The Ashtanga Yoga practice cultivates a wonderful awareness of our own bodies and of the rhythms of nature. Resting on the Moon Days is a way to honor one of nature’s most powerful cycles. The human body is primarily composed of water (50% – 60% on average), the moon phases affect not only the tides of the oceans and seas, but the currents of our own bodies as well.
On the Full Moon, our energies are waxing to a peak, and it is easy to fall out of balance towards too much vigor. The days preceding up to the Full Moon causes an increase in body fluids (internal tide), which generally increases our energy. This is the time of the month for activity, but, also you will see tension, over anxious in ourselves and others. It’s less promblematic to practice on the Full Moon then the New Moon. Although with the excess energy present within ourselves, if practicing on a Full Moon, one must be very careful not to over do it and get injured.
On the New Moon, our energies are waning to their calmest, and we may find it difficult to rouse ourselves. The new moon is also the time when we feel depleted and sometimes depressed and emotional. It’s important not to do anything vigorous. The days preceding up to the New Moon, our body fluids are decreased, causing more dryness in the joints and therefore a greater chance of injury. The peak of the New Moon (Dark Moon) is the best time to start new ventures and setting goals/intentions.
Another reason to rest on the Moon Days is even simpler: Moon Days provide practitioners with rest. Mysore practice requires dedication and a lot of hard work, so it’s healthy to have a couple of free days every month when we sleep in, rest our bodies, and feel refreshed when we return to practice.
We likewise rest from Mysore practice on Saturdays, and women are encouraged to rest from classes on the first three days of their monthly cycle. So, rest, your body and mind will be healthier for it.