Living your Virgo

With Stephanie Marango, MD, RYT

Your body is energy. Modern science perceives this energy many different ways, from within your smallest bits of matter (e.g. electrons) to the quantum fields that comprise 99.9999999% of you. Ancient scientists (devoid of technology) perceived this energy more metaphorically (e.g., meridians, doshas, chakras, auras).

Enter: the zodiac as a way to understand and work with your energy.

This month’s zodiac sign is Virgo. It relates to a refinement of who you are, so you can give, serve, and do from the purest place possible. Think of it as a personal harvesting that follows Leo’s bountiful bloom. In Leo’s summer, fields are filled with the good, bad, and the ugly—it all comes to light. Come fall—and Virgo’s influence—it is time to separate the wheat from the chaff. To cultivate what can be used to serve a greater purpose, like turning wheat into bread.

What parts of you is it time to refine? For instance, are there old thought patterns to release (e.g. “I guess I’ll just have to live with this pain forever”)? New ones to adopt (e.g. “I’m going to schedule 10 minutes of ‘Me’ time every week)? Virgo is all about eliminating what doesn’t work to focus on what does.

It makes sense, then, that Virgo relates to the abdomen and, hence, the digestive system—the very part of you that eliminates what you don’t need and assimilates what you do. Are you familiar with the saying, “You are what you eat?” Well, it’s true. Food that you eat ultimately turns into you. It is a practical magic that occurs via absorption, a process of the small intestine. Here, a walnut that began as something seemingly separate from you finishes as being digested into its molecules, as protein, fat, and so on. The molecules you need, via your bloodstream, are then delivered to the rest of you and become, for example, parts of your hair or hormones; the parts you don’t need are excreted as stool. When the cycle works well, you recognize it as healthy digestion; when it is out of balance, however, you may experience constipation (i.e. holding on to things you don’t need), indigestion (i.e. ingesting things you don’t need), or otherwise.

The same is true not just for what you put into your body, but also into the rest of you—like thoughts, feelings, sensations, etc. You might have sensed that the recent eclipse season has brought a lot of these different parts of you up for review—perhaps in the form of up-and-down emotions, old stories, shadow sides, and so-on-and-so-forth. If this is the case, use them! Use what has come to the surface to participate in a (relatively) objective assessment of the parts of you that can stay, and the parts of you that are ready to return to the cosmos.

Here is a breathing exercise to facilitate the process, by engaging Virgo’s energy. It’ll help you purify in a practical way (because it’s not enough to simply know what we need to do…we have to actually do it!). If you want more recs—plus self-directed questions, info on your abdomen and core, Virgo energy, etc.— check out the “Belly of the Virgin” chapter in my book, Your Body and the Stars:

Breath of Fire: To Purify

Within the yoga system, the physical body is believed to connect to subtle energy bodies (mental body, emotional body) through the chakras. In Sanskrit, these “spinning wheels” unite your manifold natures. There are seven major chakras arranged vertically in the body along a channel that runs through your midline; each corresponds to a particular region of the body. The third chakra, for example, corresponds to the abdomen and its contents. Apart from regulating the physical region, it is also believed to govern your sense of self. This is not only your core identity but also the power, confidence, and vitality with which you project this internal sense to the outside world; the fire within, so to speak. And not just the digestive one! It’s the fire that fuels who you are and what you are here to do every day. Use the following breath to revitalize your inner fire, burning any impurities, such as outdated thoughts or emotions, that stand in its—and your—way.

  1. Find a comfortable seat on the floor, sitting cross-legged upon a cushion, pillow, or block if needed (if cross-legged is not possible, find a relaxed position sitting upright on the floor; if this position is not possible, sit on a chair). Rest your palms on your knees. Your spine is long, and your chin is subtly tucked in toward your chest. Close your eyes.
  2. Take a deep inhale though the nose and allow your chest and belly to fully expand with the breath.
  3. Exhale through the nose, pushing out the air completely (as you would from a balloon).
  4. Now, begin to breathe more vigorously with equal emphasis on the inhalation and exhalation. Start slowly and establish a steady rhythm. Increase to a quick but comfortable pace (it will feel like fast sniffing). Keep the chest and stomach relaxed. Allow them to pulse on their own with each breath.
  5. Continue for one minute.

In yogic tradition, Breath of Fire is believed to clean both the body and the mind. It is recommended that you wait at least two hours after eating to perform this breath to allow your digestive system to be as clean and pure as possible. If you feel uncomfortable or lightheaded while doing it, please stop. You can resume it later and less intensely.

Remember: You are constantly evolving. Not one cell in your body is ever still. In fact, your 40 trillion cells are engaged in perpetual cycles of receiving, release and role fulfillment. So use some Virgo energy to harness your true nature for the greater good— both yours and the world’s.

Let me know how the exercise works for you…or if you tried another that you prefer. None of this is absolute, it’s all relative to and in encouragement of you.

See you—and your lower back—in Libra,

Dr. Stephanie / StephanieMarangoMD.com

Your Body and the Stars

Your Body and the Stars: The Zodiac as Your Wellness Guide

The first book of its kind, Your Body and the Stars is a fun, practical, and insightful handbook that takes a revolutionary approach to holistic wellness by unlocking the powers of the stars.

Do you suffer from neck pains? Go to the chapter on Taurus and the neck. How about sore knees? Learn preventive tips and exercises in the Capricorn chapter. Is your birth sign a Leo? Then read about how to optimize your Leo qualities and health. Your Body and the Stars is the first comprehensive reference guide to go deep into the twelve zodiac signs and the specific body region each sign represents—from your head down to your toes. Each chapter integrates a self-directed program and holistic approach to health—both your emotional or mental well-being as well as the physical health of your body. Practical end-of-chapter tips, questions, and illustrated step-by-step exercises give readers the tools they need to treat what is troubling them and to integrate this new perspective into their day-to-day life to prevent further illness.

Your Body and the Stars brings together a medically trained, holistic physician, Dr. Stephanie Marango, and a talented astrologist, Rebecca Gordon, whose horoscopes have appeared in Elle and on Epicurious.com. They combine their individual expertise to bring the twelve zodiac signs to physical life, providing a lifelong guide that can both prevent and self-heal, illuminating your head-to-toe healing connection to the cosmos.


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