Capricorn Yoga

Promotes homeostasis, alignment, discipline, self-control and emotional grounding. Restructuring of plans, goals and boundaries. Represents the end of practice / cool down.

Capricorn rules the bones, joints, knees and teeth.

Prana vayu : apana or samana  //  Ayurvedic dosha vata – according to Vedic astrology, but I would also say kapha

Meditation : earth connection / stillness & silence

For most of us on planet Earth, the Capricorn season falls in wintertime. Visualize deep green jungle wonderlands to combat seasonal depression, clinomania (excessive desire to stay in bed) or other winter maladies. Breathe deeply from a seated position and send roots into the earth. Imagine yourself as an earth goddess, rainforest native, jaguar warrior or any earth archetype which speaks to you – maybe you are a tree-climbing goat. See your body as an organic entity, covered in leaves, moss, branches, sprouting flowers, misted in dew, growing into the earth and out in all directions. Surrounding you is an earthen scene straight out of your wildest dreams. Do you hear birds? Animals scurrying? Wind in the trees? Raindrops? Smell the rich earth with your inhale, breathing in the bounty of Gaia. Other options include just sitting in silence and stillness to best capture the earthen element of Capricorn.

Santosha (breath of contentment) / Bhramari

The “breath of contentment” is one of my creations. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are written the yamas and niyamas, or the moral/ethical/self-discipline guidelines of yoga. One of the five niyamas is known as santosha or complete contentment with Self and all Existence. Many Capricorns struggle to accept reality with inner peace as they are often perfectionists and tireless workhorses. Inhale through the nose and exhale out the mouth, with or without added sound. The noises you emit may come and go in waves of emotional intensity. As you breathe, say to yourself: I have everything I need – I am content.

Bhramari is often called bumblebee breath. Place your thumbs on your ears, with your other fingers resting on the top of your skull. Close your eyes and your lips, then gently close your teeth together. Begin to hum or make the sound of OM with your thumbs pressed over your ears. By moving your teeth around slightly, you will be able to create many different sounds and sensations inside the skull. Hum 10 times, making the OM as long and deep as possible. Remove your hands from your head and observe with eyes still closed.

love thy knees
  1. virasana (hero’s pose)
  2. dandasana (staff pose)
  3. paschimottanasana (wide-legged forward bend) and janu sirsasana (seated one-legged forward fold, or seated tree pose)
  4. padmasana (lotus pose) or half lotus / when standing: bound half lotus
  5. gomukhasana (cow-faced pose)

Abhyasa: This sanskrit term is roughly translated as “comprehensive awareness” or “practice.” It is the concept in yoga of any practice (spiritual, yogic or otherwise) which is maintained consistently and with great devotion. Capricorn Yoga is the quintessential cultivation of abhyasa, or the will to return to the mat, the will to practice, the will to better oneself. Without abhyasa, the mind and heart will never be disciplined. Sutra 1.12: “Both abhyasa and vairagya (non-reaction) are required to still the patterning of consciousness.” It is also written that “practice is the sustained effort to rest in that stillness.” This is why the above meditation of stillness is especially helpful.

Joint circling : From the ground up! Make circles on the earth by gently rolling over the toes of one foot in one direction and then the other. Add in the ankles with wider movements. Other foot! Then take your hands to the knees, bend slightly and circle here as well, changing directions. Move the hands to the hips and circle here, changing directions. Then we’ll open the shoulders. There are many shoulder opening exercises, some of which you can find in Gemini Yoga. You can simply roll the shoulders back and forth or hold a strap in between your hands (about 2 feet apart) and make gigantic circles around your head, maintaining the distance between your hands. Feel free to experiment with this. With all movements, make sure you do at least 12 rotations, as this is the minimum requirement to generate new synovial fluid in the joints.