Exerciselunarcycles
Western Astrology

Exercise Based on the Lunar Cycles

by Stefanie Weiss March 17, 2014 05:39 PM EST
Exercise Based on the Lunar Cycles Getty Images
We tend to heed the power of the Moon only when it's pregnant and full, as it hangs low in the sky, glowing orange. It's hard not to look up and be awestruck by its raw, primal power. Yet many choose to consciously ignore the lunar energy the rest of the month, to their detriment. Trust that even if you're not thinking about it, the Moon is indeed affecting your life. So why not take advantage of it? There are so many reasons to tune into the waxing and waning of La Luna, and health benefits are high on the list.

Consider the fact that we're merely mammals -- despite our technological advances, our bodies are directly tuned into nature's clock. And so it is with the Moon, the ruler of the tides, the stabilizer of our planet's rotation, and the astrological equivalent of our inner mother. The Moon reminds you to nurture yourself.

As it cycles through its monthly rhythms -- new, first quarter, full, last quarter -- the Moon constantly shifts, affecting our bodies and our minds. Every year we make resolutions, and often forget or abandon them by the end of January. But if you've mapped out health and fitness plans for 2014, the Moon can guide you through them and help facilitate your schedule. The lunar energy will help you stick to it like no iCal reminder can.

Using the New Moon to Start a Fitness Plan
The new Moon, occurring once every 29 days, is the ideal time to start new exercise plans. If you typically have trouble with the getting started part of exercising, begin within three days of the next new Moon (next one is March 30, 2014). Plan to check in with yourself about your progress about two weeks after the new Moon (at the full Moon). If you have a weight-loss goal, rather than obsessively weighing yourself each day, you might want to check in at the new and full Moons instead. The lunations are excellent barometers for your progress.

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The new Moon is also known as the "dark of the Moon" -- the time when the slate is clean and ready for you to fill it up with what you want to manifest. You're in control now, and can drive outcomes.

The Full Moon: Release and Cool Down
The full Moon, always two weeks after the new Moon, is excellent for meditation, Qigong, Tai Chi or other relaxing movement modalities. This helps to tamp down the excessive, out-of-control emotional state that can take over near the end of the lunar cycle. Ashtanga yoga (what most yoga in the Western world is based on) is not practiced on the full Moon. However, you should do what feels good to you -- just nothing too vigorous, especially if it's an exercise you've never one before.

As with the new Moon, the energy is heightened up to three days before and three days after the exact full Moon. Pay closer attention to your intuition and the needs of your body around this time -- you may notice that you feel like dancing. If you feel the urge, go for it! Again, just try to avoid any out of control moves -- we're less grounded during the full Moon.

In addition your exercise and weight-loss regimens, you might want to start a lunar journal. This can help you to maintain a connection between the movement of the Moon and your own mind-body connection. Noting your thoughts and feelings and connecting them to physiological changes can be profoundly inspiring and healing -- especially if you note the position and sign of the Moon each time you write an entry.
 
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