Embrace the lunar powerful with this gentle and restorative yoga sequence for the October full moon.
On the 9th of October, we have the Aries full moon. This energy is said to be all about healing, forgiveness and accepting the flow of all that is, but also connecting with our inner power and drive to live the life we want to live. The lunar energy is quite heavy in general, but when healing is involved it can feel even more so. Full moons always prompt us to reflect and realise where we are now, and what we need to do, to get to where we want to be. Whatever we are holding on to and burdens us, might suddenly become clear. Frustration and tension can also be experienced during this time. But the moon also teaches us to find light in the darkness; to face the shadows and not run away from them; to learn to embrace the moments of reflection and contemplation.
The beautiful aspect is that we just came out of a Mercury retrograde period. This time always comes with challenges, but as soon as it ends, its purpose is always understood and appreciated if we choose to see the lessons from it. So I see this full moon as the final cleanse after a challenging and heavy period.
Aries is a strong fire sign, independent and bold. This energy can be felt for all signs during this full moon, especially when it comes to making decisions. As Aries is courageous and brave, always wanting to feel free to express, this is our cue to reflect on what is holding us back from doing the things we love and expressing ourselves freely. Then we can take action to make smart choices that influence our lifestyle and our personal growth in a positive and truthful way.
Although according to some yoga styles traditions, during full moons, it is not advised to practice asanas, a gentle restorative sequence can support this healing energy and give us the comfort we need to embrace this peacefully.
Virasana hugging the bolster variation
Hold for: 2-3 minutes.
Virasana or hero pose is a beautiful asana of steadiness and stability. It is a gentle hip opener in the inner thighs area and it also helps to stretch the quadriceps. Come into Vajrasana, sitting on your calves then gently slide the legs away from one another and bring your buttocks on the mat. Hugging the bolster is all about channeling the energy of love and belonging.
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
Hold for: 3-4 minutes on each side.
Continuing to focus on the hips, straighten the left leg back with the top of the foot on the mat. Bring your right knee forward in between the palms toward the front of the mat. Place a bolster under under the right buttock and and another in front of you; then gently fold forward with the upper body, melting the heart space on the bolster. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana or one legged king pigeon pose opens the hips and helps to release any physical and emotional tension held here.
Hold for: 2minutes.
This is a nice variation of Paschimottanasana, practiced in a reclined position to support the back. It focuses on stretching the hamstrings. Lie down in a supine position, place a bolster under the sacrum and raise your legs. Then gently bring both legs towards the front. This also helps to boost blood circulation in the legs. A strap can also be used around the feet, but try not to pull the legs towards you.
Supta Matsyendrasana variation
Hold for: 3 minutes on each side.
Spinal twists teach us to release any stagnant emotional, physical or mental tension held in the body, particularly in the stomach area and the back. They help to cleanse and stimulate the digestive organs. Lie down on the right side of the body, with your left knee on top of the right. Place a bolster on the right side of the upper body, and gently begin to shift the upper body back, turning with the chest to the bolster. Fold onto the bolster whilst keeping the knees in their position.
Reclined side rest
Hold for: 2 minutes on each side.
After practicing Supta Matsyendrasana variation on the right side, come into this reclined side rest to bring the spine back to its neutral position. Place a bolster in between your legs and one under your head. Hug the top of the bolster and relax.
Stay here for 10 minutes or longer if needed.
Finally, the moment of complete rest arrives. I call Savasana the master of all asanas. Relax your whole body on the mat. In Savasana, there is no effort of the body, breath and mind; only stillness and awareness. Place the bolster under your knee for supporting the lower back in its neutral position and avoiding over extension of the spine. This is especially useful for those with lordosis.
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