Just like the ocean tides, our bodies and minds change with the cycles of the moon; we are 70% water after all!
The gravity of the full moon affects our energy levels, and we can get more out of our yoga if we sync our practice to the lunar cycle, especially with Full Moon Yoga.
The full moon is a time of heightened energy. Many Ashtanga yogis specifically do not practice Ashtanga during the full moon as it is already an intensive practice, and combined with the energy of the full moon, injuries become more likely.
These yogis often choose a grounding Yin Yoga practice for the full moon.
Below you will find 10 full moon yoga poses that form a Yin Yoga style full moon Yoga sequence. This sequence allows you to access the energy of the moon while remaining whole and grounded.
The article will cover:
- What Energy Does the Full Moon Transmit?
- What is Full Moon Yoga?
- 10 Full Moon Yoga Poses
What Energy Does the Full Moon Transmit?
The full moon is a moment of celebration in many cultures. It’s a very clear celestial object that has always been important for marking the passage of time.
In addition to this, the powerful energy that the moon emanates when it is strongly reflecting the light of the sun towards the earth makes it a time for energetic activities.
This time of the month is a good time to reflect on what you have achieved since the last full moon and celebrate your accomplishments. It also has purifying qualities, so it can facilitate cleansing unwanted energies and releasing things that no longer serve you.The energy of the moon in this stage often encourages us to take action too. It can be a good time to find the point to start something that needs to be done.
However, it can be even better to turn that active energy inward. Use the full moon as a time to self-reflect and create space for the changes that you need.
The new moon, on the other hand, represents the start of the lunar cycle and is an ideal time for setting intentions.
What is Full Moon Yoga?
Full moon yoga is designed to complement the energy of the full moon. However, this does not mean a high-energy practice, because the additional energy of the full moon means that it can be easy to push yourself beyond your limits and injure yourself.
A grounding practice based on Yin Yoga, in which you hold postures for longer periods of time to encourage the tissue to release and soften, is best.
This kind of yoga frees the body’s energy and, combined with releasing postures, you can let go of built-up tension, stress, and energy that is no longer needed.
At the same time, you want to open the heart to receive the energy of the full moon, but then turn that energy inward with postures that support deep contemplation and meditation.
Discover other full moon grounding rituals such as moon baths, earthing rituals, and release journaling here, or follow this guided Full Moon Salutations practice:
10 Full Moon Yoga Poses
Below are 10 full moon yoga poses that you can incorporate into grounding and releasing yoga during the 48-hour window of the full moon.
The full moon yoga poses can be done in the order suggested to create a full moon yoga sequence.
The Easy Seat pose is fundamental to creating a healthy, rooted posture, which many people struggle with due to modern life habits.
Starting your full moon yoga practice with this pose allows you to focus on your breath and set an intention for your practice of what you want to release.
- Sit in a comfortable crossed-legged position. If you can’t sit comfortably on your sit bones with your back straight, place a block, pillow, or folded blanket under your sit bones.
- Rest your hands on your knees with your hands facing upwards.
- Focus on your breathing and stay here as long as you need until you feel ready for movement.
Seated Forward Bend is an intense stretch for the entire back of your body, from your heels to your head. This can release lower back tension, which also results in emotional release.
The pose also encourages you to turn your attention inwards and withdraw your senses in the fifth limb of yoga practice called Pratyahara.
- From your crossed leg position, extend your legs out in front of you slightly separated with your feet flexed and legs active.
- Lift your arms above your head and lift up through your spine, and then hinge from the hips to bend forward over your legs.
- Rest your hands wherever it is comfortable. Stay here for 20 seconds to one minute.
Cobra pose is a backbend that relaxes your lower back and spine, and also opens your heart to the heavens, allowing you to receive the energy of the full moon.
- Like on your stomach with your legs stretched back behind you. Press the tops of your feet and your thighs into the floor.
- Place your hands under your shoulders with your fingers spread wide and your elbows close to your body.
- Straighten your arms as much as is comfortable to lift your chest up off the floor. Stay here for 20 seconds to one minute.
Pigeon pose opens the hips and can release the emotional tension that we hold there and also creates space in the chest and rib cage to breathe more deeply and receive full moon energy.
- From hands and knees, bring your right knee behind your right wrist, and then open the right foot towards the left hand as far as is comfortable.
- Extend your left leg behind you and square your hips to press downward.
- Lower your forearms to the ground and fold forward to rest your head on the ground.
- Stay in this position for 30 seconds to two minutes, and then repeat on the other side.
This pose lengthens the back and the muscles in the front of the pelvis and opens up your heart whistle encouraging you to ground down through your feet.
The asana also helps you focus on your body and the information it is giving you about how you are feeling.
- Start in mountain dose, rooting down through your tailbone and pressing the soles of your feet into the ground.
- Pull your shoulders downward and bring your hands to your sacrum, fingertips pointing downwards.
- Draw your elbows together and push forward with your hips. Gently drop back through the upper chest and neck.
- Stay here for five deep breaths, relax, and repeat.
Devotional warrior is another pose that helps you turn your mind and attention inward to focus on what is happening inside your mind and body.
You simultaneously project strength and power as you mimic a warrior beheading Shiva’s enemy.
- Stand with your legs about three feet apart and your back foot turned out at a 45-degree angle.
- Reach your arms upwards and bend through the front leg, entering Warrior I.
- Now clasp your hand behind your back with your palms facing one another.
- Open your chest and lengthen your spine and fold forward next to the front thigh while keeping the spine straight.
- Hold here for five deep breaths, rest and repeat.
This is another full moon yoga pose that requires both lifting up and grounding down at the same time and which helps us learn to control the flow of energy through our bodies.
- From Warrior I, straighten your front leg and tip forward from the hips racing down towards the floor with your front arm and lifting your back leg open behind you until it is parallel with the floor.
- Reach your other hand directly upwards and look up towards it.
- Stay here for five deep breaths, rest and repeat.
Fish pose is about embodying your personal truth and expressing your inner beauty, making it the perfect celebratory pose for full moon yoga.
The pose also opens your heart in a way that allows you to release tension and bad energy and attract positive energy.
- Like on your back with your arms down by your side, palms facing down.
- Press your arms into the floor to allow you to lift your chest off the ground.
- Tip your head backward and place the crown of your head on the ground. Your legs should remain active.
- If you feel comfortable, you can lift your legs off the ground 45 degrees, and extend your arms in front of you at a 45-degree angle.
- Stay for five deep breaths, relax and repeat.
This hip opener releases tension and can promote emotional release, and also improves concentration and focus as you come to the end of your full moon yoga practice.
- From a seated position with your legs stretched out in front of you, open your legs as wide as possible while staying on your sit bones.
- Keep your legs active and flex your feet upwards.
- Reach your arms up above you to length through the spine, and then hinge from the hips to fold forward.
- Rest your hands on the ground in front of you wherever is comfortable.
- Take five deep breaths, pushing a little deeper into the pose with each. Then remain in the position, letting gravity do the work for 20 seconds to two minutes.
End your full moon yoga practice with corpse pose to let your body integrate what you have created through your practice, and also rest and restore.
Sit with your emotions for several minutes and find balance before returning to day-to-day things.
- Lie on your back and let your arms and legs relax, falling away from the centerline of your body.
- There should be space between your torso and arms, and your palms should be facing upwards. Relax your body completely.
- You can complete a body scan, tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups, starting with your toes and working up to your head.
- Once you are relaxed, stay in Savasana for as long as you want, but at least five minutes.
- When you are ready to come out, you can complete another body scan, but this time wiggling muscles to bring life back into them.
Full Moon Yoga – Concluding Thoughts
As we become busy with life’s demands, we don’t always take the time to examine what we are feeling, or take note of what may be affecting how we feel.
Environmental factors have an enormous impact on our health and well-being. The changing energy of the moon is an extremely powerful environmental element and its gravity can have an immense influence.
When it comes to your yoga practice, the full moon is a time for a grounding Yin Yoga practice that encourages you to focus inwards on how you are feeling and what you have achieved.
If you do not already track your emotional and physical condition with the moon, it can be a good idea to start using a moon cycle calendar to visualize just how profoundly the changing phases of the moon can affect you.