Building on my last post, we’ll continue on our journey through the lunar cycle. This past weekend, we saw not only the Vernal Equinox but also the Waxing or First Quarter Moon. Read on for how that can help shape our yoga practice and our intention manifestation.
The Worm Moon
As a quick reminder, this lunar cycle is the Worm Moon (March 13 through April 10). The name for this cycle comes from the fact that, as we transition from winter to spring in the Northern Hemisphere, the ground begins to thaw and the earthworms begin to stir.
In keeping with the deep stirrings of the worms in the soil, we will work on strengthening a sense of feeling grounded. This work is closely associated with the root chakra, the chakra associated with keeping us feeling safe and secure.
The Waxing Moon
Hopefully, you’ve spent a little time since the New Moon thinking about what makes you feel grounded or safe and identified ways to incorporate those feelings into your life. In the period from New to the Waxing, the moon begins to reflect more of the sun’s light. As the moon’s surface is revealed, we can connect to that sense of growth to build strength and take action toward meeting our intentions or goals.
Shifting the focus of our yoga practice from one of quiet, contemplative poses and pranayama to stronger, more active practices can help us meet those ends.
Pranayama: To build heat and strength, perform Bhastrika Pranayama (bellows breath). From a comfortable seat, breath in as you extend your arms overhead and open the palms, spreading fingers wide. As you breath out, draw your arms down as you make a fist. Start with 10 rounds of inhaling and exhaling and rest, trying for three rounds before exhaling deeply. You might begin to work up to 20 rounds. A fun, more detailed explanation can be found here.
Asana: Add Surya Namaskar (sun salutations) and Chandra Namaskar (moon salutations) into your practice, perhaps building on the number of rounds each day. Do them fast or slow; each pacing has it’s benefits. Make sure to end your practice with Savasana (corpse pose).
Meditation: After Savasana, come to a comfortable seat and spend at least five minutes in a simple light meditation. Settle in to the body and focus on the breath. Once the breath and the body become calm, begin to imagine you are breathing light into your body. As you breathe out, imagine that light beginning to spread through the rest of the body. Let it spread gradually with each breath. Notice how it feels to be filled with light. Sit with that feeling for as long as you would like before ending your meditation.
As the moon continues to gain strength as we approach the full moon, it is time strengthen intentions and work toward achieving them. Continue with the practices outlined here, feeling free to add your favorite poses and sequences to your practice. Have fun with it and let yourself go with the flow and see where it takes you.
I’ll check in again at the Full Moon on the 28th.