Ashtanga Yoga Tradition and Moon Days
Ashtanga Yoga has gained popularity around the world for its challenging and dynamic practice. However, in the Ashtanga Yoga tradition, full and new moon days are observed as rest days, and practitioners are advised to abstain from asana practice on these days.
Why no yoga on full moon, you may ask? Below are some of the reasons why Ashtanga Yoga practitioners have been honoring the moon cycle and taking a break from their practice on full and new moon days.
Tradition and Honor to the Moon Cycle
In the Ashtanga Yoga tradition, moon days are observed as rest days to honor and respect the moon cycle. The moon’s effect on our bodies, which are mostly water, is believed to be significant, and practicing yoga on full and new moon days is said to be counterintuitive to harmonizing with the natural cycles of the earth and the body. By taking a break from asana practice on moon days, practitioners are believed to show respect for the larger cycles of nature.
Body and Mind’s Need for Rest
The Ashtanga Yoga practice is known for its physical and mental demands. Practicing six days a week can be challenging, and the body and mind need rest to recover and rejuvenate. Full moon days are a reminder to slow down and take a break from the rigorous daily practice, providing practitioners the opportunity to listen to their bodies and minds, giving them the rest they need.
Pattabi Jois’ Recommendation
The founder of the Ashtanga Vinyasa tradition, Pattabi Jois, advised many ashtangis to rest on full moon days. He believed it was important to honor the moon cycle and take a break from the practice, acknowledging the impact it can have on the body and mind.
Sanskrit College’s Tradition
The Sanskrit College, where Pattabhi Jois was a student and professor, observed moon days as rest days. Ashtanga Yoga practitioners carry on the tradition by taking rest on full and new moon days.
It is worth noting that not all yoga practitioners observe full and new moon days as rest days, and some studios may remain open and offer restorative classes instead. However, in the Ashtanga Yoga tradition, full and new moon days are observed as rest days allowing practitioners to rest, recover, and honor the natural rhythms of the earth and the moon.
Reasons for Not Practicing Yoga during Full Moon
Yoga practitioners often wonder whether or not they should practice during a full moon. Some yoga schools advise against practicing around the full moon due to the moon’s gravitational pull. However, the tradition is not strictly followed by all yoga schools.
Higher and Lower Energy Levels
One reason for not practicing on moon days is the higher and lower energy caused by the alignment of the Sun and Moon in relation to the position of the Earth, which affects our bodies as they are made up of 70% water. During the full moon, the gravitational pull of the moon is stronger and can cause changes in the tides, ocean currents, and even the human body.
Belief in the Effects of the Moon
The tradition is partially motivated by the belief that the position of the moon can affect our mental states and lead to physical and mental injuries. Yoga practitioners may believe that practicing during the full moon can lead to destabilization of the mind and body, causing injuries. However, there is no empirical evidence to support these beliefs, and the effects of the moon on the human body remain largely unknown.
Confirmation Bias and Yoga Practice
Confirmation bias may play a large part in one’s belief in the effects of the moon on yoga practice. It is easy to attribute any feelings of instability or injury during a full moon practice to the moon’s pull, rather than other factors such as personal stress or physical issues. In other words, it is difficult to prove or disprove the effects of the moon on yoga practice.
Lack of Evidence
Despite the popular belief in the effects of the moon on yoga practice, there is no evidence to support a relationship between injury and lunar phases during yoga practice. Yoga practice is a safe and beneficial activity that can be performed at any time of the month. The popular explanation of an excess of prana due to the gravitational pull of the moon is based on flawed science and mythology.
Observing Moon Days for Greater Harmony with Nature
The Ashtanga yoga tradition recommends abstaining from practice on the days of the full and new moon to honor the moon cycle and live in greater harmony with nature. This tradition recognizes the moon cycle’s powerful influence on the tides, plants, and animal life, encouraging practitioners to align their practice with the cycles of nature.
Observing moon days in Ashtanga Yoga is a way to recognize and honor the natural rhythms of the earth and live in greater harmony with it. Not only does it allow us to appreciate the beauty and power of the moon, but it also helps us connect more deeply with our inner selves and our place in the world.
Rest days are essential for rejuvenation, restoration, healing, and growth in yoga practice. It allows our muscles, joints, and nervous system to recover from the intense physical and mental demands of yoga practice. By taking a break from our regular practice, we allow ourselves to rest and heal, which can support us in developing greater strength and flexibility over time.
Moon Days and Astrology
While the observance of moon days in Ashtanga Yoga is based on honoring the cycles of nature, some believe that observing these rest days can have astrological benefits. According to Vedic Astrology, certain periods during the moon cycle can be challenging for our health and well-being, and practicing yoga during these times may exacerbate these challenges.
By taking rest on moon days, we can mitigate the negative effects of certain astrological influences and protect our well-being. However, it’s worth noting that the astrological beliefs surrounding moon days are a subject of debate in the yoga community, with some practitioners rejecting these beliefs as superstition.
The Benefits of Practicing in Harmony with Nature
Practicing yoga over time can help us become more attuned to natural cycles and live in greater harmony with them. By observing moon days and practicing in alignment with the cycles of nature, we can deepen our connection to the world around us and cultivate a greater sense of peace and well-being.
|Benefits||How to Achieve|
|Better sleep||By aligning yourself with the natural cycles of the earth, you may find that you sleep more soundly.|
|Greater self-awareness||Practicing yoga can help you become more attuned to your body’s needs and more in touch with your inner self.|
|Improved Physical Health||By taking rest on moon days and practicing in harmony with the cycles of nature, you can support your body’s natural healing processes and promote physical health and well-being.|
Ultimately, whether you choose to observe moon days in your yoga practice is a personal decision. However, by practicing in harmony with the cycles of nature, we can deepen our connection to the world around us and support our well-being on physical, mental, and spiritual levels.
Beliefs and Superstitions Associated with Full Moon and Yoga
The full moon has been associated with many beliefs and superstitions throughout history, and this extends to yoga as well. While some yoga schools recommend practicing during the full moon to harness its power, others advise against it. Here are some facts to help you understand the reasoning behind these beliefs:
- Some yoga schools advise against practicing around the full moon due to the moon’s gravitational pull. The moon’s gravity can affect the water in our bodies, causing us to feel more emotional and unstable.
- Some yoga traditions recommend abstaining from yoga during the full moon, while others encourage practicing to release what no longer serves and set intentions. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and it ultimately depends on the individual’s personal beliefs and preferences.
- The observance of moon days may have more to do with astrology and superstition than with yoga. In some traditions, moon days are considered inauspicious and are treated with caution and respect.
- Full moon and new moon days are rest days in Ashtanga Yoga Tradition. This is because the full moon is associated with excess energy and the end of inhalation, while the new moon is associated with release and the exhalation.
- Full moons correspond to the end of inhalation when the force of prana is greatest, making us headstrong and emotional. During this time, it can be beneficial to focus on grounding and finding balance.
- Full moon energy corresponds to the top of inhalation while new moon energy corresponds to the exhalation, and during these days, we may feel more energetic or lethargic, respectively. This is because the energy of the moon affects our energy levels as well.
- Many Ashtanga studios close on moon days and follow the astrological lunar calendar. This allows practitioners to honor the energy of the moon and take a break if needed.
Significance of Full Moon in Yoga Practice
Yoga is known for its transformative power in helping people connect with their inner selves and the universe around them. The full moon is a powerful and intense time that can have a profound impact on our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Here are some facts about the significance of practicing yoga during the full moon:
- Practicing yoga during the full moon can bring new sensations and feelings, and it’s important to accept and open up to the energy of the moon.
- Full moon yoga events, with live music, are available for those who want to practice in a group setting.
- Moving with care whenever feeling super perky and full of energy can result in a less risky yoga practice that can be sustained over the course of a person’s life.
- Full moon energy is expansive and upward-moving, while new moon energy is contracting and downward-moving.
- Full moon energy corresponds to the end of inhalation when the force of prana is greatest, making us headstrong and emotional.
- Full moon energy corresponds to the energy of the full moon, making us headstrong but ungrounded.
It is important to note that not everyone may feel the effects of the full moon equally. Some people may feel more energized and creative, while others may feel moody and emotional during this time. However, there are ways to harness and channel these energies through yoga practice.
One popular way to honor the full moon in yoga practice is through the moon salutation (Chandra Namaskar). This is a sequence of poses that helps to balance the feminine, receptive energy associated with the moon.
Another way to incorporate the energy of the full moon into your practice is by meditating on the moon or chanting mantra. This can help to calm the mind and connect with the lunar energy.
Effects of Moon on Human Body during Yoga Practice
Yoga is a practice that has been associated with holistic health for many years. Ashtanga Vinyasa, a popular yoga tradition, has a convention of not practicing on full or new moon days, and this has led to many questions and misconceptions about the effects of the moon on human bodies during yoga.
Here are some key facts about the effects of the moon on human bodies during yoga practice:
Founder of the Ashtanga Vinyasa tradition, Pattabi Jois, advises many ashtangis to rest on full moon days. However, it is worth noting that this convention is not part of all yoga teachings.
The Ashtanga yoga tradition observes full and new moon days as rest days due to the moon’s effect on our bodies, which are mostly water. Human bodies are composed of 70% water, and this makes us highly sensitive to the moon’s influence.
One of the reasons for not practicing on moon days is the higher and lower energy caused by the alignment of the Sun and Moon in relation to the position of the Earth, which affects our bodies as they are made up of 70% water. This can lead to imbalances and discomfort during yoga practice.
The phases of the moon affect human beings due to the gravitational pull of the sun and moon on the earth. This can cause fluctuations in our energy levels, moods, and sleep patterns.
Prana, the life force energy in our bodies, is greatest at the end of inhalation and corresponds to the energy of the full moon. This can make us feel headstrong but ungrounded, which can be challenging during yoga practice.
Apana, the downward and outward flow of energy in our bodies, is greatest at the end of exhalation and corresponds to the energy of the new moon. This energy can be calming and grounding, but it can also leave us feeling dense and heavy.
Yin yoga is a form of yoga that encourages the release of connective tissue and taps into Modern Meridian Theory. This involves holding poses for several minutes to allow the muscles to relax and release tension. Yin yoga can be helpful during moon phases when energy levels are low.
If you’re like many yoga practitioners, you may have heard that it’s best to avoid practicing yoga during the full moon. This is because the full moon is thought to be a time of heightened energy, which can make us feel anxious, emotional, and ungrounded. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to skip your yoga practice altogether. Instead, you might consider trying a different style of yoga that is better suited to the energy of the full moon. One such style is yin yoga.
What is Yin Yoga?
Yin yoga is a slow, meditative style of yoga that involves holding poses for several minutes at a time. Unlike more dynamic styles of yoga, which focus on movement and building strength, yin yoga is all about release and softening. It targets the connective tissue in your body, including your ligaments, tendons, and fascia, promoting flexibility and a deep sense of relaxation.
Why is Yin Yoga Good for Full Moon Energy?
As mentioned above, the full moon corresponds to the end of inhalation, which can leave us feeling energetic and emotional. This is why some people find it difficult to practice more active styles of yoga during this time. Yin yoga, on the other hand, is a much more inward-focused practice that can help to ground us and release any pent-up emotions we may be experiencing.
How to Practice Yin Yoga during Full Moon
If you’re new to yin yoga, it’s important to approach the practice with an open mind and a willingness to let go of any expectations you may have. Here are some tips to get you started:
|1||Choose a quiet, comfortable space where you won’t be disturbed.|
|2||Use props such as blocks, blankets, and bolsters to support your body in each pose.|
|3||Focus on your breath, taking slow, deep inhales and exhales to help you relax into each pose.|
|4||Hold each pose for 3-5 minutes, being mindful of any sensations in your body.|
|5||Release each pose slowly, taking time to notice how your body feels afterwards.|