Wednesday, April 6, 2011

YIOM #1 - Thoughts on the moon

I love astrology but I often get googly eyed looks when I bring it up. Is it so strange to believe that the sun, the moon and the stars affect humans? I think not and yoga philosophy supports that theory. As a yogi, I understand that everything, EVERYTHING, is interconnected. Mind, body, breath, myself and other people, intentions and actions, celestial bodies and human bodies.

We pay homage to these important forces in yoga by practicing surya namaskara, or sun salutations, at the start of each day. We also observe "moon days", where we take rest from practicing asana. In Ashtanga, this is a very important tradition, where no yogis practice on the new moon or on the full moon.This is because the moon has a strong pull, or effect, on bodies of water. The moon affects the ocean, the tides, and since we are 70% water, humans as well.

A full moon has an uprooting effect, causing lightness and heightened frenetic energy. On a full moon we often feel emotional and maybe even unpredictable. Hospital emergency rooms experience more visits during full moons and animals tend to get antsy and howly. It is believed that on a full moon, we are more prone to injury if we practice asana, and more apt to push to far, too fast, be out of balance etc. Therefore it is best to take rest on this day. The farmers almanac even suggests transplanting plants on a full moon, since grounding forces are lessened.

Conversely, a new moon has a very grounding effect. So much so that we tend to feel heavy, lethargic and not energetic at all. Practicing asana on a new moon would cause extra fatigue on the mind and body, so again, it's best to rest on this day. Farmers are advised to plant seed on the new moon, because of this grounding force, securing the seed into the earth.

I love the following metaphor: A full moon is like the top of an inhale, where we are airy, at our maximum energy level, full of light and ecstatic. A new moon is much like the point at the end of an exhale, when we are feeling grounded, empty with lower energy and calmness. Each month, the celestial universe takes a deep breath in and then a deep breath out, deep and slow, about 4 weeks per cycle, pushing and pulling us humans along with it. As our own yoga practice progresses we become more and more aware of how these forces are part of our own cycle and that the sun, moon and stars most certainly do affect us.

4 comments:

  1. Yes i love this!! i am currently studying the chakras which also bring in astrology and the importance of the planets on our bodies. The sun and the moon affect our seasons, tidal pattern and so much more - why is it a surprise that it affects us humans too? =) loveee this

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  2. This is just beautiful!:

    I love the following metaphor: A full moon is like the top of an inhale, where we are airy, at our maximum energy level, full of light and ecstatic. A new moon is much like the point at the end of an exhale, when we are feeling grounded, empty with lower energy and calmness. Each month, the celestial universe takes a deep breath in and then a deep breath out, deep and slow,

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  3. love this. that last paragraph is gorgeous. i don't think it is strange at all the interconnectedness of everything; it's actually quite beautiful.

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  4. A teacher last week mentioned that our energy was probably crazy because of the new moon. I feel really tired lately. Love the metaphor of the new moon and the full moon. Peace

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