Happy new year! Today is the first full moon of 2018 which falls in Cancer increasing our need for love, affection, comfort and support. This full moon can make us more sensitive, gentle and loving and so we enter 2018 by tending to our emotional needs.
Cancer is a water sign, it is emotional, empathetic and spiritual. It is the symbol of the mother, the nurturer and the care giver. She gives emotional support and feels her best at home connected to family, this is where she gains emotional wellbeing. With this energy we have the capacity to be more compassionate, more giving and more loving.
This is a wonderful opportunity to start the year off practicing Yin yoga, a passive yet powerful modality which creates a gentle slow and nurturing platform from which to get to know our bodies and our minds more intimately. The more intimacy we can have with ourselves, the better intimacy we can have with others. Yin yoga helps us to tune out distractions and to be present in the moment. Being present (as opposed to zoning out on our phones and other distractions) is the greatest gift that we can offer the people we care about.
Yin yoga master Sarah Powers says Yin yoga is a way of developing our inner mother love, this type of love is connected to being-ness, a love that lets us value ourselves and others just as we are, a love that promotes willing acceptance. This allowing receptive side of our nature is explored in Yin yoga with a slow and more internal focus. As with any practice, the slower we go, the more present we need to be. It’s easier to skip over our issues when flowing through a vigorous vinyasa sequence but when we slow down we have the luxury of time to explore our feelings, sensations, habits, judgements and reactions.
The long held poses in Yin yoga give us the opportunity to practice meditation in order to relieve stress, and the less stressed we are, the more capable we are of being fully present with our partners, colleagues, friends and family. A meditation practice helps us to be more in touch with whatever is happening in every moment, more aware of our feelings and that of others, it boosts our empathy, our capacity for compassion and helps us connect with others on a deeper level.
“Do not look at your body like a stranger but adopt a friendly approach towards it. Watch it, listen to it, observe its needs, its requests, and even have fun. To be sensitive is to be alive” - Vanda Scaravelli.