Why Don’t We Practice Ashtanga on Moon Days?
Practice Ashtanga on Moon Days?
Why don’t we practice Ashtanga on Moon Days (Full Moon and New Moon)? You will find that traditional Ashtanga shalas and studios are closed on Moon Days because Moon Days present us with an opportunity to take a break from our asana practice and reflect on the natural, subtle changes we experience on these days.
The human body is approximately 2/3 water. There are gravitational forces exerted on us by the Earth, Sun and Moon. These forces create shifts in our energy. The shifts in energy are most prevalent and powerful during the full moon and new moon. On these days, it is important to take a break from your asana practice to develop an awareness of these natural shifts in energy.
A Different type of Yoga Practice on Moon Days
Just because you are not practicing Ashtanga on Moon Days (or any type of asana) does not mean that you aren’t practicing “yoga.” In fact, it is very important to be in tuned to the mental aspects of the practice during this time. Meditate on how the full moon or new moon is affecting you, your friends, family, nature (i.e., if you live near the ocean, examine the tidal effects,) and society at large (i.e., on full moon nights, trips to the emergency room and police arrests dramatically increase.)
The lucid practitioner strives to harness their mind’s energy. Once this sense of still — yet keenly aware intuition is developed, you can observe how mother nature (in this case, the moon) has both subtle and obvious effects on all living things.
In my experience, I have felt that the full moon builds a strong and sometimes uncertain energy. On the contrary, the new moon creates a grounded but heavy energy and a sense of a new beginning and a clean slate.