With the nights drawing in, now is the perfect time to let the waxing and waning lunar energies add a new dimension to your yoga.

Lunar yoga is an ideal way to do just that as its focus is on the different moon phases, which we get to enjoy all the more clearly when it’s darker for longer.

Claire Gallagher, an astrologer and self-described ‘lunar yoga pioneer’ posts online workouts for each day of the lunar cycle (moonrx.com). She explains that the idea is to become more in sync with the changing energy levels associated with the moon as it waxes and wanes.

Turn your lunar yoga into a ritual for body and mind by lighting some candles before you begin and taking a few minutes to tune in to your emotions. What are you feeling this evening? Where in your body do you need to release tension? Are you holding onto anything that needs to go?

lunar yoga
New moon (19 Oct and 18 Nov)

The new moon is correlated to the element of air and to the season of spring, so it’s a very fresh and uplifting time of the lunar cycle. It’s also a very tender time for your body so the focus of routines ought to be on moving your body up gently.

Try poses that focus on slowly building energy in your body, such as one-leg balancing postures. The tree pose would be good, or the eagle.

Mentally, this is a good time to work on co-ordination – poses where you really have to focus on what you’re doing.

It’s also an ideal time to try a new pose or to set yourself a goal for improvement, such as slower, deeper yogic breathing.

Lunar yoga tree pose

Tree pose

Plant one foot firmly on the ground. Bring the sole of the opposite foot to rest on the side of your calf or thigh – not on the knee joint itself. Bring your hands together in the centre of your chest in prayer position. Looking forward, extend your arms above your head with palms still together, or open them out to the sides to ‘embrace the moon’.