Whether you’re an astrophysicist, an astrologist, or a yogi, you’re probably keeping a close eye on the lunar cycle. Even if you’re a more casual yoga class attendant, or not at all, you’ve likely at least encountered events themed around the moon.
So what significance does the moon have in yoga and daily life? What’s the difference between focusing on certain things on a new moon versus a full moon? Yoga instructor at Castle Hill Fitness, Audra Shimek, helps shed lunar light on the energetic powers of the moon.
THE MOON IN YOGA
The moon represents a powerful energy. Its gravitational pull controls the Earth’s tides – it stands to reason it can influence us as well, from our quality of sleep to goal-setting!
Yoga focuses heavily on balance, by honing the union of the mind, body, and breath. The sun and the moon are focal points in yoga (if you’ve attended a class, you’ve probably performed sun salutations). Hatha yoga, specifically, translates to ‘sun’ (ha-) and ‘moon’ (-tha) in Sanskrit. In Hatha yoga, it’s believed that these are the two opposing energies that are found within every person. The fiery sun symbolizes the “masculine” energy, and the quiet, peaceful moon symbolizes the “feminine” energy. Yoga helps balance these two energies within us.
Traditionally, Ashtanga Yoga observes “moondays”, days of rest taken when the moon is new or full. Moondays serve to acknowledge our connection with nature and the moon’s influence on us during its cycle. In other styles of yoga, the focus is to channel the moon’s energy to promote a more grounded, intentioned practice.
Yogic philosophy posits that you can harness the strong energies of the moon’s natural cycle to guide you – both on and off the mat.
THE NEW MOON
The New Moon is the first phase of the Lunar cycle when the moon is completely dark in the sky. As the beginning of a new monthly cycle, this time signifies new beginnings, wisdom, intuition, birth, reincarnation, and spiritual connection. When there is no light within the sky, it’s the ultimate time to look within to your inner light.
The New Moon is considered to be an opportune time to set intentions, goals, and to launch new projects. You set intentions for the next lunar cycle that develops as the moon waxes toward fullness. The lunar energy during this time will guide your sense of direction and ground you.
THE FULL MOON
The Full Moon signifies complete light where we can see everything clearly. This is a time for culmination, harvest, and letting go. The New Moon intentions that we previously set come to fruition.
This time is ideal for reflection. Take stock of how your intentions have progressed – what is working, what is not? Should we stay on the path with this intention, or change course? Decide what to release and what to keep, and then the process can begin anew.
YOUR LIFE’S NIGHT LIGHT
Attuning to the natural, cyclical nature of the lunar cycle is yet another method at our disposal for self-introspection and actualization. Matching up your own habits and goal-setting according to the symbolic phases of the moon’s beginning, middle, and end can grant you grounding and clarity in your intentions.
In addition to your yoga practice, there are several practices you can incorporate on the new and full moon to further hone in on the moon’s powerful energy:
- Set sacred space. Clear your sitting area, light candles, burn incense – make a cozy spot for yourself.
- Rest and meditate. The practice of slowing down and cultivating peace will help you sift through the noise. Gain clarity on what you want to manifest.
- Take a refreshing bath. The moon has a deep connection with the water – soaking in water is a great way to connect with that energy.
- Make moon water. You can make this at any phase, but it’s considered to be more energetically potent when made during the full moon. Learn how to make it here.
- Choose an affirmation. Choose a powerful statement to guide your thoughts and intentions.
- Spend time with positive people.
- Spend time outdoors. Bask directly in the moon’s energetic rays and enjoy a natural serotonin boost!
- Charge your crystals. Crystals are known for their own energetic healing properties. Recharge your crystal’s healing energy by setting them out under the light of the full moon. Unsurprisingly, moonstones are a great crystal to have on hand during the full and new moons!
Tap into the Lunar Cycle at CHF
MONTHLY NEW MOON SOUNDBATH SERIES
This special class with Audra uses guided meditation, yoga, and sound healing to release what no longer serves while manifesting abundance into your life. This experience was designed to help you re-energize while releasing any kind of stagnancy occurring in your life. Audra centered her workshop around the New Moon because being cleared energetically, calm, and centered is important when setting intentions or goals.
The class begins with a very gentle yoga flow to activate your body’s energy centers. This is then followed by a guided meditation and Soundbath as you sink into your cozy spot. The Soundbath uses crystal bowls and chimes to create vibrations that help to calm your nervous system, clear out any stuck energies, and promote deep relaxation.
Next session: February 26 at 12pm
MEET AUDRA SHIMEK
Audra loves to teach and share tools that will help her clients feel strong and confident in mind and body. She is a long-time yoga enthusiast and teacher, with a passion for anatomy and working with people in a therapeutic sense.
Audra is certified in Hot Yoga, Hatha, Vinyasa, Pilates, HIIT, and Meditation. She believes in the power of movement therapy, and that every day is a chance to start where you are! Audra’s classes frequently incorporate sound bathing to help calm the nervous system and promote deeper relaxation.