The symbol for Sagittarius is the centaur with bow and arrow. In Rome the constellation of Sagittarius was associated with Diana, the goddess of the bow. In the Sagittarius-inspired yoga practice, in the Yoga by the Stars book, we use asanas inspired by archery imagery. We combine the arm movements of drawing your bow and releasing an arrow with familiar poses such as the Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana) and Warrior Pose (Virabhadrasana). We also explore the tautness of the archer’s bow through poses such as a Lunge Pose variation and Bow Pose (Dhanurasana). The practice is calming, grounding, centring, energizing and improves focus.
Warrior Archer Pose (Virabhadrasana variation)
It can be enriching for the yoga practitioner to find out more about the skills and discipline of archery, some of which are very similar to those we cultivate in yoga, such as balancing effort (sthira) and relaxation (sukha).
The affirmation we use in the Sagittarius-inspired yoga practice is:
My intention is clear, and opportunities arise.
It can be coordinated with the breath:
Inhale: Clear intention
Exhale: Opportunities arise
Intention is a powerful force that can work miracles when combined with wisdom. The Scottish mountaineer, William Hutchison Murray, wrote, “The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.”
Like an archer drawing back the string of her bow, eye fixed upon the target, yoga teaches us to set our intention. When we practice yoga, we consciously direct our intention to a chosen object. Even though our mind might be flitting all over the place, we continue to draw our attention back to a fixed point, such as the flow of the breath, sensations in the body, or whatever we have chosen to focus on during that session. This concentrated narrowing of our attention leads to an expansive, spacious, state of consciousness.
Expand Your Horizons
Hello, I am Jilly Shipway, the author of Yoga Through the Year, and my forthcoming book Yoga by the Stars. In this Yoga by the Stars blog I will share with you zodiac-inspired yoga insights and inspiration. I also have another blog on my Yoga Through the Year website.