Is it possible to regain your sense of calm during the coronavirus crisis?
We respect the terrible tragedy the COVID-19 pandemic has created, and our hearts go out to all the families and individuals who are suffering. But we also need to gather online and find reasons to smile. To help people connect, we've asked people to share their experiences finding joy in the lockdown.
This week, Roxanne Menzies, a long-time leader at Wedgewood Weddings, shares how she rebalanced with the new moon.
Finding my inner peace
I usually attend a New Moon Ceremony each month at my local yoga studio. We complete some light yoga to start, followed by a tea ceremony. Our instructor will then guide us through a meditation that includes breath work, rosewater spritzes, burning sage and palo santo, and finishes with a sound bath.
What is a New Moon Ceremony?
"A New Moon marks the beginning phase of the monthly lunar cycle, when the Moon and the Sun are in divine alignment. This energy is potent; you may feel weary and low in vitality as energies of change and transformation boil up. Be gentle with yourself in the way you move, expend your energy, communicate or think, allowing time for ritual, meditation and relaxation during this New Moon phase."
Once we come out of the meditation, we do three things individually while enjoying being part of a group:
- Commit to our intentions for the coming month
- Explore what behaviors or feelings we need to release
- Decide what we want to call in to help reach our goals.
At the end of the class, we are given a healing crystal that the instructor has chosen based on the upcoming astrological situation. This is always my favorite part because I'm not so secretly obsessed with crystals. It's one of the things I look forward to most every month because it gives me the perfect little slice of "me time" and allows me an opportunity to focus inward without interruption.
This month, the studio wasn't able to offer a virtual class because the workshop indulges all 5 senses, which you just can't do online.
Instead, I created my own little ceremony to celebrate the new moon on Tuesday, March 24. My ceremony began with clearing out the negative energy in my home by burning sage and calling in positive energy with burning palo santo. After these last couple of weeks, I really needed to relax, so I did 30 minutes of restorative yoga in my newly cleansed space. Then, I found a guided meditation on Insight Time (a meditation app) that had me follow some journal prompts to help me set my intentions for the month. When I finished all of this, I whipped up a mug of my favorite mushroom hot cacao and sipped it surrounded by crystals. It definitely helped me let go of some of the stress of the pandemic and focus on the positive things I have in my life.
My biggest takeaway: It's easy to become wrapped up in what's happening in the wider world and focus on what you can't do. Instead, I decided to take back a slice of control and prioritize my inner calm. I loved being able to take a few aspects from something I missed and make them work for my current circumstances.
How to create your own New Moon ceremony at home
Prepare a safe, sacred space for yourself by playing soft meditative music, lighting candles or dimming the lights and then surround yourself with items that are meaningful like photos of your family, crystals, or your vision board.
Cycle through an asana:
- Easy pose (sukhasana) with side bend
- Cat pose (marjaryasana)
- Downward-Facing Dog (adho mukha svanasana)
- Crescent Moon variation (parsva urdhva hastasana)
- Triangle (trikonasana)
- Bound Angle pose yin variation (baddha konasana)
- and then fall into contemplation in Corpse pose (savasana)
Take your time to breathe deeply and relax into each pose and repeat your sequence as many times as you would like. Follow the asana by considering the following questions:
- Which of my behaviours, fears and thinking patterns are of no service to me any longer?
- What am I willing to let go of right now?
- What steps can I take to release the above?
- What would I like to invite into my life (eg vitality, peace, love, lightness, financial abundance, clarity, joy or achievement of certain goals)?
- What steps can I take to embody the wishes I outlined?