It is traditional for Ashtanga Yoga practitioners to leave the days of the New and Full moon as practice free.
|Months||New moon||Full moon|
Why do we not do asana practice on moon days in the Ashtanga Yoga tradition?
Humans are 65-70% water, and as the moon phases influences the tides, it also influences us.
Both sun and moon have a gravitational pull on the earth. Their position creates energetic experiences that can be compared to the cycle of the breath.
The full moon energy corresponds to the end of the inhalation when prana is greatest. The expansive, and upward moving force that makes us feel energetic and emotional, but not well grounded. As stated in the Upanishads the main prana lives in the head. We are more headstrong during full moon.
The new moon is corresponds to the energy at the end of the exhalation when force of apana is greatest. Apana is the downward, contracting moving force that makes us feel calm and grounded but dense and disciplined towards asana practice.
The Farmers Almanac recommends planting seeds at new moon, as rooting force is strongest, and transporting at full moon when flowering force is strongest.
Practicing Ashtanga yoga over times makes us more in tune with natural cycles. Observing moon day is one way to recognize and honor the rhythms of nature, allowing us to live in greater harmony with it.