Embodied HOROSCOPES - April 2015

Horoscopes for April 2015Read for your sign sun and for your rising sign if you know it This month's practice for everyone is Nadi Shodhana, and the article about it is here

Ceremonial offerings in Bali

ARIES- Your feelings of who you are have been changing so rapidly and have been so in flux for so long that it has become your new normal. This past month might have been brutal or lovely, but either way it's brought something close to a culmination point, and the rapid changes and transformations of your identity are reaching a point of clarification. What's coming in April is now the ability to mentally make sense of the changes, and to articulate, define, and refine your sense of yourself. This doesn't mean the changes are over but it means that they're moving past the crisis points. You are about to come through into a kind of self-knowing that can talk about it itself and this is very good news. The first half of the month brings insight, clarity and consciousness to your ability to think about yourself and to perceive how your thoughts about yourself impact the experiences you have. The second half of the month is about your personal values and how you define them. Around the 21st and 22nd especially you can practice speaking truth to power, and speaking the powerful truth of YOU.

* Practice this month- Warrior 1, Virabhadrasana I: Your focus in the pose for this month should be on noticing how a firm foundation in your legs supports clarity and uprightness through your spine, arms and into your eyes and face. Play with shifting weight from the front leg to the back leg, don't try and "square your hips" but instead feel into a place where you have balanced weight between both hip joints. Feel how the back leg rooting gives rise to length in that side of your waist; notice how the front leg anchoring can help firm the right and left sides towards one another. Practice letting your eyes soften and rest back, widen your peripheral vision and invite generosity and kindness into your face. ** Wear it this month: Thought provoking slogans and (fashion) statements. "Look at me" items that are more than just looks. You are coming forth with your intellect, insight and radiance.

TAURUS- Dear Taurus, if ever there was a time to investigate the claims that your sign is stubborn, April would be the month to do just that. I'm not saying you are or aren't- sun sign astrology definitely isn't the whole picture of you. But something about you radiates earthiness and stability, and though both qualities are lovely, you can also be reluctant to move (on). This month your social relations will give you reasons to look at your tendencies to get stuck on "things". Your larger social scene might alternately feel idyllic, confusing, frustrating, or dreamy. Mid-month could feel like a standoff between what or how you love to love and the support/resources you receive from others to love like you do. And by love I don't mean just loving other people- I mean how you love as your way of life and what brings value and meaning into it. Remember this- resistance builds strength. If you sense that others are less than generous or if you feel that they actively try to restrict you- rather than digging your heels in and refusing to budge try examining how resistance can make your love stronger. That might mean adapting or letting go here or there, and if you do... it will be ok. *Practice this month- Side Plank, Vasisthasana: This is an incredibly challenging pose that requires you to be adept at playing with your balance. If you get rigid in the pose you will fall out of it! Notice if you can shift your attention from the supporting limbs into the reaching, heavenward limbs and play with how far you can reach into space with the top arm. The more you feel the resistance of the floor as something to give you more oomph in your reach, the less the floor will feel like a huge gravity downer. ** Wear it this month- Go with the flow: Embrace flowy layers. A just-off pastel palette would be great: mix up silvers, grays and sheer earth tones with splashes of roses and reds.

GEMINI- Your sun sign isn't necessarily what you're good at, it's what you're here to radiate, and to be radiant is sometimes a challenge. This month you have the opportunity to practice the quality that you've always been told (by astrology columns at least) that you're good at- communication. The areas of your chart that are alive and radiating right now all have to do with communicating on some level, and by communicating I don't mean only speaking or writing but also any kind of connecting you do between yourself and others. One important aspect of connection with others are the agreements that are made about connection, and these are rarely verbal. Agreements happen in all kind of subtle ways and are more often implied or suggested than explicit. Often we find ourselves in arrangements that we agreed to unconsciously and wonder how we got there. The next few weeks are a good time for you to practice articulating agreements. You don't have to know what they are, but you can practice something else Gemini's "are", and be curious and inquisitive. Ask questions that seek to illuminate unconscious agreements in your relationships. Be bold, brave and absolutely loving. The more clarity we all come to the happier and healthier we will all be, and you Gemini can lead the way. *Practice this month- Nada Yoga Meditation: Nada Yoga is the yoga of sound. To do this meditation is simple. Wherever you are close your eyes and take a few calming breaths. Then focus on listening through your left ear and to all the sounds coming from your left, after a few moments switch your listening to your right, then to the space behind you, then in front, then below, then above. Spend a few moments with absolute attention to each direction and notice the physical and mental sensations that follow the shifts in your attention. **Wear it this month- Can we please find some fashionable guide garb? Do your best to outfit yourself in vests, blazers, and funny hats that say "Ask Me!" Embody your inner docent and offer tours as a chance to converse about everything except the tour.

CANCER- Let's talk about what you're doing with your life. What are you doing with your life??? This has been a big question this past year and doesn't seem to be shrinking any time soon. What is changing is that the question isn't as paralyzing now. You are actively taking steps on a path that hopefully is feeling more and more true to you each day. This month you can keep working steadily towards your goals but also let your hard work be a bit less directive. Sometimes insight and understanding come from going back and reviewing, and in their own way that's just what our dreams do each and every night. You might consider writing down your dreams as part of your practice in the coming month and continue that practice for up to the next year. You don't need to put your brain and all its logic in the backseat Cancer, but your logic will be well-served now by including the non-verbal feelings, sensations, imagery, and ephemeral-ness that comes from somewhere utterly non-logical. *Practice this month- Yoga Nidra: Yoga Nidra is the practice of remaining in the space between waking and dreaming. In this space you can journey into layers of consciousness that are more subtle and less material than your physical body. Feeling and working with these layers, also called Koshas, can help you strengthen and become more flexible and adept in your thinking, feeling, and psychic realms of awareness. **Wear it this month: Amulets, charms and talismans. Journeying into the dreamspace requires protection, symbolic maps, and tokens to barter with. You don't need to have expensive baubles but do take the time to bless each one and imbue it with your highest intention and deepest wish for your own and others' well being, knowledge and guidance.

LEO- Alright my Leo brethren and pride of my heart... Since last July you've had Jupiter, the great benefic of the cosmos showing you how to show up, for yourselves. Jupiter wants you to ditch the ought-to's, shoulds, and any other obligatory agreements that are not true for YOU. Remember that your sign is ruled by the sun and the sun answers to itself. If it did otherwise the universe would fall out of order. This may sound like pride or arrogance to some, but it is also a shit-ton of responsibility that you undoubtedly feel any time you try to be someone that you're not. Your job right now, and for always and forever, is to be exactly who you are, with gusto. Don't know who that is? Humble yourself to your greatest guides, inspirations, mentors, and spiritual longings and let that which you love (to do and be) lead the way. Stop thinking about it and dance it, draw it, make love about it. You know, and more you can remember what you already know the more you will serve this world a radiance that only you can serve. Don't have an ego about it, you know how to work and you will. This is about doing the best possible work that only you can do. *Practice this month- Headstand Sirsasana, OR old-fashioned postural alignment: Focus in headstand this month on bringing your attention into the area of your pituitary gland, about 2-3 inches in from the space where your eyebrows come together. If you are more advanced in your practice you might consider playing with dropping from headstand into Viparita Dandasana. If headstand is not part of your practice then grab your favorite hardcover book, balance it on top of your head and first walk normally, then do as many silly walks as you can while balancing the book. For the book balancing let your focus be at the pituitary as well. **Wear it this month- hefty hiking boots with a party dress (or some svelte slacks) and dancing shoes in your backpack. You need to be ready to pick up and travel, get down to work, or get down... anywhere, anytime

VIRGO- The thing that horoscopes say about Virgos being bookish, prude and particular is BS. Yes, you are fastidious. Yes, you are quite picky.. sometimes. Yes, you want purity, but the purity you seek isn't about being a goody-two-shoes. You are in this life to bring something to the world and you know that inspiration can easily become contaminated. Whatever it is that you're here to bring and birth is about a kind of authenticity and virtue that you are completely committed to. You are no stranger to hard work Virgo and work hard you do to express yourself with absolute dignity. These past few months (maybe years) have been a challenge to your self expression. Seemingly coming from nowhere, it has felt like other people's junk keeps messing up your flow. This month might give you some clarity or long-awaited insight into what feels like a kind of whirlwind that you have been caught up in. I encourage you to keep an open mind and not to judge too quickly or hold on to assumptions that it's everyone else who's crazy. Where the planets are moving for you now has to do with the resources and information that we all share and contribute to, and to the parts of ourselves that most of us don't want to see. Remember that purity isn't about sweeping anything under the proverbial rug. A good, long, honest look at our own messy potential will clean things up much better than pretending it doesn't exist. *Practice this month- Nauli Kriya: This practice is excellent for strengthening your digestive fire. As I'm sure you know, good digestion involves being able to absorb and assimilate what will serve you, and eliminate what you don't need. Detailed instructions here **Wear it this month: Cute rain boots for wading through the muck, dark colors that can absorb without staining, and a white bandana/headscarf that can double as a surrender flag

LIBRA- Some astrologers say that there are really only 6 signs that are each composed of an axis between opposites. Looking at the zodiac this way we can understand ourselves as an axis of becoming rather than a set of qualities arising from nowhere. This month especially you are called to remember that in order to understand balance and harmony you must also understand yourself and your role in relationship. The ickiness that you might feel in making a fuss about something or in firmly stating your stance probably won't get any less icky, but you will have ample chance to practice diplomacy in decisiveness this month. Trust that you know what you know, that you own what you own, and that your graciousness is not some kind of fleeting fancy. You can set clear boundaries, speak with authority, and take up some space. Do it. *Practice this month- Chair Pose, Utkatasana: Also called powerful pose and awkward pose, this posture is the perfect metaphor for your lifelong practice of finding ease in discomfort. The word 'awkward' means to have the intention of moving toward something, but to actually be moving away from it. Utkatasana is incredibly uncomfortable and restricted feeling unless you find the 'lightness' and buoyancy of the pose- and the only way to find the buoyancy is to be incredibly powerful and rooted in your legs, glutes and abdominal wall. Watch the video here **Wear it this month- Refined, elegant and authoritative clothes that can travel. The non-wrinkle variety of dresses and dress pants. You need to know when to move-on and get going, but do it with style.

SCORPIO- You are no stranger to the power of thought Scorpio. You more than most understand the power of your thoughts to influence not only your mood, perspective, and health; but also the mood, perspective and health of those around you. Recently you have been doing some amazing work at uncovering and learning to recognize perceptive patterns and habitual thought-forms that probably have a fairly significant role to play in your health and experience of day-to-day life. This month will continue to bring underground information to surface in ways that you can understand and express. When it comes to sharing this information with others your job is to offer it with as much graciousness as possible. If feelings of entitlement or even anger arise, it's ok... and you'll win more flies with honey. Understanding your own needs is great and making space to honor them is essential. Recognizing that for the most part no one wants to get in your way, and most people will try to accommodate you and your needs if they feel that they are respected in turn is a good place to start. When you notice your thinking mind becoming directive or bossy, stop, take a breath and consider a gentler stance of receiving rather than demanding. *Practice this month- Lion's breath: Finding healthy and productive ways to both acknowledge and release intense or aggressive feelings is not only good for your health, but you might say it's also somewhat of a moral responsibility to keep those feelings from spilling over into your relationships. Lion's breath can be done anywhere at any time (though you might get some funny looks in public). It's simple to do: Inhale through your nostrils (flare them a bit) as your turn your eyes to upwards, then exhale through your mouth loudly as you stick your tongue out and stretch your jaw as far as you can. Feel free to roar. And repeat. **Wear it this month- Earthy tones and silky textures, whatever keeps you feeling both grounded and fluid. Something you can move in and something that feels good when you're getting a nice, long hug (to you and them).

SAGITTARIUS- The artistic instinct is not really about making art, it's about being art. Your sign knows this more than most in that how you have pursued your identity and sense of self has both required and become your strongest creative offering. Your ability to imagine the possibility of yourself and to continuously explore your own becoming makes your every action and reaction part of your creative process. This month there's the potential for some radical inspiration and crazy creative juju that wants you to bust open your imaginative box to the next level. It might feel like you don't know what to do with it, or that actualizing your inspiration is a mystery. Don't worry about it. Later in the year you can get "back" to work on the actualizing front. Right now your job is to just be in the fun flow of your creative joy in whatever ways you can find yourself there. *Practice this month- YeahhhhhhWhoooooop!!!: I'm loathe to give you any formalized practice this month my friend. I would rather tell you to turn on your favorite jams, turn the volume up, and just MOVE. Don't think about what you're doing, do what feels good. Don't care if anyone sees you, in fact, let it inspire you to let-loose even more and see if you can get them to join. **Wear it this month- paint-splattered overalls and old T-shirts that are a brilliant mess from your painting/collage/sculpture projects. Anything with lots of pockets to store your journals, pens, brushes and cameras in so that you can catch the winds of inspiration when they arise.

CAPRICORN- Issues of stability, safety, home and family have been at the forefront for a while now. It seems that you just can't quite settle, and the moment you think that maybe you will, or that you have, something else comes along and destabilizes you all over again. The past few years have not been an easy time for you friend, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear how road-weary and tired-of-it-all you are. That said, you have come to some kind of understanding that home is where you make it, and that ultimately that must be somewhere internal. To feel 'at home' in the midst of a chaotic and constantly changing world is a skill that's been important for you to develop, Earth sign that you are. It seems that maybe the chaos is going to subside a bit though now. There will still be ups and downs but at this point I think you understand both how to weather them, and that sometimes those ups and downs are of your own making. You are a proud creature Capricorn and not one to ask for help easily. In the coming month though you might consider enlisting the skills and insight of your trusted friends, colleagues and intimates in helping you grow your own insight into what you are building. You might even consider asking for help building it. Though you might think that the empire is only yours to make, remember that many hands make joyful work. *Practice this month- Connecting: Partner yoga doesn't have to be acrobatic or sexy. One of the most healing practices I have found to do with another person is simply sitting back-to-back. Enlist your friends, family, loves, and maybe even strangers. In absence of another body find a beautiful and sturdy tree. Breathe deeply and feel the support and life in the body that's touching yours. Be in the space between your bodies; in the giving and receiving, in the arriving, in the eventual surrender and trust. Here's a simple exercise **Wear it this month- PJ's, yoga pants, and anything soft and cuddly. Be as comfortable and homey as possible while still keeping an ounce of your well-cultivated and stylish dignity.

AQUARIUS- How you know who you are, and how you bring that forth into the world has everything to do with the reflections you receive. These reflections come from other people, the environment, animals, dreams, your own creations, and some kind of mysterious insight that bubbles up, often completely unexpectedly, when you get a glimpse of yourself and a wave of insight into your nature. To know oneself isn't an easy task at all, in fact, it's one that few people will ever seriously consider undertaking; in part because not only is it a huge commitment to self-reflection, but it can also be incredibly painful. Krishnamurti said, "to know oneself is to know oneself in relationship." We do not exist in a vacuum, and when we stop to consider how we are and what we are, we find that we're irreconcilably linked to everything, and everyone else; and this immensity of feeling and potential isn't something that most of us are equipped to know what to do with. You have been surfing the collective waves for quite some time now Aquarius, and you've been rocked in your own self-perceptions as you've had to grapple with the everythingness that encompasses you. This month is a good time to start redefining and re-articulating a sense of yourself that is inclusive of the vast unknown potential that you feel so strongly. Figuring out how to perceive and communicate your own boundaries is a start, but first you need to figure out where they are. Don't be scared to draw some lines between 'you' and 'not you'. Practice imagining yourself, complete with your boundaries and personal identity as a kind of being that can encompass everything and not get swallowed by it. Let the everythingness strengthen your ability to communicate from your own, unique, separate, perspective. *Practice this month- Corpse Pose Savasana: Savasana isn't just the standard end of a yoga class- it's a complex and deep practice in and of itself. Lying in corpse pose is practicing staying aware as you release and let go of your efforts. After a movement class this could be your muscles, at the end of the day it could be your mental or emotional efforts. Whatever it is that you're releasing notice how what you're releasing is not you. You are not your tension, you are not your efforts, you are not the things that you do. As you release more and more notice what you feel to be your own essence; breathe into it, love it, be in it and be it. **Wear it this month- sequined gloves and mirrored pendants. Reflect back to the world around you and have your tools on hand to remember who you are.

PISCES- You, more than most, are comfortable being in flux. The sensation of sand and waves shifting between your toes is kind of similar to the sensation of life in general. When the world is so obviously in flux it can be a challenge to understand why anyone would want to go to the effort of building something when it's just going to disintegrate/dissolve/disperse at some point anyway, and the hugeness of that existential dilemma isn't something that any of us are going to answer anytime soon. For you though Pisces there is something crucial for you to learn in the building and forming processes. Almost because of the fact that you know that whatever you're building is temporary. To put yourself to the task and to figure out how to attend to the details holds some kind of clue, and maybe even healing for you. The amount of fear that you feel when you contend with possible loss is something to pay attention to, but not something to be ruled by. To sit with inevitability and to arrive every day in the mundane is sacred work. And you are up for it. *Practice this month- Hips, psoas and lower spine strengthening: This led video practice is about 30 minutes from start to finish, but once you've learned the movements you can do any of them at any time for a quick exercise. The muscle groups that you're working here physically connect your legs to your spine and emotionally is a place where we often hold feelings of a gripping type of fear. As you do these movements see if you can do them with an awareness of your entire spine and the movement of your breath becoming linked with your legs and feet. **Wear it this month- your favorite swimsuit, snorkel, goggles and tools for building castles in the sand