On my pre-dawn walks each morning, I gaze up into the dark sky, mesmerized by the moon as it appears in different shapes over the course of a month.
Earlier this week I saw the thinnest sliver of a moon hanging over the rooftops, a fingernail moon, the faintest outline of white drawn around the edge of the sphere’s shadow like a piece of iridescent twine, giving the moon a three-dimensional depth that I don’t recall seeing before.
Its striking appearance in the sky that morning reminded me of how the moon reveals itself in stages, and that the fingernail moon is one of the early stages of growth as the moon passes from stage to stage into fullness.
These stages of moon-growth can serve as models for our own yoga practice and for our lives, too. Each of our poses—whether on our mats or in our lives—begins with the slimmest fissure of light and shines out with all the light that we can muster in that moment.
And each day of the month, as we practice, the light grows stronger and stronger—as much light as that particular pose at that particular time of month will allow—increasing in brightness as our pose comes into fullness.
And then what happens?
We begin the process of growth again with a new pose, a new relationship, a new project, a new job, or a new way of understanding ourselves in a new situation.
Another month, another pose, our light waxing and waning, our intensity and brightness shifting and changing.
There is a beginning, a middle, and an end to each pose, and then there is a new beginning to embark on the process of growth over again.
Each month we trust in the process of the moon unfolding as it gains in brightness and shines out in its full radiance.
We are like the moon, shining brightly, each pose giving us a chance to explore another stage of our practice, both the lighter sides of our selves and the darker shadow sides, as well.
Month after month, the moon sheds its light on our lives as we, too, come into fullness, retreat back into darkness, and come into fullness, again and again.
Practice Journal: How is your yoga practice like the stages of the moon? How do you move into fullness and then become that sliver of a fingernail of light … and then move back into fullness? And how is trust part of the movement back and forth—part of your growth on the mat, your ability to reach into the unknown and explore something new?
Think about trust and how yoga has helped cultivate it in your life and practice over the past year. How has coming to this greater sense of trust changed your life? How might your life change if you learned to trust more in the year ahead?
Write: 10 minutes.