Hello. Welcome to the new year. No, it didn't start on January first it starts today. Today is the first day of spring, the day of equinox (equal light and equal dark of day/night times) and the day Aries the ram comes running through the gates ready to go! To start a new season, nevermind a new year, takes  courage and a joyous rising to challenge that Aries represents. The first spring plants are pushing their way through cold earth, the first buds on the trees are bursting to open, and as the days get longer and light and heat become more plentiful, many of us feel our hearts starting to stir and our bodies wanting to wake up and take action. It takes fortitude and conviction to brave the cold and blossom

Aries is a sign that everyone has somewhere in their astrological chart. Though it might not be a dominant aspect of our personality, we all  take action, initiate and come forth in many areas of our lives. Aries is ruled by the planet Mars who represents the warrior: we all know how much ferocity can be required to initiate action sometimes and we have all probably felt a warrior-like spirit arise in the moments we have pushed to gain headway. The principles and personality of Aries and Mars also govern the first house. The first house and ascendent is where we announce ourselves to the world, "HERE I AM!" Aries is the "I" principle, the one who declares herself as sovereign, individual and present. Regardless of how connected we all may be, we are also a community made up of individuals. Aries is the spirit of that individuality and Mars is the warrior willing to fight for it.

Mars and Venus suckling from the she-wolf. Mars is represented by the wolf and the woodpecker, whose beak is so strong it can break and oak to get through to the inside

On this day of the spring equinox take some time to reflect on where in your life you initiate action and/or where you would like to initiate more action. Think about what part of you is a warrior and what you're willing to fight for. Write down some intentions for the year, what are you here to come forth with; what are you here to do?

Aries is balanced by its opposite sign of Libra (ruled by Venus). While Aries embodies the "I", Libra is the "we". If you feel yourself as someone who has a whole lot of "I" energy, or maybe as someone whose inner warrior is so strong that she tramples the ones around her... You might just consider some more Libran qualities for your equinox intentions: "How can I initiate a dialogue?", "How can I express myself with equanimity to others?" "Where am I willing to fight for peace?" The spring and fall equinox are times of balance, they remind us to consider the fundamental truth-paradox of our being: we are here alone, separate, individual and we are all together in this, connected and made up of/returning to the same.

To learn more about Aries and how YOU embody those qualities, come on April 1st to 'Embodying the Zodiac'. This 2-hour class will include a lesson/discussion on Aries, Mars and the first house and where these qualities manifest in our bodies, brains and attitudes, guided somatic (body-centered) meditation and visualization as well as some take-home tips to bring into your yoga practice and daily life to encourage the healthy, balanced warrior in us all to come forth!

- With two hands together and a deep bow, from ME to YOU Renee

Embodying the Zodiac - Aries! Tuesday, April 1st 7-9pm The People's Yoga Second Studio - 4940 NE 16th (just south of Alberta) $10