SENSITIVE SOUL: WORK WITH A CANCER MOON SIGN

Tips and practices to help understand and work with your Cancer Moon sign from Ash Bonelli. Artwork: Prince Lauder via Behance.net

The Moon represents the inner subconscious world that we usually only share with those we love and trust. It can show us our needs and how we care for others—and as such, our Moon sign (where the Moon falls in our birth chart) shows the style in which we express this softer side.

Work out your Moon sign, when you do you chart for free here.

The inner world of the Cancer Moon sign is a gentle, vulnerable and emotional landscape. The Moon rules the sign of Cancer so she feels quite at home in this sign making it easy to fully express her archetypal nature. When we think of the crab itself (the symbol for Cancer), we see the hard protective shell on the outside but know there is nothing but softness on the inside. A small being that carries its sanctuary on its back so it can feel at home wherever it goes.

These themes symbolize the Cancer Moon sign. You can put on a brave face, but deep down you feel EVERYTHING. You usually cry easily and really experience the emotions of any particular situation or environment you happen to be in. This Moon is very in tune with its intuition, thoughts and feelings—so much so you sometimes forget that not everything is always about you. Being sensitive is great, until it isn’t and you become resentful and hide away in your shell. There is a fine balance to be found with the Cancer Moon sign.

Taking care of others usually makes you quite happy, but when it goes unappreciated or the care isn’t returned you can get quite hurt. And so Cancer Moons are often working on expressing their needs. Working on being vocal about this is really important, as you can get so lost in taking care of others that you end up with the short end of the stick.

Fear of getting hurt is very real for you for you, mainly since being hurt in love, for example, you may feel it more deeply than others. Honestly, unless you live under a rock, you will be familiar with this pain and what it can do to you. So this is a genuine fear, but not one that should stop you from receiving love.

Often times the Cancer Moon sign is associated with the mother, and rightfully so—since both Cancer and the Moon represent this energy. But not every Cancer Moon sign wants to be a parent. The mother archetype is actually about nurturing and caring for others, offering tender love and support, and this can be applied to anything in life. Your career, your pets, your friends, your home or your hobbies. You can channel this inner need to love into anything and it will be fulfilling, just as long as you let others love you back so there is a sense of balance in your life.

Below are some suggestion to connect more to your sweet Cancer Moon sign, and make the most of its intuitive expression…

:: ACTIVE LISTENING ::
The Cancer Moon sign has a tendency to feel first when engaging with others. This can go badly if you what you intuitively pick up about someone is incorrect, which can shape the relationship in the wrong direction. You can get your feelings hurt because you feel you know what they “really meant.” But assumption is really dangerous, since it can lead to un-founded resentment which can turn into distance.

This can be easily avoided if you work on listening to what they are actually saying, rather than simply feeling into their energy. If assumption-based feelings occur take the time to ask questions to gain further insight. Use your nurturing nature to engage in a more open conversation. This way you aren’t incorrectly just reading (or rather feeling) between the lines.

:: SANCTUARY ::
All Cancer Moon signs need a place to retreat. They need a space to feel safe and secure where they can let all of their emotions out without judgement. This doesn’t need to be an entire home or apartment either. It could be one room, or even a space within a room. Maybe a meditation pillow with a small altar if this practice speaks to you.

It could also be a certain location, such as your favorite park or beach. For some it could be a place from your childhood. The Cancer Moon sign can be very nostalgic so places that awaken happy memories really warm your heart.

:: NURTURE ::
Find something to nurture in your life that isn’t another person. The need to express care is innate, but you can get burned out if this means attracting energy vampires. Needy people love the sweet lunar crab, for you will always try to help solve the problems they should be dealing with on their own. And so learn to be selective.

Finding a hobby that will reward your nurturing with feelings of worth and accomplishment is such a good idea. Think gardening, or cooking, working with animals, or becoming a beekeeper. What do you want to be good at that requires time, nurturance and patience? Find something that makes your heart feel good and you will bring some emotional balance back into your life.

:: INTUITIVE PROTECTION ::
Being that you are such an intuitive, maybe even psychically gifted person, you need to work on protecting your energy. Otherwise it’s likely people will energetically take from you until you are totally drained. This can make you feel vulnerable in an unhealthy way.

Begin by taking time each morning to visualize yourself being cleansed by white healing light. Just a simple shower before (or even during!) your regular shower. Then imagine a bubble of light surrounding you, which people can only enter into when invited by you. It can be any color that you love.

These are your mental and energetic guards for the day ahead. You could also burn some sage in your space before your start your day or make a healing spray with essential oils to mist yourself with. Anything that  creates an energetic boundary between you and the world will help.

Also, be present to when you feel depleted. What was going on? Who were you around? Sometimes the best defense is creating literal space between you and the people or situations that take advantage of you.

Above all, may you find comfort in your innate ability to be vulnerable—and use it to show others the strength in letting down our guard in a world that needs it more than ever before.

CURIOUS COMMUNICATOR: WORK WITH A GEMINI MOON SIGN

Tips and practices to help understand and work with your Gemini Moon sign from Ash Bonelli. Artwork: Prince Lauder via Behance.net

The Moon represents what we need in life to feel safe, secure, and how we need to be nurtured, and understanding your Moon’s requirements can help you connect deeper to your more private self. When you have a bad day or are just feeling “off” you want to tap into your Moon. She is the cosmic mother and learning more about the sign where she sits in your birth chart, can reveal so much about your internal landscape.

Work out your Moon sign, when you do you chart for free here.

The Gemini Moon sign is forever curious. She wants to learn about anything and everything. This Moon loves to engage and communicate, since Gemini is a mutable air sign that needs mental stimulation and variety. When things become stagnant the restless demons set in—and so keeping things moving in life is key.

Depending on the rest of your chart, these behaviors/tendencies may express in a need to always have light and breezy conversations. You enjoy gathering data, processing it and then moving on to the next interesting person, subject or experience. This flitting about keeps things upbeat and interesting yet can have a downside.

The Gemini Moon sign is learning to also go deep. It’s about finding some balance between superficial experiences and really getting to know yourself and others on a more intimate level. Because of this Moon’s voracious appetite for new information, you can come across fickle or insincere if this expression is out of balance.

This analytical moon usually symbolizes a gifted speaker, writer or teacher. Since you are always gathering information you put it to good use by sharing it with others, and this exchange of thoughts, ideas and insights can be quite soothing for you. The give and take is the thrill that propels you forward to find more.

This is a delightful quality that makes you fun to chat with, as well as being able to turn a negative emotional situation into a happier one. The Gemini Moon sign is clever and witty, so having an innate emotional tie to these abilities can bring true fulfillment through expression.

Just make sure to keep the input and output in check or you will never be able to get to your deeper self. There can be an avoidance of darker undercurrents if you don’t allow yourself time to really feel your feelings, which may mean missing out on the beauty of vulnerability.

Below are some suggestions to bring some balance back to your energetic moon as well as ways to emphasize it. These are meant to empower and bolster your emotional wellbeing to be at your best!

:: FOCUS ::
Zero in on a project that you have to stay committed to—anything that will require you to stick to it long enough to actually become proficient at it. Since Gemini is placed in the linguistic camp you could learn a new language. Mercury being Gemini’s ruler is associated with dexterity so you could learn to play an instrument. The other benefit of this for you emotionally, is that once you’ve mastered this new interest you then get to share it, creates a beautiful cyclical effect for your heart, and your Gemini Moon sign.

:: BREATHWORK ::
Learning to control your responses in more hectic situations could be very healing—and one way is with the simple art of breathing. Try practicing the 2:1 ratio breath, in which increasing the length of your exhalation helps to relax your parasympathetic nervous system. Start by breathing through the nose in your natural way without counting. Then after a few rounds begin to breath in for a count of two, and exhaling for four. Work your way up to deeper breaths from there, and try doing 10 rounds the next time you begin feeling the frazzled.

:: MINDFULNESS ::
In the simplest terms, this simply means being aware and in the present moment without judgement—actually quite hard, since the Gemini Moon sign is often stuck between wondering what the future holds and dwelling on the past. Finding a meditation practice that works for you is key, and if sitting still is just too much for you try doing a walking meditation, which will burn up any restlessness through mindful movement. You could also try Qi Gong—which covers practices from the gentle Tai Chi to the more fierce option, Kung Fu. Potentially a healing double whammy, helping you to focus and be more in the moment while still satisfying the need to learn and grow.

COSMIC ANATOMY: ASTROLOGY FOR SELF-HEALING

With her new book, Your Body and the Stars, astrologer Rebecca Gordon has collaborated with Stephanie Marango MD to create a total guide for how to use astrology for self-healing…Images: Taylor Allen

We caught up with Rebecca to get the inside scoop on astrology for self-healing, and to learn how astrology is intimately related to your body. PLUS scroll down to do a cosmic body-scan by sign, and learn what practices and techniques can help you achieve optimal health and wellbeing…

The Numinous: What’s the first thing to know about astrology for self-healing?
Rebecca Gordon: As well as your personality characteristics, your chart speaks volumes about your body and soul disposition. This is because each Sign of the zodiac has rulership over a region of your body, and so the signs you are born under will tell a story of your physical strengths and susceptibilities.

In ancient times, medicine and astrology were practiced in concert together—and in fact, in most Universities of the middle ages and Renaissances, and in the Hippocratic school of Medicine, a physician would not be allowed to practice medicine without a prior knowledge of astrology.

TN: And how is your new book designed to be used?
RG: First of all, remember that each sign of the zodiac lives within you—since every sign is somewhere in your chart, and each sign is also represented in one part of your body. The condition of that region of your body can tell a lot about your character and life lessons at any given moment.

As such, the book is designed to give you deep insight into your emotions, mind and spirit through the lens of your body. You can strengthen your life force by simply looking up your Sun sign, learning about the lessons and doing the exercises. You can also do this for your Moon and rising signs.

But let’s say you have this reoccurring low back pain. Then you can turn to the chapter on Libra, and use it to assess where you’re at. On a more emotional level, if you have a big speech to give and you are mortified about public speaking I’d recommend focusing on Leo practices, and incorporating them into your life for at least a month prior—to strengthen a heartfelt sense of self-expression.

The recommended practices are meant to ‘tonify’ each sign and they will range from breath work, to physical exercises, Yoga poses, affirmations, and lifestyle routines.

TN: How have you used astrology for self-healing yourself?
RG: Whenever I feel a blockage in my body such as sinus infection or neck pain, I immediately ask myself ‘what else could this mean?’ Asking the questions related to the sign ruling these areas (Aries and Taurus) I always learn so much about myself, and often when any internal imbalances are addressed, my physical symptoms will also clear up. Not always in one day, and I am a huge fan of doing one practice for a 40-day period, the time frame required to carve new neural pathways.

TN: Besides your Sun and rising signs, which other planets can give clues to your overall health?
RG: Sometimes our Saturn sign will show where there can be tightness or blockages. It shows where there are deeper lessons to learn on the emotional, psychological and physical plane. The Jupiter sign can often show where there may be inflammation or an over-extended region of the body.

But every planet has its say. In relationship to overall health, I see the natal chart as a holistic map of the spirit, psyche and physical body. It’s really all the same thing, as the physical body is merely an interpretation of the spirit body.

Below, Rebecca shares a brief insight into the health issues commonly faced by each sign, as well tip for how to use astrology for self-healing. As well as your Sun and rising, read all signs so you can do a general body scan, and find much more explicit descriptions in the book! Get your copy here.

ARIES
Aries rules over the head and has a reputation for being headstrong in life. When the Aries in you is out of balance, you can often feel symptoms like blocked or runny sinus’s or headaches.

Tip for healing: Say “I am X” aloud, finishing with a quality you aspire to—i.e.: “I am focused and efficient.”

TAURUS
When the Taurus in you is out of balance, it can show up as neck tension, the urge to crack your neck often, sore throat, unsteady voice or thyroid imbalance.

Tips for healing: Try daily neck circles (refer to book for details), and making the seed sound Ham (say “h-a-r-m”) which will work to balance the throat chakra.

GEMINI
Gemini serves as a messenger of the illuminated mind. A scattered mind, fear of expressing yourself, or maybe there is arm and hand pain are signals that the Gemini in you is out of balance.

Tips for healing: Try making Uttarabodhi Mudra (directions in book), and figure-8 circles using hands and extending fingers.

CANCER
The chest is the body part ruled by Cancer so imbalances here can show up in the form of cysts, fibroids, slumped chest, excess phlegm or emotional eating.

Tip for healing: Three-part breath. Count a six-second slow inhale through the nose; hold the breath inside the low belly for another six seconds; then slowly exhale through the nose for six seconds. Repeat daily for 11 minutes.

LEO
Imbalance in Leo can show in the form of heart problems, tightness or weakness in the upper back.

Tip for healing: Sphinx pose and Camel pose can help you to open to the light of your heart (directions in book). Do these on a daily basis for at least a few weeks and note the difference in your feeling of openness.

VIRGO
When Virgo’s quest for purity is either absent or goes overboard, then the body can show symptoms like stomach ulcers, poor digestion, eating disorders, obsessive behavior and a weak core.

Tips for Healing: Forearm plank for core strength; Breath of Fire (see book) for purification.

LIBRA
When the Libra in you is out of balance, it can show as low back or kidney pain, limited range of motion or extreme S shaped posture.

Tips for healing: Sa Ta Na Ma mantra and finger Mudra (details in book).

SCORPIO
When the Scorpio in you is out of balance, this can show up as a urinary tract infection, menstrual irregularity, IBS, or a weak pelvic floor.

Tips for healing: Dance, swim, stand under a waterfall, declutter and throw things away; Cat & Cow pose with deep ujjayi breath.

SAGITTARIUS
When Sagittarius has fallen out of balance, this can often show up as tight hips, turned out hips, liver problems and a tendency to over-indulge in food and drink.

Tips for healing: Chair pose, Pigeon pose, hip circles.

CAPRICORN
Weak knees, tight knees, knee pain or excess fluid around knees can be a sign of a Capricorn kind of imbalance within.

Tips for healing: Saturn finger meditation, Warrior Two pose (descriptions in book).

AQUARIUS
When the Aquarius within you is out of balance, it may result in weak ankles, often sprained ankles, and stiffness and cracking around the ankles.

Tips for healing: Tree pose to refine and strengthen your stance.

PISCES
Hypermobile or stiff feet, growths like warts or bunions, inflammation of the feet or stubbed toes can often occur to signal an imbalance with Pisces.

Tips for healing: Try foot massage / reflexology, and either foot stomping or simply walking barefoot on the earth.

Rebecca Gordon is the resident astrologer for Harper’s Bazaar. Discover more about her Astrology School and book a reading here, and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Your Body and the Stars: The Zodiac As Your Wellness Guide is out now.

 

3 ALCOHOL-FREE WAYS FOR COPING WITH SOCIAL ANXIETY

How Victoria Cox switched from Dutch Courage to Divine Courage, and learned to say “cheers” to social anxiety… Artwork: Nahu Marín Luriaud

It’s 7pm on a Saturday night in NYC and I’m getting ready to hit the town for a charity event a friend is hosting. Keeping me company as I slather on the make-up is my obligatory glass of chilled white wine.

“Just to take the edge off,” I tell myself. Give me a quick buzz so that I arrive relaxed and confident. I don’t know many people at the party and this fact alone is revving up my anxiety levels. I’ll just be completely honest and admit that on occasion I struggle with social anxiety, especially when I’m with large groups of strangers. Likely a leftover from my childhood, when I used to be crippled with an extreme case of the shy’s.

Thankfully, I left that mortifyingly awkward stage behind me as I grew into adulthood, but on occasion, my inner shy girl pops up from the deepest recesses of my subconscious to say hello. She usually makes an appearance at large social gatherings and she’s guaranteed to show up as my plus-one at networking events. Those are her favorite.

She especially enjoys it when I walk into a party, look around and realize I’m engulfed in a sea of strangers. “Look,” she whispers conspiratorially in my ear. “You don’t know anyone here, why don’t you just leave?” When I do eventually strike up a conversation with someone she’ll pipe up incessantly; “This person is bored by you. You have nothing interesting to say. This is so awkward. Just go home.”

Sometimes she gets her way and sometimes she doesn’t. But over the years, I’ve grown sick of the bitches sneaky antics, and so I figured out a way to make sure she stays her ass home. Alcohol. That intoxicating social lubricant. She hates it – one glass and I’m already dancing out the door. Two glasses and I can approach a group of strangers. Three glasses and I’m on the dance floor with said strangers, a.k.a my new best friends. Four glasses and… let’s not go there.

I’ve been feeling pretty smug about my secret weapon for many years and it’s got me through some skin-crawlingly awkward networking events that I’ve gladly suffered the hangover for.

But in recent years, as I’ve begun to focus on getting to know myself on a deeper level, I’ve begun to question my secret weapon. Is it really a weapon – or simply a crutch? Could I cope at one of these events if I didn’t drink beforehand? What was it saying about me that I could only be my “best self” when I numbed my senses with alcohol? Why did I feel I couldn’t just be me, weird social ticks and all?

These questions reverberated around my head for many months yet I had no answers. All I knew was that I had two options. Choose to keep on applying the social lubricant or get to the bottom of the matter once and for all.

I chose the latter.

And so, I began an experiment. I decided to switch from “Dutch Courage” to “Divine Courage,” and see what I could learn about myself in the process. Here’s what’s in my tool-box…

:: BREATHWORK ::
Being a long-time yoga devotee I was already familiar with the breathwork known as “pranayama.” And, one form of this is called Alternative Nostril Breathing – where you do just that. Breathe out of one nostril for a set period of time, then switch. Sounds odd but what this actually does is soothe the nervous system and equalize the hemispheres of the brain. Fancy talk for saying, “It chills you the F out.”

This practice had always worked a charm at calming down my over-excitable brain so I added it to my toolbox. But I needed more. Breath-work alone wasn’t likely to be enough to stop me running back into the arms of a perfectly chilled Pinot Grigio.

:: VISUALIZATION ::
This is where visualization meditation came in. It’s no secret that visualization can be incredibly powerful – even professional athletes are known for using it to get “in the zone” before a game. Basically, the aim is to try to see your desired outcome before it happens. So, before heading out to a social engagement these days, I sit quietly and visualize myself at the party, acting confidently, laughing, having fun, meeting new people and generally enjoying myself.

More often than not, what I visualize, or a version thereof usually comes to pass. Even on those occasions where things didn’t quite go as planned, I found I was in a much more centered space which helped me to relax and connect with people a little easier.

:: MANTRA ::
My toolbox was coming together but I needed to add one more thing. A mantra. Whilst mantras are typically used during meditation they can also be used throughout the day as a method to turn a negative thought pattern into a positive one.

Mantras can be incredibly powerful to soothe anxiety or just to give the mind something positive to focus on, thus avoiding a leap down the rabbit hole of fear and worry. My personal mantra differed for each occasion, but phrases such as “I am relaxed and confident” or “I am enjoying meeting new people” were especially helpful when I just wanted to run away and hide in the bathroom.

***

Its been a few months since I began my experiment and already I’ve been noticing some improvements. While I will probably always experience an involuntary shudder at the word “networking” I no longer feel that I simply must have a drink beforehand to get through it.

Whilst my pre-party drink routine enabled me to come across as lively and fun, in actual fact I was only showing people what I thought they wanted to see, lending an air of superficiality to my encounters. The real me might not be the life of the party but it is authentic – and more often than not I’ve noticed people can sense the difference leading to a more genuine connection.

Although I’ll probably never eradicate my inner shy girl completely, she no longer accompanies me to every social event. At the end of the day I’m only human and she’ll probably make an appearance now and again but I no longer feel the need to chase her away with gulps of wine. As a result, she doesn’t hold the same power over me.

I’ll also admit that wine and I will likely never end our love affair completely, but I no longer need it in the same way I used to. Alcohol has transitioned into something I enjoy on occasion rather than a can’t-cope-without.

My experiment has gifted me the knowledge that my social anxiety toolkit is available at any time; which in turn has emboldened me with a burgeoning self-confidence. I feel that I’m now able to face an intense social situation without desperately seeking an exit route, and surely that’s something worth raising a glass to.

FREEDOM FOR ALL: WORK WITH YOUR AQUARIUS MOON SIGN

Understand your Aquarius moon sign and maximize your self-care practice to be the best YOU, says Ash Bonelli. Artwork: Prince Lauder via Behance.net

Let’s dive deep into the unique and progressive energies of a soul born with an Aquarian moon sign. Our Moon is our HEART. Our emotional and physical support system. Our mama. Our deepest, hidden feelings, that only the ones we really trust get the privilege of knowing. We feed our Moon sign so we can go out and be our best selves, our Sun sign. And once you know how to care for your Moon, you can show others how to do the same.

Self-care is one of our allies to a better world. The Moon is also the source of our intuition, and the zodiac sign it falls in signifies the way we instinctively know things. So understanding your Moon sign can really bolster your relationship to your subconscious feelings in a healthy way.

Work out your moon sign, when you do you chart for free here.

So, what if you have an Aquarius Moon sign? This is the independent thinkers’ Moon. Aquarius is an air sign, that uses its intellect to go about its daily tasks. This is also a fixed sign so once you set your mind on something it may prove difficult to persuade you otherwise. You may also have a tendency to think with your emotions versus feel them. This can actually be used as a superpower though, since this level of detachment can give you the upper hand at in life’s more emotional situations. You most likely don’t wallow in your emotions, and this allows you enough freedom and space to distance yourself and apply some of your unique logic to the given situation.

You probably require a lot of freedom in relationships in general, and need a home environment that lets you come and go as you please. Other people’s expectations could feel like a tremendous amount of pressure – as if your true self is being stifled.  But you gladly offer this same freedom in return. Any sort of “boxing in” creates discord and dampens your ability to by authentically you. You need to be accepted for your original and possibly eccentric ideas, philosophies and ways of being. You may even rebel within your relationships just to prove the point that you won’t conform to their ideas about you.

This is also the humanitarian sign. You care deeply about the collective and will rally for a cause you stand behind. It can make an Aquarius Moon sign sing to really support a charity/foundation, or even a circle of friends that has a progressive impact on society. I could see you as the friend people turn to for solid advice. You have the Moon sign of the wise owl that flies so high you see everyone’s perspective with clear vision. You can be an emotional bolster for humanity without diluting yourself in an ocean of feelings.

Below are some wellness suggestions to express, soothe and connect to and from your Aquarius Moon sign. Your heart runs free and needs a whole cosmos of space to breathe. When you find yourself feeling caged in or overwhelmed, come back to some of these tools.

:: Have a writing practice ::
Aquarius Moon signs express their emotions through the use of their intellect. They use words versus demonstrative acts. Start journaling your thoughts, ideas, wishes and dreams. Try your hand at writing poetry. Use your non-dominant hand, just to get a new perspective. Write out the stories you hold dear. Write down what you are grateful for each day. Make a cookbook or keep a dream diary. Whatever is close to your inner sanctuary, take the time to write it out. Come back to it and reflect on your own spiritual/emotional growth.

:: Join a breathwork circle ::
That’s right, air element Moon sign! Your heart has lungs of its own. Connecting to your life force will give you that much needed feeling of freedom, while at the same time allowing you to connect with yourself on a potent level. Plus you get to meet new people and find that sense of community you so thoroughly enjoy. You have a natural spiritual intuition that can grow and expand with grace via pranayama.

:: Find your cause ::
Get into charity work or assist with a non-profit so you can utilize your greatest emotional strength, your compassion for humanity. You can express this humanitarian pulse in the best way possible by supporting a cause that pulls at your heartstrings. Any type of goodwill is up for grabs and the work will add to your quality of life while making this world a little better than it was before. It’s a win-win for the Aquarius Moon sign.

:: Guided meditation ::
Your heart is always in your head – and you need a break from that constant stream. This type of meditation would be good because it covers both bases for you. The spoken words help your mind follow a path. The path, however, leads to the detachment of thoughts. Giving your mind the space to be empty will in turn give your heart a deep rest.

:: Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana) ::
Balance out both hemispheres of your mind to balance your heart.

Bring your first and middle finger down and in towards your palm. You will use your thumb and ring finger for this practice. The pinky can just hang out and rest where it’s at. Press your thumb down on the right nostril and breathe out gently through the left nostril. Now breathe in from the left nostril and then press the left nostril gently with the ring finger. Removing the right thumb from the right nostril, breathe out from the right. Breathe in from the right nostril and exhale from the left. You have now completed one round of Nadi Shodhana pranayama. Continue inhaling and exhaling from alternate nostrils. 10 rounds please.

Keep space, move with grace & continue your healing work. From those places, your moon will feel content.

6 WAYS TO STAY ZEN ON VACAY

Destination relaxation – but getting away from it all can bring its own stresses. Gabriela Herstik has 6 ways to stay zen on vacay…

 

Yay, here comes vacay season! But as much as unplugging from the daily grind to recharge on life minus to-do lists, technology and Tinder is a necessary part of being human (word up, work-a-holic serial daters), getting out of your routine can also trip you out of your trusted spiritual practises.

Here are six ways you can stay zen, keep your chakras in check and your aura vibrating high vibes while you’re out of office…

1. Apps at the ready
Okay, so YES committing to some dedicated phone-free time is a vacay essential. But there are so many great apps to help you step back and realign, once you’ve decompressed a little how about using your downtime to recommit to a daily meditation practise? “Headspace” or “Breathe” are a great place to start, and just 5 or 10 minutes a day on the beach to check in and find some zen could be all it takes to get you back on track. But NO sneak peak at your email account, gottit?! (Check out Vogue’s list of meditation apps HERE too)

2. Stash Your Crystals
Fast access to international travel is undoubtedly one of the great privileges of the modern world…but it’s also the easiest way to get exposed to all kinds of gnarly energy. So bring your crystals along for the ride! Whether it’s a trusty chunk of clear quartz or some obsidian, grab a couple of your favorite stones (cleanse them before you head out) to help clear and protect your energy field while you’re on the road. The easiest way to make sure your stones stay with you? Wear them. If you’re heading somewhere sunny, you’ll even keep them charged on the go. (Find a list of stones for each chakra HERE)

3. Sage Yo’self
Clear out the bullshit, inhale the good shit, you know the drill – and when you think about the number of souls passing through hotel rooms and holiday rentals, regularly smudging your vacay space is a no-brainer. Same goes for campgrounds and hire cars; just please, don’t light up your bundle of sage in the aisle seat of Delta flight 111 to Nirvana. In fact, where smoke and sparks are inappropriate, there’s Florida Water for that. (Click HERE for a full guide to smudging your space)

 

4. Make A Vacay Mantra
So maybe you’re travelling with about ten of your dearest friends and / or family, who you really love…up until day three. We get it. Sometimes decamping to an alien environment with a bunch of people you usually spend two hours with MAX can be a little, shall we say overwhelming. So make a mantra to set a positive intention for your group before you go. Perhaps it’s as simple as “I am always calm, cool and collected”, or as specific as “There is a divine lesson in every crazy twisted thing my sister says”. If you’re travelling alone, it might be more along the lines of “I have all the information I need, and I got this.”

5. Yoga Every Damn Day
Yoga? Away from your regular studio? Okay, so we know it’s not the most original idea, but hear us out. Rather than working your asana off to continue your regular practise on the road or find a local studio, or indulging in a self-imposed guilt trip about NOT doing either of the above, remember you can still get the benefits when you practise a conscious shavasana on your sun bed, or take five to find a tree while you’re waiting in line for your lobster roll. If circumstances allow it, commit to get your flow on however and wherever you feel moved. Your body and your soul will thank you, we promise.

6. Breathe
Okay, so we know you’re breathing. But how many times in an average day do you slow down and listen to your breath? In yogic terms, breathing is called “pranayama” and there are lots of different ways to breathe, with lots of different purposes. A good one when you just need some quick grounding is called Ujjayi – when you breathe in and out of your nose, tensing the muscles at the back of your throat so it feels like you’re fogging up a mirror.

It should sound like an ocean, and it should feel smooth and soothing. After any time on the road, your senses will be overwhelmed (whether it feels like it or not after that first tequila cocktail). A few moments of conscious breath will bring you back into the present, all the better to enjoy your brand new view. (For more on different Pranayama techniques, click HERE)