An Ayurvedic Moon Routine: Living in Alignment with the Lunar Cycle
As the “science of life,” Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of honoring life’s many cycles and aligning with nature’s rhythms through our habits and routines.
Thanks to Ayurveda’s wisdom, we’ve come to understand the powerful benefits of a daily routine, which leverages the energies of the sun throughout the day, as well as a seasonal routine, which supports us in maintaining balance throughout the year.
Now let’s dive into the rhythmic tide of the moon. Each phase of the lunar cycle aligns with a different dosha and offers its own unique and beautiful energetic qualities to the whole.
Tuning in to the monthly lunar cycle is a practice that is available to all. It’s worth noting, however, that for those who menstruate, there is an internal 28–day cycle that is closely connected to the lunar tides. If your menstrual cycle does not align with the external clock of the moon, you are invited to prioritize your internal rhythm instead.
If this is the case for you, you can still follow the lunar road map outlined below—just correlate the moon phases to your own cycle in the following way:
- New Moon: menstrual phase (days 1–5, beginning on day one of your period)
- Waxing Moon: follicular phase (days 6–13 of your cycle)
- Full Moon: ovulatory phase (days 14–16 of your cycle)
- Waning Moon: luteal phase (days 17–28 or your cycle)
The new moon occurs when the moon is positioned between the sun and the earth, causing the illuminated side of the moon to face away from us. When this happens, the moon becomes a dark circle that is almost invisible.
During a new moon, the sky is dark and we are called into our most introspective phase of the month. Ancient cultures referred to these dark days as the “sleeping moon” or the “resting moon,” and considered it a time for deep restoration and renewal.
Vata is the dosha most at play during the new moon, bringing elements of spaciousness and heightened creativity to your body and mind.
Take a moment to review the past 28 days in your mind and acknowledge anything you’ve overcome, achieved, or released—personally or professionally. Then, leverage the creativity of vata to dream up a new potential for the upcoming cycle.
The new moon is a time to be intentional about slowing down—embrace spaciousness where you can, rest more, and engage in gentle movement such as walking or restorative yoga.
Enjoy an Ashwagandha Latte or make your own herbal infusion that includes tulsi, chamomile, ginger, passionflower, and raspberry leaf. Prepare these herbs as a delicious tea or make an infusion that you can strain into your bathwater for an herbal soak.
The waxing moon phase is the period of time between the new moon and the full moon, when we witness the light of the moon glowing brighter as more of it becomes visible each night.
Kapha is the dosha most at play as the energy builds. Because this grounding element embodies structure and stability, this phase of the month is focused on regeneration, strength, and resiliency.
The waxing moon is a time to be thoughtful and steady as we gather momentum toward reaching our goals. It’s the perfect time to research and strategize, organize and plan.
Get into the details of what you want to get done this month, then create systems that will support you in taking action. Again, this might be in the personal or the professional realm.
To support the process, you can attune your mind with ten minutes of candle gazing first thing in the morning. Then infuse your movement practice with the energy of transforming creativity into action with energizing dance or vinyasa yoga.
The full moon takes place when the earth is positioned between the moon and the sun, so from our perspective we see the entirety of the illuminated side of the moon.
This is the moment when the moon appears as a bright, round circle in the sky, and its cool lunar glow is cast across the earth at night. It’s almost common knowledge that during a full moon, energies are at their most heightened intensity—sometimes even making it difficult to sleep!
While the energy can sometimes feel dramatic out in the world, there is also a celebratory, passionate, and connective energy available for us to leverage on a personal level. Pitta is the dosha that is most present during the full moon, so this is a great time to engage your focus and start to get really activated around your ideas.
This may mean pitching your idea to someone or saying yes to more networking events, social gatherings, or romantic dates. During this lunar phase, you’ll have the most energy you’ll have all month long, so this is the moment to get into your party mode—and your most intense workouts!
Indulge in life’s pitta-soothing pleasures by weaving fresh fruit (like mango and dates) into your diet, taking Chyavanprash, spritzing with rose water, hanging out near water, and basking in the gentle silvery moonlight.
The waning moon phase is the period during which the full moon fades to the new moon and less of the moon is visible each night. As the moon’s milky light fades, we are called into the spirit of completion and release.
The days right after the full moon are a great time to leverage any lingering pitta, and the extra focused energy it affords, to follow through on the ideas and strategies you’ve been working with so far this month. Energetically, you’re primed for grounding and building movement practices like pilates, strength training, and weight lifting.
Then, as the new moon approaches once again, begin to release the reins and shift your attention towards receiving—leaning into the softness of trust and allowance.
Let Pleasure Flow
As you weave the rhythm of the lunar cycle into your life, think about ways to make it fun, sensual, and full of delight. Color code your calendar, share movement practices and yummy treats with your lover or friends, and as always, give yourself the much deserved permission to rest.
These suggestions aren’t intended to be yet another thing you have to stress about, but rather a way to live with more presence and alignment—which ultimately creates more pleasure and ease. Enjoy!