The second part of our ayurveda series explores how you can tune in to the lunar cycles. The phases of the moon offer us passages of expansion and contraction. To tune into these two rhythms is very helpful.
The new moon: offers the opportunity to empty and quiet, to listen, to be inspired, the following two weeks allows you to build upon that inspiration until it manifests as a creative endeavor or event.
And from the full moon for the next two weeks, you can enjoy and explore the wealth of that event as it continues to find its own momentum and movement, and eventually wind down to a point of rest.
This 28 day cycle of expansion and contraction has a huge effect on our mental/emotional patterns and energy levels. It can dictate when the time is right to nourish and retreat, or to expand and share. For you, the first step is to start to notice how you feel during the lunar phases. Plot the lunar cycle onto your desktop calendar. Notice the way you feel during the new moon, the full moon, the days leading up to and leading away from each.
Just as the lunar cycle affects the tides of the ocean, they have an effect on everything from a woman’s menstrual cycle, energy levels to psychic doorways. It is said that one is more receptive and ‘psychic’ during the new moon, so mmmm what would be good to do at that time? Yes, meditate, retreat, slow down, perhaps you can think of other ways you like to tune in during the new moon.
From pagan goddesses, to shamans, to the astanga yogis who bow down to the ‘moon’ days whether new or full. It is a time tested rhythm to not only observe but to flow with, so that you can nourish yourself when needed (new moon) and feel that the currents are propelling you forwards when a creative breakthrough is nigh (full moon).
I have noticed the energy before the new moon is a tough time to start things, generally projects are winding down, no-one answers their phones and plans are hard to stick to. Cleaning your house, meditating and doing some inner work does go well during this time. As the energy starts to rise it seems to peak the day before the full moon, all phone calls get answered, all dates get met and some creative magic is in the air where spontaneity and good luck with others prevails.
As a teacher it is helpful for you to honor this cycle, in your own practice and life, and to start to share the flow with them. Offering a practice that would be supportive to your students at a given time in the lunar month.
My students love to know if it is almost the new moon as they see a long savasana in their future. A more exhilarating, energizing class may be on offer two weeks from then.
One practice you can do to help you tune into the phases of the moon is to go outside and witness the Moon, whenever you can. Observe its passage.
Another practice that is especially useful while meditating, is to place the Moon Yantra (see pic) before you.
From the New Moon to the Full Moon, begin to focus at the center of the Yantra, the bindu, as you exhale, as you inhale see your focus widen and take in the whole Yantra. The passage is from center to periphery. You can do this for a few breaths, anywhere from 1 to 15 mins. Then close your eyes and absorb the feeling.
From the Full Moon to the New Moon, find your awareness at the periphery of the Yantra, this golden outline is known as the bhupur, the gates of the Yantra. Inhale, as you exhale let your gaze move towards the central bindu. Periphery to Center. Continue as you feel comfortable from 1-15 minutes. Then close your eyes and tune into your body, witnessing sensation within.