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The Best Workout For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

The Best Workout For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

Since ancient times, people looked up in the sky when times turned harsh, looking for some comfort. As they accumulated more knowledge, astrologists were born and the stars began to “speak” to us more and more. Zodiac signs were established and since then we always listen to the horoscope before starting our day. How to find your perfume, how to spend your honeymoon and how to deal with a broken heart, can all be decided based on your zodiac sign.

Before the workouts, let’s find more about astrology and zodiac signs

However, there are skeptics like me who need more in order to believe their destiny is altered by the month of their birth. As always, I turned to science, trying to find a connection between the astrological sign and personality traits. First, there are more and more Americans who do believe in astrology, according to data gathered by the National Science Foundation.

But the really amazing findings are those which link personality traits to birthdays, to be more specific, zodiac signs.

Schizophrenia and bipolar disorders are more common in people born under Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces

Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are studied intensively, being two of the most common personality disorders, which affect the patient’s entire life. Some studies looked at the incidence of these ailments among patients and found that people born in January, February and March have the highest risk of developing these conditions. A study conducted at the Queen Mary University of London revealed that January is the month where most schizophrenia patients are born, being closely followed by February and March.

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Suicidal tendencies are more common in people born under Aries and Taurus

Still, in London, another study, this time conducted by St. Helen’s College, University College London and the University of Liverpool found that suicide is more common among people born in April and May. The study found that people born in Aries and Taurus have a 17% more risk of committing suicide, compared to people born under other signs. Out of these, women born in April and May have 13% more chances of becoming suicidal, compared to men born in the same months.

People born under Sagittarius, Aquarius and Capricorn have a lower agreeableness level

There are five main personality traits, according to science: agreeableness, extraversion, openness, neuroticism, and conscientiousness. Agreeableness is that warmth of character, which, according to a study conducted at the University of Tokyo, is not found in people born in December, January, and February.

Men born under Gemini, Cancer and Leo have a lower conscientiousness level

Another personality trait is conscientiousness, which is the ability to be careful. According to a study conducted at the University of Bologna, men born in summer rate lower for this trait. Another interesting find of this study is that people born in autumn or winter are morning people, while those born in spring or summer are “night owls”.

Now that we know horoscope zodiac signs can and do alter our personalities, let’s check the best workouts, according to your astrological sign.

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Aries – Personalized training

Because Aries likes to be the center of attention and is prone to take the competition to another level way too often, a personal trainer is the best option for you.

Taurus – Cardio workout

Taurus natives are sensual and love art, so dance is the best workout for you, as it offers the intense exercise you need and the sensual form you crave.

Gemini – HIIT

Gemini becomes bored very quick, so a high-intensity interval training is exactly what you need. The intense reps and the short reps don’t let you get bored and provide you with the intensive workout you need.

Cancer – Community workouts

This one is a bit harder to explain: Cancer natives love to have other people around, so if you want the best from your training, you should find someone who can become your exercise mate. Pump up the music and start exercising together.

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Leo – Full body workouts

Leo natives are competitive, strong-willed and ready to take up a challenge, so for you, full body workouts are the best pick. Your motivation is never low, so you can pull it off easily, especially if you have other Leo natives around you.

Virgo – Barre workouts

Virgo is critical and this means you love to repeat until it’s perfect. Barre workouts are based on repetition, while they emphasize form and technique, making them perfect for you.

Libra – Kickboxing

Libra is the sign of balance, so kickboxing is going to provide you with the dose of full body workout you need and the opportunity to unleash your wild side.

Scorpio – Running

Scorpio natives are very focused, especially on great goals, so running a marathon is a great workout for you because it uses your focus and your endurance.

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Sagittarius – Rock Climbing

Social and adventurous, Sagittarius natives are going to love rock climbing sessions. These also provide a complete workout and get you out of your comfort zone.

Capricorn – Ironman or mud competitions

Capricorn natives are tough and determined, so training for the notorious Ironman or mud competitions, which are extra tough, is going to provide you with the disciplined workout you need.

Aquarius – Team Sports

Aquarius natives are team players by nature, so team sports are their best pick when it comes to working out. Plus, the competition is going to sparkle your interest.

Pisces – Yoga

Pisces are said to have a slippering personality, but this is not why yoga is the best for you. Yoga helps you connect with your spiritual side and tone your body, during the same exercise.

Featured photo credit: Albumarium via images.unsplash.com

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Published on January 17, 2020

How to Learn Yoga (The Beginner’s Guide)

How to Learn Yoga (The Beginner’s Guide)

If you think yoga can be learned on the mat, you’re wrong! To learn yoga is to learn yourself, your life and the world around you, which happens mostly off the mat.

Since 2000, I study, practice, teach and live yoga – I grow with it from year to year – hence life becomes more interesting and more meaningful from year to year, too. Through all these years, I observe the evolution of yoga in the western culture and see, how (mostly) wrongly, has been interpreted, taught and practiced. Little is known about how to learn yoga – about its practice, its effect and its application. Yoga is all about finding the simplicity and the meaning in the complexity of life.

But when we look around us, it doesn’t seem so simple, even for those who practice it, and for the most who teach it. Everything about yoga begins in its definition from the original yogic scripture Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.[1]

And the value for how to learn yoga, is in this article – showing the value of the above definition and how to practice it in the simplest way, effectively and efficiently.

What is Yoga?

Yoga-Citta-Vrtti-Hirodhah — and its translation is: Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations arising within consciousness.

The 195 Sutras, that the original yoga scripture consists of, are written in a strongly compressed manner with the idea to deliver a profound meaning and a lot of space for interpretation. However, the interpreter must be highly serious and competent, otherwise the interpretation will drastically deviate from what the message conveys.

When the definition about yoga is interpreted and applied the right way, it tells us how yoga is to be practiced and explored. To start the right way, we must know the right destination of yoga, which is Kaivalya:[2] The union between you, the other and the world.

Let’s see how to do that:

Beginning with the famous mainstream slogan “Union of Body, Mind and Soul”, brings up the question, “How to reunite the body, mind and soul?”

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Your feelings – created by outside stimuli result in the creation of thoughts, hence there’s connection between your body and mind. That’s easy to understand, right?

Now this connection and the thoughts must serve and improve the mind, making it capable to 1) understand the soul and 2) to unite it with the body and mind. That’s where our journey towards the goal of yoga (Samadhi) is interrupted – making the main part of the union not easy to understand, even less so to accomplish.

Yoga is More Spiritual than Physical

This is what makes yoga more spiritual than physical. To put it in numbers, yoga is 97% of psychological, philosophical and spiritual nature and only some 3% of physiological, considering that there are only seven out of 195 Sutras referring physiologically to sitting and breathing, of which I talked in my earlier post on Yoga For men.

But before experiencing any spirituality from yoga, there is the mental (emotional) part that needs to be mastered and that part is to establish a connection between the body and mind. How?

The simple thought and realization that you are conscious of how you feel within your body (cold, warm, relaxed, depressed, anxious, happy and so on), means that you have made the union between your body and mind. (below the step by step exercise for that).

But to establish a connection to your soul – to the finest part of yourself – the Self:

You must find out (through thinking) what is the subtlest thing that drives your body and mind – yourself as an individual and use that driver to go pass beyond your physicality and mentality.

It is right here that you use the definition about yoga and the realization – the moment, where you are not analyzing any thoughts or feelings. This is a state of Yoga – a state of union between body, mind and soul, in which your consciousness has ceased to identify with its fluctuations.

Yoga as Creativity and Expertise of the Individual

In such a case, there is no specific (like beginners, intermediate or advanced) technique for learning yoga. The moment of the state of yoga arises for everyone of us in an individual way as everybody’s physique and mental content are different. You might be very well advanced in performing the most difficult asanas for decades but still unable and incompetent to be in a state of union with your body, mind and soul. Whereas, if you are a beginner and possess the grace and other virtues, than it’s easier and quicker to establish that connection.

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As yoga is an inherent part of the human being, firstly, in order to pave the yoga path successfully and effectively, you must understand that yoga is not a technique for performance, but rather a creativity and expertise of yourself.

Your learning process cannot be focused on, nor conditioned by a certain handbook, someone’s instructions or some specific school.

Learning yoga requires your creativity to look within yourself and learn from yourself, become the expert of your feelings, emotions and desires. You, as a beginner might already possess many qualities and prerequisites for creating the union between your body, mind and soul, but your knowledge requires creativity for your growth to reach the state of union and then reap the fruits of that union. Once this happens there is no turning back – you’ll be pulled by the beauty and energy of your on being.

Be Fast Mentally and Slow Physically

As already mentioned, you don’t need to do physical performances like the split or the headstand to be able to immerse in a deep meditation or Samadhi. But you do need enough creativity for your self-inquiry.

Many of my students start working directly with meditation – attending the complexities of the mind, because that’s where the hindrances lie. There, the meditator is able to work on the cessation of identifying with the fluctuations of the consciousness – where intelligence expands, adversity ends and the individual is ready to pass through its physicality and mentality in order to reach the union with the soul.

But if you’re really a beginner and cannot start with that, then you can start enhancing your creativity on the body-mind level. The exercise follows in the next paragraph.

The greater your creativity, the better your expertise about yourself – the deeper your competence to inquire further into the union with your soul. Sure enough that a more pliable and healthy physical body has some advantages and better preconditions for that, but don’t get discouraged because your body-mind union will open up the way.

So here we are, you are at the moment to enhance your creativity upon that union. Please, take this as a very serious part of the practice as it is crucial for learning yoga – for learning yourself.

The Beginner’s Exercise – Creativity upon Body-Mind Union

The first and most important element to learn and practice yoga is of physiological and psychological nature: Stillness:

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  1. Make sure your body is still and comfortable.
  2. Focus on breathing to initiate observing.
  3. Observe your body and identify the first feeling that occurs to you.
  4. Keep identifying feelings and emotions, but without getting involved with them.
  5. Now create feelings and emotions as you please and let them go.

That’s it! That’s the creativity upon the body-mind union. The validity of this creativity lies in the stillness and observance of that union. In this practice you can learn to understand and catch the moment – the main ingredient of life.

Life is a sequence of moments and knowing that you’re able to manage that sequence is a new level of living life, called dharma – the practical and skillful way of living. An essential character develops as a result of practicing this discipline.

However, be aware that we are still talking about outward elements of yoga – the gross levels (from Yama to Pratyahara) whereas the subtle, inward elements (Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi) are yet to be approached, learned and implemented. It is on these subtle levels that you can realize the depth of spirituality and the essence of yoga.

It is remarkable how the science of yoga can take you in such heights and depths of exploring life and being. Little is known about the essence and the right practice of yoga in the west. There is a huge knowledge gap between how yoga should be learned and how it is practiced today in the west. You can bridge this gap by practicing the above exercise.

Know that yoga is of a very subtle nature – operating on a subtle energetic level – the level of your mental energies, your thoughts. That means that it is to be learned at that level and not on any other. A body posture alone cannot take you to that level if you don’t apply your creativity and self-inquiry.

Prerequisite for Yogic Success – Union between You and the Other

Yoga is nothing, if our relationships with others are not managed harmonically.

Learning yoga is also learning connecting with the other – with the stranger who’s not you but carries the same “core”, the same heart as you. We as individuals, possess the inborn feature of Ego – the “I-consciousness” that makes us feel separate from the rest of what makes the wholeness.

This separation is the second of the the five “klesah” afflictions[3] – that stand as major hindrance against the union (Yoga) – called “asmita” or I-am-ness / Egoism (Y.S. II.6.), and has to be cultivated and brought to a level of discernment that will lessen our disturbance that comes out the fragmentation between the “I-am-ness” and the “Other-ness”.

This is a crucial concept in Yoga and it is inevitable to be worked upon this hindrance in order to reach the inner “psychological” freedom or the ultimate liberation “Kaivalya” for which Yoga stands for. But, again, if you are beginner in this part, you want to know how to start dealing with all this. Here is the exercise:

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  1. Practice observance from the first exercise.
  2. Realize that the structure of your feelings, emotions, etc. is identical with the one of the other individuals.
  3. Practice witnessing, tolerating and gradually accepting the diversity between yourself and the other individuals.
  4. Observe for so long with equanimity, until you see the uniformity in that diversity.

This is one of the greatest accomplishments a human being can achieve. To be, means, to be in relationship – internally, as well as externally.

Yogic Lifestyle – Union Between You, The Other and The World

Here comes the last piece of the puzzle – the union – on the highest level of worldly existence – between you, the other and the world. This means that Yoga is also worthless if practiced only on the mat. So when learning yoga, especially when practicing the body-mind union, consider if:

You speak the language of nature and how you’re connected to nature and its basic elements? Do you complicate your existence by thinking that you are in the center of the world and require extra attention and acknowledgement?

Thinking this way interferes with the practice of yoga. And surely, you might wonder, what should be done here in order to create that harmony in union? You’d be amazed to know that there is one important yogic movement that needs to be done. That is:

The action of not doing anything but contemplating! Then yoga happens.

Yes, this goes beyond the physicality and mentality of your being. As our bodies play just a tiny part of the evolution of existence, we must not attach to the world in that sense – clinging to worldly life with that insatiable urge that generates worries and anxiety – but rather grow through life with detachment and the attitude that life has been gifted to us with the purpose to realize that gift and attain the wisdom of life.

Go Beyond Your Physicality and Mentality

Attaining greatness like connecting to the world and to your soul, we must pass beyond the thoughts, feelings and emotions, and the influence they have on us. Hence we want to make the mental fluctuations to cease and let yoga shine its light through this yogic movement:

The stillness and the watching within.

Can yoga be understood and achieved in one single session and then practiced continuously, productively and effectively? Of course it can. Your union within yourself, the other and the world is lot simpler and easier than you think. Practice these simple yogic movements diligently, seriously but also effortlessly and your yoga will be flourishing and fruitful. I salute the spirit in you!

More About Yoga

Featured photo credit: Avrielle Suleiman via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
[2] Wikipedia: Kaivalya
[3] Plato Stanford: Klesah

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