While the influence of the sun is felt strongly in the change of seasons and in the passing of the daylight from dawn till dusk, the influence of the moon is more subtly felt throughout each monthly phase of the moon. From the time of new beginnings of the freshly dawning new moon to the energy charged full moon and then to the slowly waning of the second phase of the moon we may notice a very subtle change reflected in our energy levels. We often replicate this in our asana practice as a slow building of energy, reaching a peak and then a slow closing down and resting. Following are some poses which reflect the phases of the moon. Practice them mindfully thinking of the soft illuminating energy of the moon and feel how the each pose has it’s own unique ability to reflect its phase of the moon.
New moon (Child Pose)
Lets start in child pose. Kneel down, curling yourself up into a little ball and resting your head on the floor. Breathe deep down to your abdomen and feel the breath opening up into your lower back. New beginnings require closure of the old, so let all the thoughts on your mind float away on every outward breath and just focus on relaxing.
First quarter (Crescent Moon)
Come into an upright kneeling position and take your right foot forward into a lunge. Keep your knee in line with your ankle, your hips upright, lift your arms and gently arch back into a Crescent Moon shape. Stay here and breathe deep down into your lower lungs letting the rib cage expand and feeling the freshness of the open chest and arching back. As you breathe and open up into the pose allow your pelvis to sink towards the floor but meet that release with the soft strength of your legs and feet. Stay for 10 breaths if you can and then slowly come out of the pose.
Half Moon (Half Moon Pose)
From a standing forward fold with your back parallel to the floor and your hands on the floor under the shoulders (you may need to have your hands on blocks), take your left leg back and lift it level with your hips, open your chest and pelvis to the ceiling and bring your left hand to reach up in line with your shoulder. You may like to look up. Half moon time is a gathering of quiet and calm energy. Feel it flowing around your hips and chest and freshening every part of your body. Stay calmly balancing for 10 breaths and then lower your leg and return to rest in a standing forward bend.
Full Moon (Camel Pose)
Bring your knees to the floor and staying upright on your knees lengthen through the front of the torso and arch back into a full moon shape in Camel pose. You may be able to bring your hands to your feet or you can keep them at your lower back. Feel the nicely energised spine and glowing body as you breathe and illuminate every cell with fresh lunar energy. Stay for 10 breaths if you can and then return to a standing forward bend and rest.
For the waning phase of the moon repeat Half moon and Crescent Moon on the opposite side and finish with a nice long rest in Child Pose.
By Vrndavan Dasi from Veda Yoga Training