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Astrology

This Free-Spirited Practice Embodies the Energy of the Full Moon

Remember: Your faith is stronger than your fear.

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Beauty above, beauty below. With this first full Moon of the astrological new year, we are sure to find ourselves rising, steady as we go. On Saturday, April 16, 2022, the pink moon will illuminate the fullness of our lives. The gift of this full Moon in Libra is an empowering of our spirit to settle into our self-trust, letting our faith be stronger than our fear. This allows us to make changes that are ultimately for our highest and best, resetting the balance in our relationships and lending us the ability to self-reflect and make corrections wherever needed.

This lovely lunation is gifting us an opening to value ourselves. Libra’s free-spirited energy amps up our willingness to engage with life, bringing out our inner radiance. Gratitude is the elixir. Embrace the fullness of this energy, which allows us to sense a deeper clarity and love ourselves through any changes. Raise the bar in life, take the time to celebrate, and reflect on how far you have come.

The giving nature of Libra initiates the light in our hearts, sets love in motion, and brings about an intention of peace. It also helps us find harmonious connections that open us to see beauty all around, even in the ordinary. Libra is ruled by the air element, and both of these feel at home in anahata, or heart chakra. This is our place of emotional equilibrium, what helps us sense right action as we find peace with the winds of change.

The air element can also be expressed through the breath in our yoga practice. The inhales inspire us, reminding us that we can do anything, and the exhales release the sensations, feelings, or thoughts that tell us we can’t. The cycle of the breath allows for a fresh state of mind, a calm sense of body, a feeling of being OK with who we are. We carry within and without the true wisdom of the heart. As above, so below.

Take the path with heart, let all the openings along the way bring beauty and joy to life. Be the love, the light, and the way for others. Love yourself every moment, every part of you. When you love yourself, you instinctively choose self love above everything else, as you were meant to do.

Affirmation: I rise with grace, choosing faith over fear.

A yoga practice for the full Moon in Libra

Find a playful attitude as you ease into these balancing postures. Allow the challenge of the postures to help you seek and find openings, reorient your compass, and find a steady foundation as you move with strength and grace. Trust in yourself.

To begin the practice, please arrive in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) at the top of the mat. Take a moment, place your left hand on your heart and your right hand on top of it, take a full inhalation in and open your mouth and let a long full exhalation out with a “haaa” sound. Dedicate your practice to rising in your strength and grace. Release your hands by your side, and warm up by practicing 5 Sun Salutation As and 3 Sun Salutation Bs.

A woman practices Trikonasa (Triangle Pose) in yoga on a rocky landscape
(Photo: Jon Glasmann)

Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)

From Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose), step your right foot forward and come to standing with two straight legs, firming your back heel down and turning it slightly in to find heel-to-heel alignment. Reach your arms parallel to the mat and turn your front toes to point straight forward. Reach your right arm forward, as you pull your right hip back slightly. Place your right hand outside your right foot and lift onto your fingertips or place your hand on your right ankle. Reach your left arm straight up and stack your shoulders. Lean back with your chest and draw your tailbone towards your back heel. Firm your legs, draw your chin back slightly, and turn your head to look up towards your right fingertips.

Stay here for 5 deep breaths. Slow inhales in, smooth exhales out. Feel your body strong, open, and receptive.

A woman practices Extended Side Angle outside on a rock
(Photo: Jon Glasmann)

Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

From Triangle, slowly come up, bending your front knee and stacking it over your ankle. Widen your stance a little and press your back heel away from you as you press your front heel into the mat. Stay strong as you reach forward and place your right hand outside your right foot and reach your left arm up and over your left ear, pinky edge of your hand toward the floor. Draw your navel in and rotate your chest open into Extended Side Angle Pose.

Stay here for 5 deep breaths. Breathe into your side waist at an even pace. On your inhales, press through your right heel and on your exhales open through your chest while you press through your back heel.

Exhale as you bring your hands to the mat, step back to Plank, and lower halfway. Inhale as you open your heart in Upward-Facing Dog Pose, and find Downward-Facing Dog. Repeat both Triangle and Extended Side Angle on the left side, arriving back to Downward-Facing Dog. Stay in Down Dog for 5 deep breaths. Breathe in strength, breathe out grace.

A woman practices Bird of Paradise pose in yoga on a rocky landscape
(Photo: Jon Glasmann)

Bird of Paradise

From Down Dog, step to the top of the mat, exhale and fold forward, and then inhale as you sweep your arms and rise, touching your palms and then slowly bring your hands to your heart and then down by your side.

Close your eyes for a moment and bring your left hand to your heart and place your right hand on top. Breathe in strength and exhale grace. Come into a forward fold with your feet wider than your hips, come up on the ball of your left foot, lowering your shoulder toward your inner knee, and take the same side hand behind the calf and press your bent knee forward to tuck your shoulder behind the knee. Wrap your hands behind the back and bind your hands, left hand clasping your right wrist. Begin to slowly stand up, balancing on your right foot and keeping your left knee bent. Engage your right leg as you rise, keeping a strong foundation. Once you are standing, find your drishti or focal point out in front of you and steady your gaze. Firm your standing leg, open your shoulders as you broaden through the chest, and point the toes of your left leg as you begin to straighten it. Bird of Paradise expresses true strength, beauty, expansion, and grace.

Stay here for 5 deep breaths. Slowly bend your knee, come down, and release the bind. Take a moment before repeating on the other side.

A woman practices Compass Pose in yoga on a rocky landscape
(Photo: Jon Glasmann)

Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana (Compass Pose)

Find a cross-legged seat facing the left long side of the mat. Keep your right leg where it is and bend your left knee and pull it toward your chest. Bring your left leg over your shoulder, keeping your knee bent, and reaching your left hand out to the side of your hip, placing your finger tips on the ground and pressing. With your right hand, grab the pinky toe side of your left foot, flex your left foot, and begin to straighten your leg turning your chest open to the right.”

Stay here for 5 deep breaths. As you breathe in, strengthen your body and breathe into the open space.

A woman practices One-Legged King Pigeon in yoga in a rocky landscape
(Photo: Jon Glasmann)

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose)

Come to Down Dog or Tabletop. Bring your left knee just outside and behind your left wrist, set your shin on the ground and angle it so your left heel is in front of your right hip. If your flexibility is challenged, bring your heel closer to the groin. Extend your right leg behind you, making sure it’s straight. Come onto your fingertips and lift the heart before you lean forward and walk your hands in front of you.

Stay here for at least 5 breaths. Repeat on the other side.

Come onto your back and rest in Savasana. Remain at rest for 5–8 minutes.

Meditation

Find a comfortable seat and find power in your presence, rooting down through your sit bones and softening your shoulders back to create space at the heart. Lift your crown and rest your hands on your thighs, palms up or down, or rest your hands in the lap, left palm down and right palm on top, connecting the thumbs.

Take a long inhale in, and a long, audible exhale out. Take a moment and create sama vritti, equal lengths in the breath. You can add a count to the breath if you like, counting to 4 or 5 on the inhale and counting to 4 or 5 on the exhale.

Please continue to breathe in this way for 5 breaths. Bring your attention to your heart center. Either visualize golden light and sense a feeling of warmth at the heart. As you breathe in, let this light expand through your chest, as you breath out bring it into the heart as a tiny pearl-size bead of light. Breathe in again, expanding the golden light across the chest, breath out and let the light come back to the heart, continue here for 2 more minutes. Relax the technique and the breath and just let the body absorb the radiant energy. Bring your hands in prayer position at the heart. Hold a posture of gratitude for yourself and this practice. Repeat to yourself, I rise with grace, choosing faith over fear.


About our contributor

Tara Martell is a believer, spiritual mentor, energy medicine woman, intuitive, visionary, life coach, writer, master teacher, mom, yoga teacher, and yoga teacher-trainer. She has mentored numerous yoga students and teachers, co-wrote a yoga teacher training manual, and led international yoga retreats. She has spent the last two decades seeking, finding, and healing herself through yoga, spiritual work, and self-study. Follow her on Instagram @tt_1love.