Each New Moon welcomes the beginning of the lunar cycle. This moon melds into the night sky rather than shining bright like the Full Moon. At this point in the lunar cycle, the side of the moon in view is not being illuminated by the sun. The Moon is in line with the Sun. The Sun and Earth, therefore, are on opposite sides of the Moon. But is a New Moon Yoga Practice a good idea or not?
In the Ashtanga Yoga Tradition, both New Moon Days and Full Moon Days are taken completely off yoga. There are several suggested reasons for this:
- It is a time of strong changes in ocean tides. As we are made up of 70% water, this can have a direct impact on your body and energy, so it may be preferable for some to take a rest day instead.
- Important Hindu rituals take place on the day of the New Moon, so many teachers were unable to teach classes on those days, so it provided a natural break from practising yoga on those days. Many like to keep this tradition going today.
- One rest day during each week of daily yoga practice is advised. Taking a rest day during the New and Full Moon days helps provide structure to these days of rest.
Whether you chose to do a New Moon Yoga practice or not is up to you. You may choose to take the first day of the New Moon completely off, or you may choose to practice. You are your own best guide. But whatever you decide, you can still use the surrounding days to incorporate some New Moon yoga poses into your yoga practice to help honour and work with these special lunar energies.
New Moon Yoga Practice
Each New Moon brings with it the opportunity to reflect on the previous cycle and to sow the seeds of a fresh intention for the month ahead. Take a pause before you start your New Moon Yoga Practice to set this intention and use your practice to reflect on and reinforce it. This doesn’t have to be anything big or life-changing; sometimes, it can be the smallest of intentions that can make the biggest difference.
You want to keep your practice slow and stay close to the earth throughout, so seated and supine asanas are a staple. Moving slowly helps you conserve energy for the cycle ahead. Connecting your body to the earth is an important reminder of your relationship to the natural rhythms of nature.
Suggested New Moon Yoga Practice Poses include:
- Crocodile Pose
- Low Cobra
- Child Pose
- Supine Twists
- Dangling Rag Doll
- I embrace every day with openness and curiosity.
- I am ready to welcome new opportunities in my life.
- I invite new ways of thinking into my life.
New Moon and Menstrual Cycle
The New Moon aligns with the Menstrual Phase of the Menstrual Cycle. This is another reminder of the importance of taking to slow in your yoga practice during the New Moon time.
If you no longer have a Menstrual Cycle or you have an irregular cycle, then it can be useful to use the Lunar Cycle as a helpful pointer for your yoga practice over the month. But as always, you are your own body’s best guide.