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Get Ready for Change: New Moon Solar Eclipse

Get ready for change by your yoga practice to super-charge a fresh start with Sunday's new moon solar eclipse.

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yoga retreat, half moon

Get ready for change by using your yoga practice to super-charge a fresh start with a new moon solar eclipse.

Growing up in Montana, surrounded by astounding vistas and big blue skies, I found easy comfort in nature. Allowing my body to attune to nature and its cycles, the rising and setting of the sun and moon, became as natural as breathing.

Now I’m a yoga teacher and an astrologer, and I enjoy aligning my yoga practice with the rhythms of the sun and moon. Honoring the intimate relationship between human and celestial bodies is something yogis have done for centuries. The word hatha, as in yoga, actually contains the Sanskrit words for sun (ha) and moon (tha). What’s more, ancient astrological wisdom teaches that each zodiac sign correlates with an area of the body. When we use our yoga practice to move areas of the body that the heavens are lavishing with extra attention, we enhance our physical and spiritual development. Yoga and astrology become partners in the dance of evolving consciousness.

Want to infuse your own practice with some astro-mojo? Let’s start by taking a look at the new moon solar eclipse. This powerful multifaceted transit provides a new perspective, replete with opportunities to lighten your load and elevate your life to stellar new heights.

See also Astrology: What You Have to Be Grateful for, Based on Your Sign

Here’s a snapshot of what’s going on in the heavens this weekend:

May New Moon

Every month, the sun and moon conjoin in an area of the sky, creating a new moon (“new” in the sense that the moon is not visible from our vantage point here on earth). Astrologically, this monthly new moon provides us with unique opportunities; we have a chance to make a fresh start infused with the power of that particular time of year and correlated zodiac sign. On May 20, the new moon aligns with the sun at zero degrees Gemini, illuminating new opportunities for each of us in the areas of communication, learning, writing, scholarly pursuits, and publishing, to name a few of the many possibilities.

See also Astrology: What Your Sign Says About Your Yoga + Fitness Personality

Solar Eclipse

Less frequent and more potent, solar eclipses occur when the moon, in its orbit around the Earth, comes between the sun and the Earth. A solar eclipse portends a time of releasing old patterns and creating new possibilities. On May 20, a new moon and solar eclipse occur during the same 24-hour period. What does that mean for you? A super-charged new moon that stirs up deep change and growth fueled by the fresh burst of the spring season.

The changes we experience around this solar eclipse are not likely to be small: one chapter in life closes as another begins. If the idea of making big transitions has you a bit on edge, know that this eclipse includes grace. Such numinous moments are rare; be ready to receive beauty even as you navigate shifting terrain.

See also Awaken to Your Potential for Change: The 5 Kleshas


The largest planet in our solar system orbits within a few degrees of the May new moon solar eclipse. Jupiter’s influence brings about expansion, optimism, and good luck. It encourages us to give our dreams the space to flourish. This is not a time to be timid; think big!

This is a good time to enrich your life, and your practice, in some way: Add a new asana or learn a new mantra. Open your mind to a rich new chapter of study and learning too — perhaps you’ll delve into the intriguing archetypes of human character associated with the zodiac, the sun and moon, and other celestial bodies. Allow your explorations to enhance your self-understanding; invite a fresh flush of energy to flow through your veins, and your mind. Keep a smile on your face too; a positive attitude breeds blessings, especially in times of change.

See also 7 Poses for the 7 Chakras: A Healing Sequence for the New Year


This new moon solar eclipse comes with the added excitement of Uranus in a stimulating influence called a sextile. This planet governs surprising developments. Uranus strikes like a lightning bolt; its effects are utterly unpredictable and wild. All bets are off when Uranus is involved; no telling what could happen. Expect the unexpected, and be prepared to move quickly when you feel that surge of excitement! The unexpected may arise in our yoga practice too. Perhaps we extend in some unanticipated new direction, or we move further than we thought possible, or we make some profound realization, while deep in a pose or in meditation, about the direction life is taking.

After the tumultuous and exciting influence of this new moon eclipse, you’ll have a better understanding of where your life is headed. For now, use this time to align your intentions for positive metamorphosis. Your yoga practice is a great tool to help you do just that.

See also 4 Mudras to Add More Meaning to Your Practice

Get Ready for Change and Start a New Yoga Practice

Whenever I want to give myself a fresh start, I turn my body—and my perspective—upside down. Inversions are magnificent for shaking loose worn out ways of looking at things.

Around May 20, invite in new awareness by practicing poses such as
Plow Pose, Headstand, Handstand and Shoulderstand.

This new moon solar eclipse occurs in Taurus—Gemini (Vedic astrology or Jyotish, and Western astrology, respectively). These signs are connected with the throat, neck, and shoulders. It’s a prime time to strengthen and release tension in these areas of the body. Also beware of “shouldering” too much responsibility; remember that grace and good luck are readily available now; let down some of the load and breathe freely.

To experience release in the shoulders, explore seated versions of Cow Face Pose and Eagle Pose, keeping your focus on the shoulders.

The darkness of the new moon solar eclipse is also an apt time to honor your inextinguishable inner sun by chanting the Gayatri mantra, “a prayer to divine light.”

To this prayer, I add these intentions specifically for this new moon solar eclipse:

May all the changes we experience at this time be benevolent and filled with grace. 

May we usher in good health and well-being, supportive communities, and loving kindness for all. 

May our practices be inspired by the gentle guidance of the sun and moon.


See also 6 Mindful Cardio Moves With Mantras + Music for Self Love

About Our Pro

Diane Booth Gilliam is a writer, E-RYT yoga teacher, astrologer, and creator of Yogastrology: Yoga Meets Astrology. Learn more on Diane’s website and on Facebook.