Moon Path Yoga:
Kundalini Practices and Rituals
for Women to Align with the Lunar Cycle
by Sierra Hollister
Publisher: Shambhala Publications
Release Date: October 25, 2022
Reading the introduction, I immediately felt a kinship with the author and my curiosity and hopefulness for this book became a wish to find myself within the beauty, wisdom and care that the following excerpt sang of:
“No matter how you relate to the moon, know this for certain: she was with you before you were born, when you were just a whisper in the womb, and she will carry you through this life, always…”
“The moon path is the path that all who identify as women walk, whether they realize it or not. The moon path is the path of life, of light, of dark. To realize the moon path is to awaken to your deepest knowing of yourself as a lunar being.”
As I read this line in the introduction I felt as though a light had been shone into the depths of my soul, illuminating facets of my truest self. An excitement came over me to see if the promise suggested in the introduction would be fulfilled in the book, so I eagerly read on and discovered both the promise and the beauty within the pages.
The book opens with a practice list of yoga positions. Each position is photographed step by step as well as directions for each step. The written instructions are just as clear as speaking with an instructor. I appreciate that the photographs are in a plain setting so you can clearly see the progression of movement without any background distractions. The simplicity of the photos enhances the beauty and grace to be found within the flow of yoga movements.
While the book opens with a list of yoga positions it is meant to be read in a circular fashion; meaning start where you are in life or in your monthly cycle. There is a section for those who are currently on their bleeding cycle and those who are pregnant. The author encourages you to begin there if either of those life conditions fit your current situation. Otherwise, you are encouraged to begin with whatever section calls to you. Our author also takes the time to explain how the energy is still within the body even for those who may have undergone female surgeries.
The book includes definition blocks as well as tips, tools and illuminations on mantras, pranayama, mudra, bandhas and dhristi. The overarching theme of this book is to both connect and tune in with yourself off and on the mat. To take the cycles and rhythms of our bodies and map their connection to our mind, body and spirit through our personal connection to the moon and how the lunar cycles and energies frow through our bodies.
Twelve moon centers of the body are explained and a note to be patient and spend several months observing your pattern through deep inner listening, patience and intuition. The twelve centers of the body that the moon move through are the chin, lips, cheeks, earlobes, eyebrows, hairline, back of neck, breasts, navel, vagina, clitoris and inner thighs. A description of the affects of the moon on you as it travels these centers is within her book.
She also spends time identifying and explaining both the fixed and intermediary phases of the moon. The primary or fixed phases of the moon (these have clearly defined moments) are new moon, first quarter moon, full moon and last quarter moon. The intermediary phases or phases that are spans of time are waxing crescent, waxing gibbous, waning gibbous and waning crescent phases.
The book encloses a chart you can reproduce for tracking your cycle and recommends a journal to take brief thoughts, emotions, desires, hopes and needs. A few sentences not detailed log of everything is needed. It is also recommended that you begin a consistent practice in either a 40 day, 90 day or 120 day cycle. To assist in this journey there are rituals and recipes to add beauty and diversity to your personal practice and self-discovery.
There is so much to love about this book. I encourage all women to read this book. So much so that I intend to introduce my pre-teen daughter to this as part of her womanhood blessing when it is time. In the meantime I highly recommend this book for your personal library and to the female identifying people in your life as gifts.
As I read this book to review I found myself copying down a dozen quotes that touched my soul. A final quote from her book that speaks volumes about our connection to self is:
“Women might wear an air of mystery to others, but we should never be a mystery to ourselves.”
May the journey of self lead you to the beauty within.
About the Author
in her own words
I always feel driven, initially, when asked to share about myself, to begin with all the ways in which I am defined by relationship: Mother, daughter, sister, friend, student, teacher, advocate and activist. But really, those are just labels of relationship and while relationship is the shimmering tapestry that connects, shapes and holds all of us ~ I am also my own little spark outside of relationship.
Really, I am love-struck awe and wonder, occupying a body that delights in the physical ~ movement, running, yoga, digging into soil, traversing curvatures and chanting mantra, meditating ~ awakening again and again into the truth of our interconnectedness on this beautiful green and blue planet.
Given that this is an author page, you would be right to guess that words are one of my mediums. And given that you are taking the time to read an author page, I’m guessing that we share an appreciation of the power of words.
I am drawn to the ways in which words can give shape and hope, anchor meaning and reveal wisdom. Words hold the power to comfort as well as offer revelation ~ insight and confession ~ words can be emissaries of ancient teachings and sacred ways. I find that I am sustained equally by the lyrical words of love from my children as the wise and sometimes austere words of my teachers.
Love, movement, sacred and holy words cojoin and coalesce in the most extraordinary way, for me, in the practice of yoga. My relationship with yoga is approaching the 40 year mark yet I still remember my first class like it was yesterday!
I consider myself a “yoga universalist” ~ someone who reveres and appreciates the wisdom and practices from all lineages / traditions. I hold multiple certifications ~ a result of both love and curiosity about this huge thing we call yoga. On any given day, my practice could be drawn from vinyasa or restorative, ashtanga or hatha ~ yet always, every day ~ some aspect of my practice is sourced from the tantric tradition of kundalini. Kundalini is my “maha” practice, the great practice that lives most strongly in my heart.
Tantra teaches, along with Ayurveda, that the relationships we have with the moon, the sun and the earth are primary, important. These relationships are the foundation of our health and well-being. I have found this to be true and I look forward to sharing more about how to allow these relationships to shape our yoga practice.
In addition to sharing, through the written word, I share the practice of yoga ~ in studios in Asheville, at Warren Wilson College and on the platform of Yoga International. I sometimes travel and teach at festivals as well and I would love to come to your town and teach as well as talk about Moon Path Yoga.
If you would like me to visit your town, visit my website www.sierrahollisterliving.yoga and let’s arrange something.
About the Author:
Irisa MacKenzie joined PaganPages.org in 2022 writing the Mindful Living: A Connection of Body, Mind and Spirit column and book reviews. Irisa has taught meditation and mindfulness for 25 years. Her blog irisamackenzie.org continues her discussions on mindfulness, meditation and living a purpose driven life. Her Etsy shop Viking Woman Creations has products to support meditation, mindfulness and magic that support our body, mind and spirit connection to the universe.