Thursday, 7th March heralds the start of our Moon Yoga sessions at Riverside Rooms.
So what do we do differently at these sessions; I thought it would be good to share a little more info about the practice in this weeks blog.
Firstly, the session is outside, but currently undercover with infra red heating at this time of year to keep us warmer. Given the nature of the practice, it is more beneficial for us to be outside under the moon as much as possible. When we refer back to the Vedic texts and the history of yoga, many yogis where forest dewellers who had retreated back to nature to study with or without their gurus. When we look at the Sanskrit translations of postures, they often reference animals and nature (mountain, dog, tree, etc) so the effect of nature on our practice is profound.
Consider the effect of the moon on our planet - the tides, degrees of darkness and gravity. It has long been held practice by farmers that seeds are planted in accordance with moon phases due to the moon's subtle effects. Waxing, Waning, New and Full are references to various stages of the moons cycles. In our sessions we work with the New and Full Moon. The New Moon is when the moon is at is visible smallest - it looks like a slither or a slit in the deep indigo sky. It is a time to set intentions - wishes - for the future, which we work with during the practice. The Full Moon is when the Moon is at it's fullest and brightest; this is a time to work with gratitude and forgiveness whilst still considering the intentions we have previously set. And if we haven't set intentions, we focus on gratitude and thankfulness in our lives, and creating forgiveness so we can move onto a new phase of our lives. Bearing this in mind, it is beneficial to repeat the practices at each phase - we can't necessarily manifest a new job promotion after one New Moon, but need to develop the appreciation, understanding and intention by stage to get there.
Asana practice (physical movement and postures) is gentle yet powerful - consider "less is more." Whilst I will always work with the bodies in attendance, various postures help create an environment in which the aforementioned intention and gratitude work can take place - the heart is open and the mind cleared to consider this.
Warming drinks also help to open the heart; we have found that in the coldness, hot chocolate warms and comforts, but equally we can have a herbal tea or other alternative.
Yoga nidra is a practice of "conscious sleeping" - we deepen the awareness of the body and again confirm our intention (called a "sankalpa" for the purpose of yoga nidra) at the start of the practice which "sets" it in the body and mind.
I love to practice these sessions as I feel it gives students a little more to keep taking forward in their day to day life. The longer session gives well need time to come back to the body and deeply connect, bringing us clarity to the mind.
I hope that I will see you at one of these wonderful practices, and do get in touch if you have any questions.
love and light
These sessions are held at Riverside Rooms, 10 Uxbridge Road, Hampton Hill, TW12 3AB; an oasis for holistic therapies with Carole Barnes and an amazing venue for this practice.