7 Ways To Unwind With The New Moon + A Yin Yoga Sequence (Carve Out Some Time For This Tonight!)
The energy of the new moon can be powerful and is something special to embrace if you haven't yet. As the first phase of the moon cycle, the new moon represents new beginnings in many cultures and rituals. This optimistic phase is a beautiful time to reflect and start fresh with what's calling to you.
Think about this...before we had so much artificial light in our world, it was DARK during a new moon. With blue light emitted by electronics throughout the night as we sleep, street lights glimpsing in through our curtains - even the light from your favorite Himalayan salt lamp - our sleep cycle is constantly disrupted or fighting the light. We have so much light surrounding us constantly that it's actually easy to miss a new moon completely. If you can pay attention to the upcoming phase and begin to quiet and dim things down literally, your mind and body have a chance to reset more naturally as our ancestors have before us.
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As the first phase of the moon cycle, the new moon represents new beginnings in many cultures and rituals.
7 Ways To Unwind With The New Moon
Nights surrounding the new moon are divine times to reset, get quiet, eat warm, find gratitude, renew goals & intentions and practice self-care. Tonight...slow things down and get back to some basics with this new moon energy.
1. Quick Clean + Prep Your Space
(Items you'll need - your favorite candles, crystals, essential oils, oil diffusers...things that makes you feel good)
Although the energy of the new moon is excellent for hunkering down in your space and nesting a bit...save that for a month where you've got the time in the couple of days leading up to the new moon. For tonight, just make the space you'll be spending time in feel good.
Decide where you'll be practicing the following and make your space feel simple and lovely. Arrange some candles, place your favorite crystals. Choose some essential oils to diffuse that make you feel divine (some new moon favorites include grapefruit, bergamot, clary sage, lavender). Quick tidy of anything that will distract you. Set up your space to be dimly lit. Gather any blankets or items to keep you comfy. Don't forget to set up your spaces and gather the items that you'll need for the following items during this stage, so that you don't need to pause your downtime to clean or gather things.
2. Tea Time
(Items you'll need - a mug, delicious tea, hot water)
Heat up some water to brew your favorite tea. Much like essential oils, tea can help you to settle into certain states. Tonight is the time to grab your favorite mug and most relaxing blend that is not caffeinated (go for an herbal variation like chamomile).
(Items you'll need - a favorite journal or piece of paper, a pen)
Even if you don't regularly put pen to paper, tonight's a great time to designate some time to it. Journaling is said to evoke mindfulness, help achieve goals, aid in healing, support your emotional intelligence, boost memory, strengthen self discipline...the list goes on.
Tonight, keep it simple.
When you sit down to your journal, take a few deep breaths to get present. Begin by jotting down a list of the things that you feel grateful for over the last few weeks. Take time to sit with the memories and feelings that come up for each item you list out. What makes you smile?
Next, begin to create a list of your dreams for the next month, set your intention. What would you love for this new moon to trigger for you? NOT a time to write out your to do list (Yup, we see you! List fans over here too). This list is all about habits and practices that you would love to put into place, emotions you would love to trigger and dreams & goals that you have.
Tip....keep this simple and attainable.
Seal your journal practice with a little love note to yourself.
At least ONE THING you love about yourself.
4. Practice Yin Yoga
(Items you'll need - a yoga mat, blanket, 2 yoga blocks, a bolster if you have it. Possibly a timer. We love the Free Insight Timer that we're using during our 5 Minutes To 2019 Meditation Tribe)
If you're new to Yin Yoga, you're in for a treat. Yin Yoga is a practice where poses are held for longer amounts of time and is a way to let go in the mind and body. By holding these longer poses, you're accessing the deep connective tissues within your body and you're allowing your mind to get super quiet.
A few things to keep in mind before you begin:
- Hold your poses. You can use a timer if you'd like - aim to hold these poses for 3-5 minutes.
- Find your edge. Yin Yoga isn't about pushing your body or achieving an instagram-worthy picture. Listen to your body and don't push to the point of any pain or sharpness. If you feel tingling, unwind a bit. Allow gravity to take over as you sit in your pose and let that and the release of tension be what moves you deeper into your pose.
- Use your props! These props are meant to bring the floor up a bit and set you up for staying in your pose as long as you can. You can always remove props as you no longer need them.
- Allow yourself stillness. Let yourself melt into these poses and breathe deeply to stay present. If your mind wanders a bit, come back to your breath.
NEW MOON YIN YOGA SEQUENCE
Sit with your hips to your heels. Lift your heart high and ignite your shoulders down your back. Hands can be placed with palms down at your thighs if you are craving grounding or with your palms facing up if you're craving opening and receiving. Instead, you can send hands to heart center, or the Anjali Mudra that we learned about in this week's #MudraMonday.
Modify: Sit on a block.
Sit on your hips and bring the soles of your feet together, then slide them away from your body to bring your legs to a diamond shape. With blocks nearby, begin to round forward.
Modify: Place blocks under your knees, hips and/or forehead.
Lie on your belly. Place your elbows directly underneath your shoulders and extend your forearms and hands out in front of you, palms down. Lift your heart. If you feel compression in your spine, move your elbows further away from your body. Consider gazing down for lazy spinx.
Modify: Place a bolster or blanket underneath your hips.
Supine Half Moon
Come to seated with your legs extended in front of you. Send your feet to the left corner of your mat and cross your right ankle on top of your left. Shift your hips to the right. Crawl your upper body down and to the left side of your mat (notice the half moon shape you've made). Arms can go overhead and you can grab opposite wrist or elbow if this feels good. Keep your right hip pressing downward. When you're ready to exit, gently roll to a fetal position on your left side and slowly sit up after a few moments.
Modify: Unlock your feet to make this stretch more gentle.
Don't forget your other side : Send your feet to the right corner of your mat and cross your left ankle on top of your right. Shift your hips to the left. Crawl your upper body down and to the right side of your mat (notice the half moon shape you've made). Arms can go overhead and you can grab opposite wrist or elbow if this feels good. Keep your right hip pressing downward. When you're ready to exit, gently roll to a fetal position on your right side and slowly sit up after a few moments.
Modify: Unlock your feet to make this stretch more gentle.
Sit with your legs straight out in front of you. Fold forward over your legs, rounding through your back.
Modify: Place a blanket under your hips or towel rolled under your knees. Use blocks on either side of your legs for your arms, or one for your forehead.
Supported Fish or Reclined Butterfly
Place a block or bolster directly under your shoulder blades (bra strap area) and head. Slowly lie back and feel your heart open and supported. Legs can extend straight out in front of you, or draw the soles of your feet together and let your knees open. To exit, instead of rolling off your blocks, draw yourself back up the same way you rounded down.
Modify: Blocks under your heart and head can be changed to different levels.
Lie on your back with your legs outwards away from one another, your arms stretched long at your side and your palms up. Slightly tuck your shoulder blades underneath you to lift your heart. Relax. Quiet your mind and your body, allow yourself to just be. If thoughts come up, go back to your breath.
5. Extra Long Savasana
Yup. This needed to be said. Stay in your savasana longer. Go for 5 or 10 minutes even. The goal for this savasana is release and reset.
6. Take A Relaxing Bath or Shower
(Items you'll need - your favorite bath salts, essential oils, salt scrubs and candles)
Start your bath or shower to the perfect temperature and add bath salts and/or essential oils. Light some candles and dim the lights. Tip - if you don't have a bath tub or if you prefer a shower, you can add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil to a wash cloth and place on the floor of the shower to diffuse it with the steam.
Hop in and enjoy. This is an incredible opportunity to get quiet in your mind and stay in the present state that you felt in savasana. Breathe deep and let yourself relax.
7. Turn Off The Lights & Tuck In
(Items you'll need - a relaxing essential oil if you love to diffuse one during bedtime. Set your alarm BEFORE heading to bed!)
Try to head to bed directly after your bath. Skip Netflix tonight, and even skip checking your phone if possible. Bonus points if you set your alarm earlier and can even skip this step.
When you're set for bed, prep your space by turning off lights around you to get your space as dark as possible. Flip your phone screen down if it must be left near your bed. Turn off hallway lights and close your curtains. Darken your space as much as you can. Diffuse a calming essential oil like lavender.
Once you tuck in and get into your comfy spot, take a huge inhale breath and then sigh out your open mouth exhale. Let your body and mind continue to relax as you drift off into dreamland.
Before we had so much artificial light in our world, it was DARK during a new moon.
Allow this new moon energy to carry into your week by getting super present in everything that you do. Create calmness and insight wherever possible, take time to relax and take care of yourself. Come back to the intentions that you set during your journaling.
Maybe some of your "new" new moon practices will carry into your evenings permanently.
Have a beautiful new moon.
Jenny is a mama, DJ, yoga teacher and beach-obsessed boss babe at TheKaiLife.com. You can find her with a huge smile on her face adventuring with her husband, son Kai and fur babies Koa & Snorkel; spinning music and dancing with you late night; teaching and practicing on her yoga mat or under a palm tree.
Follow her on instagram @iseekthewaves @jadoreurlife .
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