Yoga and the Moon’s Connection

Yoga and the Moon’s Connection

  • Posted by Kaleigh
  • On December 4, 2017
  • Comments

Did you know yoga and the moon are deeply connected? Being about 70% water, we are affected by the moon phases according to the laws of gravity. In Ashtanga, we take rest from our daily Mysore practice on full & new moon days. At The Front, we observe these moon holidays for our Mysore program, but our other yoga classes are still in session on moon days! View the 2018 moon day calendar on our yoga page.

Being about 70% water, we are gravitationally affected by the phases of the moon. The phases of the moon are produced by the it’s relative position to the sun. Full moons manifest when they are in opposition and new moons when they are in conjunction. Both the sun and moon exert a gravitational pull on the earth. Their relative positions create different energetic patterns that can be compared to our breath cycle. The full moon energy correlates to the end of inhalation when the force of prana is greatest. Prana is an expansive, upward moving force that makes us feel energetic and emotional, but not well grounded. Yogic texts state that the main prana lives in the head. During the full moon we tend to be more headstrong and thus prone to injury or accidents from overexertion or not being grounded.

The new moon energy corresponds to the end of exhalation when the force of apana is greatest. Apana is a contracting, downward moving force that makes us feel calm and grounded, but dense and sedentary; thus we may be more susceptible to injury due to laziness and not being attentive to correct technique.

People all over the world have traditionally observed moon cycles for farming. The Farmers' Almanac recommends planting seeds at the new moon when the rooting force is strongest and transplanting at the full moon when the flowering force is strongest.

MYTHOLOGY AND THE MOON

In Indian mythology, one of the most common names for the moon diety is Chandra (चन्द्र). There are many stories to enjoy concerning Chandra. One story is about Ganesha and the moon:

According to legend, Ganesha was returning home on his mount (a mouse) late on a full moon night after a mighty feast. On the journey back, a snake crossed their path and frightened by it, his mount ran away dislodging Ganesha in the process. An overstuffed Ganesha fell to the ground and his stomach broke open, spilling out all the sweets he had eaten. On observing this, Chandra laughed at Ganesha. Ganesha lost his temper and broke off one of his tusks and flung it straight at the moon hurting him and cursed him so that he would never be whole again. This legend accounts for the moon's waxing and waning including a big crater on the moon, a dark spot, visible even from earth.

Practicing yoga over time makes us more attuned to natural cycles. Observing moon days is one way to recognize and honor the rhythms of nature so we can live in greater harmony with it.

BY SARAH JANE 
YOGA DIRECTOR AT THE FRONT CLIMBING CLUB