First new moon of 2020

“The moon will guide you through the night with her brightness, but she will always dwell in the darkness, in order to be seen.”

-Shannon L. Alder

Sometimes we go through dark moments; night leads to day, winter leads to spring, and any so-called funk we might find ourselves in won’t last forever. If there’s something that motherhood teaches us on a gut level, it’s the real, felt truth of the old adage, “This too, shall pass.” I love the moon for reminding us that change is a constant, and yoga teaches us how to flow with that change.

On the eve of the first new moon of 2020, I wanted to pause and embrace that momentary darkness, not for the sake of the darkness itself, but to honor the fact that darkness is what makes light possible. A candle seems to shine brighter in a dim or dark setting than it does in full daylight.

Lately my daughter has been afraid of the dark when (or, more like if) she wakes up in the middle of the night. I remember being afraid of the dark as a child as well, and this is what I remember about it: feeling alone, vulnerable, and surrounded by vague or unknown forms (is that a shadow? What is that shadow and it is dangerous?). Now as an adult, I sleep better in a dark room than one with a nightlight. We get used to something once we realize it’s not a threat.

In yoga we talk about inner light, but to sense that inner light we must close our eyes and guess what? That creates momentary darkness. Just some food for thought. Close your eyes when you practice yoga; close them in the shower; close them for a moment when you are resting on the couch; close them when you give someone a hug; close them when you want to sense your body and breath more, even if just for a few seconds. It’s an easy practice, but it brings your senses alive and hits your reset button.

Close your eyes and sense into your deepest intentions on this new moon, just before the energy and light begin to build again. My intention? To pause a few times during the day for one deep breath; that is all. What’s your intention for your yoga practice today? Let the moon remind us of these little, meditative pauses. Om, shanti.