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
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
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 honor the rhythms of nature so we can live in greater
harmony with it.