Virgo rules the sympathetic nervous system and lower digestive tract.
Prana vayu : samana // Ayurvedic dosha : vata
Meditation : vishudda (throat chakra)
Sips of breath : This pranayama combats monkey mind and anxiety. Just as it sounds, begin by taking small sips of air in through the nose. Breathe first into the stomach, slowly filling the inner body with breath. On the exhale out the nose, release in similar fashion, using the abdominal muscles to gradually draw in the belly, pressing until lungs are empty. The number of exhaled breaths should be equal, if not greater than, the number of inhalation sips. Alternatively, you may sip up the inhale and then exhale normally, stretching this to maximum length. Or you might inhale normally and release the exhale in sips (this method is best for anxiety and panic attacks). This is a fun breathing exercise for children as well.
- utthita parsvakonasana (side angle, with optional bind)
- reverse bind, entering from a high lunge [opposite arm wraps under for the bind, as opposed to the side angle pose bind]
- ardha matsyendrasana (seated twist or “half lord of the fishes” pose)
- halasana (plow)
- reclined spinal twist
Yoga to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system : Virgo rules the sympathetic nervous system, the division known as “fight or flight.” To counterbalance this primal electrical storm of adrenaline and instinctual urge running through the body, we engage the parasympathetic – “rest and digest.” The sympathetic nervous system is designed to maintain homeostasis in the body and rules our unconscious actions. Its areas of function include the stomach, duodenum, colon, spleen, gallbladder, liver, kidneys and ureter. We can calm any nervous energy here by engaging the vagus nerve, which falls under the parasympathetic nervous system. The vagus nerve is actually a pair of cranial nerves running from the medulla oblongata all the way to the abdomen. It is connected to the heart and digestive tract – stimulating this nerve brings peace and relaxation. We can do this by twisting the spine in many kinds of standing, sitting and reclined poses – I have listed a few above. Inversions with the feet resting above the heart are also very effective. Try placing a block under the sacrum, parallel to the spine, and lifting the feet directly above the hips.