Reset your Rhythm
CONNECT with the Moon and with your Breath
These words are so simple and ring so true, especially during the change of seasons when rhythms seem to shift most drastically: from the expansion and freedom of summer to the drawing inward of autumn.
Living in synch with the seasons and the cycles of the moon is a foundation to experiencing rhythm. The connection with many of nature's rhythms has been disrupted by so-called conveniences of our times: the availability of produce in supermarkets regardless of the season and the glowing screens in cities that never sleep. We need soothing rhythms to balance the on-demand nature of modern life.
Affirmation: I experience life as a rhythmic cycle and I navigate througH the transitions of each moment without resistance.
The moon cycle can help point the way; the body knows this cycle like a familiar song, a lullaby from a great-great-great grandmother, perhaps being sung in a distant land. From mother earth herself. A call to remember.
La luna reminds us that change is constant and the opportunity for renewal is available at each phase. Aligning with lunar time can help the body, mind, spirit, and breath remember it's rhythm of growing to fullness and letting go to emptiness.
Experiencing time as a cycle helps us understand rhythms in a way that linear times does not. We need time to connect with rhythm to experience ease of transitions throughout the day: breakfast time, work time, play time, nap time, tea time, closing time, supper time, bath time, bedtime ... and lunar time lights the way to not always be "on" the way that screen time may suggest.
Like the lunar cycle, the wheel of the year is always in motion; the path of light reaches it's peak at Summer Solstice and then spirals inward to the depths of Winter Solstice. On a micro level this movement can be felt in the expansion and contraction of each breath. Every breath mirrors the unfolding and releasing of the seasons.
The four major turning points of the year and the lunar cycle serve as reminders of these shifting rhythms: expansion through Spring Equinox to the Summer Solstice is similar to the energy of the waning crescent to the full moon, and the contraction from the Fall Equinox to Winter Solstice mirrors the waning of the last quarter to the dark of the moon.
Enter these turning points
In the play of respiration and expiration,
Where the rhythms of life transform
Into each other.
Breath flows in, then surrenders to flow out again.
In this moment, drink eternity.
Breath flows out, emptying, emptying,
Offering itself to infinity.
Everything in the body communicates though rhythm. Sometimes it just takes being still enough to listen.
Disruptions in rhythm are experienced as dis-ease. There is a reason that when babies are upset, caretakers begin rocking and rhythmically patting them - it helps to reset their rhythm. Often when children go back to school after summer there is such an extreme change in rhythm, they become more prone to getting sick. When, as adults, we push through the fall months without taking a cue form the season to slow down, our bodies let us know we are out of synch.
Abrupt changes in rhythm call for extra attention to anchoring practices to navigate transitions. Here are two ways to reset your rhythm: connecting with the Moon and with your Breath.
Reset your Rhythm with the Moon
The moon teaches how to flow with change and not feel pressure to be full all the time. Flowers are not always in bloom. There are phases and stages to growth and transformation that can be understood more intimately through observation.
Every 29.5 the lunar cycle resets, and the moon goes dark for about three days. Notice if it feels aligned to set intentions for a new practice at the new moon.
Make a list of potential practices like: Writing daily gratitudes, taking a walk after lunch, sketching for ten minutes in the morning, going to bed at the same time every night, meditating for five minutes before work - something that lights you up!
Choose a practice that will help you create a rhythm. Do that thing everyday. Allow it to help you find your devotion. To be more fluid and steady, like circulation.
Charting with the moon can anchor your practice and help you to notice ebbs and flows with each changing phase.
Recording your emotional, physical, creative, and energetic "orbits" on a circular lunar calendar can bring more mindfulness to how you experience rhythm. The New Moon Calendar Journal is a tool designed to hold and nourish your awareness of inner and outer cycles. It is a container to host your light.
Waxing to expand on the inhale // Waning to contract on the exhalE
Reset your Rhythm with the Breath
The mind follows the breath, and the body follows the mind.
Bringing awareness to the breath is a way to find rhythm, manage moods, calm stress in the mind and body, as well as enter into a space of stillness. Pranayam exercises and meditations can help direct the flow of prana - life force energy through guided breathing. The video below is a meditation called Tattva Balance Beyond Stress and Duality.
The deep inhale through the nose gives endurance and calmness. Exhaling through the mouth strengthens the parasympathetic nervous system which calms the reaction to stress. The pulse of the exhale stimulates the pituitary gland to optimize clarity, intuition, and decision making.
This meditation balances the brain and relieves stress. It takes only three minutes but can have a profound effect.
Posture: Sit in Easy Pose with a straight spine. Raise the arms with the elbows bent until the hands meet at the level of the heart in front of the chest. The forearms make a straight line parallel to the ground.
Mudra: Spread the fingers of both hands. Touch the fingertips and thumb tips of opposite hands together. Create enough pressure to join the first segments (counting from the tip) of each finger. The thumbs are stretched back and point toward the torso. The fingers are bent slightly due to the pressure. The palms are separated.
Eyes: Fix your eyes at the tip of the nose.
Breath: Inhale slowly and deeply through the nose. Exhale through the rounded lips in eight equal, emphatic strokes. On each exhale, pull the navel point in sharply.
Time: Continue for 3 minutes. You may build the practice slowly to 11 minutes but note that longer times are only for the dedicated, serious practitioners.
To End: Then inhale deeply, hold for 10-30 seconds, and exhale. Inhale again, and shake the hands over the head. Relax.
Benefits: If the five elements (tattvas) are strong, in balance, and located in their proper areas of the body, then you can resist stress, trauma, and illness. You do not get confused in conflicts between the two hemispheres of the brain as they compete for the right to make and direct decisions.
This meditation uses the hand mudra to pressure the 10 radiance points in the fingers that correlate to the zones of the brain in the two hemispheres. The equal pressure causes a kind of communication and coordination between the two hemispheres of the brain.
©The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan source: 3HO.org
Disclaimer: Not all yoga poses or meditations are suitable for all persons. Practicing under the direct supervision and guidance of a qualified instructor, in addition to the direction of your healthcare provider, can help determine what poses are suitable for your particular case.
The 2019 edition of the New Moon Calendar Journal is available in the shop! Order your copy today. This item sells out every year.
This simple and beautiful circular calendar and journal establishes the new moon as the starting point for each monthly cycle. By using a circular calendar you perceive time in relation to nature more clearly, and patterns in your own experience become more apparent. It provides a structure for connecting to your inner wisdom and natural rhythms.
Azure Transmissions moon mandala cover artwork by Melissa Fernandez.