left bringing your right elbow to the sole of your right foot. Press into the hands to deepen the twist. Hold for 6 breaths and repeat on the other side.
8 Angle Pose (Astavakrasana)
Focus: Intelligent Geminis will love the challenge of achieving 8 angle pose. Performance of this pose gives them more balance, satisfaction, and peace of mind.
How-To: Sit is staff pose (dandasana) with both legs extended straight forward on the ground. Bend your right knee and draw it into your torso. Hold onto the right foot with your left hand and slide the right shoulder beneath the underside of the right knee by lifting the right leg and sliding the right shoulder underneath. Squeeze the right leg into the torso as you plant both hands beside you. Gently lean forward while moving the left foot to hook above the right foot. Keeping your elbows bent, press into your hands firmly, lean forward, lift your torso off the ground, and extend the legs to your right. Hold for 3 breaths; repeat on the other side.
Mermaid Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
Focus: After a series of challenging and strenuous poses, Geminis will be ready to appreciate the deep opening of mermaid pose. In this asana, breathing becomes the main point of attention to keep the Gemini’s mind at rest.
How-To: From your hands and knees, bring your right foot to rest behind your left hand and your right knee behind your right hand. Slide your left leg as far back as possible. Lift your left shin off the ground and reach back for it with the inside of your left elbow. Reach your right hand up and over your right shoulder and grasp left and right hands. Hold for 8 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Half Lotus & Half Hero Twist (Bharadvajasana)
Focus: This twist is healing for your lungs and nervous system. Keep your attention on your breathing—each inhale is rejuvenating, and each exhale is cleansing.
How-To: Sit in half hero’s pose with the top of your right shin and foot resting flat on the ground to the right of your right glute. Bend your left knee and place the top of the left foot into your right hip crease for half lotus. Twist to your right, reach your hand behind your back and hold the left toes, and plant the back of the left hand against the outside of the left thigh to use as a lever to twist deeper. Sit up as straight as possible; hold for 6 to 8 breaths; repeat on the other side.
Elevated Lotus (Utthita Padmasana)
Focus: Elevated lotus is a great final challenging pose that works great for balancing and arm strength. Savor the sensation of this position before wrapping up the sequence.
How-To: Sit in lotus position and plant your hands flat into the ground besides your hips. With an exhale, press your hands into the ground as you lift your hips off the ground and knees slightly toward your chest. Hold for 3 to 5 breaths. Repeat with the other leg on top.
Accomplished Pose (Siddhasana)
Focus: After going through the challenge of this balancing and strengthening yoga sequence, Geminis will be ready to sit with closed eyes and not a thought in mind. In order to succeed in this pose, keep your attention on your breathing.
How-To: Bring your left food to the outside of your perineum and stack your right foot atop the left so that your heels stack. Grab your left toes and pull them up so that they gently hook the outside of the right shin. Sit with a tall spine stacking ears over shoulders and shoulders over hips.
About the model: Dan Litvin is co-author of this post and a Gemini, born on June 3.