April is coming in hot with the hellfire my friends. Between the madness of eclipse season and the mayhem of the year’s first Mercury retrograde, the energy is taxing on both mind and body.

Mercury is retrograding in the stunt man sign of Aries from April 1 to April 25. An optical illusion, the planet of expression and communion does not actually go backward but it does slow its proverbial roll to such a degree that it appears to be moving in reverse from our earthling vantage.

As Mercury rules the realms of verbal exchange, mental processing, travel, and technology these areas of life are most acutely affected by the planet’s change of pace; think conversations that go off the rails, canceled flights, brain fog, unsent business emails, unrelenting exes and explicit videos accidentally uploaded.

It ain’t no walk in the park; unless the park in question is on fire and the path is made of obsidian shards, shed antlers, and emotional tripwires.

Mercury retrograde; don’t be scared, get prepared. Shutterstock

Depending on your sun and rising sign and the position of Aries in your birth chart, April’s Mercury retrograde will have a direct bearing on a specific area of your life; career, relationships, spirituality, daily routine etc.

To help us alleviate tension both cosmic and corporeal, we have insights from Astrologer Karrie Myers (aka Self Karrie) explaining what stage of human development each sign represents and how this retrograde will affect us and sportswear designer/STOTT-certified Pilates instructor Kristina Rudzinskaya prescribing a zodiac-specific Pilates move and mindfulness practice to release tension and promote well being.

Read on to learn more.  

Stand tall and confident

Rudzinskaya recommends wall exercises with cactus arms for Aries folk. Drobot Dean – stock.adobe.com

Aries is the newborn baby of the zodiac, representing new beginnings and a willingness to see the world through “fresh” eyes.  Aries is known for running into battle, regardless of what the war is for. Ever ready to jump without looking, it’s no wonder the sign rules the head, brain, and muscular system.

Mercury RX Pilates tip: During Mercury RX you will have an opportunity to reevaluate your self-image: “how others see me” and “how I see myself” (Retrograde will take place in your 1st house). This will be a prime time to work on your posture and create confidence through muscular support.

Wall angle exercise will help you to develop back muscles, open the chest, and signal confidence to others. Stand upright by the wall. Slide your hands up and bring them into the “cactus” position, making sure your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Start sliding your hands up on inhale, and down on exhale. Do 10 reps. 

Release neck tension

Taurus rules the throat and carries tension in the neck. BrunoBarillari – stock.adobe.com

Taurus is the toddler of the Zodiac, representing the primal desire to be stable, secure, and financially sufficient. 

Mercury RX Pilates tip: Mercury RX will take place in the 12th house of the unconscious and the intuitive. This retrograde may reveal situations in your life that made you unheard, unlovable and devalued.

Since Taurus rules the throat and the ears, support yourself with a combination of neck mobility exercises like chin tucks and shoulder rolls.

Regulate your nervous system

Breathing exercises can help Geminis regulate their nervous systems. PheelingsMedia – stock.adobe.com

Gemini is the inquisitor of the zodiac; representing the highly verbal stage of adolescence when children have endless questions and unquenchable curiosity.  

Mercury RX Pilates tip: During Mercury RX you most likely will revisit your childhood, and notice how the past affects your present and future goals. 

Gemini rules the lungs and nervous system; which can be strengthened and regulated through mindful breathing. Try to stretch your chest to create more space for the lung’s movement, breathe slowly while holding the stretch. Inhale while counting to 4, and then exhale while counting to 6. 

Find your center

Belly breathing and reverse snow angels ease the emotions of Cancer folk. fizkes – stock.adobe.com

Cancer is the most emotionally intelligent sign in the zodiac, representing ages 3-4, when humans begin to recognize their emotional interiority and the feelings of others.

Mercury RX Pilates tip: Mercury Rx will take place in your 10th House of Career and your 3rd House of Communication. You’ll most likely be re-visiting wounds around your identity relative to your ambitions. Work with your center, allow your emotions to flow freely, notice them, and let go.

Diaphragmatic breathing (belly breathing) is especially beneficial to crabs!

Since Cancer rules the stomach, the womb, and digestive juices, you can try to massage your belly to support yourself through turbulent times or do exercises lying face down, like a reverse snow angel. Start laying on your belly, lift your chest and legs, keep your neck long, and look down at the floor. Breathe in and slowly slide your hands up, breathe out move them back, lower down. 

Open the heart

Cat pose is perfect for the sign of the lion. Viktor Koldunov – stock.adobe.com

Leo’s are the performers of the zodiac, representing age 5-10 when humans begin to express themselves in big, public ways (think sports teams, school musicals, extracurricular interests, etc.)

Mercury RX Pilates tip: Mercury RX will exactly affect your 9th and 11th houses: friendship, community, and network. Work out with your friends and colleagues, and spend time with people near and dear to you. Leo rules the heart so be gentle with yours; ask yourself what do I need to align to move forward?

Do cat (apropos for Leo) and cow poses to open your heart.

Let it go, let it flow

Seated twist exercises aid in digestion. Syda Productions – stock.adobe.c

Virgo’s are the pre-adolescents of the zodiac; the time in life when children gain independence and take on more adult responsibilities

Mercury RX Pilates Tip: Mercury Rx will take place in your 8th House of Intimacy, Deep Psychological Trauma/Shadows, and other people’s money. Be aware, this energy could be heavy.

Virgo rules the intestines, pancreas, and gallbladder, so pay attention to your digestion especially when you are stressed. Seated twist exercises will aid digestion and grounding. 

Strengthen your backbone literally and metaphorically

Libras can lean into lumbar support. Prostock-studio – stock.adobe.com

Libra’s are the teenagers of the zodiac, ever trying to understand the others outside and seek wholeness through committed partnerships

Mercury RX Pilates Tip: Mercury Rx will take place in your 7th House of significant others, family, and business partnerships. Be especially aware of new contracts and having to negotiate or renegotiate, as Libra also rules legal issues and justice.

Libra rules the lumbar region, pancreatic cells, and kidneys. Try Superman exercise to strengthen your lower back.  

Routines and daily practices

Breathe deep and bridge on, Scorpio. chok1234567 – stock.adobe.com

Scorpio is associated with the era of the early 20’s, when our need for committed partnership meets the deep desire for intimacy and the call to accept and integrate our shadows.

Mercury RX Pilates Tip: Mercury Rx will take place in your 6th House of daily routines, health, and habits.  Question to consider; how can I make my physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychological health the most important thing?

Scorpio rules the genitals, reproductive organs and expulsion. Try bridge exercises to help strengthen pelvic floor muscles. Advice: keep your pelvis tucked! 

Creative squats

Get low, Sagittarius. alfa27 – stock.adobe.com

Sagittarius represents the threshold period in our lives when we start seeking spirituality and a higher understanding of the Universe and our place wihin it.

Mercury RX Pilates Tip: Mercury Rx will take place in your 5th House of creativity, children, and self-expression. This is the most positive sign during this retrograde! Bring your inner child into play and create art. Drawing, painting, pottery, sex or sculpting, anything you can do with your hands – will develop new mind-body connections and help you explore emotion and your relationship with play.

Sagittarius rules the legs: thighs, buttocks, and hips. Do a squat series and get creative with your approach; jump, pulsate, or use weights to diversify. 

Ground yourself

Capricorn rules the skeletal system and standing spine articulation is a fine way to support it. RealPeopleStudio – stock.adobe.com

Capricorn represents the elder era of the zodiac when we’ve built our families, companies, and legacies and are now ready to share that wisdom with others.

Mercury RX Pilates Tip: Mercury Rx will take place in your 4th House of home, property, and genealogy, It is a fine time to see how your past is influencing your present. Be aware, that looking back might bring some old traumas to the surface. Since Capricorn rules the skeletal system, bones, and joints, try to ground yourself and find the support in your bones being held by gravity. 

Try a standing spine articulation; leaning over a chair, create an L-shape with your body. Keep your spine and neck long. Inhale, roll your spine, exhale, and return to an L-shape. 

Meditate in child pose

Surrender into child’s pose this retrograde, water bearers. prime031974 – stock.adobe.com

Aquarius represents the search for social justice and the lofty climes of humanitarian ideals. In terms of development, it’s the point of life when humans rise above the daily grind and trivial pursuits, realizing that oneness with community and Source is of paramount importance.

Mercury RX Pilates Tip: Mercury will take place in your 3rd house of communication, siblings and short trips, technology, and science! Be cautious with tech and travel, things might get out of control. It is a great time to incorporate meditation into your practice, to calm your mind.

Aquarius rules the lower legs; to honor your body and clear your mind, spend some time in a child’s pose, paying attention to your breath. If your hips can’t reach your ankles, place a pillow between your hips and heels. Inhale and exhale slowly. 

Find stability in plank pose

Pisces can find much-needed stability in a side plank. Sunrise optional. pikoso.kz – stock.adobe.com

Pisces are the Jedi masters of the zodiac.  They represent the wise ones who have already connected with Source and so are often trying to escape the physical plane because they know there is so much more than this!

Mercury RX Pilates Tip: Mercury Rx for Pisces will be about stability: financial, emotional, and physical. What is preventing you from finding solid ground? And what can you do to change it? 

Do daily, dynamic side plank exercises to find strength and consistency. To modify, bring both knees to the floor. 

Astrologer Reda Wigle researches and irreverently reports back on planetary configurations and their effect on each zodiac sign. Her horoscopes integrate history, poetry, pop culture, and personal experience. She is also an accomplished writer who has profiled a variety of artists and performers, as well as extensively chronicled her experiences while traveling. Among the many intriguing topics she has tackled are cemetery etiquette, her love for dive bars, Cuban Airbnbs, a “girl’s guide” to strip clubs, and the “weirdest” foods available abroad.

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