What is Mercury Retrograde and why everyone is talking about it

+ how yoga will help to survive it

What is retrograde

Retrograde means moving backwards. For planetary systems, retrograde motion usually means motion that is opposite to the rotation of the main body, that is, the object that is the center of the system. When the planets are in a retrograde cycle, looking at the sky, they appear to be moving backwards. But it’s actually an optical illusion, because they’re moving forward, and very fast. Mercury is the fastest moving planet in the solar system, orbiting the sun every 88 days. Retrograde periods occur when Mercury passes Earth. Have you ever been on a train when another train passed you? For a moment, the faster moving train appears to be moving backwards until it finally overtakes the slower one. This is the same effect that happens in our sky when Mercury passes Earth.

When is Mercury Retrograde

Although it may seem like it always happens, Mercury retrogrades occur three times a year for three weeks. In 2019, Mercury will be retrograde from March 5 to March 28, July 7 to July 31, and October 13 to November 3.

The first step in understanding Mercury retrograde is to know when it happens. Mark these days on your calendar and know that during this period things will happen that you would like to avoid, but there will also be many opportunities for growth.

What rules Mercury

Mercury governs our communications, including all technologies and information exchange systems. Mercury affects that part of us that absorbs information and transmits it to others.

When Mercury Retrogrades ideas and thoughts seem to get stuck in our head instead of pouring out easily. The same thing happens with our technology: email servers go down, social media platforms show errors, and our regular connections don’t work properly. There comes an unpleasant time when information is lost or misinterpreted. The connection seems to get stuck and then, like a slingshot, it breaks through in a disorganized way, confusing everyone.

How to survive this period

Below are a few simple methods that can help you navigate Mercury Retrograde without falling victim to its chaos and spending three weeks feeling frustrated by lost emails.

: Think well before you say anything. Pause before speaking and take a few breaths to focus on your thoughts. Also, take your time if you’re not ready. Silence is better than mixed thoughts and incomprehensible expressions.

: Give other people space. As you talk, encourage both parties to take deep breaths during moments of confusion or interruption. Mercury retrograde can make our minds move very fast, so people can interrupt each other and not listen. Focus on yourself and your grounded energy will help everyone else.

: Check for typos. Mercury retrograde is notorious for causing typos, grammatical errors, and hitting “send” before the message is complete. Again, our mind speeds up during this time, confusing our thoughts and our fingers. Read your message several times and even ask someone to edit your important work during this period.

: Read contract details. It’s technically best not to sign important agreements during Mercury Retrograde. If necessary, read each line three times. Know that Mercury Retrograde breaks everything that is not perfectly aligned. Therefore, even if you miss something in terms, most likely everything will fall apart by itself if it does not suit you.

: Confirm plans. This applies to your own plans, such as travel itineraries or meetings. Double check your dinner plans so you don’t end up alone. Also, try to be compassionate and understanding if people miss your calls and meetings.

: Communicate with nature, especially when technical breakdowns occur. Time spent with Mother Earth will re-focus your energy and take you out of the endless stream of thoughts for a moment. It will also give you, and your technique, time to reset.

: Get a journal. One of the benefits of Mercury Retrograde is greater access to your thoughts and feelings. During this time, self-talk becomes easier and answers effortlessly float to the surface.

: Be open to a change of direction. If Mercury Retrograde breaks something in your world, consider it a good thing. If the energies are perfectly aligned, Mercury will not be able to influence them. See any “destruction” as an opportunity to build something stronger and in alignment with your inner energy.

How yoga can help

Yoga can help you get through Mercury Retrograde a little easier. The key to success during this period is a sound mind and “centering” of the body. Your connection to the breath is vital during this period as it will slow down the mind and clear any frustrations.

Here are a few postures to help you ground and center during this period. Practice them any time you feel like your nerves are fluttering or you need a reboot.

Mountain Pose. This pose will help you feel strong, centered, and able to weather any Mercury Retrograde storm.

Pose of the Goddess. Feel your inner strength in this pose and then open your body to receive strength from the universe to overcome the challenges you face.

Eagle pose. In this position, it is impossible to think about computer problems, much less about anything else. Find your focus and your confidence, and have some fun as well.

Uttanasana. When you need to relieve the nervous system a little, just lean down. You can do it anywhere and anytime. It’s also the perfect energy reset when you’re waiting for your computer to do the same.

Child’s pose. When all else fails, connect your head to the Earth and breathe. There are times when you just need a little comfort, and this pose is the perfect anxiety reliever.

The most important thing to remember during Mercury Retrograde is that it will pass. The problems that this astrological phenomenon can cause are temporary. Focus on your breath and look for the positive aspects. During this period, there are as many opportunities as there are disappointments. Keep a positive attitude, and when that’s not possible, give yourself a break from technology and other people.

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