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Moonlight Yoga: Aligning your Practice with Lunar Energy

Since the dawn of time, the Moon has intrigued astronomers...but also yogis!

From proven influences like the tides, to popular beliefs like the impact on sleep, hair growth, fertility...the moon fascinates us.

With its revolution time around the Earth of 29.5 days, the moon has a cycle very close to the female menstrual cycle.

Even if no impact of the moon on our body has been scientifically proven, practicing rituals around this star which only reveals one side to us can be a powerful and enriching experience.

In this special post, I invite you to discover more closely our natural satellite and its wonderful mystical influences on our body and our mind.

Because yes, yogis and the moon are made to get along!

crescent moon above the mountains

The symbolism of the Moon

Femininity

Just like Yin and Yang, we associate the Sun with masculine energy and the Moon with feminine energy.

The daylight enables life on Earth: it illuminates, warms, and makes plants grow. It thus symbolizes activity, agitation, exteriority which are masculine attributes.

In contrast, the cyclical, nocturnal, half-hidden and mystical Moon symbolizes the mind, the night, reflection, interiority which are feminine attributes.

Death and Rebirth

The perpetual cycle of the Moon also reminds us of the cycle of life: at the black Moon or new Moon, it is the end of a cycle which reminds us of death. The rising Moon (from the first crescent to the full Moon) evokes rebirth.

Emotions

According to popular beliefs, the full Moon amplifies our emotions.

How many of us have ever attributed a bad night, a state of restlessness or anxiety to the full Moon?

We are all more or less receptive to the effects of our natural satellite.

When the Moon forms, our unconscious reveals itself.

The opportunity for us to do some introspection work and benefit from the purifying and liberating power of the Moon.

woman practicing yoga at dusk

Yoga and the moon

Yoga helps us reconnect with natural cycles and the sacred aspect of life.

Thanks to him, we come out of a session regenerated, with a more open heart, a freer mind.

While the sky was hidden by tall buildings and our eyes were glued to our screens, a little moment of yogic practice gives us back the mental space and curiosity to look up again and rediscover the immensity of the Universe and the mysteries of the greater than us.

By practicing yoga, we work on our awareness of ourselves and the world, our receptivity.

The Hatha Yoga tradition considers in this regard that there is in each of us the sun (surya) and the moon (chandra).

The moon corresponding to our mind, changing like the phases of the Moon.

The sun is our vital energy.

The term Hatha Yoga precisely means the union between our mind and our vital energy.

It is the search for calm and stability.

Before developing vital energy, we calm the mind.

Practicing Yoga means seeking balance between light and shadow, between Yin and Yang, between mind and body.

the different phases of the moon

Moon cycles and energies

The cycle of the Moon is the guiding principle of many spiritual practices and traditions, including that of Yoga.

Better knowing and understanding the lunar cycle allows you to identify the energies of the moment and adapt your yogic and spiritual practice.

To be exact, the Moon takes 29 days, 12 hours and 44 minutes to circle the Earth.

It goes through different phases, every 3-4 days which we will observe more closely.

New moon – days 1 to 6

At the start of the lunar cycle, the New Moon lasts from day 1 to 6.

This is the dark phase where the Moon is not visible to us.

Energies are at their lowest.

It's time to set your intentions for this new cycle.

Take the time to listen to your desires: what are you going to keep? what will you leave behind?

Growing Moon – days 7 to 13

The Moon fills with light and energy.

1st crescent, 1st quarter and gibbous Moon (when the Moon almost forms an O but not quite.

In this phase, the energy grows more and more.

This is the time to put into action, to make the intentions set a reality.

Full Moon – days 14 to 20

The Moon is full and radiant.

It reached one end of its journey, before decreasing again.

This is the most energetically charged phase.

The light is at its peak, we see more clearly and our projects are taking shape.

During this phase we can feel more dynamism and enthusiasm. Or more nervousness and excitement.

Depending on what is happening in our life, we will feel this energetic charge differently.

During this phase, we harvest what we planted as an intention during the previous New Moon.

Waning Moon – days 21 to 28

The Moon gradually decreases and goes through all the stages of the waxing Moon again but in the opposite direction.

In this phase, energy gradually decreases, a good time to let go of what is no longer useful to us.

full moon over the mountains

Adapt your yoga practice to lunar energy

There are a thousand and one ways to follow the cycle of the moon, which acts as a spiritual guide for us Yoginis.

The Moon brings a magical dimension to Yoga, without falling into superstition, and reminds us of the importance of rituals.

These rituals nourish our practice of Yoga, accompany us, inspire us…

Depending on the lunar energies, choose appropriate postures.

Note that in the Ashtanga Yoga tradition, there is no asana practice on Full and New Moon days.

The opportunity to work on breathing exercises on these days.

Yoga and new moon

New Moon rhymes with rest and detox of the body.

Energy is calmer, with a slight tendency towards lethargy.

For the New Moon, you can practice Yin Yoga, Moon salutations and why not if you like challenges add the half-moon posture to your yoga session to work on balance.

Favor restful and introspective postures that anchor us in the ground and the present, as well as forward bends to better concentrate.

  • the child (balasana)
  • the goddess of sleep (Supta Baddha Konasana)
  • the wide angle (Prasarita Padottanasana)
  • the leaning butterfly (baddha konasana)
  • the pigeon (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

Bow down to the immensity of creation, choose something that speaks to you: the stars, the oceans, the forests, etc.

It's time to set an intention for this new lunar cycle.

New Moon, new intention: “I give birth to what my heart desires”.

Yoga and the growing moon

The waxing Moon brings up energy.

The ideal time to practice Ashtanga Yoga or Vinyasa Yoga.

To reflect the lunar energy, favor standing “yang” postures, active and dynamic postures:

  • the eagle (Garudasana),
  • warrior 1, warrior 2 or warrior 3 (Virabhadrasana I, II and III)

Now is the time to bring our intentions to life.

First crescent, I set this intention, I make it mine, I meditate on it: “I deserve what my heart desires”.

First quarter, I get into action and allow myself a few slips, I adjust. “I try with all my heart.”

Yoga and full moon

It's the full moon, the energy is at its peak.

But beware of losing your anchor and connection to the Earth.

To make the most of this energetic phase, where our body is lively and toned, favor standing postures, balance postures and inversions:

  • the half moon (Ardha Chandrasana),
  • the triangle (Utthita Trikonasana),
  • the dancer (Natarajasana),
  • the candle (Viparita Karani mudra)

Now is the time to reap the rewards of our actions while taking the time to realign ourselves.

Here is an affirmation you can use: “I know what no longer serves me.”

Yoga and the waning moon

With the waning Moon, the energy in our body and mind gradually diminishes.

We can happily return to Yin Yoga, less intense floor postures and any practice that allows us to slow down while showing our gratitude:

  • the pliers (Paschimottanasana)
  • the half bridge (Ardha-setu-bandhasana)
  • the grand gesture (Maha mudra)
  • the extended twist (Jathara parivartanasana)

It's time to reorganize ourselves, to get rid of everything that's cluttering us up in our lives.

Trust what your intuition leads you to make as a decision.

Affirmations to use during this phase:

Last quarter, I note the changes that are taking place: “I am attentive to the signs”.

Last Crescent, I express all my gratitude: “I thank the Moon for its guidance”.

Incorporate our wonderful well-being rituals with the Moon without further delay!

To motivate yourself to practice yoga every day, it’s this way !

To discover

Discover here our eco-responsible yoga outfits made in France from recycled materials !

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