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It is widely acknowledged that in our fast-paced modern society, we have lost touch with nature, ancestral traditions and the natural rhythms of life, including the influence of the sun and moon. We have forgotten the importance of taking time to rest, reflect, and adjust our energy levels. To regain balance, it is recommended that we return to our roots and embrace the power of the moon.
Throughout this month on the Soul Sanctuary, we will be exploring how working with the cycle of the moon can bring us closer to our true selves, help us manifest our desires and provide us with a sense of purpose and empowerment through self-awareness, self-care and yoga.
The practice of yoga has a long history and deep roots in Hinduism, which incorporates the study of the movements of celestial bodies, including the moon. The moon is known to have a significant influence on various aspects of human life, including our physical and emotional well-being. In yoga, the moon is associated with the feminine energy and its phases are believed to impact the practice in various ways.
“In ancient times, the moon was the marker of the passage of time and our ancestors looked to her for insights and wisdom, using her phases for gathering, sharing and ritual. This shows how, at one time, we were much more tuned in to the moon, and her gravitational pull that moves not only the tides, but also our energy levels and the watery inner world of our emotions and dreams” - Lunar Living, Kirtsy Gallagher
THE MOON PHASES:
There are 8 phases of the moon/lunar cycle, though more commonly known today it is divided into four main parts (new moon, waxing moon, full moon, waning moon). Each phase is associated with specific energy and characteristics that can be harnessed in the practice of yoga.
🌑 New Moon: The new moon is a time of new beginnings and setting intentions.
During this phase, yoga practitioners may focus on setting intentions and planting seeds for future growth. This can be a good time to start a new practice or even try a new type of yoga.
🌒 Waxing Crescent: The waxing crescent is a time of growth and expansion.
This can be a good time to focus on poses that build strength and flexibility, such as standing asanas or backbends.
🌓 First Quarter: The first quarter is a time of action and taking steps towards your goals.
This can be a good time to focus on poses that require focus and concentration, such as balancing poses.
🌔 Waxing Gibbous: The waxing gibbous is a time of refinement and fine-tuning your practice.
You may use this phase to build strength and increase flexibility by focusing on poses that require attention to alignment and breath, such as inversions or twists. This is a good time to also focus on cultivating positive habits and attitudes.
🌕 Full Moon: The full moon is a time of abundance, completion and releasing what no longer serves you.
You may focus on harnessing this energy to increase their physical and mental endurance and build self-awareness. This can be a good time to focus on restorative or yin yoga, or to practice a full moon yoga sequence that includes moon salutations or poses that honor the lunar energy.
🌖 Waning Gibbous: The waning gibbous is a time of reflection and letting go of what no longer serves you.
This can be a good time to focus on poses that release tension and stress, such as forward folds or hip openers.
🌗 Last Quarter: The third quarter is a time of evaluation and refining your practice.
This can be a good time to focus on poses that require self-reflection and introspection, such as seated meditation or pranayama.
🌘 Waning Crescent: The waning crescent is a time of rest and renewal.
You may use this phase to cultivate surrender and release negative thoughts, emotions, and physical tensions. This can be a good time to practice gentle or restorative yoga or to focus on poses that promote relaxation and rest, such as child's pose or savasana.
These associations are just one way to connect the lunar cycle with yoga, and the most important thing is to tune into your intuition and practice in a way that feels authentic and meaningful to you.
Overall, the connection between the moon phases and yoga is a complex and deeply spiritual one that is grounded in ancient traditions and the belief in the interconnectivity of all things. Many practitioners find that incorporating lunar cycle awareness into their practice can enhance their overall physical and emotional well-being.
Our founder, Cat Meffan, says: “I have been working with, connecting to and drawing inspiration from the moon and my own moon energy for a few years now. Understanding the moon cycles gave me this sense of not being alone in my journey and allowed me to cultivate peace and acceptance for the ebb and flow of life. The biggest shift for me personally when it came to the moon was when I looked into my own astrology chart and explored my moon sign (my emotional self), something I recommend everyone does. Like many people, I’ve never felt overly connected to my sun sign - though I definitely have traits - but getting intimate with my moon and my emotional body really helped me to understand my deeper layers a bit more.”
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There are numerous journaling prompts and affirmations you can work with during the lunar phase. See below for our suggestions that you can use around the full moon and new moon phase. Pick just 2-3 of each so you do not feel overwhelmed, sit with the question before writing and allow your feelings to flow.
Full moon journal prompts are questions or prompts that can inspire reflection and self-discovery during the full moon:
🌕 What are some things that I am ready to release or let go of?
🌕 What challenges am I currently facing and how can I overcome them?
🌕 What habits of patterns do I want to change?
🌕 What does self care mean to me?
🌕 What are my biggest accomplishments in the past month and what did I learn from them?
🌕 What am I most grateful for in my life right now?
🌕 How can I incorporate more self care into my daily routine?
Look at what is really holding you back – now is the time to let it go. Be honest with yourself and the universe will answer with its help.
✨ I let go of people in my past that don’t serve me any longer.
✨ I free myself of needing to be liked.
✨ I let go of unwanted energy and thought patterns.
✨ I am open to receiving love and support from the universe.
And you enjoy writing some of your own full moon affirmations:
✨ I release myself from ….
✨ I cleanse myself of ….
✨ I free myself of ….
✨ I forgive myself for ….
The upcoming new moon presents an opportunity to engage in journaling and visualisation activities that can help to clarify and manifest our aspirations:
🌑 What do I wish to invite into my life in the coming month?
🌑 What are my goals for this month?
🌑 What do I require during this period?
🌑 What is my greatest desire?
🌑 What three actions can I take to bring me closer to my goals?
🌑 What emotions rise as I approach the manifestation of my dreams?
During a New Moon, you should focus on setting positive and abundant intentions for yourself so that during the ritual you can commit yourself to manifest these, asking the universe for help. Try to limit yourself to only a few so that you can really give them proper focus and attention during this Moon cycle:
✨ I am in control of my life.
✨ I am ready to welcome new opportunities into my life.
✨ I am grateful for all the blessings I have in my life.
✨ I have the power to create the life I want.
✨ I trust my journey and the universe.
✨ I love and respect myself.
And don't forget to enjoy writing some of your own new moon affirmations that resonate with you.
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As always, we have our suggested Soul Sanctuary flows from the back catalogue (in black) that align with this month's theme, mapped out below in our printable calendar. You can also find these additional practices in the calendar function on our beautiful app or search for them on the membership on the website via desktop.
And don't forget - you can flow along with our monthly playlist HERE.
Join us as we embark on a month-long journey and tune your yoga practice to the rhythms of the moon. Each lunar phase is associated with unique characteristics and energy, allowing you to tap into its power as you move through your practice. With this approach, you can enhance your physical and emotional well-being while connecting deeply with the natural rhythms of the lunar cycle.