Posted on Leave a comment

What the Latest Yoga Statistics Reveal About Us

“], “filter”: { “nextExceptions”: “img, blockquote, div”, “nextContainsExceptions”: “img, blockquote, a.btn, a.o-button”} }”>

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members!
>”,”name”:”in-content-cta”,”type”:”link”}}”>Download the app.

The practice of yoga can seem as though it’s an individual experience, one that’s typically confined to a 24-by-72-inch mat. And, to some extent, it is. We unroll our mats and settle into our own unique rhythm of movement and stillness. But recently released yoga statistics remind us that the practice extends far beyond our own experiences.

Yoga Alliance collected survey information from more than 11,000 yoga practitioners, teachers, studio owners, and the public at large across 10 countries in a yearlong research project. The nonprofit association sets standards among yoga teachers and teacher trainings who register with it.

The survey, named “Yoga in the World,” was initiated to explore the preferences and demographics of yoga goers, teachers, and studio owners. According to a press release, the study intended “to benchmark and track not only yoga trends around the globe, but public perception and barriers that prevent individuals from practicing yoga.”

It does exactly that by providing a glimpse into the who, what, why, and where of our collective practice. “It’s a baseline, a measuring tool against which we can compare numbers next time” says Toni Carey, head of strategic communications at Yoga Alliance. “There’s work to do. And it’s not going to change overnight. But it starts with awareness.”

Following is a look at the numbers, as well as some of the insights behind the numbers, so that we can continue to understand how many of us come to the same practice with different experiences—and what we can do to make the practice of yoga more equitable.

What the Latest Yoga Statistics Reveal About Us

(Illustration: Yoga Alliance)

More of Us Are Practicing Yoga

Survey Says: In 2022, 38.4 million Americans, or 11 percent of the population, practiced yoga. That’s significantly more than the 36.7 million who had unrolled their mats in 2016, the previous year in which Yoga Alliance collected data.

Context: More people practicing yoga is unequivocally good. The question we need to continue to explore, though, is whether everyone who wants to practice yoga can access it.

Why We Practice Yoga

Survey Says: An overwhelming number of respondents in Chile, Germany, Kenya, Nigeria, United Kingdom, and the U.S. cited “stress release” as a primary reason for practicing yoga. The previous survey in 2016, which was only conducted in the U.S., named “flexibility” as the most common incentive to try yoga. It’s a pretty stark contrast, which is fitting given the events of the last several years.

Context: More and more of us are understanding the influence that slowing the breath and becoming aware of ourselves can exert on our emotional state.

The release of the study coincides with a recently published report on stress by the American Psychological Association, explains Dr. Gail Parker, a psychologist, certified yoga therapist, author, and president of the Black Yoga Teachers Alliance. Titled “Stress in America 2023,” the report concludes there is “mounting evidence that our society is experiencing the psychological impacts of a collective trauma.”

The report confirms what we know, which is that “the COVID-19 pandemic, global conflicts, racism and racial injustice, inflation, and climate-related disasters are all weighing on the collective consciousness of Americans.”

What the stats do not disclose is how yoga helps us navigate turbulent emotions. Most of us can appreciate that yoga-stoned state we tend to experience after class. But we are not always taught that the very things we practice in class—slowing the breath, quieting the thoughts, becoming aware of where we’re holding tension—are available to us at any moment.

Rather than needing to chase that post-class experience by desperately racing back to the studio, we can learn how to draw on the breath, the focus, and the awareness outside of class.

“As a psychologist, when I was introduced to yoga, especially to restorative yoga, it was very clear to me that this practice was a way into a person’s awareness of self, not just on the physical level, but in every aspect of self,” says Dr. Parker.

Why We Don’t Practice Yoga

Survey Says: When respondents were asked what kept them from practicing yoga, the primary reason cited was, “No time.”

Context: No surprise. But what many of us still don’t realize is it’s no longer necessary to choose between an hour-long yoga class and nothing. In recent years, online yoga platforms have responded to the surge of interest in shorter practice options with an abundance of options, many in the 10- and 20-minute range. Although we might prefer a longer class, any yoga is better than no yoga.

Even pausing to practice a single pose with awareness and focus (as much as we can muster in the moment, anyways) can change our experience of just about everything. That pose can take shape while you’re standing in line at the store, doing dishes at the sink, or turning your camera off for a minute during a work meeting.

We’re Practicing Yoga With Our Friends

Survey Says: Whereas many say we want to try yoga, what actually prompts many of us to follow through on taking class is attending with a friend.

Context: Some of the hesitation of trying something new can be mitigated by not having to do it alone, says Carey.

So rather than deliver that well-intentioned lecture about how someone would benefit from yoga, consider inviting them to try a class with you (make sure it’s a beginner-friendly class). Many yoga teachers anecdotally report seeing more and more students attending all styles of class in groups of two or more, especially in the evenings.

Perhaps yoga can help regulate our emotional state not only through our physical practice but the social connection we experience before, during, and after our practice.

We’re Not As Diverse As We Could Be…

Survey Says: Those who practice yoga in the U.S., U.K., and Germany are most likely to identify as female and white.

Context: There’s still a tremendous amount of work to be done in terms of inclusivity and diversity in the yoga space.

The numbers have been slowly heading somewhat in a better direction, at least in the U.S. Yoga practitioners who identify with underrepresented populations—the categories in the survey include Black, Hispanic, and Asian—are within several points of the population percentages reported in the US Census Bureau for 2022. Those who identify as transgender comprise .88 percent of survey respondents, compared to recent Census Bureau polling that placed the national average at one percent of the U.S. population.

However, that data doesn’t always translate to our class experience. Some respondents in the survey’s focus groups expressed that they were “keenly aware that they were the only person of color and/or male in the class.”

Part of the difficulty in working toward inclusivity and diversity is it can be overwhelming and seemingly impossible to correct the situation at large. “I think it’s really important for studio owners to try to be representative of the communities where we live,” says yoga teacher Pranidhi Varshney, who founded Yoga Shala West in West Los Angeles. “Let’s focus on serving the community that we’re in.”

…And We Need Even More Diversity Among Yoga Teachers & Studio Owners

Survey Says: Those percentages of underrepresented populations in the yoga space change drastically when we look at yoga teachers and studio owners in the U.S. The percentage who identify as Black, Hispanic, or Asian collapses to almost single digits. Zero percent of the teacher and studio owner respondents identify as transgender.

Context: “The survey revealed distinct demographic inequities within the yoga community,” explains Carey. “It lends context to something that a lot of people in the yoga community have been talking about, yelling about, screaming about for a really long time. You can see it in the numbers.”

The effect is felt not just by would-be yoga teachers who do not have access to training but students who cannot find yoga teachers who resemble themselves. Walking into a class where no one looks like us can be intimidating, says yoga teacher and former social worker Stephanie Acosta.

Some respondents in the focus groups noted that they had “intentionally searched for a yoga teacher with the same race/ethnicity,” according to Yoga Alliance. That feeling of isolation can also relate to gender identity, body shape, age, and countless other scenarios.

Although just because we don’t see diverse teachers in studios doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t teaching yoga, explains Jana Long, the executive director of the Black Yoga Teachers Alliance. Long has practiced yoga for 50 years and led classes for close to 20 years. Her experience is that Black yoga teachers often teach in places that are accessible to the people in communities where they live, such as churches, recreation and senior centers, schools, and homes.

The conversations that have been initiated in recent years around creating circumstances that allow for more relatable role models in classes and yoga teacher trainings need to continue. And they are nuanced. “How do these communities want to engage with the practice? How does it fit into their cultural context and their histories? A lot of that can only be uncovered through dialogue,” says Carey.

Most of Us Have Practiced Yoga at Home

Survey Says: When asked, “In which of these venues have you ever practiced yoga,” nearly 75 percent of respondents in the U.S. conveyed that they have practiced at home. The second most commonly cited location were studios.

Context: Practicing at home brings certain advantages. There’s no commute, possibly no need to change attire, and, for some of us, no need for childcare.

The decision of where to practice is made by some out of convenience, but others are forced into that option out of financial constraints. Although in-person, donation-based classes exist, what isn’t always apparent to well-intended teachers and studios is that putting one donation-based class on the schedule isn’t sufficient. Sometimes there are other restrictions beyond the cost of class.

Noemi Nunez, a bilingual yoga teacher in Denver, Colorado, has studied the situation in her community to understand potential reasons for lack of participation among underserved populations. As a result, she has began writing grants, in partnership with local organizations, which secure the financial support needed. Nunez can provide not only free classes but mats, props, transportation, and childcare.

Varshney, who instituted a sliding scale rate at her shala, reminds us that there are also unexpected places where we can practice and teach yoga that aren’t studios.

Most Yoga Teachers Rely on Yoga as Their Primary Source of Income

Survey Says: In the U.S., nearly 75 percent of the teachers surveyed indicated that leading yoga classes is their primary source of income.

Context: Most yoga teachers are contracted at a flat rate for the hour spent instructing a class.
Compensation for an hour-long yoga class varies dramatically depending on teaching experience and other considerations. Although the survey did not indicate income, compensation for a studio or gym class typically falls between $20 and $50.

That rate does not include the time spent commuting, answering students’ questions, preparing the sequence for class, and creating a playlist. There is also no compensation for transportation, music streaming platforms, or continued training.

Many full-time teachers consider a full schedule to be approximately 15 classes a week. Newer yoga teachers tend to enthusiastically take on more classes a week than is sustainable, and eventually lessen their schedule—and their take-home pay—to reflect reality. Do the math and the challenge inherent in teaching yoga to the exclusion of any other work becomes apparent.

Acosta launched a GoFundMe campaign to finance her tuition. She later founded Yogis Unidos, a global community of Latinx yoga teachers who support one another and raises funds for yoga teacher training scholarships. “I want to pay it forward,” she says.

Many full-time yoga teachers supplement their studio income with one-on-one yoga sessions, teaching at higher-paying corporations and resorts, leading workshops, retreats, or yoga teacher trainings. Those teachers will tell you it’s a hustle culture. And it’s exhausting.

“It’s so, so, so rare to rely on yoga as a livelihood without supplementing it in any way,” says Varshney. She only considers teaching to be a sustainable career if you are getting sponsorships and “becoming sort of celebrity status.”

The irony of this stress is not lost on teachers and studio owners. Yet there are also implications for students. What do we lose when knowledgeable teachers with diverse backgrounds and experiences can no longer afford to share their time and talents? What happens when those responsible for sharing yoga are unable to afford the time or tuition to further their studies?

Where Do We Go From Here?

It’s interesting to see trends and similarities among practitioners around the world. It’s also sobering to be confronted with how much work remains before the practice of yoga becomes truly accessible and inclusive, something that many have been talking about and working toward for years.

Numbers can change but not from good intentions alone. Although there have been areas of progress, it’s past time for more of us to commit to creating change in our small corner of the world even as we continue to engage in a broader dialogue. This takes many shapes, including seeking out those whose work in the yoga space informs and inspires us, and then holding ourselves accountable for taking that information and bringing it into our yoga spaces. Conversation to be continued.

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

5 Simple Poses for a Full-Body Stretch

“], “filter”: { “nextExceptions”: “img, blockquote, div”, “nextContainsExceptions”: “img, blockquote, a.btn, a.o-button”} }”>

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members!
>”,”name”:”in-content-cta”,”type”:”link”}}”>Download the app.

Before I became a yoga teacher, I sat at a desk for eight hours a day, five days a week, and commuted an hour each way. I thought I was taking care of myself by practicing yoga after work, but all that sitting still created tremendous pain in my lower back. I tried taking breaks and standing up every hour or so, but it was only when I added desk yoga poses to my everyday routine that I began to experience relief.

The effects of sitting for hours at a time can incur devastating—and different—effects on each of us. The following desk yoga stretches bring some release to the various muscle groups that may otherwise become tight and irritated, including the neck, shoulders, hips, and back side of the body.

You may find that pausing bringing awareness to how your body feels, and stretching benefits your focus and helps you quiet your multitasking thoughts, even after you return to work.

5 Essential Desk Yoga Poses

You can practice these desk yoga poses all at once or sneak one or two in between meetings and deadlines.

(Photo: Patrick Franco)

1. Palms Interlaced Overhead

Why it helps: Stretches your chest and shoulders.

How to: Sit tall in your desk chair. Interlace your fingers in front of your chest and press your palms away from you. Keep them interlaced as you reach your arms overhead. (You’ll probably feel some resistance in your shoulders and neck. Try bending your elbows, moving your arms back a little more, and then straightening your arms again.) Gaze straight ahead or look toward the ceiling. Stay here for 5-10 breaths. Switch the interlacing of your fingers and repeat.

Man sitting in a chair at a desk twisting to one side to stretch his oblique muscles.
(Photo: Patrick Franco)

2. Seated Twist

Why it helps: Stretches the muscles along the spine.

How to: Sit tall in your desk chair. Take your arms straight out from your shoulders in a T-shape and then twist to your right. Place your left hand on your outer right knee or thigh and rest your right arm either on the chair arm or chair back similar to Half Lord of the Fishes (Ardha Matsyendrasana). Press through your heels, breathe in, and sit tall. Breathe out and twist your abdomen, chest, and, lastly, your head more toward the right. Stay here for 5-10 breaths. Switch sides.

Man sitting in a chair leaning off to one side while practicing desk yoga.
(Photo: Patrick Franco)

3. Side Bend

Why it helps: Stretches the side body from your hips to your armpits.

How to: Sit tall in your desk chair. Take your feet slightly wider than your hips and angle your feet outward. Place your right forearm on your right thigh, lean to your right, and extend your left arm over your head alongside your left ear, as you would for Extended Side Angle (Utthita Parsvakonasana). Breathe in and lengthen from your left hip to your fingertips as you open the side body. Breathe out and begin to turn your chest toward the ceiling. Stay here for 5-10 breaths. Switch sides.

Man sitting in a chair with his right ankle crossed over his left knee in a figure-4 shape while practicing desk yoga
(Photo: Patrick Franco)

4. Ankle Over Knee

Why it helps: Stretches your lower back and glutes.

How to: Sit tall in your desk chair. Place your right ankle over your left knee in a figure-4 shape. Flex your right foot and press through your left heel as you lean your right knee toward the floor. Breathe in and lift your chest. Breathe out and stay still or lean your chest forward over your legs. Let your neck relax. Stay here for 5-10 breaths. Switch sides.

Man sitting in a chair leaning forward while practicing desk yoga
(Photo: Patrick Franco)

5. Forward Fold

Why it helps: Releases almost the entire back side of the body.

How to: Sit tall in your desk chair. Make sure your legs are wide enough for your body to fit comfortably between your thighs. Breathe in and lift your chest, breathe out and lean your chest forward in between your legs similar to Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana). Bring your hands to the floor, if they reach, and let your neck completely relax. Stay here for 10-20 breaths.

About Our Contributor

Patrick Franco, E-RYT500, is a yoga instructor and director at YogaRenew Teacher Training Online. He leads in-person and online teacher trainings all over the world, focusing primarily on yoga sequencing and the business of yoga.

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

Weekly Astrology Forecast, November 6-December 2, 2023

“], “filter”: { “nextExceptions”: “img, blockquote, div”, “nextContainsExceptions”: “img, blockquote, a.btn, a.o-button”} }”>

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members!
>”,”name”:”in-content-cta”,”type”:”link”}}”>Download the app.

It’s a week that takes us through the final days of November and into our last month of the year, holding an emphasis on our minds, our beliefs, and our desires. We are met with a culminating full Moon in Gemini and Mercury shifting into the grounded earth sign of Capricorn.

Gemini has a quick intellect that can present in various ways, so much so that it is known as the twins. (Illustration: ProVectors | Getty)

Gemini Full Moon

We meet a full Moon when the Sun and Moon are in direct opposition to one another in our cosmos. As the Sun journeys through Sagittarius, the Moon comes into fullness in Gemini on November 27, 2023. Highlighting the axis upon which these two opposing zodiac signs live, the Moon spotlights, as if from within, the ways of being, identities, narratives, and more that we are ready to release.

In astrology, Mercury is the ruler of Gemini. In mythology, Mercury is the only god that could and would willingly move in between the heavens as well as into the underworld, living and learning and relaying information from these two seemingly opposing sides of life.

Our mind has this same capacity. Layered and multi-faceted, the mind is an antenna to all that exists above and below, taking us into the highest of divine spaces as well as the lowest places in our own personal underworld. The mind can create and experience both freedom and limitation within the same external reality.

This full Moon brings our mind to the forefront of our awareness. We can feel, sense, unravel, and receive much within the body and the unconscious mind. Only when it comes into conscious awareness can its influence become known. And only when this happens can we begin working with it.

Bringing something into our conscious awareness to explore and understand it is the doorway into receiving its power, insight, impact, and partnership. What is unconscious can seem to hold power over us, but as soon as it is brought into the light of consciousness, that grip can no longer take hold.

The full Moon brings to consciousness all that was once hidden and unknown within the mind, uncovering the narratives that have been shaping and creating our lives in ways that we wouldn’t choose. It brings to light the stories, the ideas, and the perspectives that shape our experiences as we move through the world.

An earth sign, Capricorn is  (Illustration: ProVectors | Getty)

Mercury in Capricorn

The beginning of December coincides with Mercury shifting into Capricorn, where it will remain until December 23, 2023. As the planet enters Capricorn, it somewhat of a preparation for our final Mercury retrograde of the year beginning on December 13 and lasting until January 2, 2024.

Mercury represents our thoughts, perspectives, communication, mental processing, and the lens through which we look. As it dances through the signs of the zodiac, our minds become colored by each sign. During December, it is if we are putting on glasses that seem to be Capricorn-colored.

A grounded, practical, and ambitious earth sign, Capricorn is an archetype that desires mastery for each of us. It holds an image of all that we could be if we so desired and dedicated ourselves to becoming. It invites us to take the big visioning of our dreams and desires, to place them right in front of us, and tend to the practicalities of the how.

Mercury in Capricorn continues the story of our Gemini full Moon in that it brings our awareness to the mind and the narratives that seem to be dictating the way we move through the world. Do we believe we can live our desires? Do we believe our dreams are available for us? Do we believe we are a match for our mountain? This transit is an invitation to look practically, not only at the beliefs we hold but also the grounded details of our desires for the year to come.

Your Invitation

This week’s full Moon acts as a torch shining the light of consciousness onto what you are ready to release, reframe, or unravel. It brings into your awareness what is coming to its natural place of ending—or perhaps what actually met this ending long ago. And it all happens within the mind, which creates your interior landscape and is an entire world of its own. What do you desire to be present within that landscape? How do you want it to feel there? What do we want to be available there?

To tend to the mind as if it were a canvas in front of you is what you can choose under this full Moon, a choice that sets the stage for you to receive the medicine of Mercury in Capricorn a few days later. Where you are invited to believe that you can, and begin to look practically at your dreams for the year ahead.

Given that the week’s movements are held within the arms of Sagittarius season, you are encouraged to dream big and to continue opening up wider and further to the future that is calling your name. Bringing Capricorn’s ambitious, clarifying, grounded, productive, and disciplined energy into this space seems like the perfect pathway for those dreams to begin to ground themselves within your reality.

RELATED: What Sagittarius Season Means for You, According to Your Astrological Sign

Learn more about the influence of astrology in your life, including astrological events the Moon cycles, your Sun and Moon and rising signs, how journaling can help you connect with the current influences, and more with Jordane Maree at Girl and her Moon.

About Our Contributor

Jordane Maree is the founder of Girl and Her Moon, a platform and community exploring Soul through the lens of astrology, tarot, and energy healing. She is a writer, intuitive astrologer, energy and soul guide, and host of Girl and Her Moon, The Podcast. She is inspired, every single day, to be the mirror for you to see all that you truly are, you in all your infinite abilities, in total expansion, in infinite opportunity and love.

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

What the Full Moon in Gemini Means for You

“], “filter”: { “nextExceptions”: “img, blockquote, div”, “nextContainsExceptions”: “img, blockquote, a.btn, a.o-button”} }”>

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members!
>”,”name”:”in-content-cta”,”type”:”link”}}”>Download the app.

During the full Moon in Gemini that takes place in November 2023, there is an array of vibrations and frequencies to work with. We can observe and try to understand the spectrum of these astrological frequencies within ourselves, including their low and high vibrations, as well as their corresponding emotions and qualities. Each energy has a low side and a high side. On the full Moon, we can become aware of how we might be aligning with each side, even subconsciously.

Full Moons create storms in our world with their whirlwind of frequencies. They provide a catalyst for us to feel—and feel deeply. They are a time of opposition, crisis, and breakthrough. They bring a certain intensity that can stir up emotions buried below the surface of our beings. Once the storm clears, so do old feelings and past regrets. The full Moon allows us to rewrite stories of the heart from month to month and clear the way for new truths to emerge.

What Day is the Full Moon in November 2023?

The full Moon in Gemini will take place on Monday, November 27, 2023.

The air sign of Gemini tends to be likened to twins for its swift shifts in thinking. (Illustration: ProVectors | Getty)

What the Full Moon in Gemini Means for You

Ruled by Mercury and the element air, Gemini’s energy moves quickly. It affects our nervous systems, our minds, and our vibrations. It can cause our thoughts to race, our toes to tap, and our worries to soar. It can also open our minds, bring us new perspectives, and help us rewrite old stories. If we’re willing to flow with this energy, it can give us just what we need to break through old patterns and outdated thinking into a new reality.

Gemini rules communication. When the air sign is activated through a full Moon, it can cause us to overshare, talk too much, or misconstrue words. Gemini’s influence is about so much more than verbal communication, though. It’s also about the thoughts and perspectives that inform our words. It’s about energy exchanged through subtle signals and body language. It’s also about shifts in perception that allow us to jump from one narrative to another.

Gemini teaches us that we live by the stories we tell ourselves. We have narratives about almost everything and everyone. These stories help us process the world around us and form expectations that make life feel more controllable or at least predictable. Our stories make us feel safe, but they also limit us. They close our minds to new possibilities and give us labels that may no longer be appropriate.

But our stories can be rewritten at any time. It simply takes a shift in perspective to redefine narratives or release them altogether. Gemini can provide just the inspiration we need to break out of patterns that keep us limited to a certain story and subsequent reality.

During the full Moon in Gemini, be open to information, inspiration, and brilliance coming your way. Gemini’s energy has the power to provide you a flash of insight in a single moment that can be the very thing you need to change your world. It may be an unexpected realization, a single phrase from a mentor, or even an inspirational quote that shows up. This full Moon, be open to unexpected information coming your way that may, at first, seem insignificant. Pay attention. It may be exactly what is needed to change your perspective.

As you open your mind and energy to messages and signs, also open yourself to the notion that you can break through anything that stands between you and the intentions that you set on the new Moon earlier this month. The full Moon in Gemini has the power to help you release doubts, shed limiting beliefs, and let go of old stories that constrain you. It does this by helping you expand your consciousness and invite the unexpected.

As you move through the full Moon in Gemini, feel its power to help you transform thoughts and stories that block you. Be open to its fast-paced energy that can help you break away from layers of expectations and assumptions about how the world works. Allow your perspectives to change and welcome new information that helps you shape an alternative reality—one where your highest visions can manifest.

Ancient illustration of phases of the Moon relative to position to the Sun and Earth. Includes the full Moon in Gemini.
Vintage French engraving depicting the phases of the Moon. Note the straight line of the Sun (Soleil), Earth (Terre), and Full Moon (“Pleine Lune”). (Photo: duncan1890 | Getty)

What the Full Moon in Gemini and the Sun in Sagittarius Means for You

On this full Moon, we are working with the energies of both Gemini and Sagittarius. As the Moon and Sun sit across from one another in opposing signs, we can see the illumination of both signs in ourselves. We can feel into where we align with the low side of Gemini and where we embody the lower vibrations of Sagittarius. We can then release or shift these vibrations and align with the higher vibrations of both signs, merging them in our fields to take on the highest qualities of both signs.

Both Gemini and Sagittarius are concerned with the mysteries of life and how we understand them. Gemini sees the details, while Sagittarius considers the bigger picture. Together, they create an expansive view with the knowledge of the intricacies that make the whole. Aligning with their higher vibrations requires an open mind, a willingness to expand past our current perceptions, and gratitude for all the dots that connect to form our lives.

Gemini occupies the third house of communication, while Sagittarius occupies the ninth house of truth and knowledge. Together, they form the axis of the mind. When working with these energies, you can understand the foundation of how your mind works, how you approach new information, and how you process it. Do you embrace new ideas with comfort or do they threaten your sense of reality and make you feel defensive? Do you hold on to narratives for the sake of comfort, or do you readily change the stories you tell yourself and welcome the unknown? Do you think in linear terms or do you understand the interconnectedness of everything?

These are the questions of the Gemini and Sagittarius axis and the full Moon in Gemini. As you work with this axis of energy, enjoy the process of understanding how you think and how you relate to information. Remember not to take it personally. Instead, be an observer of your mind and energy. It’s all information—and this full Moon reminds us that information is powerful.

Of all the opposing signs, Sagittarius and Gemini are the most similar. They both are in search of truth, they both will stop at nothing to gain knowledge, and they both follow their curiosity. Also, they both teach us to suspend judgment and keep an open mind in every situation. Gemini, though, encourages us to focus on the details and make distinctions among energies, people, and places. Gemini helps us understand all the information we need to perceive the larger picture of the world. It helps us analyze and use left-brain rationality to make decisions, come to conclusions, and decide on which viewpoint to see the world from.

When we align with Gemini, we use logic to deduce answers and make rational conclusions based on our experiences. Gemini’s energy helps our thoughts move quickly as we use our intellect to navigate the world through reason and logic. It helps us ask questions and pay attention to the important details of life. It also helps us remain curious and inspired to find out more about our world and all the information it holds.

Sagittarius, on the other hand, lives in the big picture. This energy helps us see everything as one big array of interconnected dots. Much like an artist putting together a collage, Sagittarius guides us to see similarities everywhere. When we align with this energy, we see the world as a constant thread of interwoven and entangled energies ready for exploration. Sagittarius aligns with the right side of the brain, which prefers to rely on feeling and intuition over logic. Sagittarius helps us feel into the deeper meaning of life, focusing on the horizon and, as a result, sometimes missing the details.

Both of these signs need each other. The full Moon in Gemini is a time to appreciate the details of life while working on the bigger picture. It’s a time to understand how to both micro- and macro-manage life. Our desires and dreams require intuitive guidance as well as logic. They need to-do lists and steps along with visions, daydreams, and serendipity. This full Moon gives us the opportunity to find both the little things and the higher meaning of it all.

Part of merging and working with the energies of Sagittarius and Gemini is releasing their low sides. For Gemini, this low side looks like division. It occurs when we close ourselves off to other people’s perspectives or ask questions for the sake of proving someone wrong. Gemini’s low side appears when we overshadow another person’s truth and talk over them to show our own knowledge. We forget to listen and we forget to learn. This shadow side can show up when we feel uncomfortable, threatened, or afraid of losing the stories we tell ourselves.

If you find yourself aligning with these low sides, have a conversation with someone and open yourself to their perspective. Spend more time listening than talking. If you feel yourself becoming defensive, take a deep breath and lean in more. Ask yourself what you are resisting. What story are you attached to that may be scattering? What perspective is being challenged and does it need to be challenged?

An illustration of the astrological sign for Sagittarius.
A fire sign, Sagittarius influences our passions and our desire for knowledge, truth, and understanding. (Illustration: ProVectors | Getty)

Sagittarius has a similar low side that shows up as self-righteousness and arrogance. Instead of remembering that everyone has something to teach, we assume we have the answers. We close ourselves off to people and act as if we know better because of our experiences. This full Moon in Gemini, let go of any need to be correct. Accept that your energy is constantly evolving and growing. No one has all the answers, and that is part of the beauty of being human. Align with the high sides of Gemini and Sagittarius to weave a new story—a story that allows for changes in perception and embraces new information, seeing us all as interconnected energies.

The highest merger of these energies teaches us that there is no you or me. There is only us.

Other Astrological Influences on the Full Moon in Gemini

Along with the opposition of the Sun and Moon, we have a few other aspects to work with during the full Moon in Gemini. The Moon also opposes Mars in Sagittarius while the Sun conjuncts the red planet. Mars in Sagittarius brings us motivation to take massive leaps of faith. It pushes us off the ledge we’ve been standing on, wondering if we should jump. The full Moon in Gemini can already feel a little ungrounded. With the involvement of Mars, you may feel overwhelmed with energy, whether anxiety or excitement. Be sure to take some deep breaths throughout this time to connect with your body, especially if you feel your energy start to spin out of control.

With the Moon opposing Mars, you may notice where you have stagnated in your life. It’s an opportunity to see where you are preventing yourself from moving forward because of fear or worry. It’s also a time to notice if you’ve let frustration or impatience get the better of you and block your path.

The end of the year can also bring up feelings of regret. It’s important to remember that not everything you consciously desire will happen. Sometimes, your higher self and energy have a different plan for you. Align with the open-mindedness of Gemini this full Moon to envision a bigger plan for you than you had initially intended. View what didn’t work out this year as a detour on your path.

To work with the energy of Mars during the full Moon in Gemini, ask yourself, where in your life do you need motivation? Where do you need to take a leap of faith? Where have you lost your passion and are you ready to renew it? Align with the fire of Mars to release some of the energy you have carried all year and what you no longer need and let the air of Gemini carry it away from you as you make your way to the last month of 2023.

The Moon and Sun also square Neptune in Pisces on this day. Squares tend to bring up tension and allow for a breakthrough to occur. Neptune is the planet of dreams. It reminds us that we are the creators of our reality. Our minds and energy are expansive. When we open ourselves to this expansion, we realize there is no limit to what we can create and manifest.

With this square aspect, the full Moon in November 2023 may illuminate stories you may have told yourself that limit your potential. It can show you where you doubt yourself and your infinite potential. These realizations may come through challenging circumstances, which is the nature of the square aspect. It’s important, though, to consider all events—even trying ones—as messages showing you where you are limiting yourself. Your energy is vast and capable of more than you could ever imagine. It’s time to step into this power and release stories that tell you otherwise.

Your Invitation

As we near the end of this year, take the time to reflect on your journey. Look back and process the path you have walked since last January and since the new Moon in Gemini in June. What have you learned and what has shifted in your consciousness? How do you view the world differently now than you did six months or a year ago? How have these new perspectives shaped the stories you tell yourself daily? How have they transformed your vibration? As you contemplate these questions, talk them out with others or journal them.

Gemini is one of the more social signs of the zodiac, which means this full Moon is a time to gather with others. It’s a time to exchange energy, stories, and gifts with those around you. It is the perfect time to have a full Moon circle or meet with a trusted friend. Have honest conversations this full Moon in Gemini with people in your life. Communicate and connect with those around you and share your process of evolution as we complete another year.

The energy of Gemini moves quickly, like her ruling planet Mercury. This speed can be a great thing if we are grounded and connected to our bodies. However, if this energy is left unchecked, it can cause our minds to spin out of control and our anxiety to soar. This full Moon, it’s crucial to steady your mind and provide an anchor for your energy. Grounding yourself through intentional movement and meditation can allow you to utilize Gemini’s energy—which moves fast, like the air that governs her— any time you feel your mind is running in circles and you need to focus.

Be receptive to anyone who crosses your path in the seventy-two hours around the full Moon. They may just have a pivotal piece of information for you—perhaps something that will help you understand your journey, foster a release, or shed light on an old pattern. Ask them questions, listen to what they have to say, and be open to learning something new. Be open to flashes of insight that can help change your outlook on life.

Enjoy this time. Gemini lightens the mood of even the darkest of times. Feel the inspiration raining down from the cosmos and use it to see a future full of unknown stories ready to propel you to the next level. Create positive affirmations that support the narrative you want to experience and that encourage you to expand beyond your self-imposed limitations. Align with people who can teach you something to help create positive truths about yourself and the world in which we live.

Learn more about the new Moon in Scorpio, including additional astrological insights and journaling prompts, in the Gemini Full Moon Workbook, from which the above is excerpted. You can also learn more about your personal natal chart

About Our Contributor

Jill Wintersteen is the founder of Spirit Daughter, a lifestyle brand devoted to helping you live your best life through understanding the energy of the Universe. She also writes workbooks on each full Moon as well as other astrological events. Follow her on Instagram @spiritdaughter.

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

Stressed? You May Want to Try a Jigsaw Puzzle.

“], “filter”: { “nextExceptions”: “img, blockquote, div”, “nextContainsExceptions”: “img, blockquote, a.btn, a.o-button”} }”>

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members!
>”,”name”:”in-content-cta”,”type”:”link”}}”>Download the app.

People meditate for all kinds of reasons. Some do it to relieve anxiety, others to achieve clarity. Some find the experience as natural as breathing, others struggle with it. But what about those of us who just can’t seem to figure out how to do it?

I’ve tried to meditate while sitting, lying down, even swaying in a silk hammock. Instead of quieting my thoughts, I start creating to-do lists, wondering what that noise is, thinking about lunch—literally anything but focusing on my breath. Even one-minute meditation sessions stress me out, which defeats the purpose.

And then a couple of years ago, on a whim, I ordered a 1,000-piece Frida Kahlo puzzle. Hours went by as I lingered, contented and calm, over the pieces. “This must be what meditation is supposed to be like,” I thought.

I’m not alone in this line of thinking. “Many people struggle practicing meditation,” says Dr. Chelsea Azarcon, a naturopathic medical doctor who has researched the body’s response to working on puzzles and practices them herself as part of her experience with chronic illness. “This is where alternative forms of meditation, like puzzling, come in.”

The Missing Piece

The parallels between puzzling and meditation may come as a surprise. “Think of it as exercise for the brain,” says Azarcon, who explains that both activities stimulate the formation of new neural pathways.

While exploring cognitive decline, neurology researcher Patrick Fissler found that doing jigsaw puzzles can activate up to eight cognitive functions at once. This sets off a complex chain of events in the brain that might help reduce the chance of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Puzzling also increases brain waves that focus your brain and help quiet the mental chatter so you can relax, explains Azarcon. “Although what happens in the brain when we puzzle is a little different than what happens when we meditate, both move us into a parasympathetic state, reducing stress and helping us relax.” Also, Azarcon adds, puzzling can lower heart rate and blood pressure, similar to meditation.

The MacArthur Study, conducted by Johns Hopkins University, confirms those findings, indicating that people who do puzzles are also likely to have a longer life expectancy and better quality of life than those who do not. These traits are commonly shared by those who meditate. Other benefits of regular meditation include improved memory and cognitive abilities, increased attention span, reduced depression and insomnia, and lowered blood pressure.

Single-Pointed Focus

Aside from its ability to create relaxation and its obvious health benefits, the quiet focus required by puzzles can bring about one of the primary objectives of meditation: bringing yourself back to the moment in front of you.

“Solving puzzles can be an ideal mindfulness exercise to help redirect your attention to the present moment,” says psychiatrist Dr. Sasha Hamdani, founder of FocusGenie, an app that helps manage ADHD symptoms. “If meditation doesn’t work for you but puzzles do, that’s great!”

“I’ve tried meditating before but my mind just goes all over the place and I have too much inner chattering going on,” says Leslie Peed, a member of the Jigsaw Puzzle Enthusiasts group on Facebook. “When I’m puzzling, I’m able to block everything out and focus solely on the puzzle. I’m not thinking about a hundred different things.”

Brittny Horne was so impressed with the way puzzling made her feel that she founded her own puzzle company, RVL Wellness Co. “Not all of us are built to enjoy traditional meditation. Puzzles allow me to ‘sit still’ without actually sitting still,” she says. “And the focus required to put the pieces together allows me to remain present in the moment.”

Nowadays, there’s always a puzzle partially assembled somewhere in my house. When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I’ll spend several minutes putting a few pieces in place before walking away feeling better. I feel as though it clears my thoughts and helps me get on with my day in a more grounded state.

Perhaps one day I’ll try meditation again. But for now, I’m content to put my puzzles together, one piece at a time.

About Our Contributor
Lois Alter Mark is an award-winning lifestyle and travel writer. A regular contributor to Forbes,USA Today 10 Best and Reader’s Digest, she loves experiencing and introducing readers to the best spas, self-care products and wellness destinations. Thanks to her blog, Midlife at the Oasis, Lois was chosen by Oprah to accompany her to Australia on the trip of a lifetime. She’s still pinching herself.

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

Weekly Astrology Forecast, November 19-25, 2023

“], “filter”: { “nextExceptions”: “img, blockquote, div”, “nextContainsExceptions”: “img, blockquote, a.btn, a.o-button”} }”>

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members!
>”,”name”:”in-content-cta”,”type”:”link”}}”>Download the app.

This week, the Sun and Mars enter the fiery sign of Sagittarius, giving us three planetary bodies in the sign ruled by our most expansive planet, Jupiter. It’s time to dream big.

Sun Enters Sagittarius

In Jungian psychology, an archetype is a universal idea, symbol, image, pattern, or thought that is present in the collective unconscious of all human beings. These archetypes come to life each time they are expressed through our unique experiences, intentions, and consciousness.

The fire sign of Sagittarius influences us all to become more enthusiastic, more curious, and more fully present in each moment. (Illustration: ProVectors | Getty)

Sagittarius, as an archetype, exists within each of us, too. As the Sun shifts through the sign’s realm, it comes to the surface within us all. Beginning on November 22, 2023, and continuing until December 21, 2023, Sagittarius season is an adventure-filled invitation to broaden our beliefs, perspectives, experiences, and opportunities.

Passions run hot this season. We are shifting out of the waters of Scorpio, where the deep currents of emotion were calling our names. Sagittarius season, however, is all about instinct and action, excitement and passion.

It is a season that invites us to move beyond what we know, so that we may be reminded over and over again that there is always more awaiting us—different ways of being in the world, experiences, cultures, people, ideas, philosophies, adventures, truths, and so much more.

Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, the planet of expansion, luck, and hope. There is a hum of optimism, excitement, and passion that can be heard throughout the season. It is an inner fire that is lit, asking us to be present in the world as much as we can. It is only by being in the world that we are changed by it. It is by being in the world that we not only become more of who we are but are given the opportunity to meet more of life.

Mars Enters Sagittarius

Shortly after the Sun enters Sagittarius, Mars also enters the fire sign, where it will remain until January 4, 2024.

Whenever Mars shifts, so does our motivation. Mars is our fuel, passion, drive, and assertion. It supports us to take action toward our dreams, pursue our desires, and create in our lives whatever imaginings present in our minds. As Mars enters Sagittarius, the fire sign begins to shape and influence our drive and desires.

The sign of Sagittarius encourages us to live with passion, adventure, experience, and fullness. It is a sign that seeks meaning and wisdom from lived experiences. It wants us to journey as wide and far as possible, allowing our mind and sense of self to be reshaped and expanded in the process. It desires to take us beyond what we currently know, see, feel, and are.

As Mars enters the fire sign, it invites us to do just that—move beyond our current state of being and living. Mars in Sagittarius ignites a passion for life. A passion for adventure. A passion for wisdom, experience, perspectives, and broad horizons. It also encourages us to dream, and to dream big.

An illustration of a quote by psychologist Carl Jung about making the unconscious conscious.
Psychologist Carl Jung’s approach was to incorporate the hidden aspects of a person’s mind and soul in order to help them truly experience life. (Photo: Unknown)

Your Invitation

Depending on your unique relationship with the zodiac, the shift from Scorpio season into Sagittarius can be palpable. There is an opening, a passion, an enthusiasm for life under this archetype. Ruled by Jupiter, Sagittarius looks to the future. It stands back and observes the big picture, the big questions, and from this perspective, brings clarity to its life’s journey. It is also where you are encouraged to dream, to hope, and to leap into our visions.

Scorpio invited you to dig deep into who you are, stripping away all what was false so that you may inch closer to what is real and meaningful within you. Building on this insight, you are invited to take what is meaningful and journey far with it. To let it inspire your dreams and fuel your motivations. To let it bring you closer to understanding your dreams and desires. To offer you trust that you can make the journey—and remind you that, in fact, the journey is the entire point. The journey is what we call life.

RELATED: What Sagittarius Season Means for You, According to Your Astrological Sign

Learn more about the influence of astrology in your life, including astrological events the Moon cycles, your Sun and Moon and rising signs, how journaling can help you connect with the current influences, and more with Jordane Maree at Girl and her Moon.

About Our Contributor

Jordane Maree is the founder of Girl and Her Moon, a platform and community exploring Soul through the lens of astrology, tarot, and energy healing. She is a writer, intuitive astrologer, energy and soul guide, and host of Girl and Her Moon, The Podcast. She is inspired, every single day, to be the mirror for you to see all that you truly are, you in all your infinite abilities, in total expansion, in infinite opportunity and love.

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

Yoga for Surfers

“], “filter”: { “nextExceptions”: “img, blockquote, div”, “nextContainsExceptions”: “img, blockquote, a.btn, a.o-button”} }”>

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members!
>”,”name”:”in-content-cta”,”type”:”link”}}”>Download the app.

Some of the most famous surfers in the world preach that yoga drastically enhances their surfing abilities. Gerry Lopez. Taylor Knox.

Surfing demands a lot from our bodies, primarily creating tight shoulders and compression in the lower back and hips. Surfing requires you to lie on your board, prone and paddling, while lifting your chest and straining your neck and upper back, sometimes for hours on end. When you pop up on your board, you’re also essentially doing a quick push-up or burpee-like movement that engages your shoulder muscles and requires strength and mobility in your hips.

There’s a beautiful balance and synergy between surfing and yoga. Yoga helps you restore your state of well-being after surfing so you can get back out there with as little aching and stiffness as possible.

The Anatomy of Yoga for Surfers

When you surf, you’re actually moving your upper body similarly to how you move in yoga—you’re lifting your chest into a backbend, drawing your shoulder blades together, and pushing yourself up from lying on your belly. You’re essentially holding Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) for however long you’re paddling on your board and creating strength in your back body.

But unlike yoga, surfing doesn’t balance your body through stretching and strengthening the opposing muscle groups. A single surf session can easily overtax your muscles and leave you needing to release some serious tension in your shoulders, chest, and upper back—specifically, your trapezius, pectoralis major, and deltoids.


Three of the most commonly overworked muscles during surfing. From left, trapezius, pectoralis major, and deltoids. (Illustrations: Sebastian Kaulitzki Science Photo Library | Getty)

There’s commonality of desk workers and surfers needing to open the upper back, neck and shoulders] It’s common for desk workers to face the issue of having rounded upper backs due to hours spent hunched at the computer. Leaning forward in that fashion draws the shoulder blades apart, while surfing pinches everything on the back body together. Although the strain from desk work and the strenuousness of surfing are worlds apart, the same stretches for the shoulders, upper back, and chest can bring relief to both parties. So even if you’re an armchair surfer, yoga can help.

Essential Yoga for Surfers

The following yoga for surfers practice is designed to balance the specific muscle groups strained by surfing through enhancing flexibility, quickening recovery, and making for a less painful session next time you’re out.

Focus on Your Breath

Why It Works: Breath awareness is essential to your surfing as well as to your practice of yoga. On your mat, being able to slow your breath helps keep you centered. On your board, having strong lung capacity is essential for those moments when you’re stuck underneath a wave. And throughout your surf session, keeping your awareness at least partly on your breath can keep you focused and calm.

How To: Before you try the following poses dedicated to yoga for surfers, take several moments to become aware of your breath. Begin seated in a comfortable position and place one hand on your heart and your other hand on your belly. As you slowly count to four, inhale through your nose and feel your belly, ribcage, and chest inflate. Then slowly exhale through your nose as you do the same slow count of four and feel yourself deflate. Continue breathing like this throughout the duration of your yoga practice.

Yoga teacher demonstrating Child's Pose on a mat while leading a yoga for surfers class
Child’s Pose (Photos: Alexandra Martin)

1. Child’s Pose (Balasana) Variation

Why It Works: Stretches the chest and releases tension in the upper back, traps, and neck. When you reach your chest toward the mat, you also stretch the triceps.

How To: Come into Child’s Pose with your knees wide and your big toes touching. Extend your arms in front of you. Take two blocks on the lowest level and place one under each elbow. Bring your hands into prayer position and draw them toward your upper back so your forehead and chest can sink in between the blocks. Release your head and chest toward the mat. Breathe here. for as long as several minutes.

Cat Pose (Photo: Alexandra Martin)

2. Cat Pose (Marjaryasana)

Why It Works: Relieves tension in the upper back and strengthens the spine.

How to: Come to your hands and knees with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and your hips over your knees. Exhale and round your back toward the ceiling as you release your head toward the mat. The pose should look like a cat stretching its back. Breathe here.

Puppy Pose (Photo: Alexandra Martin)

3. Puppy Pose (Anahatasana) with Thread the Needle

Benefit: Stretches the spine, shoulders, upper back, and arms.

How to: From hands and knees, slowly walk your hands out in front of you, lowering your chest and forehead toward the mat while keeping your hips over your knees. You can either press through your palms or let your arms relax. Breathe here. With each exhalation, let your chest sink toward the mat. Then slide your left arm underneath your right armpit, flipping your left palm up and rolling onto your left shoulder in a variation of Thread the Needle. Breathe here. Make sure to repeat on the second side.

Locust Pose (Photo: Alexandra Martin)

4. Locust Pose (Salabhasana)

Benefits: Stretches the front of the body and opens the chest and shoulders.

How to: Lie on your stomach with your arms by your side. Rest your forehead or your chin on the mat. As you inhale, lift your head, chest, arms, and legs off the floor, firming your shoulder blades onto your back and broadening through your chest. Breathe here.

Woman practicing Downward-Facing Dog on a yoga mat while teaching a class on yoga for surfers
Downward-Facing Dog (Photo: Alexandra Martin)

5. Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Benefits: Stretches the back deeply and builds upper-body strength.

How to: From hands and knees, tuck your toes under, press into your hands, and lift your hips up and back. Reach your chest toward your thighs as you let your head hang heavy. Breathe here.

Low Lunge with Eagle Arms (Photo: Alexandra Martin)

6. Low Lunge with Eagle Arms

Benefits: Stretches the thighs, hips, shoulders, and upper back, specifically the traps. This pose especially opens the space in between the shoulders to help release tension and improve mobility.

How to: Come into Low Lunge and take Eagle arms with elbows crossed in front of your chest so that one arm rests above the other. (Your bottom arm—the arm that wraps underneath—will be the same side as your straight leg extending behind you. The top arm is the same side as the front bent knee.) Breathe here.

For a variation, bend forward and touch your elbows to your front knee, creating a Cat Pose sensation. Emphasize the space directly underneath the shoulder blades. You can include this same movement in other poses to bring a yoga for surfers benefit to the postures.

Squat (Photo: Alexandra Martin)

7. Squat (Malasana)

Benefits: Stretches the lower back, sacrum, hips, and inner thighs.

How to: Bend your knees deeply, sinking until your hips are lower than your knees. Bring your hands together at your chest and wedge your elbows against the inside of your knees. Push your elbows into your knees to open your hips. Lift your chest forward and up, attempting to lengthen through your back. Breathe here.

Woman sitting on a yoga mat with crossed legs and Eagle Arms while leading a yoga for surfers class at a retreat
Cow-Face Arms (Photo: Alexandra Martin)

8. Cow-Face Arms (Gomukhasana Variation)

Benefits: Rather intensely stretches your hips, ankles, thighs, shoulders, armpits, chest, deltoids, and triceps.

How to: Sit tall with your legs in front of you. Bend your knees and slide your left leg under your right leg so your knees stack. Your left heel will rest outside your right hip. Bring your right foot around to the outside of your left hip. Inhale and lift your left arm, bend your left elbow, and let your left hand rest at the middle of your upper back, palm facing your back. Then reach your right arm behind you, bend your elbow, and bring the back of your right hand to rest against your back. You can clasp your fingertips, grab your shirt, or reach for a strap, sweatshirt, or towel to bridge the gap. Breathe here.

Reclined Figure 4 (Photo: Alexandra Martin)

9. Reclined Figure 4

Benefit: Opens tight inner and outer hips, releases neck tension.

How to: Lie on your back and cross your right ankle over your left knee. Keep your right foot flexed. Bring your left knee toward your chest and interlace your fingers in front of your left shin. Using the strength of your arms, draw your left knee toward your chest as you lean your right knee away from you. Breathe here.

Woman reclining on her yoga mat in a twist with one leg straight and the other knee bent while practicing yoga for surfers
Supine Twist (Photo: Alexandra Martin)

10. Reclined Twist

Benefits: Lengthens muscles and encourages mobility along your spine. Also stretches the hips, lats, and shoulders.

How to: Lie down on your back with your legs extended straight on the ground. As you inhale, hug your right knee into your chest. As you exhale, bring your right knee across your chest and over to the left. Reach your arms straight out from your shoulders to create a “T” shape. Turn your gaze to the right. Breathe here as you complete your yoga for surfers practice. Change sides.

About Our Contributor 

Emily Meersand is a Hawaii-based yoga instructor and practitioner, located on the North Shore of Oahu. She began regularly practicing yoga at a young age with her mom, who was an avid yogi. Her yoga practice and teaching style is derived from yoga classes all over the world.  She has studied yoga in Bali and has led surf and yoga retreats from Mexico to Sri Lanka. She has taught yoga at San Francisco studios including The AssemblyyogabeachSF, Yoga FlowLovestory Yoga, and Equinox Market Street and has trained with Janet Stone, Stephanie Snyder, Diana Oppenheim, Suzy Nece, Anna Hughes, and Schuyler Grant.

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

What Sagittarius Season Means for You, According to Your Sign

“], “filter”: { “nextExceptions”: “img, blockquote, div”, “nextContainsExceptions”: “img, blockquote, a.btn, a.o-button”} }”>

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members!
>”,”name”:”in-content-cta”,”type”:”link”}}”>Download the app.

Welcome to Sagittarius season, where we reach into our dreams and desires, even if they take us beyond what we have been told is possible. As the Sun shifts through this Jupiter-ruled fire sign, we are invited to think big, live fully, broaden our perspectives, leap into experiences, and seek meaning through our inner fires of purpose.

When is Sagittarius Season?

Sagittarius season begins November 22, 2023, and continues until December 21, 2023. It is initiated by the movement of the Sun that shifts and dances through each of the 12 signs of the zodiac, highlighting each archetype for the approximate month it takes to travel through its realm. It is when the Sun sits in Sagittarius that we are invited to step into its world, to bathe in the frequency of its offerings and invitations, and to experience life through its lens.

What Can Sagittarius Season Teach You?

The shift from Scorpio season to Sagittarius season takes us from the underworld of depth and transformation to that of adventure and expansion. We are shifting from the emotions of water to the passions of fire, from an inward focus to an outward awareness. Scorpio took us beneath the surface and into the mysteries, meeting deep transformation and rebirth. Sagittarius brings us back up to the surface, reborn and filled with passion, enthusiasm, and a sense of adventure.

It is here that our quest for meaning begins. Where did we come from? What is life? Is there an inherent meaning to existence, or do I create my own? Is there something larger and wider holding and leading me or is it all up to me? Can these kinds of questions be answered objectively, or are they doorways to expand my perspective, indulge my curiosity, and broaden the lens through which I move through life?

Sagittarius season invites us to step back from the minutiae of life to ponder the larger questions. To stand upon the highest of peaks so that we may see from all vantage points. It is an archetype that philosophizes, discusses, questions, and seeks. But not only through the mind. There is an innate understanding by this zodiac sign that knowledge doesn’t necessarily equate to wisdom. Rather, wisdom comes from lived experience.

Sagittarius is a sign that doesn’t just invite us to learn through textbooks, classes, or teachers, although these experiences of learning are part of it. Sagittarius invites us to live so fully that each moment is overflowing with the potential for growth, meaning, and becoming. It guides us into experiences that take us beyond what we already know, whether through travel, interactions with others, religious or spiritual experiences outside our realm of understanding, or simply anything that sits outside our current narrative of the world.

Sagittarius inherently knows that life is vast. It is through journeying where we are guided that we meet not only more of who we are but more of life, too. It is here that we are shown meaning and given answers to larger questions. We are offered doorways into something larger than ourselves—an energy, intelligence, or knowing that seems to hold us throughout it all, singing songs of purpose and guiding us in synchronistic directions.

The sign and season of Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, the planet of expansion, hope, abundance, intellect, and wisdom. Both Sagittarius and Jupiter are concerned with and looking to the future. From the peak, we are reminded that anything is possible and that great magic awaits ahead. Beyond the stories, beyond the doubt, beyond the limitation of our minds, there exists great potential.

Here we are invited to hope again. It’s an opportunity to rewrite the narrative. To believe in ourselves, believe in the support and guidance of all of life, and say yes to the visions that call our name. With Sagittarius’s emphasis on experience, the season is about taking steps forward, stumbling, living, feeling, falling, and getting up. It is through this experience that we learn, become wiser, and seem to find ourselves experiencing the life we’d imagined.

The 12 signs of the zodiac are often depicted in a wheel, illustrating the successive and cyclical fashion in which we experience each of the approximately month-long seasons. Scorpio season takes place from November 22 to December 21. (Illustration: Vadim Ezhov | Getty)

What Sagittarius Season Means for You

As the Sun dances through Sagittarius, it also highlights and moves through the area of our natal or birth chart that Sagittarius influences. We all have this archetype within us. This season, it is our unique expression of Sagittarius that is highlighted. By looking to our rising sign, we are shown the astrological house that is illuminated, and therefore the themes that desire to surface for us.

An illustration of the fire sign of Aries, depicted by its symbol or glyph and the characteristic ram.
Aries is known for its steadfast strength, determination, and unstoppable enthusiasm. (Illustration: ProVectors | Getty)

Aries Rising

As your inner fire meets the fire of Sagittarius season, it ensures a passionate and full month ahead, Aries. Sagittarius season supports your fiery passion with its long-term visioning. There is an invitation to leap into your desires, dreams, and visions in true Aries style by keeping your eye on the larger picture. This season invites you to expand your vision and what you believe to be possible, both for who you are and what is available to you in the world. It offers you new perspectives and broader vantage points that will support you on your journey, and asks you to reflect on the meanings and belief systems that drive these desires of yours.

Taurus tend to be steadfast and loyal, traits that can work against it when confronted with an unexpected situation or a concept. (Illustration: ProVectors | Getty)

Taurus Rising

As the Sun dances through Sagittarius, it draws you into the unseen, Taurus. It invites you to look within and ponder meanings. It asks you to observe your inner narratives, perspectives, and patternings and how they seem to shape the world within and around you. And it asks you to reflect on your relationship with intimacy and how your close relationships feel in your body, your felt emotions, and your idea of what they should be.

It’s a season of inner exploration, traversing the terrain of the many worlds, layers, and complexities that live within, as if you were traveling the many countries, cultures, and philosophies of this Earth. There is something new, unseen, expansive, transformative, and unknown for you to explore in each direction.

Curious, perceptive, and analytical, Gemini is no stranger to relying on its twins’ intellect when navigating life. (Illustration: ProVectors | Getty)

Gemini Rising

It’s the season of your opposite sign, Gemini. Where you guided across the galaxy and offered the perspective of life, and of you, from an entirely different place. Things look different over here, and it reminds us that reality may not be as objective as we thought.

This season invites you to expand your perspectives, to see from and through the eyes of another, and observe new ways of thinking, being, and living. Sagittarius season invites you to a more social version of yourself, where conversations, interactions, and collaborations allow the experience of hope, pleasure, and anticipation to filter through. It invites conversations that expand your mind and connections that feed your heart. And it invites interactions that fuel your dreams and expand your vision even wider, connecting you more closely to the direction and path that is calling your name.

Cancer can find comfort within the confines of its shell, yet its most expansive reality exists far beyond such a constricted space. (Illustration: ProVectors | Getty)

Cancer Rising

What ignites hope from within you, Cancer? What allows you to be willing and open to dream new realities for yourself? How can you support yourself to feel safe enough to believe once again?

Sagittarius season brings expansion through everyday behaviors. The rituals that support you. The small steps that create the whole. And it is through stepping back, figuratively or literally, and taking yourself to the peak of the mountain that you can see the big picture. This is the inspiration, the fuel, and the meaning that directs your everyday action. It is what inspires and nurtures each step taken and each habit intentionally created. Come to this place and remind yourself of it everyday, whether though visualization, meditation, writing, drawing, actual hiking, or some other means. Let your vision be your medicine, your passion, and your inspiration.

The fire sign of Leo, ruled by the Sun, tends to attract attention to everything it does. (Illustration: ProVectors | Getty)

Leo Rising

This season invites you to sink into the comforts of exactly who you are, Leo. To shine. To play. To create. To express the magnetism, beauty, and wonder of who you are. It invites you to tap into your inner fire and passion and pour that into your creations, whatever they may be. And it invites you to playfully explore different philosophies and cosmologies and explore how they seem to shape and feed both your sense of self and your artistic expressions. By expanding your mind through looking to different cultures,  eras, belief systems, mediums of art, and alternate paths taken by others, you will simultaneously be fueling your own vitality, inspiration, creativity, and sense of belonging in the world.

The practical and grounded Earth sign of Virgo feels most at ease in creating structure in everyday life. (Illustration: ProVectors | Getty)

Virgo Rising

For some, inspiration and expansion seem to come from being out in the world. For others, it is found by sinking into its chosen home, tending to its roots, and building a sense of structure, safety, and belonging. During Sagittarius season, your most profound pleasures, dreams, and sense of meaning come from the latter, Virgo. From tending to your home and home life as if it were an extension of you and your inner world. From creating your home and home life as if it could hold and support you in every way needed. From feeling into the sense of expansion and freedom found within belonging, family, and a comfortable and safe space that is ours to sink into.

This season, your way to inspiration, nourishment, dreams, and hope is available from within. Tending to the core and foundation of who you are seems to widen the possibilities that present themselves to you.

Illustration of the astrological zodiac sign Libra, depicted by scales hanging in the balance
Libra is often depicted as scales hanging in the balance, an indication of the sign’s preoccupation with and perception of harmony. (Illustration: ProVectors | Getty)

Libra Rising

It’s all about the mind this season, Libra. There is an invitation to play in the mind, explore in the mind, feed the mind, break down the limitations of the mind, and expand the mind. Sagittarius season invites new threads of curiosity that, when journeyed with, have the potential to alter the framework through which you experience life.

Books, conversations, classes, and teachers will all be a source of medicine, inspiration, and absolute joy and vitality for you this season, Libra. The mind is your playground. So are information, knowledge, ideas, perspectives, and wisdom. Allow them to fill you and bring you the experience of completeness.

An illustration of the sign Scorpio
The water sign of Scorpio embodies an intensity around their desires and beliefs. (Illustration: ProVectors | Getty)

Scorpio Rising

A feeling of freedom is a necessity, Scorpio. A feeling of meaning is a necessity. How do these two states of being feel in your body? What steps and movements and ideas do they inspire? And what value do they hold in your life?

Freedom and meaning are doorways into a sense of security, safety, inspiration, dreaming, and belonging, Scorpio. They are the doorways into reaching deeper into your body and landing further on the earth. To calming the nervous system. To tending to your felt sense of value and inner and outer worth.

Sagittarius season invites you to be in your body. To tend to your felt experience. Because as you tend to yourself, you tend to your sense of freedom, meaning, belonging, passion, security, financial abundance, and inspiration. As you tend to yourself, you open your capacity for visioning and hoping—the very things that will take you closer to your dreams.

An illustration of the astrological sign for Sagittarius.
A fire sign, Sagittarius is highly principled and often unbridled in their opinions, friendliness, and determination. (Illustration: ProVectors | Getty)

Sagittarius Rising

As the Sun shifts through your first house of self, it is as if the vitality, life force, and light of the Sun can reach deeper into you, Sagittarius. It’s as if the rays of the Sun, shone through the frequency of Sagittarius, have more of an opportunity to nourish, activate, and feed you. That is exactly what this season offers you.

It offers an expansion of the self and a reignition of your passions. It offers play and a sense of freedom, desires and the fuel to leap into them. And it reminds you of something vaster than the self, guiding the way, supporting your every step, and filling you with fulfillment as you say yes to yourself and to your path.

The Earth sign of Capricorn brings its practical, loyal, and wise approach to life to ever situation it encounters. (Illustration: ProVectors | Getty)

Capricorn Rising

Through reaching for the divine, whatever that may mean, you are offered the source of all wisdom. It is through having your own felt experience of the mystical, the unseen, and the realms about which others philosophize that you can reach into true meaning, wisdom, belonging, joy, and inspiration, Capricorn.

An Earth sign, there is a practicality to your energy. An appreciation and understanding of the tangible. Yet this season, you may just find yourself receiving all that you desire within the intangible. There is an invitation to explore what spirituality means to you, and how it shapes what life means to you. To allow the divinity in each moment to bring you into new and undiscovered corners of yourself and your existence, as if new countries, cultures, and cosmologies await within you. To inquire what exists beyond your five senses and to let that hold you for a moment. And to reach into your own truest source of inspiration, which is the energy, meaning, and connection that fuels your every step and challenge undertaken.

The air sign of Aquarius can be relentless and rebellious in its pursuit of change for the good of the collective. (Illustration: ProVectors | Getty)

Aquarius Rising

What is reality, Aquarius? Is it the structures that hold up the collective or the narratives that bring communities together? The structures that only seem to change over time, collapsing and rebuilding? The narratives that seem to differ when we shift from community to community, culture to culture, belief system to belief system? What, then, is real to you? What matters to you? What is your meaning beneath these many shifting and changing building blocks that we find ourselves living within?

This season invites you to lean into what is real to you, what matters to you, and the meaning that seems to sit at the core of it all uniquely for you. And it invites you to bring your answers into everything—your perspectives of the world, your desires, your beliefs of what is possible and the way you interact with others. It invites you to find your own space of belonging within these answers, for your own belonging, and your own way to see the world, may be the medicine needed for everyone someday.

Illustration of astrological symbol for Pisces, a water sign of the zodiac according to astrology
The water sign of Pisces takes friendliness and dreamy ideals to an art form.(Illustration: ProVectors | Getty)

Pisces Rising

What does legacy mean to you, Pisces? If you could change the world, create an impact, leave something (tangible or intangible) behind that seems to exist beyond your physical body, what would that be?

This season inspires you to swim within the meaning that inspires your action. To let this meaning permeate and fuel the legacy you are building. To explore and adventure in the world around you as if it held every whisper of guidance, every moment of clarity, and every space of vitality required for your visions to come to reality. To let fulfillment flow through you.

Learn more about the influence of astrology in your life, including astrological events the Moon cycles, your Sun and Moon and rising signs, how journaling can help you connect with the current influences, and more with Jordane Maree at Girl and her Moon.

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

21 Yoga Gifts You Need to Know About (For Others and Yourself)

“], “filter”: { “nextExceptions”: “img, blockquote, div”, “nextContainsExceptions”: “img, blockquote, a.btn, a.o-button”} }”>

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members!
>”,”name”:”in-content-cta”,”type”:”link”}}”>Download the app.

Sure, the end of the year is about showing your loved ones how much they mean to you. But are you showing them how much you understand them? Whether they’re into tech, crystals, astrology, self-care, or simply extending that post-practice vibe, you’ll find inspiring options among the carefully curated yoga gifts that follow.

21 Unexpected Yet Essential Yoga Gifts

Yoga Gifts For the Person Who Wants to Be More Self-Aware

(Photo: Omala)

Omala Seeds of Intention Mindfulness Prompts

The idea of planting your intentions isn’t new, but the ability to observe them take shape is quite novel. That’s the idea behind Omala Seeds of Intention Mindfulness Prompts, which are designed by holistic psychologist Dr. Scott Lyons, whose focus is on self-reflection and learning to let go of obstacles. The kit includes a guided journal with mindful prompts and seeded cards. the recipient writes their intentions or desired changes on the cards, plants them in soil, and watches them bloom.

$58 at Omala

(Photo: Galison)

7 Days of Mindfulness by Jessica Poundstone Puzzle Set

Depending on one’s mindset, completing a 1500-piece puzzle could be debilitatingly overwhelming or profoundly meditative. But a 70-piece puzzle in soothing gradient color schemes? That can center and focus almost anyone in a matter of minutes— and studies show that focusing on puzzles can deliver many of the same benefits as meditation. Created in partnership with Portland-based visual artist Jessica Poundstone, each mini puzzle—with names such as “Let’s Be Totally Free” and “It’s Right There For You”—is inspired by color sensation, experiential light, and space art movements. Designed to soothe and inspire, they create moments of focused mindfulness.

$24.99 at Galison

Yoga Gifts For Anyone Who Could Use Some Comfort

(Photo: The Herbal Zen)

The Herbal Zen Shower Steamers

It isn’t always easy to turn an everyday shower into a spa-like ritual. But if your person has a Pavlovian response to aromatherapy, the Herbal Zen Shower Steamers might make the perfect post-yoga gifts. They’re formulated and hand-batched in the US by a pharmacist who leans on pure essential oils (with no synthetic fragrances, perfumes, or chemicals) for otherworldly experiences. The Recenter formula is a meditative blend of patchouli, lavender and eucalyptus; Morning Energy is better than a cup of coffee with lemon, rosemary, and peppermint; and Sleepytime is like melatonin in a steamer with lavender and Roman chamomile.

$24.99 at The Herbal Zen

(Photo: Yellow Leaf Hammocks)

Yellow Leaf Hammocks

Hanging out while camping or back porching becomes exponentially more pleasurable in a hammock. The cocoon-like comfort, familiar to anyone who practices aerial yoga, can easily induce a state that’s reminiscent of the most blissful Savasana. Yellow Leaf Hammocks are ethically sourced from women of the hill tribes in Thailand, who weave them by hand. Best sellers include the weatherproof Signature Hammock and the natural Cotton Rope Hammock.

From $179 at Yellow Leaf Hammocks

(Photo: Green-Beauty Co)

Green-Beauty Co Spa Kit: Nighttime Self-Care Set

Wanting to empower women with timesaving, non-toxic, affordable beauty routines, Ruchita Acharya launched her own ayurvedic skincare brand with only $200 to her name. Her Nighttime Self-Care Set includes a detoxifying neem soap for facial cleansing, a vitamin A serum containing an extract of Babachi seeds for moisturizing and nourishing, and a kansa wand (an ayurvedic take on a jade roller made from copper, tin, zinc, and wood) for reducing puffiness and boosting circulation.

$85 at Green-Beauty Co

(Photo: Noat)

Naot Men’s Bliss Slippers

If your person is still working remotely—and sporting that business-shirt-and-tie look on top with yoga-leisure on bottom—or simply wants cozy footwear around the house, Naot delivers in a decidedly non-frou-frou slipper. The brown plaid design perfectly matches the vibe of winter, and anyone who slips them on will feel like they’re walking on clouds given the mattress foam padding for extra support. Don’t be alarmed by the faux furry material, which is cruelty-free and vegan.

$74.95 at Noat

(Photo: Rainy Day Boxes)

Rainy Day Box

The holidays aren’t happy for everyone. Rainy Day Boxes acknowledges that with its collection of items created to support those going through difficult times. Each of the individually boxed gifts inside are meant to be opened one at a time, whenever you have a hard day, which means a single box could lighten moods over weeks or months.

Choose from themed boxes, including the Women’s Original Signature Box, which comes with an Ohana bracelet for a sense of family, shower steamers filled with soothing essential oils, a soy candle with hints of rose and moss to let light in, and a rose quartz heart to encourage emotional healing. The Men’s Classic Box contains an hourglass to remember to make time for yourself, a sound machine to promote sleep, a wallet card that’s a tangible reminder of strength and power, and a tiger worry stone to channel resilience and protection.

Starting at $56 at Rainy Day Boxes

Thoughtful Gifts For Those Who Appreciate Beauty in the Everyday

(Photo: Bouqs)

Bouqs Flower Subscription

With scientific research supporting the fact that flowers elicit emotions and reduce cortisol levels, it’s no surprise that being gifted flowers makes us happy. Bouqs lets you eschew the grocery store bouquet in favor of a farmstand aesthetic of high-quality blooms sourced from eco-friendly farms. Just pick the frequency (weekly, every other week, monthly, or every other month), and customize the bouquet size for a regular dose of happiness. Or, for a less pricey option, simply drop a note over the holidays that your gift will arrive late, and then time the delivery with when that relief is needed.

From $44 a month at Bouqs

(Photo: Tealeaves)

Tealeaves To Your Health & Wellness Gift Box

Tea sippers are accustomed to infusing wellness into their day. These thoughtful blends from Tealeaves helps them to also bring intrigue through thoughtful blends geared toward balance and restoration. The sustainable teas, which are sourced from women-owned micro-farms that support regenerative agriculture and arrive in fully compostable and recyclable packaging, are crafted by master blenders from truly inspired combinations of ingredients and served at the likes of Ritz-Carlton and the Four Seasons across the world. The exquisitely packaged flavors include antioxidant-rich Passionate Pear, Health & Well Being green tea, and hydrating Harmony herbal blend.

$49 at Tealeaves

(Photo: Likhâ)

Likhâ Signature Animal Planters

Show us a plant-lover who doesn’t spoil their green babies with prime real estate and pretty pots and containers. Take their leafy collection up a notch with Likhâ’s whimsical planters handwoven by artisans in the Philippines. Each design is crafted from eco-friendly materials, such as natural straw and plant fiber, coco coir, sustainably sourced shells, and recycled wood. With options like a cat, baby fox, triceratops, English bulldog, hedgehog, schnauzer, or hummingbird, the toughest part of this gift will be choosing which shape to give. Honestly, you probably need one for yourself, too.

Starting at $35 at Likhâ

(Photo: It’s A Sinny Size)

It’s a Sinny Size Bracelets

These handmade pieces feature semi-precious stones—such as Tiger Eye, quartz, and Jasper—and are designed and handcrafted by special-needs adult Sienna “Sinny” Bernal. Not one to be limited by life’s circumstances, Bernal launched her jewelry-making business to help her feel some independence from her diagnoses of Primordial Dwarfism, Dandy-Walker, and Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum, and hearing challenges. Sinny Size donates 10 percent of profits to a local special needs orphanage.

Starting at $25 at Sinny Size

Alternative Gifts Those Who Are Mystically Minded

(Photo: Spirit Daughter)

Spirit Daughter Zodiac Crystals Kit

Friends with a crystal lover? Know their birth date? These crystal bundles are categorized by zodiac sign and help recipients align their energy to the season. Your crystal-gazing loved one can hold them tight to absorb their powers, set intentions, manifest desires, and shift emotions. There’s even a specific kit for navigating retrogrades and another for aligning chakras. Crystals are hand-selected by the Spirit Daughter team, which is led by Jill Wintersteen, YJ’s astrology columnist.

$25 at Spirit Daughter

(Photo: Etsy)

Kaleidadope Astrol-OG: The Deck

Astrology enthusiasts will appreciate this unique and versatile 47-card astrology study guide and oracle deck that can be used in a multitude of ways. The cards are separated into four different categories: The Zodiac, Planets/Cosmos, Aspects, and The Houses. The themes on the card help bring clarity on any aspect of life and also lend insights into current transits, archetypes as zodiac signs, and as a basic study guide for astrology.

$52 at Etsy

Yoga Gifts For the Person Who’s All About the Latest Tech

(Photo: Hyperice)

Hyperice Hypersphere Go Massage Ball

It looks a little like a new-age Simon Says, but this portable massage ball is small enough to toss in your yoga bag and powerful enough to bring relief to tight muscles. The gizmo vibrates at any of three speeds and fits in the palm of the hand for easy rolling out or digging into tough-to-reach knots where tension is held. It recharges via USB and is TSA carry on-approved for high-octane travel.

$99 at Hyperice

(Photo: Sensate)

Sensate Stress-Relieving Device

Navigating life’s endless stressors is not easy. But you can help others self-regulate their stress response by gifting this stone-sized, wearable device. The audio app tones the vagus nerve (which regulates the body’s fight-or-flight response) through soft vibrations that practically massage the nervous system. According to customers, a 10-minute session with Sensate reduces anxiety, enhances sleep, and increases focus. Whether that’s the patented infrasonic technology at work or simply taking time for self-awareness, we’ll let you decide.

$299 at Sensate

(Photo: Edge Theory Labs)

Edge Theory Labs Portable Iceless Tub and Hot Tub

Ice baths may have started as a recovery mechanism for athletes, but they’ve become a way of life for some. For the ultimate sensory seeker on your list, this mega-splurge offers all the science-backed benefits of cold immersion therapy, which includes increased energy, enhanced muscle recovery, reduced anxiety, decreased chronic inflammation, and a supported immune system. Thise iceless tub with Bluetooth capabilities allows you to set the temperature from anywhere or schedule it in advance to cool to 27 degrees or heat to 105 degrees. The filtration and sanitation system keeps it clean and ready to use 24/7.

$5,490 at Edge Theory Labs

Yoga Gifts For Those Who Are Practicing Self-Awareness

(Photo: Chelsea Charles)

Chelsea Charles Count Me Healthy Bracelets

Anyone trying to track progress toward a goal—whether that’s drinking enough water, pausing for meditation breaks, or tracking yoga sessions—might like the Count Me Healthy bracelets from Chelsea Charles. The moveable beads stay in place until you manually adjust them to signify a goal reached. The lightweight bracelets fit all wrist sizes and their blend of sterling silver, 14k gold, and 18k rose gold plate gorgeously complement athleisure wear as well as a night on the town. No one would ever suspect they’re functional and not just fashionable.

Starting at $68 at Chelsea Charles

(Photo: Skillshare)

Skillshare Creative Classes

Whether the person on your list has always wanted to try knitting, flower arranging, playing the guitar, creative writing, running their own YouTube channel, photography, or any number of other creative pursuits, Skillshare probably has a class for it. And with more than 25,000 courses in the database and 8,000-plus teachers who are experts on topics, you’re pretty much guaranteed the tutorial will be like having a front-row seat to a master teacher.
Prices vary at Skillshare

(Photo: Pottery With A Purpose)

Pottery With A Purpose You’re My Favorite Pottery Kit

Got a crafty friend? Encourage them to roll up their sleeves, get their hands dirty, and unlock their inner creativity. You’re My Favorite Pottery Kit includes enough clay for 1-2 people, plus carving tools, a smoothing sponge, beginner-friendly instructions, even vegan snacks for sustenance. There’s a no-kiln-required boxed air-dry clay option or the ceramic clay if your recipient would like the final product to be waterproof or food-safe. (The kit includes access to an interactive map to show studio locations where a kiln can be used for an extra charge).

$80 at Pottery With A Purpose

(Photo: Omala)

Aurora Color-Changing Yoga Mat

Remember mood rings? They’re back, but in yoga mat form. Omala’s Aurora Color-Changing Yoga Mat brings a cool ‘80s vibe—as well as an unexpected sensory experience—to class. The mat’s thermal-responsive material reacts to movement, body temp, and pressure points, resulting in shifting colors that can heighten the connection to the present moment. You can also feel good about the mat being free of BPAs, phthalates, and paraffins.

$130 at Omala

A Gift For That Someone Who Has Everything

(Photo: Tisbest)

TisBest Charity Gift Card

For the person who wants nothing, consider supporting needed change by foregoing yoga gifts and instead allowing them to donate to a charity. Choose an effort that’s dear to your loved one or let them choose through a gift card from TisBest, which has directed more than $50 million in donations toward nearly 33,000 charities in the last 15 years. The best part? A shocking 100% of the card value goes to charities, unlike competitor offerings (choose from an instant digital e-card or 100% bio-plastic option). Help someone on your gift list support the causes they’re passionate about (they get to choose from over 1.8 million U.S.-registered charities).

From $10 at Tisbest.

About Our Contributor

Jill Schildhouse is an award-winning lifestyle writer and editor based in Phoenix who regularly contributes to Outside, AARP, USA TODAY Reviewed, Insider, U.S. News & World Report, Reader’s Digest, Fodor’s, Taste of Home, and Southern Living. Her bylines have also appeared in Oprah Daily, People, Health, Cosmo, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, and Good Housekeeping. Jill has visited 39 countries and is always planning her next adventure; follow her travels on Instagram.

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

What the Elements in Astrology Mean for You

“], “filter”: { “nextExceptions”: “img, blockquote, div”, “nextContainsExceptions”: “img, blockquote, a.btn, a.o-button”} }”>

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members!
>”,”name”:”in-content-cta”,”type”:”link”}}”>Download the app.

Whether you’re intrigued by all things mystical or desiring more authenticity and self-awareness, astrology offers answers. Your Sun sign offers the wisdom to strengthen your sense of self and individuality, your Moon sign supports you in nurturing yourself, and your rising sign assists you in interacting with the world. And there’s another, lesser-known layer of self awareness within the vast language of astrology that has to do with the astrology elements.

The fundamental elements of fire, air, earth, and water in nature are also a foundational component of astrology. Each of us are comprised of each element, although differing in our unique balance and modes of expression.

How Do I Know Which Element I Am?

Just as every zodiac sign expresses itself through us, we are our very own makeup of the four elements in astrology—fire, air, earth, and water. It is through exploring and understanding our unique blend of traits that we can access greater insights into the tools and gifts available to us, how we draw on them as we move through the world, and what our relationship is with emotion, change, action, inspiration, and more.

Knowing what your astrology elements are is like holding up a mirror and asking how we can best support ourselves. It’s learning how to move and work with our nature as opposed to against it.

What the Four Astrology Elements Mean for You

Each zodiac sign and astrological house is assigned an element. We are typically dominant in one or two elements and we can tend to attract others to us that are dominant in the elements that we may be lacking. Through intention, awareness, and certain actions and practices, we can call upon and strengthen each of the elements within us.

To find your elemental balance, you can use online calculators. Calculators such as these look not only at the element of your Sun sign, but also consider every zodiac sign, planet, aspect, and house placement within your natal chart and how they express themselves. While you may be a Leo Sun and therefore hold the element of fire, beneath the surface may be a considerable amount of water swirling within you thanks to an emphasis on Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces.

Following are insights into the expression of each element. Explore your dominant element for identifying characteristics and insights, although also draw on the insights held within the other elements.

The fire element expresses itself through enthusiasm, self-expression, and adventure. (Illustration: Anastasiia_M | Getty Images)

Astrology Elements: Fire Signs

Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius

Passion, inspiration, and movement. The fire element is excitement, expression, and adventure. Those strong in fire are invited to live life in their own way, to learn and grow through taking action, and to follow their desires without restraint. There is a quick energy to the fire signs, an excitement that overflows into the need to move, create, and express. It is through trusting and acting on these instincts that those who are strong in fire cultivate and refine their intuition.

Fire can support us to bring more excitement into our lives, follow our passions, build confidence, spark inspiration, and take action wherever we feel we’ve reached a roadblock. It is medicine if ever we are doubting our potential, encouraging us to remember our magic and try anyway. And if we “fail,” it coaxes us to try again or to try a new way. As long as we continue, as long as we follow the path that calls our name, the fire is sated. If ever it looks as if there are no opportunities presenting themselves, fire guides us to create our own.

An illustration of the earth element and how it affects the zodiac signs.
The earth element translates to a sense of grounding and tends to denote the characteristics of being practical, stable, and reliable.(Illustration: Anastasiia_M | Getty Images)

Astrology Elements: Earth Signs

Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn

A strong earth element means a life rooted in the tangible world. It is an invitation to build security and stability for ourselves through practical action and experiencing the body. It is a path that invites us to create something lasting and to methodically create the foundation for our dreams through focus, time, effort, and reliable action. The gift of a dominant earth element is a calmness, a grounded and regulated nervous system, that supports us in the movement of life around us.

Naturally, the earth element in Astrology is medicine in grounding, practicality, consistency, reliability, and stability. It is when we feel disconnected that this element can bring us into connection, where we feel unstable that it supports us to reach into stability, and where we are impatient that it reminds us of the power in small, consistent, and intentional movement over time. This element supports us in landing our dreams, desires, and excitements into reality, as it builds in the tangible inspired and informed by the passions of fire, the ideas of air, and the emotional meaning of water. And it is our partner to reach out to if ever we need to feel safe, secure, and at home.

An illustration of one of the natural elements, air, including its astrological symbol, or glyph, of a pyramid with a strike-through.
The air elements equates to a need for change and to follow one’s desires. (Illustration: Anastasiia_M | Getty Images)

Astrology Elements: Air Signs

Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius

Just like air itself, this element—and the zodiacs it represents—must have the freedom to move, to shift, to change at any moment, and to venture wherever desired. The air element in astrology represents the mind, communication, and our thought processes. Those strong in air hold an invitation for a lifetime of learning, exploring, and expanding on the intellectual level. Their path is rich with—and fulfilled through—stimulating communication and seeking new perspectives through which to understand life.

Air supports us to step back and find objectivity within any situation. If ever we are lost in the the fires of passion, the routine of earth, or the waters of emotion, air invites us to step back and observe the situation with a level of healthy detachment and curiosity, allowing for a greater perspective. It is an element that we can harness in moments that feel stagnant, lacking in perspective, or whenever we are ready for a cleansing breath to flow through our minds, bodies, and lives.

An illustration of the symbol for water.
The water element stands for our ability to feel and to move fluidly from one emotional current to the next. (Illustration: Anastasiia_M | Getty Images)

Astrology Elements: Water Signs

Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces

Water represents our emotions. It is feeling, intuition, and observing the movement beneath the surface. Those dominant in the water element can sense the subtle emotional currents that inform each decision made by ourselves and those around us, beyond words spoken or actions taken. Their way is guided by emotions, where what is right or not right for us is felt in our inner waters. For those ruled by water, emotions are the compass.

We all experience emotions, no matter if we have a lot or a little water in our elemental nature. Yet not all of us feel safe or are comfortable with feeling them. Water supports us in this. It guides us to ourselves and our chosen others through vulnerability, emotional honesty, and intimacy. It welcomes more of life into our experience through feeling the colors, textures, and offerings that are on offer in each and every moment. The more we begin to connect with water, the more we learn how to nurture ourselves. Water heals by inviting us to feel our fluid emotions.

How to Draw on All the Astrology Elements

Each of these elements supports one another much like a family. They are, in a way, incomplete on their own. When we find our sense of harmony and balance within the elements, we can reach into the fires of passion and excitement and have them grounded by the earth through practical and tangible action in our chosen direction. We can feel the waters of our emotions and understand how to nurture ourselves just as we can bring the air element of objectivity, logic, and perspective to our decision making.

When our astrology elements are balanced, we can ground ourselves into a stable home and routine with our earth, just as we can feel the freedom of movement and flow at our fingertips with our air. And it is where we can swim through the movements of our emotional body just as we can feel safe and secure in our body doing so.

Learn more about the influence of astrology in your life, including astrological events the Moon cycles, your Sun and Moon and rising signs, how journaling can help you connect with the current influences, and more with Jordane Maree at Girl and her Moon.

About Our Contributor

Jordane Maree is the founder of Girl and Her Moon, a platform and community exploring Soul through the lens of astrology, tarot, and energy healing. She is a writer, intuitive astrologer, energy and soul guide, and host of Girl and Her Moon, The Podcast. She is inspired, every single day, to be the mirror for you to see all that you truly are, you in all your infinite abilities, in total expansion, in infinite opportunity and love.

Source link