The full Moon in Leo, which takes place on February 16, 2022, helps you open your heart—to yourself and others. However, you cannot energetically open your heart if it’s physically closed because of a tight chest or back. Your body, mind, and emotions all must be aligned for you to feel the magic of an open heart.
We often forget that there is access to the heart through both the front and back of the body. The place between your shoulder blades is like a little trap door to the back of your heart. Throughout this practice, which is designed to help you open your chest and upper back, focus on breathing into both the front and back of your body and feeling the expansion.
A yoga practice for the full Moon in Leo
Begin at the top of your mat in Tadasana (Mountain Pose).
Inhale, lift your arms to the sky, exhale, and fold forward.
Inhale and lengthen through your back.
Exhale and step your right foot back to Low Lunge. Place your back right knee on the mat.
Inhale, lift your arms up alongside your ears, and remain here for a breath.
Exhale and lower your hands to the ground, step back to Plank Pose, and lower all the way to the ground.
Inhale and lift your heart for Cobra, keeping your legs on the ground and your elbows slightly bent.
Exhale and bring your hips up and back into Downward-Facing Dog Pose. Stay here for 5 breaths.
Inhale and step your right foot forward to Low Lunge on the other side.
Exhale and rest your back left knee on the mat.
Inhale and lift your arms alongside your ears.
Exhale and lower your hands on either side of your foot and step your back foot forward for a Standing Forward Bend.
Inhale, lift your torso to standing, reaching your arms upward.
Exhale, bring your hands to your heart.
Repeat this sequence 2 more times, feeling your hips and spine begin to open.
On each inhale, breathe into your heart; on each exhale, feel your abs activate to stabilize your core.
Surya Namaskar B (Sun Salutation B)
From the top of your mat, inhale, stretch your arms overhead, and bend your knees into Chair Pose.
Exhale and fold into a Standing Forward Bend.
Inhale and lengthen through your back.
Exhale, step into Plank Pose, and lower halfway to Chaturanga.
Inhale and lift your chest to Upward-Facing Dog Pose, with everything off the ground except your hands and feet.
Exhale and push your hips up and back to Downward-Facing Dog.
Inhale and step your left foot forward to Warrior 1, with your back foot turned slightly inward, your front knee bent, and your arms alongside your ears. Take 5 breaths here.
Exhale, release into Plank Pose, and then lower to Chaturanga. Inhale and lift your chest to Upward-Facing Dog.
Exhale and come to Downward-Facing Dog.
Repeat on the right side and then remain in Downward-Facing Dog for 5 breaths.
Exhale and step to the top of the mat. Inhale and lengthen through your spine.
Exhale and fold forward.
Inhale and return to Chair Pose.
Exhale and straighten your legs to come to standing with your hands to your heart.
Breathe while standing at the top of the mat as you feel your energy circulating throughout your body.
From the top of your mat, step your right foot back into Warrior 1. Have your back foot angled slightly in and bend your front knee. Reach your arms up toward the sky and square your hips and chest toward the front of the mat. Feel your heart expand with each inhale and your torso grow taller. Spend 5 breaths here. Look up and take a slight backbend. Inhale and clasp your hands behind you, opening your chest. Exhale and fold forward inside your front right leg, keeping your front knee bent and your hips square to the front of the mat. Let your head and neck relax as you look toward your navel. Press down through the outer edge of your back foot. Take 5 deep breaths here, feeling your chest expand and your legs strengthen. Inhale, come upright, and release your hands. Step to the front of the mat. Repeat on the other side.
From standing at the front of the mat, inhale and reach your arms overhead; exhale and fold forward. Inhale, lengthen out your back, exhale, step back into Plank Pose, and lower to the ground. Have your legs hip-width apart and press into the tops of your feet to create stability in your lower body. Draw your belly in and feel your abs activate to support your spine. Bring your arms alongside your body and press the tops of your hands into the mat or clasp your hands behind your back, opening your chest. Inhale and lift your chest upward in a slight backbend. Exhale and lift your legs, keeping them engaged. Reach your feet and arms back as you expand your chest forward. Take 5 expansive breaths into the back of your heart as you open your spine. Slowly lower and release your hands. Rest, with your head turned to the side, in between rounds for 1 breath, then complete the pose two more times, alternating which side you rest your head.
From your belly, come to kneeling with your legs hips-width apart. Press down into your shins and activate your abs. Start with your hands on your lower back. Imagine your pelvis pressing forward against a wall. Keep it there as you inhale to lengthen your spine upward and exhale to slightly bend backward into Camel Pose, bringing your fingertips to your heels. If needed, come onto your toes to lift your heels. Be gentle on your spine and watch your breath. Make it smooth as you deepen the backbend on every exhale. If comfortable for you, release your head back, opening your neck. Spend about 5 breaths here, then come upright slowly. Pause for a moment and then, if desired, repeat, going deeper the second round.
Seated Spinal Twist
Come to Sukhasana (Easy Seat). You can sit on a block or folded blankets to elevate your hips. Close your eyes as you take 5 breaths, counting up to 4 on each inhale and back down on each exhale. Allow this breath to set the pace for the rest of the practice. Open your eyes. Inhale and reach your arms to the sky; exhale and twist to the right, placing your left hand on your right knee and your right hand behind your right hip for a twist. Look over your right shoulder and feel your entire spine rotating as your hips stay grounded and centered. Take 5 breaths here, then slowly release and come back to center. Switch the crossing of your legs and repeat on the other side.
From lying on your back, reach your arms and legs out. Feel the opening in your chest as your body softens. Rest here as your body fully integrates the poses. Stay for at least 5 minutes.
See also: What the Full Moon Means in Astrology
Excerpted from The Leo Full Moon Workbook by Jill Wintersteen.
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.