I want to share a powerful yogic practice for women that I have known about for a long time, but am only now beginning to dive into- the experience of our Moon Centers.
According to yogic philosophy, both men and women are highly effected by the moon and have "moon centers", parts of their bodies which are greatly influenced by the shifting phases of the moon.
Men have just one moon center: the chin. It is recommended for men to allow the hair on their chin to grow to its natural length in order to create stability in the psyche; men are highly sensitive to the moons energy, and their nervous systems may have a difficult time handling it. The hair on the chin softens this lunar effect and will make a man feel more stable and grounded.
Women on the other hand, have eleven moon centers. Every 2 1/2 days the moons energy stimulates a different part of her body. This links powerfully to her sexual energy, and if she learns to trace and come into relationship with the cycle of this energy, she can tap into a reservoir of energy to use for healing, growth, creativity- and well, sex! Additionally, each moon center holds a specific attribute, and embracing these attributes can lead to a deeper sense of wholeness in the female psyche.
Below is an explanation of the woman's moon centers, taken from A Woman's Book of Yoga: Embracing Our Natural Life Cycles by Hari Kaur Khalsa and Machelle Seibel, MD. (Which I really recommend reading. Besides the rather out- of-date references to soy as being super nutritious for women, this book has some great wisdom for women of all stages of life.)
The Eleven Moon Centers and the Qualities They Represent:
Hairline: the arc line-- steadiness, stability, divine clarity, reality
Cheeks: unpredictability, emotional stability
Lips: Verbal, interactive, communicative
Ear Lobes: intelligence, concern with values and ethics
Back of the neck: sensitivity, romance
Breasts: divine compassion, giving (can be to the point of foolishness)
Belly button/Back: insecure, exposed, vulnerable
Inner thighs: confirmative, verifying, affirming
Eyebrows: illusionary, imaginative, visionary
Clitoris: external, talkative in social situations
Vagina: depth, sharing in personal or cultural cycle
Each woman has her own "map" or sequence as she moves through the moon centers, and it ultimately takes 28 days to cycle through all of them, thus corresponding with the blueprint of the 28 day menstrual cycle.
The teachings of kundalini yoga have several different meditations to help a woman locate her moon centers. Oftentimes a few of the centers of their inherent qualities will feel numb or missing from a woman's life due to societal expectations and past traumas.
Sit for a few minutes every day, sensing, and ask yourself "In which of these eleven places to I feel the most energy or activity?" Ask yourself this question for 28 days and see if you can begin to map out your own cycle. It may take more than one phase of the moon to connect with all your moon centers, but starting with one, right now, will yield insight into understanding your self.
As you hone in on your moon centers, I'd love to hear from you.
What feelings, talents or ideas do you see being unearthed as a result of living in closer rhythm with your moon centers? Is there a shift in your sexual energy or libido?
I am going through this process myself for the next 28 days, because yogic philosophy only becomes truth through the wisdom of personal experience.
P.S Want to continue the exploration of yogic teachings for women's health, sexuality and freedom? Check out the next round of Restoring Power, A 40 Day Kundalini Transformation. Signup to be notified for the beginning of our next session in April!