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.
It has always been the tradition in Ashtanga Yoga to rest from asana practice on new and full moon days (tithis). When asked why we shouldn’t practice on these days, Guruji was fond of saying, “Two ‘planets’ [grahas] one place, very dangerous.” What is meant by this is that on these days, the sun and the moon are in a line relative to the position of the earth. Consequently, their gravitational forces are all combined, and thus the effect of the ‘planets’ is more pronounced. One definitive effect of this is that the ocean’s tides are higher and lower on these days. When āsana practice is done daily, rest days are important for regeneration; and the extra biweekly ‘moon day’ comes as a welcomed respite.
So if you have a 6-day practice, take today as a day off…remember your body needs it, be kind and loving to yourself. There is no need to push and pull and force – the only possible outcome of that is injury – and we definitely do not want that! Kino MacGregor recently wrote an article onMindBodyGreenentitled “Yoga Taught Me How To Laugh At Myself” (click on title to read article and see video):
“The perfection in every masterful yoga posture is actually a demonstration of years of hard work. While postures may look peaceful and yogis may appear calm, the reality of yoga involves much more disciplined effort than instant grace. In other words: there’s no magic yoga dust that you can sprinkle on your body to produce ease and flow. These are qualities earned with daily devotion to the practice.
Many new students want to see results fast and they get frustrated when it takes longer than they expect. If you push too hard, you may actually sabotage your progress. Every journey contains some missteps and obstacles along the way. To climb the ladder of yoga into the depth of the subconscious mind is a descent into the underworld of your thoughts and emotions. When you face these things, yoga asks you stay and cultivate a calm, steady mind and a loving, forgiving heart.
I used to push myself really hard every day in my life and in my yoga practice. On days when I faced my biggest blockages and I’d go nowhere, I didn’t accept it. I would fight and struggle with myself and my body. If I did not “win” the battle, I’d beat myself up and get frustrated and angry. Most of that aggression was directed toward myself, but it didn’t make me a nice person. I was self-competitive and I lacked a sense of humor.
After 15 years of practice, whatever ego attachment I had to getting anywhere fast has slowly and perhaps systematically been broken. I do my daily practice and work on many of the same things that I’ve always worked on: getting stronger, going deeper in backbends and maintaining a balanced mind.
The difference between then and now is that when everything goes completely wrong and I fall out the postures or fail entirely, I don’t get mad at myself. I know that yoga is a lifelong practice and what matters most is the peaceful attitude of acceptance, forgiveness and joy. Yoga has taught me how to laugh at myself, especially in moments of epic failure. After all, it’s only yoga.”
Whatever your plans are for today, Gratitude & Love ❤ x
Christiane has been practicing yoga for over 10 years. Her yogic journey began in 2000 as a student of Swami Nirmal (now at the Satyananda Centre in London) at the Fitness First gym in Kensal Rise, London. She experienced various teachers in different Fitness Firsts in Central London and around Clapham Junction before changing gyms and meeting Alexa Kho at LA FItness in Piccadilly Circus, London. Christiane attended Alexa's Anusara classes as well as her workshops.
In January 2011 she enrolls in a 200hr Vinyasa Flow Teacher Training course with Rebecca Ffrench at YogaLondon. Vinyasa Flow is a modern form of yoga that comes from Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and follows Sri K Pattabhi Jois. She quickly become passionate of this discipline and wants to deepen her knowledge; this brings her to meet and attend many workshops with Stewart Gilchrist, Shiva Rea, John Scott, Danny Paradise...all very famous teachers around the world. Being in the presence of such teachers is a significant experience for Christiane, in terms of her yogic journey, personal transformation and growth as well as understanding of yoga.
After 11years in London, she moves to Milan to deepen and continue her journey. In Milan she teaches privately (1:1 and group classes) as well as in various yoga and dance centers. Milan is where her love for Ashtanga Vinyasa deepens and grows, bringing her to attend workshops with Lino Miele, Sharath Jois and most recently Kino MacGregor...all original students of Guruji, Sri K Pattabhi Jois. All of this culminates with a long awaited and long overdue trip to India, the birthplace of Yoga. Here Christiane deepens her practice and knowledge of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga by doing a 200hr Ashtanga Vinyasa TTC with Yogi Kamal Singh at Tattvaa Yogashala in Rishikesh India. After the monthlong course, her travels take her around India practicing with various other world renown teachers, namely with Sri V. Sheshadri in Mysore and with Rolf and Marci Naujokat in Goa.
In 2013 Christiane decides to embark on yet another yoga adventure, this time in Aerial Yoga! The course was divided into two weekends: level I in April and level II in June, after which she becomes a qualified Aerial Yoga teacher.
Teacher and student of yoga, writer, adventurous soul, creative mind, curious world traveler & lover of the outdoors. Current HQ: Milan, Italy.