I’ve recently gotten more interested the phases of the moon. Namely, how I can align my life and practices with the phases of the moon. I thought you might like to come on this ride with me. If you’d like to skip straight to the new moon yoga practice, you can scroll down to the bottom of this post.
Whether or not you believe in or feel affected by the moon’s power, aligning with the phases of the moon is a nice way to clear yourself each month. It’s also a great way to realign with what’s important in your life on a regular basis.
We tend to move through life on autopilot; going through the motions, rarely taking the time to connect and inquire. How much of life do we sleepwalk through this way? Giving ourselves time to tune in and get in touch with our deep desires is a great way to make sure we’re really living, rather than just existing.
So what does it mean to align with the moon phases? Let’s first break down what those phases are.
Phases of the Moon
To understand the cycle and phases of the moon, we have to understand the moon’s orbit in relation to the earth. Basically, the moon orbits the earth, and earth (with the moon orbiting around it) orbits the sun, which means the moon, like the earth, is always half illuminated by the sun.
From our perspective here on Earth, the part of the moon that is illuminated (and how much) changes over time.
The New Moon
During a new moon, the sun, the moon, and the earth are perfectly lined up. The moon is between the sun and the earth, so the side of the moon facing the sun is fully illuminated, and the side facing the Earth is completely dark.
A waxing moon is the two-week phase after the new moon. During this phase, the moon brightens from our perspective, as its angle relative to the sun and the earth increases. The period when the moon is waxing occurs between a new moon and a full moon – so the moon becomes brighter and appears bigger over the course of these two weeks.
When the sun, the earth, and the moon line up again, the moon and sun are on opposite sides of the earth. This means the moon appears fully illuminated here on Earth, and we experience a full moon.
A waning moon is the two week period after a full moon, before returning to a new moon. During this phase, the moon becomes less bright, as its angle relative to the sun and the earth decreases. So the moon appears smaller over the course of these two weeks, until we experience another new moon.
Aligning with the Phases of the Moon
Aligning with the New Moon
The new moon is the darkest night of the moon’s cycle. This is a fresh start to the moon cycle and a fresh start for all of us as well. At the new moon, the moon is still. It is neither waxing nor waning. We are encouraged to do the same. To find stillness. As such, a new moon yoga practice should be gentle; yin or restorative are ideal.
In the quiet darkness of the moon, we are encouraged to go inward. This is a time of introspection. A time to rest, reflect, and plant metaphorical seeds. To set new intentions, start new projects and begin to cultivate new positive habits.
Aligning with the Waxing Moon
As the moon is becoming fuller, projects and intentions set during the new moon begin to gain momentum. This is the time to put those intentions and desires into motion. Use this time to research, add and re-adjust to take things a step further.
Aligning with the Full Moon
The full moon is a powerful time and can be intense.
The moon controls the ebb and flow of the earth’s tides, and as we are 60-75% water, we also feel this energetic change. The full moon is often a time of increased emotions, more intense feelings and erratic thoughts. However, we can learn to harness the power of the full moon in our favor, rather than fall prey to its whims.
This is a powerful time to release negative habits and limiting beliefs. Energy has been building during the waxing moon phase, and the full moon is the time to release that energy. To unburden yourself, and to take action on the intentions you set at the new moon.
Aligning with the Waning Moon
This two-week period following the full moon is one that energetically continues to support you in letting go of what no longer serves you.
Continue to work on your projects and manifesting your intentions. Remove any distractions and become aware of any obstacles or negative influences in your life that might be holding you back from your truth or desires.
Continue to consciously release what no longer serves you. At the end of this phase, just before the new moon, reflect on your experiences. Finish off projects, or take note of your achievements before starting to think about the next cycle.
New Moon Yoga Practice: Yin to Go In
The new moon is coming up on Tuesday, the 15th of May, and this new moon yoga practice will help you to align with that energy.
As mentioned above, the new moon is a time of introspection. A time to set new intentions, start new projects and begin to cultivate new positive habits. It’s a time for quiet and stillness.
This is the perfect time to set some short-term projects or intentions for yourself so you can ride them through this lunar cycle, bringing them to a finish during the waning phase.
Listen to what your heart whispering to you. What are your deepest desires? What do you want to see come to fruition in your life? Consider what seeds you wish to sow on this new moon; what do you want to manifest?
I invite you to write down your projects or intentions, and to keep this piece of paper somewhere you can see it, so you can stay connected to them as the moon waxes.
Inquire deeply, and then join me on the mat for this soothing new moon yin practice.