There are a few schools of thought on whether or not to practice yoga during the full moon and what kind of yoga to practice during different phases of the moon. So, in honor of tonight’s Supermoon, the largest of the year, I thought I’d provide some insight.
We know that the sea level of earth’s oceans rise and fall twice a day — high & low tide — due to the gravitational forces exerted by the sun and the moon. The full moon occurs when it is directly opposite the sun, with the earth in between. During a full moon, tides are high. During a Supermoon in which the moon is at it’s perigee (closest to the earth), tides will be exceptionally high — including the tides within ourselves.
We are the Tide
The human body is more than 60 percent water. Blood is 92 percent water, the brain and muscles are 75 percent water, and bones are about 22 percent water. So, as water makes up such a large portion of our being, it’s no surprise we’re affected by the moon’s gravitational pull as forces of nature. Legends have existed for centuries about the moon’s effect on human behavior in stories of werewolves and ‘luna’ tics, but if you observe the synergy between the lunar cycle of the moon to the cycle of breath, you’ll better understand the universal symbiosis as something that can be harnessed, and not as something that “happens to us”.
The full, bright moon beams with energy and life, just as your fullest inhalation. Alive with prana, you are in sync. And just as the beginning of an exhale brings release and purification, so does the waning moon.
Energies are intense at a full moon, so much so that we might feel a little off kilter, jittery or even wiped out — all of which point to an overabundance of energy. If you’re sensitive or perceptive to energy, you may even notice that you’re distracted, irritable, edgy or unable to focus. And, while Ashtanga yogis tend to observe rest during a full moon, many other practitioners see it as an opportunity to harness the power of the full moon, and use it to purify our own energy during a powerful yoga practice. Word of caution: because we ARE likely to be a little “off” during the full moon, take care if you decide to practice. Be kind and understanding of your body, and be careful not to push yourself too hard.
Whether or not you decide to practice, one thing’s for sure, the full moon is the perfect time to set an intention that you’d like to come to fruition before the moon begins to wane. Particularly, if it’s an intention that you’ve been putting energy into since the new moon.
Let the Tide Carry Your Intent
Try this exercise tonight whether or not you move through a full asana practice:
- Sit, with your eyes closed in a comfortable cross legged position under the light of the Supermoon
- Just notice the feel of the energy in and around you.
- Envision your inhalation and exhalation as a lunar cycle and it’s ebbing and flowing energies
- Inhale your arms out and up over your head as if scooping up and taking in the moon’s vitality
- Bring your hands together in prayer position overhead, and draw the energy into you through your forehead, your lips, your heart.
- Now, set your intention. What do you want to send out into the universe.
- Tilt your finger tips forward, and press your hands away from you.
- Then open your hands and release the intention into universe as if releasing a lotus into water
Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.
– Your Charmed WereYogi
Photo credit: Quilla Yoga