Standing strong through Mercury Rx in Aquarius
In medical astrology Aquarius rules the lower legs (tibia, fibula and talus) and Mercury rules the brain, central nervous system and the 5 senses. Aquarian injuries include sprained ankles that result from being "up in your head" rather than looking where you're going, and imbalanced or afflicted Mercury often shows up as nervous anxiety... another type of getting caught up in your head.
This week's yoga suggestion is a simple sequence to bring circulation (also co-ruled by Aquarius) into your calves, ankles and feet. As you practice the poses you can also practice visualizing your central channel (the energetic midline that includes your spine and CNS) clarifying, strengthening and uniting between your head and base of your pelvic floor. Try and soften (muscularly and energetically) around your lower belly and hips. Play with the idea that as you work with your feet, ankles and forelegs you can increase the "flow" of energy from your feet to your body and vice versa. Notice which direction feels more useful or appealing to you.
1.) Start by placing the top of one foot in the arch of the other. Sit back on the top heel. There's a good chance this will feel quite tender in your bottom foot. Focus on softening and relaxing the sole of your foot through into the topside of your foot. Imagine that your shin and calf are releasing towards your ankle, and the roots of your toes are releasing to the tips of your toes. (According to Melina, in energy medicine the points at the center of the ball of the foot are the K1 kidney points.) Stay on each side about one minute, or longer if you can tolerate it.
2.) Vajrasana (thunderbolt pose). After the last pose you can sit back on your heels with your feet pointing straight back (try not to roll your heels out to the sides). Visualize a clear pathway of energetic release from your lower knee (top of the tibia bone) through into the center of your ankle, through the midline of your foot, and out your middle toes. Find a similar visualized pathway from the crown of your head through the midline of your body, into your pelvic floor, and from pelvic floor into each leg. Play with imagining the "flow" of these pathways moving from Earth to sky, or from sky to Earth.
3.) Toes Pose. Tuck all of your toes underneath you, you may have to use your hands to bring some of them under, especially if you have shorter baby toes. Sit back on your heels. Similar to the first pose, this one might be incredibly uncomfortable at first. The pose stretches the plantar fascia at the sole of the foot, which is one end of the superficial back line, a chain of connective tissues that unites the back body from the soles of the feet to the ridge of your brow.
4.) Finally, for the last pose sit back on your heels as in Vajrasana, but now let your weight shift back so that your knees get lighter and maybe even come off of the floor. Balancing hands-free is an option. In contrast to the last pose, this one elongates the front of the ankle joint as well as the skin and fascial line along the front of the foreleg.
**If any of the above poses cause pain in your knees please don't do them. It's also useful to go over the postures with a qualified instructor, especially if you require modifications. Most poses can be modified so that they are accessible to various body needs.
Practice these poses to bring more awareness and vitality into your lower legs, ankles and feet. If you notice that you are stuck in your mental-ness, take some time to bring more attention to the forelegs and feet. Remember that "as above, so below".