Last night was a full moon and we practiced on the beach. It was cold, it was windy, there was a little rain, but somehow, it was magical. Perhaps it was being in nature, but I suspect much of it was being with a community, ready to practice and celebrate a full moon together. I admit, I did quickly scamper home to a hot shower and a tequila 🤣😂🌵🌵
Full moons are not only beautiful, but also can have power over tides, moods, and weather. “Full” is the term describing the moon as it reflects light from the sun. The full moon is bright, so imagine it can bring with it a time of clarity. It can denote abundance, goodness, heightened energy, receptivity, and strength; this fullness can also manifest in the overflow of emotions, some frenzy or heated conversation, bringing on some physical and emotional tensions. Because its fullness can intensify emotions, we often practice a grounding more restorative practice during the time around a full moon.
Yoga is about balance, the term Hatha is derived from words for sun and moon, Ha meaning Sun and Tha meaning lunar or moon. Sun is warming, lunar is cooling, grounding. When we practice at the end of the day or during a full moon, again, we think about a more relaxing, grounding practice to enhance our well being.
Our practices this week will be grounding and will hopefully help align us with the moon’s energy, enhance our connection to the lunar circle and help us release tension leaving us feeling balanced, rejuvenated and with more clarity. We will practice two Chandra (lunar) namaskars along with other grounding poses.
Our Practice – Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge
As we discuss a full moon and its representation of abundance and a focus on gratitude, we practice grounding and heart opening poses. I love this pose for its grounding properties.
The pose honors the monkey god Hanuman using his mother’s name, Anjani. Lord Hanuman is a central part of Hindu devotional worship, believed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The pose resembles a young, divine child (anjaneya), reaching towards the sky and the warmth of the sun.
The physical benefits of low lunge can strengthen the hips and quadriceps, stretches the psoas, quadriceps, and groin. This is especially good to do after running which contracts our leg muscles. The lifted arms opens our chest (and heart) and helps improve posture.
Anjaneyasana (low lunge):
Starting in downward dog, inhale. As you exhale, step your right foot forward, between your hands. Lower your left knee to the floor, sliding the foot back until you feel a nice stretch in the left hip and thigh.
Keep the hips low and level with each other. As you inhale, engage your lower belly and lift your chest away from the thigh, sweeping the arms up alongside your ears.
Come into a gentle backbend lifting your chest toward the sky, arms over head or in cactus.
To protect your low back direct your tail bone dow toward the mat with the backbend coming more in your upper spine.
As you exhale, lower your hands back down and step back to Downward Facing Dog. Repeat on the other side.
Meditation – On The Moon
Savasana Poem By Rebecca Lovatt
A break in the clouds of a dark blue sky,
The moon shines brightly through.
With unseen powers; untold wisdom she showers,
It beams its light on you.
With hundreds of years of experience to share,
She waits to be received.
Charged by the light of a thousand stars,
Her knowledge should be believed.
Her imperfections in the illuminate light,
Are there for all to see.
Those marks of a life far away from us here,
She still shines light on you and on me.
Her power is way beyond what we could perceive,
A controller of the sea far and wide.
But she doesn’t ask for much, nor gratitude as such,
Just happy to go along for the ride.
Always present, never willing to rest up for a while,
She tries to make us see.
That even when parts of us are hidden or missing,
We’re capable; we can just be.
So as we sit under this full moon tonight,
Give thanks to our guardian of the night sky.
For she’s graceful and believing, wisdom for receiving,
And without her none of us could get by.
Nurturing with Food – Lemon Nana (Granita)
When I traveled in India and it was hot, I was introduced to and then daily craved a delicious frosty lemon nana. While recently in Italy, at the peak of a particularly enduring climb, we discovered lemon granitas made from all of the fresh lemon groves in Cinque Terre. Everywhere we went in Monterrosso, especially in our side yard at our villa, we found an abundance of lemon trees ripe with the juiciest fruit. No wonder this drink was everywhere. In examining the recipes for the granita, I have found great similarity with the lemon nana. Lemon nana, as I have mentioned before, can be made with lemon or lime juice, it also contains mint. You will welcome either one of these on a hot day! Somehow the silliest faces seem to be made when enjoying either one, maybe it is effusive gratitude after the yoga/hike/effort!
Lemon Nana (me enjoying one in India)
Lemon Granita (Barb enjoying one in Italy)
See you on the mat,