The new moon brings introspection. It’s a great time for restorative or yin yoga.
The new moon is the moment when the moon is darkest in the sky. It’s a moment of emptiness, the end of a certain cycle, but it also brings with it the hope of a new beginning as the moon begins to wax again.
When we start paying attention, we notice that our bodies respond to shifts and changes in the moon cycles. The new moon is a time where the energy is more introverted. We might feel a little more tired, a little softer, maybe a little more emotional. Many people who menstruate notice that they tend to do so around the new moon. It’s a good idea to allow our yoga practices to match up with the energy of this particular time.
[Read: “Embracing New Moon Energy.”]
New Moon Yoga Postures
Here are some ideas for yoga postures you can try around the new moon. As always, check with your practitioner if you have any concerns about starting a movement practice.
This is not so much a posture as a movement from Kundalini yoga. It activates the second chakra in the pelvis, which is an energy center related to emotion and sensuality that tends to be a little more dominant around the new moon.
For this movement, simply sit in a comfortable cross-legged position with your hands on your knees. Close your eyes, and begin to circle around your pelvis. Don’t worry about what this looks like: it can be a big circle or a small one, and you can include your shoulders and head or keep them level to the ground. Think of simply allowing your body to move in a gentle, exploratory circle.
After 5-20 breaths, switch sides (but don’t count—focus on how it feels. It doesn’t matter if you don’t do exactly the same amount of circles on each side).
Lie on your back and shift your hips to the right edge of your mat, pelvis facing up to the sky. Straighten your legs and walk them to the left, perhaps crossing your right heel over your left ankle.
Keeping your bum anchored to the ground, walk your upper body to the left as well, until you feel a stretch along your right side.
You can reach your arms up over your head or hold opposite elbows if that feels good. Stay for 3-5 minutes—as long as everything feels good and safe—and then switch sides.
Pigeon is a favorite pose for the new moon because it opens up space in that pelvic area where the energy of the new moon is located. For this variation, you’ll need a bolster and a couple of blocks and/or a second bolster if you have one.
Sit on your bolster so that it is parallel to the short edge of your mat. You’ve got a foot or so of mat ahead of the bolster and most of your mat is behind you.
Lean to the left so that your left shin lays on the ground in front of the bolster, and swing your right leg around behind you. Do your best to straighten that right leg.
You can shift forward and back on the bolster to find a place where you feel a stretch in your outer hip but nothing in your knee. Your whole left shin should be in contact with the floor. Don’t allow your knee to float.
Gently fold forward, supporting your elbows, chest, and/or head on blocks and bolsters. A block under the chest and one under the forehead will allow your shoulders to relax.
Stay here for 3-5 minutes, relaxing into the pose (as long as there is no pain and it doesn’t feel too intense: pregnant people should be a little more conservative, not going in as deep or staying too long).
When you’re ready to come out, lean to the left again and swing your right leg forward so you are again in a seat on the bolster. Move your knees from side to side like windshield wipers. Then switch sides.
Want to practice with the moon online? Try a class with Julie!