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Being the water sign of Cancer, I most certainly am affected by the moon, in fact for us crustaceans our Tarot card is the Moon. Still, you don't need to be a water sign to be impacted by either a Full or New Moon. So here's what you may have found during the last New Moon..

So this New Moon set its' stave in the ground (so to speak) on Saturday the 21st of January and in the sign of Aquarius and I'm going to share with you what this means and how you may have been affected.

First let me be clear that this sign is a water bearer but in actual fact an air sign. Whilst you may be another sign to Aquarius you will feel the pull of the Aquarian magnetic energy.

This is a time for innovation and to get those cogs turning with new ideas about the future of your 2023. What's exciting about this energy is its rebellious so those inner stirrings may have felt a little different from your usual wants and desires.

However, these ones aren't going to go away unless you honour them and allow them into fruition.

With the Aquarian sign being incredibly humanitarian, as long as you're not hurting anybody else it's time to speak up, stand in your power and reveal your inner truth about your wants and desires for your future.

One thing you may have felt lately is; vulnerable and overly sensitive and so this is a huge calling to call upon those that nourish you and feed your soul. Seek appreciation, support, and love and if there is anybody suitable to give that, give it away and then even more back to yourself.

You may have found yourself (and continue to live there for a little while), which is all up in your head (not all up in your grill as the feisty ones say) You want to ponder and think about your future moving forward and plan it out however, don't get too bogged down with the finer details.

Get curious, be playful during this time and ask more questions, investigate and get out there and be a social butterfly during those moments where you feel the need for company.

Aquarius is represented by the Star card in tarot and therefore the meaning of this card is reflected during this time of the month. In the mythic of tarot we see the Star card depicted with Pandora's box. So the meaning during this moment in time is to have that childlike curiosity and carry Hope when it appears at times that all Hope has been lost. Without Hope we have nothing.

Lastly, this is an important time to explore that deep connection to community. This can be expressed and experienced in all manor of ways; teamwork, collaboration, and the concept of the "greater good," This Aquarius energy is determined to make a powerful difference in the world and so why not take whatever those inner stirring are calling you to do, into consideration. And so it is!

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Yoga is something that the western world assumes is a class whereby people appear to wrap their leg around their head. It’s a word that you may associate with the chanting word OM, or tree pose or images of women on the cover of magazines looking serene in their Yoga pants.

It is so much more than that! Yes it’s a physical practice but it’s also a mental and spiritual practice too.

Yoga originated in ancient India and it was the sage Patanjali and his Yoga Sutras who codified it, which was around 400 C.E. The truth is the practice was handed down from teacher to student long before this text arose.

The word yoga is derived from Sanskrit meaning “to yoke,” or “to unite”. The practice aims to create union between body, mind and spirit, as well as between the individual self and universal consciousness. Such a union can neutralize the ego-driven thoughts and behaviours and create a sense of spiritual awakening.

Whilst most people in the western world are drawn to Yoga for its health benefits, the ultimate goal of yoga is to achieve liberation from suffering.

As a teacher of Yoga myself, what I love about the practice is that whilst it may draw people in for the health benefits such as strength building and flexibility, people soon notice the mental, emotional and spiritual benefits of the practice and are then captivated by this.

However, this release from suffering begins with the focus on bringing together body, mind and breath as a means of altering energy or shifting consciousness.

Going back to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, which provides the traditional foundation of yoga, Pantanjali outlines an eightfold path of the practice which is known as the ‘Eight Limbs of Yoga. This path offers a guide to individuals who are dedicated to creating a union between body, mind and spirit.

Each of the Eight Limbs offers a means of living with more integrity, self-discipline, respect for nature and connection with the spiritual aspects of life. These eight practices are intended to be carried out in a holistic and integrative manner:

Yamas - Five universal, ethical and moral observances to live by (nonviolence, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence and non-covetousness)

Niyamas - Five spiritual and self-discipline observances (cleanliness, contentment, spiritual austerities, study of scriptures and surrender to God)

Asana - physical posture, originally intended only for seated meditation, but more recently adapted to encompass all physical yoga practices

Pranayama - breathing exercises to control the flow of prana (vital life force)

Pratyahara - Withdrawal of the senses

Dharana - Single pointed concentration

Dhyana - Meditation

Samadhi - Liberation or blissful union with the Divine

So there you have the Eightfold path to liberation of the soul and you thought you were just turning up to class to roll out your mat and bust out a few shapes. The actual physical aspect of Yoga doesn't really play a big part in this eightfold path. I look forward to sharing more with you about this eight limbed system and look forward to seeing you on the mat - in-person or online Xx

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One of the many benefits that I remember about inversions is the psychological one which is; by turning yourself upside down (quite literally) you’re able to gain a whole new perspective on your circumstances. Now let me add that this upside down business doesn’t always mean standing on your hands or head. When you stand up and fold yourself forward, like you do in a sun salutation and you remain in that folded position, well technically that’s an inversion because you’re elevating your heart above your head so essentially are upside down.

What I love about Yoga is the body and mind connection and this can only be fully experienced through the practice of it. So, when we fold ourselves forward and there we are dangling our upper body in mid air, we’re able to reap the rewards of a change of perspective. Don’t simply take my word for it, try it for yourself.

Other benefits of these poses include the fact that it increases blood circulation and lymphatic drainage to help deliver oxygen and nutrients throughout the body and remove waste products.

Inverted poses can increase alertness and reduce fatigue and they do so by increasing oxygen and nutrient uptake in cells and releasing endorphins, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, that increase attention and improves mood. Perhaps this is how we’re able to gain that new perspective!

Furthermore, being upside down requires focus, which over time, may improve your ability to focus on any situation that comes your way.

Finally, Yoga is known for its ability to improve balance, flexibility, and strength in all age groups and with inversions they require great mind-body awareness and strength to hold the body in a stretched position against the force of gravity, which as a byproduct increases muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility over time

Practicing yoga has been shown to increase self-esteem, body image, and overall confidence and it’s easy to see why because it truly is confidence building coming into most poses, particularly the poses that take the heart above the head. Once learned, these postures can bring a greater sense of confidence in your ability to overcome obstacles in your daily life. It teaches the notion of non-attachment and embraces imperfection.

Certain inversions such as Legs up the Wall can reduce pain and swelling in the lower limbs by promoting lymphatic circulation. The lymphatic system removes wastes and byproducts from the body and helps maintain fluid balance.

With inversions the force of gravity paired with gentle movement allows for increased lymphatic flow and blood circulation away from the limbs and toward the heart. As such, this may alleviate pain, discomfort, and swelling.

Contraindications for inversions:- Those with high blood pressure should come into these poses with great caution and those with injuries of the lower limbs, back, or neck should avoid inversion poses such as shoulder stand. Also people suffering from Glaucoma should seek medical advice first before coming into any such poses.

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