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astrology 101 tips
Wellness
Published Friday Oct 11, 2019 by Ashley Tracey

Astrology 101: Understanding What Your Horoscope *Actually* Means

Personal Growth
Expert Advice

Have you ever read a horoscope and thought to yourself: how do they come up with this stuff? Horoscopes are general interpretations of the movement of the stars based on how we see them from Earth. The foundation of all horoscopes comes from Astrology. 

Astrology is a language that dates back about 2,000 years ago to the Babylonians. It was used by ancient civilizations to interpret celestial events and develop some of the same tools we use today—including the calendar. As civilizations began to evolve, so did the language of astrology. 

The language of modern astrology can be broken down into three main parts: planets, signs, and houses. This makes up how astrologers—or even you— can interpret the planetary placements at the time of your birth (aka your birth chart) and what is currently happening in the sky (aka horoscopes). 

The typical sentence of astrology goes like this: the planets show what is happening, the signs show how it's happening, and the houses show where it's happening.

 

astrology planets signs
The What: Planets 

There are 10 planetary bodies in astrology, each of them representing different aspects of your mind, body, and soul. 

Sun: identity, vitality, creativity, radiant self, ego, purpose.
Moon: soul, inner world, subconscious, sensitivity, emotional reactions
Mercury: thinking process, conscious mind, communication
Mars: will to take action, drive, passion, physical energy, assertiveness
Venus: core values, desire for beauty, peace, harmony, and connection
Jupiter: growth, truth, travel, philosophy, learning by experience, teaching
Saturn: discipline, structure, authority, limits, responsibility, maturity, lessons
Uranus:  individualistic freedom, innovation, awakening, revolution, rebellion 
Neptune: intuition, spirituality, dream state, transcendent freedom
Pluto: transformation, personal power, shared resources, karma

 

astrology signs zodiac
The How: Signs 

There are 12 zodiac signs in astrology based on the zodiac constellations that planets orbit around. Each zodiac constellation is associated with particular archetypal energy which forms the basis of the characteristics of each zodiac sign. 

Aries: the warrior, energetic, assertive, independent, pioneer
Taurus: the grower, stable, steadfast, patient, fixated, earth spirit
Gemini: the storyteller, curious, communicative, adaptable
Cancer: the nurturer, empath, sensitive, seeks security, emotional
Leo: the performer, creative, dramatic, playful, leader, loyal 
Virgo: the editor, logical, efficient, service-oriented, analytical
Libra: the lover, peace-maker, social, diplomatic, refined, indecisive
Scorpio: the detective, intense, powerful, magnetic, preserving 
Sagittarius: the philosopher, truth-seeker, exploratory, optimistic
Capricorn: the planner, ambitious, responsible, disciplined 
Aquarius: the revolutionary, unique, rebellious, humanitarian 
Pisces: the dreamer, caring, sentimental, spiritual, escapist

 

astrology houses signs

The Where: Houses 

There are 12 houses represented in the zodiac wheel, which provide a down-to-earth perspective of the planetary orbits around the zodiac constellations as each house describes a different area of experience. 

House 1: self-awareness, the physical body, appearance, self-identity, new beginnings
House 2: money and possessions, what you value, your hidden talents, sense of self-worth
House 3: communication, your thought process, siblings, short journeys, and transportation 
House 4:  home, family, relationship with your parents, and your emotional foundation
House 5: children, creativity, love affairs, hobbies, risk-taking, and creative self-expression
House 6: daily work and routines, how you are of service, health, and wellness
House 7: all types of partnerships and how you relate to others
House 8: joint resources, karmic connections, and transformation 
House 9: philosophy, higher mind, travel, understanding, teaching, and publishing
House 10: status, honor, public image, prestige, reputation, and professional career
House 11: community, large groups, friends, hopes, goals, and ambitions
House 12: the hidden self, the unconscious mind, karma, and spiritual realization


To learn more about astrology, check out my online workshop The Fundamentals of Astrology or go to your local library and grab an astrology book that is calling your name! 

Ashley Tracey
Written by
Ashley Tracey
Astrologer | Empowerment Coach
About the author
An all-around spiritual badass based in Denver, Colorado, Ashley Tracey is a passionate and empathetic soul whose life purpose is to help others live at their highest potential. Working with clients around the world to empower wholistic well-being, she helps to expand their consciousness and activate soul-centered living.
people in upward dog practicing yoga on mats
Fitness
Published Wednesday Jul 28, 2021 by Bree Lewis

Sweat Redemption: 5 Tips for Getting Back Into Your Hot Yoga Practice

Yoga
Fitness
Expert Advice

If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.

To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.

1. Go at your own pace

Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you.  And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!

2. Hydrate like your life depends on it (honestly, it might)

The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!  

3. Nourish your body

Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.

4. Replenish those electrolytes

Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.

5. Bring the right equipment

Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.

So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.

Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you

While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.

bree lewis headshot
Written by
Bree Lewis
Marketing Content Associate
About the author
Born and raised in a small mountain town just south of Yosemite National Park, Bree is an avid lover of health, wellness, and connecting to the outside world around us. As a Cal Poly English major alumn, she has a knack for books, writing, and all things words. In her free time, she enjoys being outside, drinking craft beers, and keeping life jazzy!