Are you curious about the lunar calendar and the Moon's position in the sky? Ever thought about how that may affect or inspire your yoga practice?
Lunar enthusiast and senior yoga teacher Rachel Gibson presents our first Guided by the Moon Series, a monthly yoga class designed to move your body and fuel your spirit in accordance with the Moon’s current position in the sky. Expect postures and sequences that harmonize your body’s natural strengthening and regenerative abilities with the Moon’s natural rhythms and influences. Meditation and other energy work will also be explored.
In preparation for the next Guided by the Moon class, Rachel shared some recent moon wisdom with us and how this series came to be:
The Moon has been getting a lot of attention lately. Notably last week’s Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse and China’s successful Yutu-2 rover mission to the far side of the Moon at the beginning of the month.
Regardless of whether you follow the news or the skies, you cannot argue that humankind throughout history has been drawn to the Moon. Countless cultures and creeds have placed spiritual significance on her phases and impulses. The Buddha was born on a full moon. His renunciation was on a full moon day. He became enlightened on a full moon and finally left his human form under a full moon. (Source: elephantjournal.com) Beyond the spiritual relevance, I believe there is a connection between humans and the Moon’s rhythms and cycles, even though most of the scientific evidence out there relates to the patterns of sea creatures. We originated from there, right?
How the Guided By the Moon Series Came To Be
In the last few years, I have felt a strong urgency to discover my path in life and the answer I kept unearthing was to keep teaching yoga and building inner understanding for myself and others. Today, this fusion of passions comes through in my monthly Guided by the Moon series.
Each month’s workshop will follow the same design: A specific yoga practice based on the Moon’s position that night. In this way, we prepare the body for the self-reflection portion of the workshop, which will also be specific to the Moon’s current phase. Expect to have all the senses activated; smell, sound, sight, touch, taste and perception/intuition. And to gain deeper knowledge of the Moon’s influences in each sign of the zodiac, no matter where the Moon is in your natal chart.
To give you an example, for the January workshop the Moon was in the sign Pisces which rules over the ankles, feet and pineal gland. It was a waxing Moon, meaning that it was building up to its full phase, rather than waning down to its new phase. During the waxing Moon, exercises that build strength and endurance are more favourable compared to detoxifying and releasing which are more favourable during the waning Moon. It was for this reason that we worked on movements that created strength in the ankles and feet.
Upcoming Workshop Details
Coming up in February’s workshop, the Moon will be in a waning crescent phase in the sign of Capricorn - the sign that rules the skin, knees, joints and hair. Because it is in a waning phase, the practice will be a slower, yin-style practice focusing on repairing and releasing the above mentioned body parts.
There are a few spots left for Friday, February 1st from 7-8:15pm. All levels are welcome and you may sign up online through MindBody here or in person at the studio. Stay tuned as April, May and June dates will be announced shortly!
I will leave you with these final words by authors Johanna Paungger + Thomas Poppe:
“Our ancestors knew about these ideas. Priest-physicians, shamans and medicine men, skilled in the art of healing, acted on the knowledge that we humans are not machines; that we are more than a system of bones, nerves, muscles and organs held together by evolutionary chance; that body, mind and soul mutually influence each other and form an inseparable unity with everything around us - with other human beings, with nature, even with the stars.”
More About Rachel
Rachel’s teachings come in the form of a playful curiosity towards one’s body, heart and mind. When we acknowledge that we are not the same person we were the last time we came to our mat, that understanding paves the way for deeper Self acceptance, compassion and trust. Yoga provides a framework to experience this Self discovery through. Breath, Asanas, Visualization and Meditation all lend themselves in Rachel’s classes to remind students that they are more than the thoughts in their head. She loves to infuse other metaphysical teachings, too!
Rachel desires to create a class for her students that grounds them in the present moment until they roll out of Savasana. Once class is over she hopes they feel a greater sense of connection to Nature, the Universe and each other. Rachel currently teaches a unique Sunrise class that blends Vinyasa, Hatha and Tai Chi as well as hosting the Guided by the Moon workshop series.