Guest post by Sara Hartley
If you already consult your horoscope, you know a little about the power that planets and moon can play in your life. Yet there’s so much more that they influence. In fact, knowing the position of the stars, planets and moon can make you healthier, your garden more productive and, believe it or not your yoga practice more effective.
This was common knowledge for people in past civilizations who constructed lunar calendars, and connected to the rhythms of the moon and stars. For example, sailors depended on the stars to follow course. Women menstruated with the moon. Gardeners planted by the stars. And herbalists harvested and made medicines under certain cosmic influences.
These celestial beings that give us so much beauty when we look up at night can also play a role in your life today. Here are three things to consider while planning and practicing yoga:
Yoga poses can be connected to the celestial rhythms at play in the cosmos if we acknowledge the rulership of the zodiac over the body. We can use those impulses to influence the asana [pose] practice by focusing the poses on the specific parts of the body ruled that particular day. If the moon is in the sign of Taurus, which holds rulership over the larynx, teeth, jaw, throat, tonsils, and ears it is a most beneficial time to practice poses that support the throat chakra like the fish pose or the lion. To read more about how the zodiac influences your yoga poses grab the book Guided by the Moon by Johanna Paungger and Thomas Poppe.
The 4 Elements
We can also connect with the element associated with each zodiac sign and bring its energy into our yoga poses. On an Aries day, which is a particularly fiery sign, we can use strong pranayama [controlled breathing] to build heat. When the moon is in Cancer, a water sign, we can flow like water through our vinyasa [flow]. Elizabeth Pepper covers the 4 elements and their effect on our body in Moon Lore.
The Phase of the Moon
The moon’s phase can also influence our practice, depending on whether it is waning [decreasing in light from the Full moon to the New moon] or waxing [increasing in light from the New moon to the Full moon]. Practice heart opening poses like the camel in the waxing moon to connect with the expansive, growing energies at work. Inverted and meditative poses like the child pose can be especially restorative when practiced with intention in the moon’s waning phase.
We can receive the maximum healing benefits of the postures by practicing poses in connection with the moon’s phase and its position in the zodiac. By practicing the right poses at the right time we begin to connect to the subtle forces at work with ease and can live in greater harmony with the rhythms of the universe. We can bring balance into our inner being when we connect with the energies present in our external environments. In Raising with the Moon, Jack R. Pyle and Taylor Reese Boone explain more about the benefits of working with the moon phases.
Herbal medicine and gardening are also influenced by the position of planets and the rhythms of the moon. To learn more about how to retain the benefits while harvesting and working with nourishing and healing foods, I recommend the book Culture and Horticulture by Wolf D. Storl and reading Stella Natura: Biodynamic Planting Calendar.
Sara Hartley is the Wellness Education Director and Farm Intern Coordinator at Finca Luna Nueva, a biodynamic eco-lodge, farm and restaurant hidden in the rainforest of northern Costa Rica. Her upcoming July retreat at Luna Nueva connects biodynamic farming, herbal healing, and astrological yoga. For more information go to http://moonmagicmamas.wix.