Much like the Sun, the Moon has great power over what happens on Earth and within those who call it home. Think about it, the gravitational pull of the Moon affects the tides of the water, and over half of our bodies are composed of water, so it stands to reason that the pull from the Moon can affect us as well.
To Harness the power of the Moon, which we refer to as a feminine power in yoga, we need to align ourselves with its eight phases. But even more so, we need to understand what each of the phases represents so that we can send our intentions accordingly.
Phases of the Moon
New Moon: At this stage, the Moon is hidden from the human eye between the Sun and the Earth. Like the name suggests, this is a time for new beginnings; everything is possible at this time and it is a great place to start your journey and set your intentions. Consider planning new projects, whether at work, within your home, or even within yourself. Yoga is meant to be abstained from practice during this phase.
Waxing Crescent Moon: There is a visible crescent on the moon at this time, she has moved past the intention of showing herself and is now declaring itself. Here you can do the same, declare your intentions out loud and conceptualize them.
First Quarter Moon: For this phase, half of the Moon is illuminated to us and the other half is in shadow. Feeling indecisive lately? This is the phase where you need to take action with any indecisions and make up your mind. Use the energy from setting your intentions and proceed forward with momentum.
Waxing Gibbous Moon: Here, Gibbous means that more than half of the Moon is aglow, while waxing means that the illumination is increasing. Nurture your ideas and yourself during this stage. Take the time to refine and edit your ideas, while maintaining trust that it will work out for you.
Full Moon: The Sun here is lighting the Moon up in full splendor. How often have you been out in the dark to stumble upon a full Moon and be stopped by her captivating beauty? Here, your energy levels are at their peak, so take advantage and either continue to move forward with your intention or realize that it did not work out for you and release it from your burden. The full Moon is also a time for celebrations. Yoga is meant to be abstained from practice during this phase.
Waning Gibbous Moon: Now is the time to have gratitude, receive your intention with thanks, as the Moon’s illumination is fading and some of it is starting to shadow. Take the time to help and nurture others, as well as nature.
Third Quarter Moon: The exact opposite to the First Quarter Moon, this is a time in your life for forgiveness. Readjust anything that needs it and give back to your intention.
Waning Crescent Moon: Alas here, the Moon’s glow is almost gone and so your intentions come to an end as well. This is a time to rest and restore before the next New Moon. Reflect on the past month and prepare yourself for your next intention.
Now that you know the phases of the Moon, and the best times to harness her energy, you can begin to set your intentions. Decide what you want to change or accomplish, this can be physically, emotionally, spiritually or mentally. Essentially these intentions are goals that you would like to meet, be positive and specific with your intentions and remember to align them with the phases of the Moon.