Introducing the moon cycle
The moon has a powerful influence on our lives, whether we are conscious of it or not. The moon cycle has been observed to affect many aspects of life on earth, including altering the tides, stabilising our gravitational pull, and influencing plant and animal behaviour.
Whilst we may not have a complete scientific understanding of how the moon affects humans, women through the cyclical nature of our physical bodies, have an innate connection to the lunar cycle. Interestingly the length of the lunar cycle is the same as the average menstrual cycle in humans, which is why a woman’s menstrual cycle is sometimes referred to as the ‘Moon Cycle’.
In many traditional cultures, women have honoured the cycles of the moon. Myths, magic, and ritual have been built around the celestial phases of the Moon.
As modern-day women, many of us are disconnected from the rhythms of nature. Living in our four walls with artificial lighting that keeps us active at night we are subsequently disconnected from the night sky.
In my experience, and that of many of the students I teach, bringing consciousness to the universal and cosmic wisdom that is held within the moon cycle can bring many benefits to our life. When we bring this wisdom to our yoga practice it has the added benefit of embodying this cosmic wisdom in our physical practice.
Below I share with you some of my understanding and experience of the moon cycle, and its influence on our bodies and our lives, and how we can harness these natural rhythms and cycles to bring great benefits to our health and wellness.
Stress and overwhelm
Modern-day culture can be overwhelming, particularly for women in the many roles and the busy lives many of us can find ourselves in, leaving little time for self-care.
When we follow the ebb and flow of the moon, its natural cycle can teach us the times of the month when it is more appropriate for rest and restoration, and times where we are naturally more productive and creative.
I find one of the best ways to embody this rhythm, is to align my yoga practice to this waxing and waning of the moon. For example, during the Dark and New Moon my asana practice is more yin and restorative, compared to the Full Moon, which is more dynamic tantra flow.
In my experience embodying and aligning to the powerful celestial rhythm of the moon, I am less stressed and overwhelmed and more productive and effective.
Aligning to the phases of the moon can help us in our organisation and planning of life’s activities each month. In essence, we can organise our monthly schedule including the times of rest and the peaks of activity, around the moon cycle.
For those of us who like to live with intention, the New Moon is a perfect time to plant seeds of intention for the month ahead.
Yoga Nidra can be a wonderful practice to do at the New Moon, and to include a Sankalpa (yogic intention). Planting a seed of intention deep into the unconscious in the practice of Yoga Nidra at the New Moon can set us up for a more intentional and aligned month ahead.
There are times of the month that we are more awake, alert and active and there are natural times of the month that we sleep more and deeper.
In my experience when we know this, we can align to this natural rhythm each month to the light and natural energy of the moon.
For example, for the days around the full moon when the sky is bright, we can often experience increased wakefulness. Rather than getting stressed about this, as I did previously when I experience chronic insomnia, I now turn to the light of the moon, spend time being curious and journalling what is being illuminated. Subsequently, I then find that during the darker phases of the moon, I sleep more soundly.
The moon’s cycles can provide women with a familiar and ‘stable’ cycle to support and guide us through the perimenopause transition and beyond.
When a woman enters menopause there are many changes to deal with. The loss of our monthly menstruation cycle can be a significant change for us physically, hormonally, emotionally, socially psychologically and spiritually.
For some women, the stopping of monthly bleeding can be a relief, particularly if they have had painful or difficult periods. For others, it can be a time of loss, of what it means to be a ‘younger’ woman and the end of our fertile years.
During peri-menopause, the time before menopause, the menstrual cycle can become erratic, and inconsistent. This can be very disconcerting for many women during this significant life transition.
During my peri-menopause, which was a very challenging time for me, I deepened my self-inquiry with the moon which included learning to adapt my yoga practice to the phases of the moon.
With the loss of my internal moon cycle, it was profound and empowering for me to now have the moon in the sky to turn to, as a guide, as an anchor, and as a cosmic light that connects me daily to the cosmic divine feminine cyclical wisdom.
By reconnecting to the wisdom of the moon, we can become in tune with the powers of the moon to enrich our lives, improve our health, control our fertility, enhance our sensual pleasure, connect us with the energetic realms and light our path in so many ways.
Embody the Wisdom of the Moon Cycle
Join me to learn how to harness the natural flow of the lunar cycle in your yoga and life.
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