Five Pillars Yoga

New Moon Meditation

A Practice of Mindful Intention Setting

Today the moon starts its cycle anew. It will be absent from tonight’s sky, but in a few days a skinny crescent will appear as the moon waxes into fullness on the 18th.

As a harbinger of a fresh lunar cycle, the new moon is a potent time to start something new here on earth; from our perspective down below it appears empty, a vessel waiting to be filled. Dark and unilluminated, a new moon also marks an opportunity to turn inward and reflect on those aspects of ourselves that often remain unseen. By the midpoint of its cycle, the full moon, with its bright light and pulsing energy, is a time to celebrate and transform. The new moon is a time to plant seeds for that future growth.

Journaling, meditating and carving out time for quiet introspection and self care are all practices supported by the new moon’s tranquil energy. To acknowledge this new phase, consider planting something you’d like to grow. A simple intention setting practice can ground you into the larger rhythms at play while revealing the beginning of a new path.


New Moon Intention Setting 

  • First, make space. Dedicate time — from as little as five minutes to as long as an hour — to sit with yourself. First thing in the morning, before you’ve reached for your phone or had too much coffee, or in the final moments before bed in the evening are both nice times for self practice.
  • Create a sense of ritual. Light a candle, dim the lights, put fresh flowers on your altar. Gather any supplies you might need, like a journal, some incense to set the mood, or a timer to take the stress out of meditating.
  • Practice pranayama. A balancing breath like Anulom Vilom will bring you into the present moment; or, simply breathe in out from the diaphragm, with one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly.
  • With the air newly cleared, ask yourself what you’d like to call in. To make space for the new, you may first need to identify what you no longer need — a way of treating yourself or others, a destructive pattern or a limiting behavior or belief.
  • Make a list. You can write this down or keep it internal. It can be short or long, specific or general. My intention for this new moon is to slow down and listen to my body. My intention this month is to take five minutes every day to practice meditation. 
  • If you’ve made a physical list, fold it up and stash it somewhere safe. In a few weeks time when the moon is full, you can take it out to burn, bury or otherwise release what you put down.
  • Non-attachment is key. Be kind to yourself as you identify ways in which you’d like to grow or patterns you’d like to shift without fixating on progress.
  • Taking the time to see yourself as you are and being unafraid of the darker parts is the practice. Setting intentions is a way to articulate your innate and powerful potential.


Photos: Moon rising by Liza Lubell; “All The Moons of Our Solar System” by Stella Marie Baer.