A few nights ago I was admiring the full moon – so bright and beautiful. At the time, I was texting with a friend who was also looking at it. He told me that out in the country where he lives, he could see the moon reflected in the river. My sister lives several hours away from me, right in the middle of a busy downtown block. She also commented on the beautiful moon that she could see from her high rise with the lake and cityscape as a backdrop. Although many miles separated us, we all shared in this gorgeous experience. How cool is that?!
In yoga, the different energies of the moon are sometimes compared to the breath cycle. The energy of the full moon corresponds to the end of the inhalation when the force of prana (energy or life force) is greatest. It is thought to be an expansive force that moves upward giving you energy and inspiring creativity. I imagine it as unrestrained and free. It can help you move beyond preconceived limits and inhibitions and let go of things that might be holding you back.
In many cultures, lunar energy represents the feminine. According to yoga (and many other belief systems) both masculine and feminine energies exist in all of us. Hatha yoga aims to balance these energies. In our society, and in Western yoga, there tends to be a bias towards the masculine or solar side – go, go, go. Solar energy is warm and active and focused outward. We definitely need this in our lives but we also need the calming influence of lunar or Yin energy. Moon energy is receptive, cool and more inwardly focused.
The energetic qualities of expansiveness and receptivity foster a growth mindset. The full moon can be a good time to let go of things that no longer serve you. This gives you space for new things. Yoga helps you release tension. It moves stuck energy. It helps you become more open both in your physical body and in your mind.
Moon Salutation (Chandra Namaskar)
Like the Sun Salutation, a Moon Salutation is a series of yoga poses connected with breath. However the intention of a moon salutation is to foster the yin or feminine qualities of receptivity and calm. It is a more quiet and meditative sequence meant to draw your focus inwards.
Try this moon salutation to balance out your yin and yang energies. Focus on the powerful lunar qualities of expansiveness and receptivity by repeating a mantra as you flow:
I am expansive and free.
I welcome change.
Moon Salutation Poses
Side Bend (Left)
ide Bend (Right)
Left Side Series
Triangle Pose (Left)
Pyramid Pose (Left)
Extended Side Angle (Left)
Right Side Series
Extended Side Angle (Right)
Pyramid Pose (Right)
Triangle Pose (Right)
Have a wonderful week and I will talk to you soon. Let me know how you like the Moon Salutation if you give it a try!