As participants in competitive culture, most of what we do is firey. It's fast, driven and heavily inspired by masculine, solar energy. Even most yoga classes are powered by the sun, Surya Namaskar, or more commonly known as our ever popular, Sun Salutation, is the backbone of vinyasa yoga. There is definitely a place for these strong and powerful practices, but there are other ways to move our bodies that will be more beneficial depending on the time of the month, and the position of the moon. With the notion that 'more is more' we often forget about the softer, more feminine and soothing lunar energy.
December 18th is the last new moon of 2017. The new moon (along with the full moon and waning moon about halfway through the cycle) is a great time of the month to slow it down. It may sound a little out there, and I used to think that too, but I've seen the affects of the moon myself. I've seen my dog howl at the full moon, I've seen the moon keep my boyfriend awake all night (every time), I've seen women improve their reproductive health by following the lunar cycle, and I have personally connected more intimately with my femininity and sense of well being by doing these practices. So, I'm not saying you need to go howl at the moon, or squat in front of it while staring for an hour (advise i've been given and admittedly did, while no one was looking) I'm just suggesting you take this opportunity to sub out your ashtanga class for a gentle flow. Skip the chaturangas and switch them with some sultry lunges from side to side. Try some Chandra Namaskar instead to a regular sun salute to cool the body and replenish your vital energy.
When we pay special attention to the quality of the movement, we get the chance to dance with more purpose and be creative with spontaneous flow. Focusing on the movement itself instead of the end goal of a posture allows us to rejuvenate and follow the drum beat of nature to thrive. So, take a step back, forgo the hot vinyasa class, and why not, give the moon a little gazing time if you're so inclined. The radiance of nature will reflect back in you.
"The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind and the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life" - BKS Iyengar