Yoga During The Full Moon?
The full moon brings with her a time of nurturing, connection and reverence of the divine feminine force in nature. In the yoga community, it is debated as to whether or not yogis should practice during the full moon given the effect the moon can have our bodies, our minds and our emotions. Some say that injuries are more likely during the time of the full moon, and that becoming grounded in your yoga practice is near impossible
A lunar cycle involves the rotation of the moon around the Earth, as it transitions through its various phases relative to the sun and the Earth. The full moon occurs when the moon is directly opposite the sun, with the Earth in between the two. From an Ashtanga Yoga perspective, moon days are days on which you should NOT practice yoga. The energy of the full moon, in the Ashtanga tradition, corresponds to the last point of an inhalation, or inward breath, where the force of pranic energy is the greatest. This full moon energy leaves us feeling energetic, alive and emotional, but does not leave us feeling grounded and secure. Ashtanga yoga makes a point of observing full moon days to become more aware of the cycles and rhythm of nature, allowing for a greater harmony between the yogi and nature itself.
In the Hatha Yoga tradition, one of the main aims is to balance our solar and lunar energies. In today’s modern yogic world, a lot of emphasis is placed on the solar energy, and asanas that place emphasis on the solar or masculine, in the quest for physical fitness and weight loss. The full moon can be a time in which to focus on the lunar aspect of ourselves, with cooling, gentle moon salutations and yin type practices taking precedence during this time. Chandra Namaskara, or moon salutation, can be found here & here.
So, should you practice during the full moon? This is totally up to you. Whether you choose to refrain from the physical postures during this time or you continue to practice, make sure to be honest with yourself and listen to your body. If your body calls for rest, grant it this time to recover with meditations or journaling, and if your body calls for movement, allow yourself to practice. Either way, take this time to reconnect with the sacred feminine energy of the moon.