Ashtanga Yoga and Full and New Moon Days

24/02/2017 by Several

As Ashtanga Yoga Teacher and Student, the question of not practising in the days of Full and New Moon is of interest to me ...

We all know that Moons have an influence on tides and cultures ... as our body is 70% water Is an explanation with some foundation ...

I leave you some readings and a calendar with the days of Full and New Moon relative to 2017.

According to tradition it is necessary to rest in the 24H before the Peak of the Moon, for example, February 26

We have New Moon the Peak is 16:00:15 the rest will be from 25 to 16:00:15 until 26 to 16:00:15

Phases of the MoonDatePeak of the Moon
Full Moon12 January 201712:35:12
New Moon28 January 201701:08:19
Full Moon11 February 201701:33:58
New Moon26 February 201716:00:15
Full Moon12 March 201715:54:49
New Moon28 March 201704:59:26
Full Moon11 April 201708:09:17
New Moon26 April 201714:18:11
Full Moon10 May 201723:43:56
New Moon25 May 201721:46:22
Full Moon9 June 201715:11:15
New Moon24 June 201704:32:43
Full Moon9 Jully 201706:08:31
New Moon23 Jully 201711:47:26
Full Moon7 August 201720:12:47
New Moon21 August 201720:31:34
Full Moon6 September 201709:04:55
New Moon20 September 201707:30:46
Full Moon5 October 201720:41:56
New Moon19 October 201721:12:38
Full Moon4 November 201706:24:29
New Moon18 November 201712:42:52
Full Moon3 December 201716:48:30
New Moon18 December 201707:31:29


Both full and new moon days are observed as yoga holidays in the Ashtanga Yoga tradition. What is the reasoning behind this?

Like all things of a watery nature (human beings are about 70% water), we are affected by the phases of the moon. The phases of the moon are determined by the moon’s relative position to the sun. Full moons occur when they are in opposition and new moons when they are in conjunction. Both sun and the moon exert a gravitational pull on the earth. Their relative positions create different energetic experiences that can be compared to the breath cycle. The full moon energy corresponds to the end of inhalation when the force of prana is greatest. This is an expansive, upward moving force that makes us feel energetic and emotional, but not well grounded. The Upanishads state that the main prana lives in the head. During the full moon we tend to be more headstrong.

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 disinclined towards physical exertion.

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

Source: ashtangayogacenter

Why We Don’t Practice on Moon Days

It has always been the tradition in Ashtanga Yoga to rest from asana practice on new and full moon days (tithis). When asked why we shouldn’t practice on these days, Guruji was fond of saying, “Two ‘planets’ [grahas] one place, very dangerous.” What is meant by this is that on these days, the sun and the moon are in a line relative to the position of the earth. Consequently, their gravitational forces are all combined, and thus the effect of the ‘planets’ more pronounced. One definitive effect of this is that the ocean’s tides are higher and lower on these days. When āsana practice is done daily, rest days are important for regeneration; and the extra biweekly ‘moon day’ comes as a welcomed respite.

Why do Jois Moon Days Sometimes Seem a Day Early?

We use an Indian astrology system of calculation (rather than a simple astronomy calculation). In this system, it is the period of time prior to the point the moon becomes exactly new/full that is considered as the ‘moon day’ (called a tithi in Indian Astrology). Further more, in this system, the day is considered to begin at sunrise rather than mid-night.

Further explanation: In India, where yoga comes from, the term ‘moon day’ is a loose translation of the Sanskrit term ‘tithi,’ and would be more accurately translated as ‘lunar phase’ rather than ‘moon day.’ Each tithi is the time period it takes for the the moon to traverse 12° in the sky thus making 30 tithis (or lunar phases) per lunar cycle. These tithis begin at varying times of day and actually vary in duration from approximately 19 to 26 hours. What loosely gets termed the full and new ‘moon days’ – from our teacher’s (Sharath Jois’) perspective – are actually the 15th and the 30th tithis of this Indian Astrology (Jyotish) system.

Source: joisyoga

Others Lectures

Source: Importância dos dias de lua

Source: Efeitos dos dias de lua na pratica de Yoga

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