New and Full Moon days are traditional rest days in the Ashtanga system of yoga. Students of Ashtanga who practice six days a week notice the beneficial effects with their practice due to the twice-monthly Moon days of rest.
Lunar cycles affect the subtle energy systems of our body. We’ve all heard of people feeling or acting “off” around a full Moon. The new and full moons are the strongest points of the lunar cycle. Our energy is more strongly affected on these days and it is believed that the risk of injury during practice increases. It is also said that injuries suffered on moon days take longer to heal. On the new Moon, the body’s energy is more grounded, but we usually feel heavy and inflexible. During the full Moon the body’s energy is more un-grounded (to reconnect with the Earth try practicing Moon Salutations prior. see previous blog for Chandra Namaskar sequence).
So enjoy a day of rest from your Ashtanga or more active yoga practice during this new moons this month. If you don’t practice Ashtanga but are feeling sluggish at that time, give meditation, journaling, gentle or Yin yoga a try.