A typical asana practice tends to focus on the heat-building, physical side of yoga with sun salutations and energizing sequences. Although the “ha” in hatha means “sun” and the “tha” means “moon,” we are often drawn to the sunny side of the practice in our quest for physical fitness.
A lunar practice, especially effective when timed to the moon’s own cycle, brings balance by emphasizing qualities such as inward focus, calmness and a link with our feminine and nurturing side over the solar or masculine qualities of warmth, activity and outward focus. The full moon can influence large bodies of water. Our bodies are largely made up of water, so honoring the moon cycle can enhance our feelings of connection with the universe and all living things as well as our connection with our own masculine and feminine sides.
The key for yogis looking to balance this yin and yang is to channel the moon’s energetic and reflective powers by adapting their practices. One way to do this is to practice Chandra Namaskar, or a moon salutation, which is a calming sequence incorporating side bends and forward folds. Click here for one of my favorite moon salutation sequences, which I frequently use during full moon practice.
In addition to moon salutations, yogis can celebrate and harness the power of the full moon by:
Rest and reflection. Tap into the feminine by nurturing your body with naps or long baths and by nurturing your spirt with journaling or meditation. Focus on what you would like to happen in the next lunar month.
Create space for change by allowing the reflective light of the moon to illuminate habits or relationships that do not serve your true needs.
Consider eating lighter, healthier and easily digestible meals and swapping your daily run for a walk or swim to relax and renew.
Connect with nature, especially at night. Get outside away from social media, television and lights if possible. See, smell and hear the night as shown to you by the moon.
Look at the Moon in the sky, not the one in the lake.- Rumi
Join us at Valley Yoga on Monday, September 24 from 7:15-8:30pm for a Full Moon yoga practice. The class will be beginner-friendly, and is covered by your class card, monthly membership, new student special, or you can purchase a drop-in.