A Moon Practice
Right around this time of the month, when the night isn’t so dark and I catch myself staring at that giant glowing orb, I become more aware of a desire to share my moon practice with others. I have found that learning to track the cycles of the moon and incorporate her energy into the practice of yoga – both on and off the mat – is a beautiful addition to the yogic life. As an ongoing tool, it has become a vital part of my yoga, for it easily gives me greater insight into my dedication, my emotional scale, and my relationship to the practice of walking the path of being celestial on this physical realm.
Because the moon is a steady presence…
When we mindfully follow her cyclical patterns month-after-month and year-after-year, we can tune into her energy and align with her offerings. She is an ever-present mother, a constant light, an inspiration. She is a ready and willing teacher. Mama moon rules water, the flow of water within our bodies and the bodies of other beings in our lives. She is the ebb and flow of prana within all. She is the calming, blue yin – the counterpart to heightened solar yang energy. She is the ruler of our left sidebody, our emotions, our connection, our intuition. She allows us to tap into ourselves when we’ve forgotten that there is anything to tap into.
As a woman, I track the cycles of the moon with my body’s cycles.
I chart her movements, and I flow with her. I take a step back when the energy isn’t there, I honor the gift of life within, and I harness the potent power to create, to love, to move, to grow in ways that make my body happy. My practice is reflective of the Moon Mother; my Mother within removes ego and allows me to know what my body needs.
Our present Western culture has turned it’s back on women; our patriarchy doesn’t allow women to fully be in sync with our cycles and adjust our lives accordingly. We are expected to be on a man’s schedule. While a man’s being is so truly beautiful, any male who has a significant and deep connection to one or more women will tell you: the feminine is ruled by our moon.
Regardless of menopause or the absence of sex organs, women go through 4 phases each month. The 2 cornerstones of these phases are the ovulation phase, which is ruled by the Full Moon time and the bleeding phase, which is ruled by the New Moon. Throughout ancient and present civilizations, women were and are revered for our monthly connection to Mother Earth. Though there is a lack of understanding in the west of these cycles (and the moon in general), I teach my students, clients, friends and family about the importance of listening to our bodies during these times.
Yogis and the moon
All yogis, male and female, can find how the moon’s movements help to tune into what the body needs. While the masculine and feminine phyisical body is different, we share so many characteristics. This sharing allows us all to cycle together with the luminaries.
It’s important to note that each cycle of the moon has it’s own special set of instructions for the body, mind and heart. However, the full moon is a great place to start! Here I discuss 5 beautiful offerings given freely by the full moon and practices you can incorporate into your life and yoga during this time of the month.
The moon practice
1. The full moon time marks the desire to outwardly expand and share the growth we frpm the 3 cycles leading up to this one! This is a time to crank the music and invite a friend into your practice. This is a time to expand as ONE. Your practice can look like a traditional yoga practice… or you can do what I do and have a dance party! Your yoga, your union with others, can and should look however feels natural to you.
2. If you look up tonight, you will see the glow of the moon. She is giant! I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re glowing within and without. The glow comes from the base of your being, your root chakra. My favorite grounding meditation during this time is to breathe into the root chakra while silently saying to myself the mantra “lum” and breathe out while envisioning my own light becoming brighter and radiating out. Breathe in “lum” and breathe out. GLOW the beauty of you into this world!
3. This time in your watery cycle is marked by massive creativity, so get creative in your practice! Get outside… and if possible, do a moonlit session. You won’t even need a light, just let your body flow under the moonlight. If possible, be near water. At the very least, have a vessel of water nearby to honor your connection to the Universal Mother.
4. I love to fast on the full and new moons. As a woman, I am prone to eating less when my body is in hibernation mode (the new moon) and more when I am feeling fiesty (the full moon). However, fasting on the new and full moon days allow me to take a look at my cravings and what my emotional balance point feels like in relation to food compulsions. My fasting includes water and nothing else, but if you’re new to the idea, try to incorporate some juices (but go easy on the sugary fruit juices!) Free your mind from wanting to eat and let your intuition guide you in the direction of your true needs.
5. If you’re a teacher (or a student, make a suggestion to) flow in tune with the moon. The full moon tends to give us a false sense of ability, and many injuries happen around the full moon time. Remind yourself and your students to listen to their bodies and to be mindful of the hyper activity moving within. Harness that power, that potent energy, and use it to try new poses that balance the yin with the yang. Many times, our practice is stagnantly fast-flow driven… this is the perfect time to try something new! I love doing a yin practice, one where I hold the asanas and the energy moves in new ways. It’s hard to settle down and enjoy this slower practice, but I’ve found it’s a wonderful tool to calm the monkey mind.
6. The full moon time is the BEST time of the month for sharing the love. If you have a partner, getting creative in the bedroom is ideal for building and strengthening your bond. If you don’t have a lover, be your own lover! Explore your body in all it’s glory… after all, the best way to attract the ideal partner is to be your own favorite lover first!
I so hope you’ve connected with my offerings…
They are dedicated to the Moon and to her counterpart, without whom she couldn’t exist: the Sun. I stand in awe of the beauty of learning and growing together, the yin with the yang, the male with the female.
Angela Sumner holds energetic and healing space for all the Gray Goddesses, those who live in the in-between. Connection. Purification. Protection. Divination. For more information or private consult, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Metta.