The Best Yoga Poses for Your Zodiac Sign
Illustrations: Nicholas Davison
Your ideal pose: warrior II
Also called proud warrior, it's especially fitting for the first sign of the zodiac. "Aries stay steady and strong to their purpose, and this pose helps build stamina and strength. Hold it for a couple of minutes and you'll feel your legs quake," says yoga instructor and astrologer Debbie Barnett.
Try it: Stand with your feet about 3 to 4 feet apart. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and turn your left foot inward slightly. Outstretch your arms to the sides, parallel to the floor. Bend your right knee so that it's directly over your ankle, shifting your weight to sink into your hips. Turn your gaze to the right. Hold and repeat on the other side.
Your ideal pose: cow face
You're sitting on the ground for this one, which automatically makes it a centering pose, Barnett says. At the same time, the action of your arms opens you up. "A Taurus is a bull—they have a tendency to get stuck at times in their lives," Barnett says. This pose releases that stagnant energy.
Try it: Sit and cross your right leg over your left, stacking your knees and bringing your foot next to your left hip, facing behind you. Move your left foot next to your right hip, facing behind you. Extend one arm toward the ceiling, palm facing behind you. Bend your elbow so that your hand is behind your neck. Reach behind you with the opposite arm and clasp your hands (if possible).
Your ideal pose: shoulder opener
The sign of the Twins, "Geminis are all about communication. They may be likely to sit hunched over at a computer during the day," Barnett says. Opening up your shoulders will battle this bad posture and the neck and shoulder pain that can go with it.
Try it: Clasp your hands behind your back and roll your shoulder blades together. Drop your hands low. Your fingers should be together but not your palms.
Your ideal pose: child's pose
Cancers are natural nurturers. "This forward bend is calming to your nervous system," Barnett says, adding that the position is similar to how we once lived in the womb. Being on the ground is also calming when you're upset, as it provides a much-needed feeling of security.
Try it: Kneel on the floor and sit on your heels. Separate your knees so that they are aligned with your hips. Place your hands on the floor in front of you and lengthen your torso toward the floor, resting your head on the floor.
Your ideal pose: lion
On the surface, this makes sense: Leos are lions. They are determined and fierce—but that also means they could use a chance to release some tension. The added benefit is that by sticking out your tongue, you're also tapping into the silly, childlike part of your personality, Barnett says.
Try it: Sit on the ground with your legs crisscrossed. Inhale deeply; then open your eyes wide and exhale through an open, wide mouth, sticking your tongue out and making a loud "haa" sound.
Your ideal pose: plow
Sorry, Virgo, but you can be a bit high-strung, Barnett says. Doing a pose where you get your feet above your head can help you let go of your tendency to get wrapped up in your own head, she says. What's more, this pose puts pressure on and stimulates your thyroid to boost energy; stretching shoulders helps you loosen up (physically and figuratively).
Try it: Lie on your back with your arms at your sides. Bring your toes up over your head and lower your feet to touch the floor. Your hands should remain at your sides, palms down. If possible, inch them together to clasp your hands.
Your ideal pose: warrior III
Libras are all about balance in their lives, but finding harmony can be tough. Warrior III is challenging, Barnett says, and takes some serious focus and stability to pull off.
Try it: Standing tall, step back into a high lunge position. Outstretch your arms in front of you, parallel to the floor. Simultaneously, begin to pivot forward as you raise your back leg. Your back leg, torso and arms should make a straight line.
Your ideal pose: eagle
As a water sign, you may have fixed, stubborn energy coursing through your system. Wrapping your limbs in eagle and then unwinding infuses joints and cells with fresh oxygen to help you get unstuck, Barnett says.
Try it: Stand tall and bend both knees slightly. Lift your right leg off the ground and wrap it around the other leg, the top of your foot resting on your calf. Cross your right arm under your left arm and touch your hands together. Lift your arms up so that your elbows are bent, forearms in front of your face.
Your ideal pose: archer
The symbol of Sagittarius is a bow and arrow. As someone who is philosophical and appreciates higher learning and law, you want to make sure that your aim is correct as you approach problems. However, you may realize that you tend to speak before you think, Barnett says. Archer pose will help you focus first and take aim before releasing your words.
Try it: Stand with your feet apart, turn your right foot out and bend that knee. Extend your right arm straight, parallel to the ground, and pull your left arm back as if you're going to shoot an arrow from a bow.
Your ideal pose: mountain
As a Capricorn, you may be a bit of a control freak. "You're steady and stable with workaholic tendencies," Barnett says. This pose serves as the foundation for all the other poses, so it suits you well. When you're in it, resist the temptation to clench your muscles—keep everything loose.
Try it: Stand tall with your feet together. Your arms should be at your sides. If you'd like, you can bring your hands together in prayer position in front of your heart.
Your ideal pose: half lotus
An Aquarius is "all about truth and humanity," Barnett says. "They are rooted in logic but serve as an example of how we can all live together in community." This pose is all about stability and meditation.
Try it: Sit on the floor and cross your legs. One foot should rest under the opposite knee. The other foot should rest on the opposite thigh, near your hip bone.
Your ideal pose: fish pose
This is a heart-opening pose, ideal for Pisces, who see the union of all things, Barnett says. "They can identify with everyone," she adds. Heart openers can feel intense—they have a way of drumming up emotions.
Try it: Sit on the floor, legs together and outstretched. With your hands on the floor next to your butt for support, lean back with the goal of placing the top of your head on the floor.