Gemini rules the arms (including hands and fingers), shoulders, upper ribs, lungs, trachea, thymus gland and nervous system.
Prana vayu : udana // Ayurvedic dosha : vata
Meditation: mountain breath
From a seated position or standing, relax hands at your side. With an inhale, lift arms overhead, palms and fingers stretching. Maintain a straight spine. Exhale, release hands down – one breath, one movement. Inhale, hands come overhead. With every exhale, hands and arms release with the breath. Imagine the lungs and shoulders expanding infinitely. Inhale and exhale through the nose: full, even, sweet. After 3-5 minutes, return to a normal breath and observe.
Pranayama: From a seated position, bring the tips of your fingers together. Keeping the middle three fingers together, spread the thumbs and pinkies (with fingertips still touching), creating a triangular window when you look through your hands. With fingers pointing away from your body, hold your hands in this position by the heart, thumbs nearly touching the body. For this exercise we will look down through the hands, imagining our breath circulating directly through the small window created. The breath goes like this: inhale through the nose, exhale out the nose, inhale through the mouth, exhale out the mouth, inhale nose, exhale nose, inhale mouth, exhale mouth, and so on and so forth. Practice for 2-5 minutes and then observe.
- seated lifts of any kind, with or without blocks under hands/fists
- from uttanasana (forward fold), press hands into floor or blocks
- (baby) crow or crane pose
- vasisthasana (side plank)
- adho mukha vrksasana (handstand) – always start against a wall
Shoulder opener: Standing a few inches from a wall, place your hand on the wall, high enough above your head that your arm is fully extended. Walk the hand back and around, pressing the palm and fingers firmly into the wall and stopping wherever feels delicious. You can turn your feet and body away from the wall to increase the stretch, or circle the neck, dropping head to chest. Keep the shoulders away from the ears. Try moving your free arm and hand. Don’t forget to switch sides! Another really nice one starts on the belly, laying on the floor. Extend one arm with the palm down, level with the shoulder. Begin to roll back toward this extended arm, opposite hip rolling off the floor, opposite palm to the floor for support. Optional: bend the knee of the opposite leg and place the sole of the foot on the floor, either in front or behind you. Relax your head on the mat. Keep even pressure through the entire extended arm, palm and fingers.
For thymus health: The thymus gland is a lymphoid organ found just behind the sternum that produces T cells, important disease fighters in the immune system. Inverted postures stimulate the thyroid, thymus and pituitary glands, which all regulate the endocrine system. The heart rests during such inversions as more blood flows to the brain with gravity’s help. Freshly oxygenated blood then rushes into the whole circulatory system. Try sarvangasana, shoulder stand. If needed, stack blankets under shoulders and use your hands to support your back. This is a shoulder stand and not a head stand – in theory, we still want to be able to lift the head. Another great inversion is setu bandha sarvangasana (bridge pose). You might also try heart/chest openers such as matsyasana (fish pose), bhujangasana (cobra pose) or dhanurasana (bow pose).
Further meditation: Gemini rules the nervous system and these types are, not surprisingly, prone to nervousness, fidgeting and “monkey mind” tendencies. The following meditation is commonly practiced by Tibetan yogis. Find an object that you’d like to meditate upon and place it at eye-level a few feet in front of you. Take a comfortable seat. Breathe deeply and evenly, feeling breath rise from the belly and lumbar spine to the crown. Keep the eyes half open, fixated upon the object. Do not close or blink the eyes, even if tears stream down your face.