22 Feb Yoga and the full moon
The full moon is a very powerful and intensive time. At this time of the month, the moon is illuminated in its full beauty and one might feel an energetic change with increased emotions or intense feelings.
But you might wonder what yoga has to do with the moon and why we choose to talk about it today. Here are some answers to your questions and ideas to use yoga to channel the full moon energy and make the most of it.
What is the relationship between yoga and the moon?
You might already know that Hatha yoga is generally translated as the yoga of the sun (ha) and the moon (tha). This refers to the balance of two different energies within each of us: the sun refers to the masculine, active and hot energy, while the moon refers to the feminine, receptive and cool energy.
So basically, yoga is all about balancing these two energies, the flexibility and the strength, the body and the mind, the action and the reflexion.
In addition to this first basic connexion between yoga and the moon, it is also important to mention that some yoga traditions like Ashtanga yoga recommend to abstain from practicing yoga during the full moon to honor the rhythms of nature.
Others, on the contrary, invite yoga practitioners to practice during the full moon to release what no longer serves them and plant seeds of intention for the new moon to come. It’s indeed a great time to practice gentle yoga and open yourself up to receive all the celestial gifts the full moon has to offer.
How to practice the moon salutation (Chandra Namaskar)?
Practicing a moon salutation instead of the classic sun salutation is a great way to honour the full moon in your yoga practice. In addition, this sequence is amazing to calm the body and the mind, inviting some “yin” energy into our lives.
Here are the steps to practice a moon salutation sequence :
- Start in Tadasana (mountain pose)
- Inhale and lift your arms up in Urdhva Tadasana (lifted mountain pose)
- Exhale and bend your body towards the right.
- Inhale to center and exhale and bend to your left.
- Inhale back to center.
- Exhale, open your feet apart and bend the knees, entering Utkata Konasana (goddess pose) with your arms bent in a cactus shape.
- Inhale and straighten your legs.
- Exhale and enter Trikonasana (triangle pose) on your right.
- Inhale and on the next exhale, rotate the back foot and turn both hips forward to fold over your right leg, entering Parsvottanasana (intense side stretch).
- Inhale, step the left foot back and bend your right knee to come into a low lunge.
- Exhale, bring both hands to the floor to the big toe side of your right foot and rotate your body to the front of the mat, entering Skandasana (side lunge) with your left leg extended.
- Inhale, come back to a squat in the center of your mat and prepare for the other side.
- Skandasana with your right leg extended.
- Low lunge with the left foot forward.
- Parsvottanasana on the left leg.
- Trikonasana on the left side.
- Utkata Konasana.
- Urdhva Tadasana, bend to the left, then to the right.
If it’s still not very clear, here is a video that should help you go through the whole sequence :
What to expect when practicing yoga during the full moon?
Just as with the four seasons, the phases of the moon carry various qualities and intentions. If you practice yoga during the full moon, be prepared to experience new sensations, maybe feeling a little ungrounded or obstinate. Accept those feelings and try to create space and open yourself to the powerful energy of the moon.
If you want to practice in a group setting, you can also join our Full Moon Yoga events, starting on March 21st 2019, specifically tailored to enjoy the full moon energy with live music.