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We can associate yoga asanas with the planets by understanding the basic nature and significations of each planet.
An obvious example is Warrior Pose (Virabhadrasana) which is associated with Mars, the planet that rules battles and warfare.
Dancer Pose (Natarajasana) is associated with Venus, the planet of the arts and dance. Perhaps more subtle is the association of Child Pose with the Moon which represents the mother and nurturing.
Some poses like the
Half-Moon posture (Ardhachandrasana) and
Sun Salutations (Suryanamaskar) contain the
Sanskrit name of the planet within the asana name.
Another approach is to consider the energetic effects of an asana and how it may be related to a planet. For example, Mercury, associated with speech, has a relationship to any asana that works with the throat. Jupiter with its association with the second chakra has a relationship with any asana that works on opening the pelvic area.
Take the major characteristic of any planet and see which asana it may indicate. For example, Mercury is quickness and a signification of Mercury is the arms. Therefore the quick flowing vinyasya “jump through” transition in the Ashtanga series that uses the arms is a Mercury asana.
In this way, every yoga posture can ultimately be tied back to one or more of the nine planets in Vedic astrology and the practice of asanas can aid in strengthening and balancing our planetary energies.