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Five Pillars Yoga

Moving with the Moon

A Lunar Flow for This Week's Full Moon

The full moon in Aries this week rose on Saturday night and will stay big and bright in the sky through this evening. Known as a Perigee or Super Moon because of its proximity to earth — closer than most full moons — it’s also a Hunter’s Moon; rising 30 minutes earlier than usual, it keeps the sky lighter longer, a traditional boon for hunters.

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If you’re sensitive to the moon’s energy at all, this time of the month may bring on insomnia or unexpected feistiness. While new moon energy is about initiation and contemplation, the full moon is party time. Everything we’ve been cultivating or growing is illuminated; energetically speaking, it’s about looking outward and sharing your insights and gifts. If the new moon is palms face down — a sign of introspection and contained energy — the full moon is palms face up, a gesture of offering and receptivity both.

Surya Namaskar A is a sequence that gives love to the sun. It is dynamic, heat-building and balanced. Chandra Namaskar is the Moon Salute. It is watery, leisurely and works the body one side at a time through a series of lunges. A gentle hip-opener, Chandra Namaskar brings us into our second chakra, the energetic locus in the body at the base of the sacrum associated with fertility, creativity, sexuality, the color orange and the element of water. In other words, moon stuff.

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Chandra Namaskar

The moon takes roughly 30 days to complete a full cycle, from one new moon to the next. In a nod to the lunar calendar, this flow is fifteen poses long, one step for each tithi (lunar day) in the moon’s transformation from new to full.

  1. Tadasana, Mountain Pose

  2. Utthita Tadasana, Extended Mountain

  3. Uttanasana, Standing Forward Fold

  4. Low Lunge

  5. Adho Mukkha Svanasana, Downward Facing Dog

  6. Table

  7. Balasana, Child’s Pose

  8. Rise to kneel

  9. Devotional Balasana, arms overheard with palms together

  10. Urdhva Mukkha Svanasana, Upward Facing Dog

  11. Adho Mukkha Svanasana, Downward Facing Dog

  12. Low Lunge, second side

  13. Uttanasana

  14. Utthita Tadasana

  15. Tadasana

This sequence can be taken as many times as you like. Move slowly, breathe deeply and enjoy the moonlight, you party animals.

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Photos: Crescent lunge; full moon; Venus; Child’s Pose