The Moon. A symbol for the feminine, the mystical, the subconscious. A symbol for cyclic transformation, feelings and the shadowy parts of our inner worlds.
Yoga. An ancient philosophy system, a tool-box with a lot of tools for everyone on the way to knowledge of the self, to union with yourself, others and everything around you, for we are part of a bigger picture.
And then we have humans. Energetic but also physical beings. Humans, living in a big ecosystem that responds to the gravitation of the moon. Beings made out of molecules, fluids, bio-electrical circuits. And equipped with a gift called consciousness to witness all the magic happening around them.
Connecting lunar phases & the yoga practice
Why do I talk about these 3 components, humans, yoga and the moon? Because when you combine the wisdom about lunar phases with the wisdom of yoga, a human being can profit out of this combination. Let me explain further.
The human body contains in it cells approximately 45 litres of water, so about 65% of your body is made out of water. It’s commonly known that the moon, or rather it’s gravitation, is responsible for the tides (nicely explained here), so why shouldn’t this affect the masses of water in your body? Some people are more sensitive to these effects than others but if you pay close attention, you might notice some coincidences. Other big objects in the sky (like stars) are like “filters” for that energy because they have gravitation too that in return affects the moon and so on. So when the moon crosses through the signs of the zodiac (so special groups of stars in the sky), then the energies differ slightly depending on what sign the moon is crossing.
Throughout ancient texts and astrology, one can find matches between the zodiac signs, planets, lunar phases and the human body. For example, it is said that the moon in Taurus affects the shoulder and neck area of the human body, other signs affect other parts. Furthermore, there are also matches between the zodiac signs and different glands in the body. Different asanas affect different glands, the same procedure as with the body parts.
But what has yoga to do with this? Well, obviously there are some asanas (or breathing techniques) that your body could benefit from a little bit more than from other asanas on special days. This does not apply to all people, but for me it does and I can only teach what I know and what works for me. When I talk about moon yoga, I’m not talking about the moon yoga where you get to know your menstrual cycle and try to improve hormonal imbalances. That’s pretty interesting too. I’m trying to go with natural cycles as much as possible in my life and for example, I’m not taking the pill for 4 years now and guess what? My menstrual cycle synchronized with the moon cycle. But that’s not what my message behind my approach of moon yoga is. Over the last months, I really could notice that there are days where my legs feel heavier than usual or my hips feel more stiff than usual. Most of the time I then look up the lunar phase and very often it fits the feelings I can sense in my body.
Another advantage to having some sort of plan to practice comes with the following topic: Sometimes yogis and yoginis tend to only practice things they like, asanas they are “good at”, that feel comfortable. But only practising the things you like but forgetting the things you need leads to a physical and energetic imbalance in the body. If you try to go by the lunar phases, every 2 to 3 days the zodiac sign switches and the next part of your body wants to be nurtured with some extra care. Of course, you should maintain a close connection to your inner sensations and not only practice strict accordingly to a plan but look at it in times when you need some advice or when your sensations fit the provided information in the lunar chart.
So the moon and yoga aren’t two things exclusively just for women. As long as your human, you can work with these things. Either way, you do no harm whether you try to combine your practice with lunar phases or not.
Off the mat, still yoga
In general, yoga isn’t just asana, not only a physical workout on your mat. You can take it off the mat, into your life. For me, yoga is a way of living, trying to live a life full of love, without violence in any form and trying to get every day closer to oneness with myself and others but also oneness with God, or the universe, or love, call this force as you like. But here I’m focusing just on the moon yoga things that happen off the mat but I hope you all heard before about the other non-physical yoga tools like ahimsa (non-violence in speak, behaviour & thoughts), Satya (living honestly and truthfully), meditation, pranayama and many more.
How do I take my moon yoga off the mat? I love journaling, for me, it’s a powerful tool to also explore my inner worlds and my mind. When it comes to a full moon or a new moon, I have some sort of ritual. Besides my asana and meditation practice, I have special things I note down to work with according to the moon phases. The simplest example here would be that new moons are about new beginnings, so I meditate on new intentions or write them down. And if you like, feel free to create something similar for yourself.
Another interesting fact: Scientist found, that according to the moon phases your brain releases different neurotransmitters and guess what? These neurotransmitters are exactly for the things that astrology, esoteric and old wisdom (from farmers etc.) tell us the moon phases are for (here you find a short video that talks about the moon, these neurotransmitters and time, the thing I’m going to talk about below.). So there’s a scientific back-up, it’s not just all hippy and witchy.
Natural beings in a natural world
Why did I choose, over time, to combine the lunar phases with my practice? As humans, we are natural beings. When I say “natural beings”, I mean that we are not machines, we have a soul. We are a part of this earth, this ecosystem and whether we want it or not, we underlie the natural laws of nature. The cycles of creation & transformation. There is this thing with the time and what most people somehow feel but don’t really see as a fact, that there is “artificial time”, Chronos. Chronos is about weekdays, schedules, months, years and so on. It’s just an artificial structure created by humankind to coordinate our actions and created with the intention to work more efficient. But living in a world ruled by Chronos led to a world, where we are always on the run, always reachable, never slowing down. And that’s just not natural. If you’re not a robot, you need times to relax, to nurture yourself, to refill with energy and there are times to rush, to go out, to be active. Of course, the rise of the sun and the moon define “days” but the animals in the woods don’t tell themselves “Omg, next Monday I have this super important appointment.”. They don’t care if it’s Monday or Tuesday, these artificial boxes don’t exist for them. I don’t want you to erase these structures from your life but I want to tell you, that there is a thing called “Kairos” which is time how you experience it. For example, if you tell a story, you’re not likely to give a lot of information about the time that was on the clock but you rather tell “Oh and after I was at the flea market I met this old friend of mine.”. You experience time by the things you experience one after another. And I want to inspire you to pay attention to your Kairos. Make the best out of your time and don’t let the Chronos-system rule your life. Sometimes these two don’t go together and it’s important to stay true to yourself when the schedules aren’t compatible. I want to inspire you to think about maybe getting closer again to where we came from. From nature. To pay attention to your personal cycles (and men have them too, yes). When is your time to slow down, when to rise and shine?
I hope you enjoyed this little article and maybe it made you think about a few things. And I hope you find something for yourself that nurtures you and brings you away from the illusions of the outside world to what really lives in your heart. We belong to this earth, it’s our home, provides everything we need. If we tune in with the songs and rhythms of the universe it’s just like a natural “doping”. We had this wisdom for so long. We just need to re-activate it and maybe my approach to some sort of moon yoga could be something for you. If you’re interested, stay tuned. For the future, I want to give you some information on the full and new moon events and provide you with some information on what you could try to use the energies for your own well-being. As usual, if there are any questions, thoughts or whatever on this topic, feel free to contact me and talk about it with me 🙂
One more last thing: If you’re feeling strange, tensed, stressed, anxious or somehow different than you would feel usually, it could be already the influence of the moon. Next Friday, on the 27th, there will be a full moon (so tension is growing) and it’s also the biggest lunar eclipse of the century (aka another filter to the moon energy that has an impact). I will tell you more in another article this week.
Let us be peaceful, wild and free. Running with the wolves, howling to the moon.
Laugh & Love