3 Yoga Poses for the New Moon Solar Eclipse

The new moon solar eclipse on Sunday, May 20th yields a great opportunity to look within and gather your awareness onto the abundance of your life. Use this auspicious time to set a solid intention or commitment. Let your yoga and meditation practice be the tools to help steer you in the direction you would like to move towards in the coming months.

This special solar eclipse occurs in Gemini which according to Western and Vedic astrology affects the shoulders, arms, and the hands. Take time to honor and connect with these parts of the body by incorporating these three yoga poses into your practice:

1. Cat/Cow (Marjaryasana/Bitilasana). Start on all fours on your hands and knees in table top position. Hands are shoulder distance apart and the knees are hip distance apart. On an exhale, arch the back, lower the head, bringing the chin toward the chest. Press the head between the shoulders. On an inhale, hollow the back and raise the head to look forward, shoulders draw away from your ears. Make these two movements slow and deliberate. Continue the cycle for 30 seconds. This is a relaxing stretch for the shoulders and back.

2. Cow-Face Posture (Gomukhasana). Sit in a cross-legged position. Raise the right arm and bend it to the rear, with the palm placed on the center of the back. Bring the left arm to the rear from the waist. Clasp the fingers together or use a towel or strap and stretch the elbows in opposite directions. Elongate through your spine and look forward. Hold for 10-20 seconds, breathing deeply. Repeat on the other side. The benefits of this pose include toning the upper arms and shoulders, cleanses the lungs, and calms the mind.

3. Eagle Pose (Garudasana). Stand in mountain pose (Tadasana). Look straight ahead and fix your gaze on a single point. Breathe deeply to focus the mind. Begin by placing both hands on the hips. Bend the knees slightly and lift the right leg off the floor, shifting the body weight onto the left leg. Bring the right leg in front of the left thigh and tuck the right instep behind the left calf. Use the toes to hook and secure this leg position. Bring the elbows in front of the chest and cross the arms so that the left elbow is closer to the chest. Twine the left arm around the right arm and press the palms together. Hold for 20 seconds, breathing deeply. Pause in mountain pose before repeating on the other side. This pose helps to stretch not only the shoulders and upper back but the hips and thighs as well.

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