As we gallop toward the full moon, why not try a more energetic yoga practice?
The waxing gibbous moon phase begins just after the quarter moon—when the moon is half-illuminated—and ends with the full moon. This waxing gibbous period is a time when energy is growing with the light of the moon; we’ve moved out of the contemplative, dreamlike new-moon phase and are galloping toward the full moon with energy and intention.
This is the time of the month to stop thinking so much and just go for it—do the things you want to do in alignment with your goals and desires. The energy of the waxing moon will help you grow what you want in your life.
In this vein, it’s the best time for a more energetic yoga practice. Here is a trio of postures to try.
Waxing Gibbous Moon Side Bend
This posture help open up the lungs, chest, and shoulders, which helps bring oxygen and energy into the body.
- Stand in Tadasana, with your feet parallel, about hips-distance apart. Soften your knees.
- Reach your arms up to the sky and interlace the fingers, pressing the palms up to the ceiling.
- As you inhale, lengthen your body and then exhale to lean over to the left. Draw your belly in lightly and ensure you are not locking your knees. Take three breaths here.
- Inhale back to center, and then side bend to the other side.
Waxing Gibbous Moon Balancing Pose
This posture is a little more challenging, and the waxing moon is the best time to take on a challenge. Warm up for this one with some core work and hip and hamstring-lengtheners, especially Triangle pose.
- From standing in Tadasana, engage your core and lengthen through your chest. Start with your hands together at your heart.
- Lean your weight into your right foot, and begin to extend your left leg behind you as you lean your chest forward. Try to keep your spine neutral so that everything from your left heel to your head is in a nice straight line.
- When you get to parallel with the floor begin to open your hips and chest to the left, allowing your right hand to come to the floor (or a block on the floor about torso’s distance away from your right pink toe). Your left hand can be on your hip.
- Keep your left foot flexed—the toes will now be facing the side wall. Look to the floor for balance—challenge your balance by looking to the side wall.
- Finally, you can extend your left arm up to the sky. Stay for 5-10 breaths, then square your hips and chest to the floor and gently return to a forward fold.
Waxing Gibbous Moon Inversions
The waxing gibbous moon is an excellent time for inversions. The energy is balanced and rising, and it can be a fun time to try poses like Headstand (the most classic of the inversions), Handstand, Forearm Stand, and so on. [Watch: Julie’s Headstand tutorial.]
Teddy Bear Headstand is a nice option for beginners to inversions that doesn’t require you to go all the way up. This isn’t recommended if you have high blood pressure or any neck issues. If you are pregnant, talk to your practitioner before you try inversions.
How to do a Teddy Bear Headstand
- Start on your hands and knees. Place the top of your head on the floor and your hands on the ground so that the three points—two hands and head—make a triangle or tripod shape. You should be able to clearly see your hands with your eyes, and it should be obvious that your elbows are directly over the top of your wrists.
- Lift up your knees and walk your feet as close to your face as you comfortably can. Then place your knees on the shelf of your upper arms. Bring the toes together, and, if you feel comfortable, press them into each other and lift them up off the ground.
- Stay for 5-10 breaths, then come down gently and rest in Child’s pose.
Want to know more about the moon? Discover the spiritual meaning of moon phases.