The Scream by Edvard Munch re-envisioned by Ksenia Sapunkova

Yoga Horrorscopes, the Mercury Retrograde Edition… or Why the Universe is Out to Get You (April 2018)

There is absolutely no better way to begin an astrology series than during a Mercury Retrograde. Even as I type this, my fingers are all over the place, leaving typographical vrittis to backspace and rewrite. Oh Mercury, thank you for your lessons of retro/introspection and jumbled communication.

Mercury retrogrades are NO JOKE. Notice how people are complaining that their electronics are suddenly doing weird things all at the same time.

Maybe several important conversations and presentations have ended up with a totally unexpected outcome. Can’t remember a word? That’s a Mercu… no, that’s just being human. I digress.

I spend my days surrounded by computers and technology (quietly meditating and doing chair yoga, of course). I know my stuff. You know that scene from Office Space with the bats and the printer? It was TOTALLY (probably) based upon actual, Mercury Retrograde events.

What is a Mercury retrograde? It is a planetary illusion, like Spinners on a Chevy, where the spinny thing (planet, rims) APPEARS to be moving backwards from time to time. This is no different, just less pleasant. Planetary retrogrades allow us lessons in perspective. What we SEE during a planetary retrograde is an illusion, and the angle of our dangle is the culprit. Our Earth-bound visual sees Mercury moving backwards around that bright, steamy fireball of sunlight we cannot live without.

As we are desperately seeking clarity for all of our communication woes, the energy of retrograde planets (and rims, I guess) is the same, but the path of the energy gets wonky as it radiates our way.

Mercury holds the power of communication, so anything from the words that fall from your face to those you type or attempt to convey through any type of language (body language, spending money, grunts and groans) is going to be particularly difficult. The channel of communication is like a bendy straw.

During these events, the general rule is not to sign anything, do not begin any projects that require you to communicate with others, do not buy new electronics, and please, stay inside your home, literally contemplating your navel.

Of course, with 12 astrological signs, 12 astrological houses, planets, nodes, progressive astrological theory, and a lot of weird math and fancy words, we will all experience Mercury retrogrades differently.

The “stationary” or most intense part of the retrograde lasts three weeks. There is also a “shadow” that occurs in the weeks leading up to that point, as well as another shadow once it reaches its peak (which is right about… now.) So, those who are going to feel the biggest effects will begin to feel the “Retrograde Effect” the moment those little rays of Retroshine begin to baste our heavens. Everyone else will just have an inconvenient three-week experience, but more than likely, you’ll get the full sh-bang at least annually, since there is a new Mercury retrograde three to four times per year. Jerk.

Take a deep, three-part breath, and send love and chocolates to your throat chakra. Let’s get into the Yoga Horrorscopes before the retrograde fun has ended.


Darren Rhodes

So, y’all pretty much get in trouble for rash actions, thoughts, blunt words, and temper tantrums all the time. While you may not really mind it when you sting others, this retrograde turns that back on you, like glue. SLOW IT DOWN before you get throat punched by an Aquarius mime. This month, use your time to NOT speak and take action in ways that repair the past, not make the present more difficult. Commit to a series of Yin classes this month. Anything to help you calm the fire within, swaddle your body language, and keep your lips sealed.

Aries’ April Asana: Kurmasana


Dharma Mittra

Slow and steady is usually the case for Taurus, until you face problems with your family, friends, or other sources of support (like finances). Then you embody the proverbial bull in a china shop. Privacy is vital to your survival this month, and you could use some time to pay attention to those nagging thoughts, lest you go charging through the streets, willy-nilly. Silly. This would be a great time to perfect your Bull Asana (that should be Bull Assana, right?), and focus your focus on your locust.

Taurus’ April Asana: Ardha Chandrasana


Donna Farhi

There are two signs that are influenced the strongest by Mercury: the 100% perfect-in-every-way Virgo, and the batshit crazy Gemini. Mercury channels communication energy. Geminis know how to communicate. If they don’t, their Gemini twin does. That astrological makeup is basically two roads to mind-bending frustration for poor Geminis during a Mercury retrograde. This isn’t the time to be with people, at all. Instead, take time for introversion, retrospection, isolation… please. Sit down, stick your feet on a mirror, and do some partner poses while staring dreamily into your own eyes. You’re welcome.

Gemini’s April Asana: Navasana


Sharon Gannon

You know how you like to speak your heart and then run to the hills because you just spoke your heart? This month, just stay hidden behind your crabby exterior and take up haiku over sonnets. The Mercury retrograde is going to be particularly dickish to you when you try to express yourself to your family, loved ones, and those who can directly break your heart (supervisors, included). Anyone who has any say in your life will hear your words as exactly what you didn’t want to say. They’ll cry, you’ll cry, and then the world will be flooded with tears of miscommunication, and it will all be your fault forever.

Cancer’s April Asana: Devaduuta Panna Asana


Colleen Saidman Yee

Of course, YOU get a reprieve from the worst parts of this Mercury retrograde. Clearly, it is your Leo charm and brazen good looks that have saved you, once again, from the major pitfalls in life. Go ahead and strut. You can even roar your awesome roar. Do all the things that come naturally to your flamboyant side… but, a word of caution: don’t put your money where your mouth is (no big purchases this month) and don’t try to reason with intellectuals. Brush your teeth.

Leo’s April Asana: Camatkarasana… obviously.


Guru Jagat

As a Virgo, let me tell you… this Mercury Retrograde has been SOUL CRUSHING. To the extent that my precious phone was stolen from a charity dance event, leading to some online sleuthing and a lot of stifled rage. Don’t spend money. Don’t love anyone. Don’t trust anyone, either… it is almost like Mercury is communicating a big middle finger in my (ahem, our) direction, Virgins. My advice: for the duration of the Mercury retrograde (the shadow officially ends on May 3) just give up. Go find that cave you’ve been eying and hide. This is a planetary shit storm.

Virgo’s April Asana: Balasana


Rachel Brathen (Yoga Girl)

The Wayback Machine may be hitting you pretty hard during this Mercury Retrograde. Your #ThrowbackThursday may seem more like a trip down the Walk of Shame. You are actually being thrown off your precious balance by being reminded that you are, indeed, human. Suck it up, Buttercup, you’re a Libra. You can find balance in a vacuum (especially you). Think of this retrograde as your mental Garundasana. You’re twisted, bent, and can’t see what’s in front of you. But you’re still there, squeezing your bandhas, thighs, and soul together for your very life. You got this, just keep one eye open.

Libra’s April Asana: Garudasana


Bryan Kest

Don’t quit your day job. Your Mercury gift has that of appearing pretty incompetent at work. The slamming of fingers in drawers, banging loudly on your laptop, and bite marks on your pencil are a strong indication that you should consider starting a midday chair yoga extravaganza for two reasons: one, you’re a Scorpio, and you need that physical release. Two, it will distract your supervisor and co-workers from your clear lack of qualifications for adulting this month.

Scorpio’s April Asana: Anything with cactus arms. You give up.


Baron Baptiste

Quick, grab your heart and pull it from your chest. Put it in a safe place until the end of the month. Trust me, you’ll need to keep it out of harm’s way – or, as Mercury likes to remind you, you’re really not good at making nice words at others, especially those you love. You’re a thinker, you’re The Archer. You’re not Cupid. Every time you think you should say something nice, do a full sun salutation. Then do six more. Stay hydrated. Do anything to stop your words from (unintentionally) piercing the hearts of those you love.

Sagittarius’ April Asana: Virabhadrasana II


Jill Miller (Yoga Tune Up)

As the earthy, pragmatic, witty, and wonderful Capricorn, your home is your castle. You may think you’re okay this month, in your naturally grounded sense of self. But, Mercury retrograde is going to make things pretty uncomfortable in all aspects you consider “home.” Need some repairs? Wait it out. Love your partner and/or kids? Keep those feelings on a “need to know” basis. Ready to enjoy a weekend getaway? Expect delays and disruptions. In fact, this is a really good time to get your yoga practice space together and reorganize the rest of your home, priorities, and place in the Universe.

Capricorn’s April Asana: Paschimottanasana


Candace Moore (YogaByCandace)

The best thing about a Mercury retrograde for an Aquarius is that you pretty much seem to be in the same random space, no matter what Mercury is doing. You naturally fit into a Mercury retrograde, like peanut butter and sweet potatoes (weird, but, why not?)… in fact, some may even claim you are their PERSONAL Mercury retrograde. That being said, you can totally blame all of your oddity on planets, not your origin story. What a relief, right? You’re not out of the woods, though. Save your bizarrodollars this month for the body paint and glitter you’ll obviously need for all of those yoga festivals coming up, you sparkly rainbow.

Aquarius’ April Asana: Dhanurasana w/Lion’s Breath. Just do it.


Shiva Rea

Mercury sent me a message directly for you. You are to hand over your wallets, bank cards, account numbers, piggy banks, and chocolate coins to your nearest non-Pisces person immediately. You were told since birth that you will need a Virgo, Capricorn, or Taurus to trust in these times of need, but you are a Pisces, so you probably just shrugged and bought more purple bed sheets. As the Virgo suddenly nominated to distill advice you’ll still ignore, stop spending money until May. Take up a home practice or use the rest of that class pack before swimming to a new studio. Remind yourself that every purchase you make ends up on a spreadsheet, your “permanent record” spreadsheet. By spending today, you are ensuring that you’ll have to balance that spreadsheet every day for the rest of your fishy life.

Pisces’ April Asana: Gomukhasana


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