What is the meaning of a new moon?
As we come into our new moon cycle, we are invited to slow down & set a clear intention for a new beginning. This is a beautiful time to listen to your intuition & allow new ideas to form. Tomorrow evening is the New Moon in Libra, a fabulous time to set goals for how you want to communicate & find balance in your life.
Have you been working too hard? If so, aim to rest more, If you've been scattered, aim for focus.... whatever your intention, it's a time to find balance.
Essential oils I love for the new moon phase are clary sage for clarity & vision, wild orange for manifesting an abundance of awesomeness, Lavender for communication, Frankincense for grounding & finding/owning your truth & for the New Moon in Libra, Doterra's Balance blend.
Crystals that are fab for the new moon phase of setting intentions & manifestations, & for tapping into the amazing magic of the moon are Labradorite, Moonstone & Clear Quartz for energetic cleansing.
Affirmation for this Libra Moon Phase: 'I CREATE BALANCE IN MY LIFE'
This Yin Yoga Sequence is designed to allow the body to relax, release, slow down & tune into your inner guidance system. As you begin you practice, find somewhere you can really turn off, prepare your mat & any props you would like. If you don't have a bolster at home, you can use rolled up blankets or pillows.
As you reach your mat & at any time you find your mind wandering during you practice, come back to your breath, allow the inhale to deepen, the exhale to lengthen & the body to release. Also keep in mind the 3 principles of Yin Yoga:
Find your appropriate edge - don't push or force your body, allow the muscles to relax & find your sweet spot. If at anytime you feel pain release out of the pose.
Remain still - allow the body to rest in the pose, to feel the subtle movement that your breath brings to your still body & allow the breath to be slow & steady.
Resolve to hold the pose - Ideally you would like to hold each pose for 3-5mins, however do what is right for your body & work up to these timeframes if need be. If you're new to Yin, you may like to set a gentle sounding timer.
Come to a comfortable seated position on your mat (see pic above).
This is a fabulous time to apply your oils, my choice for this sequence is our happy mama blend as it combines all the new moon oils. Apply some oils to your palms, warm your palms together, cup your palms over your nose & allow the scent of the oils to fill your body with your breath. Rub any excess oil over your heart & allow your practice to begin.
In an Easy Seat position, you may like a block beneath your buttocks, your legs crossed if the body allows, lengthen the spine, feel the shoulders relax & bring your palms to your thighs or knees facing upwards. Relax your jaw & your brow & allow your eyes to soften. Take 10 long & controlled breaths, inhaling through the nostrils feeling the belly rise, the lungs fill, then exhaling through the nostrils, feeling the lungs empty the belly release. Pause for a moment after this breath cycle & notice the effects of this breath work on the body, mind & soul.
Set your intention & rest here with your breath repeating your intention deep within. Allow the intention for your practice to radiate through every cell of your being.
Set your bolsters & blocks up as shown in the picture or place a rolled blanket on the mat. Bring you buttocks up to the edge of the bolster & allow your body to gently fall over the bolster, arms to your side, chin slightly tucked in towards your chest to lengthen through the neck.
Come back to your breath, feel the whole body release into the asana & allow the breath to travel through the body like a spotlight shining light on anywhere you're holding on, release with the breath.
Stay for 3-5 mins
Slowly rise up from your Yin Fish, from a seated position, bring the soles of your feet together & then slide them away from you creating a beautiful diamond shape. Allowing your back to round, fold forward from the hips, lightly resting your hands on your feet or on the floor in front of you. Allow your head & shoulders to relax.
If you have sciatica or are tight in the hips, elevate your hips with a block or blanket, you are wanting your hips to rotate forward, not backwards.
You can also use props & support your head with blocks or bolsters if you would like. (See below)
Once you have found your sweet spot, come back to your breath, feel the body let go & allow your awareness to rest within.
Hold for 3-5 mins, rebounding back to Yin Fish for 10 breaths if you wish.
To set up the pose, come to a wide-legged seated position, when you reach a comfortable straddle width, assess your body. If you have sciatica, or lower back or knee pain, you may wish to place a block or blanket under your knees & / or buttocks.
Relax the feet, calves & thighs & slowly walk your hands forward. Come into your forward fold very slowly with awareness for your body. Slowly walk your arms out in front & allow the body to follow - once you reach your sweet spot, add in any prop's you make like (see below) & the allow the body to relax, the shoulders & jaw to release & the upper body to be heavy.
Become aware once again of your breath & inner guidance system.
Hold for 3-5 mins. Rebound back to yin fish if you wish.
Transition into a table top position, slide your right knee between your hands, lean a bit to the right, & check in with how your right knee is going to feel. If the knee is fine, flex the right foot and move it forward, only as far as the body would like, if the knee feels stressed, bring the foot closer in toward the right hip & groin. Now, centre yourself so your weight is even. Try tucking the back toes under and sliding the back knee away. Do this a few times until your right buttock is on the floor or as low as it is going to get. If you would like you can place a block or bolster beneath the buttocks to centre the body.
From this space, slowly lower your upper body with your hands bringing your body into a sleeping position. Again, you can rest your upper body on a bolster.... find your sweet spot. (see below)
Keep breathing through any sensations that arise & allow the body to release as much as possible, feel the shoulders relax, the jaw become soft & tune into your inner guidance system.
Hold for 3-5mins. Make your way onto your belly for a rebound for 10 breaths & then transition to the left side for another 3-5 mins.
Come into a table top position, bring your big toes together & open your knees as wide as the mat or the body allows, begin by allowing your buttocks to fall towards the heels & then slowly fold forward, bringing your chest between your thighs & your forehead towards the earth.
Alternatives & Options:
Can be done with arms stretched forward, which may avoid placing too much pressure on the neck (this reduces the shoulder relaxation), or you can relax your arms to the side (see below).
If you cannot get your buttocks to your heels, the head will have a lot of weight on it. Support the neck by placing the forehead on hands or on a bolster.
Once again, come back to your breath & allow the body to release.
Hold for 3-5 mins.
Begin in table top on all fours. Take your left arm & begin to thread it across the mat & over to the right side of the mat through your right arm. Gently allow your left shoulder & left side of your head to rest on the mat. Your right arm can stay supporting you or you can reach it overhead or wrap it around your back. Play around with different sensations & land in your sweet spot.
Again, return to your breath & allow your awareness to tune inward.
Hold for 3 mins & transition to the right side.
Lying on your back, draw both knees into your chest. Open your arms to the side into a 'T' like position & allow the knees to release to one side. If the neck will allow, turn your head to face the opposite side to your knees.
Come back to the breath as you bring equilibrium to your nervous system, and allow the body to release.
Hold for 3-5 mins & repeat on the other side.
Time to release.
Make yourself comfortable as you lie down on the floor. Bending the knees a little will allow the lower back to release to the floor. If you do bend the knees, place a folded blanket or bolster under them so that the legs can relax. Allow the feet to fall outward. If you do not have the knees bent, separate the legs until the knees are hip-width apart. To really allow the sacrum to lie flat, slide your tailbone away from you. Next, let your arms lie beside you, palms face up & about a little away from your hips. This will allow your shoulder blades to lie flat, release them into the mat.
Lengthen the neck slightly by pointing the chin toward your feet. You can even roll your head from side to side a few times, until you find a comfortable position in the centre.
Now get all of your movement over with... become still. Often, one or two deep breaths here with a loud sigh are ahhhmazing! Release your bones, let go completely - you are ready. Now soften your eyes & relax.
Hold for 5-10mins & allow the body to restore.
Any questions, get in touch.
With love, light & so much happiness for your yin bliss state!
Happy New Moon 🌑