We have all heard the stories of the full moon making people crazy.
Maybe you have even experienced it firsthand. But what about the other phases of the moon? Are we to believe the only time of impact from the moon is when it is full?
Traditional yoga is full of postures that relate to the lunar cycle. The poses change accordingly each week to sync the body and mind with natural rhythms.
“There’s a natural cycle of life, beginning, sustaining, and letting go. By attuning to the rhythms of natural cycles, such as the lunar cycle, we are attempting to tap into the intelligence within. Yoga is about self-realization, and when we connect to the lunar cycles we tune into our true nature,” says Louisa Craig, a senior teacher at Yoga Alliance Professionals.
Here is how you can attune your yoga practice to the lunar cycle.
The New Moon
The beginning of the lunar cycle is a time of change and renewal. It is the time to turn inward and listen to what our intuition wants us to take on. This could be a new project or routine. It is the time to set intentions and start something new with a blank slate. You have unlimited possibilities to whatever is calling your name.
Action: Over the course of a few days around the new moon, write down any common themes that pop up in your thoughts or dreams. This allows you to physically see what your intuition is telling you. **Visualise new beginnings.
Waxing Crescent Moon
Waxing means the moon is growing in light and energy so tap into this natural momentum and plan out the details you can implement towards your newly set goal. Focus on building new habits and welcoming new possibilities. As the saying goes: “If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."
Action: Get as specific as possible. Write out exactly how you plan to take this new project, intention or routine on. **Try practicing an energetic yoga flow to encourage physical and mental growth.
First Quarter Moon
When the moon is half illuminated, the body’s energy levels really start to kick in. It is time to implement the specific plans you created. You are on your way to start seeing your vision come to life! Take care of yourself during this time so you can operate at full potential. Eat clean, do yoga, and be sure to get full night’s sleep. This ensures you have a clear head when challenges arise in your new project.
Action: Stay grounded with the result of your goal in your mind. This is the time to make the magic happen. **Practice bold fiery yoga flows that build heat to encourage new growth.
Waxing Gibbous Moon
The moon’s illumination is growing and is almost full. This is the time to refine your process and prepare for your project to launch. This may mean taking a break from the long hours of preparation. Once you have checked everything off your to-do list, plan a day for some self-care.
Action: Edit and revise your long-term plan to ensure the launch of your goals begins on a stable foundation. **Incorporate dynamic dance-like movements into your yoga practice.
When the sun illuminates the entire moon, this is the time of peak energy. Ask yourself, how does your new goal fit into your life after actively putting effort behind it? Your emotions may be intense so be gentle with yourself during this time of reflection. Observe honestly if this goal is still on track with what you want. What have you learned about yourself during this time?
Action: Allow yourself to use the moon’s strong energy to put everything out on the table. Sit in silence and decide what needs to be released in your life that is not serving you. **Focus on meditation, restorative, or yin yoga during this time.
Waning Gibbous Moon
You have released what is no longer working and this is the time to take what is, and share it with others. By doing this you make your goal stronger.
Action: Share what you have learned or created from a place of gratitude. How can you give back to others what you just gave yourself? **Share your journey on social media, text a friend, or discuss it over lunch.
The Last Quarter Moon
The last quarter is a time to decide what to let go of to create space. This could mean being bold enough to let part of the project go that initially felt important but has shown to be ill-fit. The key is here to be ok with this and not put doubt or insecurities on yourself for changing what you originally set out to do. What is the silver lining of something that happened that you did not expect?
Action: Tie off the loose-ends and other distractions so you can clearly see what is working and what is not. **Practice slow, expansive yoga flows.
Waning Crescent Moon
This final phase of the lunar cycle is a time of contemplation and surrender. Pause and reflect on where you can let go in your thoughts, relationships, or habits. This is not a sign of weakness or failure; it is just the opposite. There is nothing stronger than letting go.
Action: **Practice self-care with a low energy yoga flow. Use props to support your body and focus on digestion. Try a digital detox to avoid outside influences that cloud your thoughts. What is one thing you can confidently let go of that will make your life better tomorrow?
Enjoy aligning your body and mind with the natural cycles of the universe.
Miranda Morris is a yoga instructor for Activ Life, a leading health and wellness company based in the Cayman Islands. If you enjoyed this article you may also like: Beat the burnout and Yin versus yang yoga.