On a watery piscerian New Moon, as rain fell steadily on an Autumn eve I left the comforts of home and headed to Studio Sangha where I had promised myself I would go out into the wet wet night and honor the New Moon by taking up an opportunity to reflect, move, stretch, meditate and allow myself to sit in pool of consciousness to see what may swim to the surface. Adelle Leonard’s smile greeted me at the door and we had a chat about what to expect for the next 1.5hrs. I noticed this calm but bubbly Canadian took her time to speak with each of us and the atmosphere was one of anticipation. I immediately felt guided towards a calm inner state, reflected by the phase of the moon – when she resides in a New phase the vibe is one of going inward, diving deep and becoming reflective as opposed to the energy of a Full moon which encourages a more outward, vital embodiment, a feeling of celebration and creation.
We made ourselves comfortable and I made the admission to Adelle that I had not experienced a Yoga Nidra class before. She spent time describing to me the process of conscious awareness of each part of the body and the benefits of how a relaxed state affects our overall well being through being restorative in nature.
We began with a guided meditation, which included a few words about the moon in particular and how each sun sign can influence the phase of the moon and in turn, us. I closed my eyes to Adelle’s softly spoken words as the rain tinkled down the pipe outside, gushing into the drain with a sound which mesmerized and suited the vibe perfectly. We imagined our bodies surrounded by water as we relaxed into the class. Words such as fluid/movement/depth were spoken along with watery imagery and an invitation to note the end of the astrological year as the moon moves from the final sign of Pisces and into a new cycle with Aries towards the end of March.
We took a short break and I made some notes in my journal which we had been encouraged to bring along – Adelle also provided pens and paper – of messages and reflections which had come up, given the opportunity. Then we began the practice of Nidra which was immensely relaxing and enjoyable for me as a first timer. We relaxed each part of our bodies and focused our awareness of the sense of feeling in our bodies. As someone who is too often in my head – as many of us are – this was relieving to experience despite my inner chatter turning the volume up I still found an edge of peace and stillness within myself.
The class ended in some more discussion around the New Moon and an invitation to Journal our thoughts and feelings. Adelle especially encourages drawing of imagery – gently reminding us we need not be a talented artist. I enjoyed letting my thoughts flow onto the paper, noting down key words again such as Dissolving and Becoming. Finally, we were invited to share our thoughts and many of us felt brave enough to do so, mainly thanks to the gentle, safe and warm atmosphere which had been created by Adelle and the calm and sure flow of her class. The class wrapped up with each of us taking a turn to pull a card from the beautiful animal totem guidance card pack which Adelle had bought. She mentioned they had been cleansed and charged by the previous Full Moon. I pulled a couple of cards which fit well for me regarding my month ahead and the next lunar cycle. I had felt my frustrations as feeling slightly stagnant or stuck, and having had some dark thoughts around after all the perceived progress I felt I had made, not resulting in as much change as I thought I would like. The two cards I pulled were The Horse representing self mastery and wisdom and the Earthworm – representative of frustrations and slow progress – I read the quote with a feeling of understanding regarding the Earthworm: ‘A beginners mind offers valuable insights.’ Indeed. And as I left the warm, cosy yoga studio and went back out into the warm, wet night, I noticed the Earthworms who had come out to greet the New Moon and the darkness of the night, to let themselves be covered by a different kind of substance instead of the Earth, they bathed in the waters that had fallen from the heavens above.
Maybe self mastery and the wisdom of the cosmos isn’t as far away from us as we sometimes bemoan, but can be found in the small droplets that sometimes grace us with their gift of life giving water. It was a beautiful class which carried us along in a ritual of honoring the moon, ourselves and one another.
Thank you to Adelle, for creating such a class and to Studio Sangha for hosting and supporting this event. I look forward to the final set of moons with the Full Moon on 21st of March, followed by the April New Moon and Full Moon.
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Bio: Adelle Leonard is a yoga & meditation instructor, retreat leader, entrepreneur, nature lover and avid traveler. Her yoga journey began at a young age, being introduced to meditation and asana by her parents, and in her early 20’s became a regular practice in her life. As the physical journey became a means to promote self exploration and her practice evolved she was inspired to share this journey with others and in 2010 began on her path as an instructor. Influenced by the connection of mind, body & breath her teachings are focused on creating an accessible and aligned practice that gently guides individuals on a journey from the physical to the subtle body. Certified in Hatha, Vinyasa, Meditation, Restorative and Chakra Yoga, her classes are weaved with creative movement, supportive alignment and clean, clear instruction with soul.
Hailing from Northern Ontario, Canada and currently residing in Queenstown, New Zealand, Adelle continues to study many modalities of yoga and teaches weekly studio sessions, monthly moon gatherings and a variety of yoga workshops. Her latest endeavor is the creation of Revival Retreats – curating and hosting immersive retreats around the world. She is an ambitious explorer dedicated to living in rhythm and is deeply captivated by nature and the cycles of the moon.