No Practice On The Moon

Today is a full moon! (At least in Chicago) so that means no Mysore practice. And for me, probably a much needed rest – I am feeling quite sore!

In the tradition of the Ashtanga system whenever there is a full or new moon, (along with Saturdays and women on their ‘ladies’ holiday’ also should avoid inversions and any practice typically within the first 2-3 days depending on their flow),  it is observed as a day of rest. But, why?

The phases of the moon are determined by the moon’s relative position to the sun. Full moons occur when they are opposite to the sun. New moons occur when they are in line with the sun. Both the sun and moon exert a gravitational pull on the earth. Like all substances made up of water, including humans since we are made up of about 70% water, the phases of the moon have an affect on us as well.

The moon cycles can also be related to our breath cycles. The full moon energy correlates to the inhalation. This vast, rising force makes us feel more active and emotional yet not very well-grounded. Perhaps Balancing poses can become quite tricky 🙂

The new moon relates more with the exhalation. This descending moving force makes us feel more relaxed and grounded yet more heavy and fatigued toward physical exertion.

Some of us may notice subtle changes in ourselves or others…noticing people acting “out of character”, or that there’s a “different energy in the air”, or perhaps everyone around you is feeling tired and sleepy. Take notice, maybe it’s a full or new moon.

Practicing Ashtanga develops our attunement to the natural cycles of the environment, creating our ever present link with nature.

Do you notice any changes in yourself during full or new moons?

I noticed my dreams were ALL OVER the place last night, very active and not very grounded at all – maybe it’s the full moon effect!

 2012 Full Moon Dates  New Moon Dates

August 1 (Wednesday)

August 17 (Friday)

August 31 (Friday)

September 15 (Saturday)

September 29 (Saturday)

October 15 (Monday)

October 29 (Monday)         

November 13 (Tuesday)

November 28 (Wednesday)          

December 13 (Thursday)

December 28 (Friday)



2 thoughts on “No Practice On The Moon

  1. Thanks for sharing. This reminds me how much I love the Ashtanga practice. I did do it for a bit while I was in Kansas City for 6 months and it really pushed me into a deep love for yoga. But since moving so much (long story) I’ve let my Ashtanga practice slide and in has come more Vinyasa flows at any studio I can find nearby. I think I need to get my David Swenson manual out and start implementing a Mysore practice at home 🙂 Love & light x

    • 🙂 I can relate. I took a long time away from Ashtanga and was doing lots of Vinyasa flow as well. I think Ashtanga is good for me in the sense that it is grounding. It brings me back to a place of foundation and structure. Reminding me that I’m always a student, a beginner in many ways, there’s always time to ‘go back’, ‘restart’ and get back in the flow. It’s never too late to bust out that manual 🙂 I look forward to reading more about your journey with yoga – thank you for reading and sharing! Here’s a link to one of my teacher’s blogs – she wrote this back in 99′ about her Ashtanga journeys. This one is a recap on a workshop with David Swenson.

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