The zodiac sign Cancer, the crab, is a watery sign, ruled by the Moon. Following on from my last few blog posts, themed around the zodiac sign Cancer, in this post we'll look at how you can introduce a Moon theme into your yoga practice.
In astrology the key words associated with the Moon are response and fluctuation. In older texts the Sun represented spirit, the Moon represented soul, and the ascendant represented body. The Moon represents the pull of matter (subconscious), and the Sun the pull of spirit (superconscious). The Moon’s connection with health has always made her prominent in astrological medicine.
The Moon is the Earth’s natural satellite that shines by reflecting the Sun’s light. The Moon speaks to us of time passing, and its waxing and waning connects us to the ebb and flow of life. The phases of the Moon teach us about the cycles of life, death, rebirth, and renewal. Out of the darkness, the New Moon arises in the night sky and speaks to us of hope reborn. The Full Moon is pregnant with possibilities. The Dark Moon reminds us to pause, rest, and recuperate.
The Earth and the Moon are in a symbiotic relationship. The gravitational pull of the Moon, and to a lesser degree the Sun, creates the ocean tides. Many people believe that the Moon’s gravitational force also affects humans, as our bodies are made up of approximately 60 percent water.
Some of us notice that the phases of the Moon elicit a response in us. Of course, our response to the phases of the Moon is a very personal thing. Some love the flurry of energy, activity, and creativity during the waxing phase of the Moon up to when it reaches its fullness. Others prefer the more serene, contemplative, reflective energy of the waning phase of the Moon. If you regularly observe the response that the moon’s cycle elicits in you, it will help you find a rhythm of activity and rest that is uniquely healthful and energising for you.
There are many ways you can introduce a Moon theme into your yoga practice. You can include circular sequences that mirror the phases of the Moon, such as Chandra Namaskar (Salute to the Moon). Or you could try including flowing, fluid, watery movements into your yoga session.
All pranayama practices are a way of bringing both Sun (ha) and Moon (tha) into your practice. We are also connecting with the ebb and flow, waxing and waning, rhythm of the Moon, when we consciously attend to balancing sthira (effort) and sukha (ease) in our yoga practice. Off the mat, meditative, circular walks also have a satisfyingly Moon-like quality to them.
You could try visualising the Moon during a yoga practice or ask the Moon to guide your intuitive practice. However, whenever you introduce a Moon focus into your yoga, it’s important to remember to stay grounded. Working with a Moon theme and forgetting to ground yourself can be disorientating, so always keep an awareness of your connection with the earth beneath you and a sense of roots connecting you to the earth, giving you support and stability.
You'll find lots more moon-inspired yoga ideas in my forthcoming book, Yoga by the Stars.
Hello, I am Jilly Shipway, the author of Yoga Through the Year, and my forthcoming book Yoga by the Stars. In this Yoga by the Stars blog I will share with you zodiac-inspired yoga insights and inspiration. I also have another blog on my Yoga Through the Year website.