Moon days

Traditionally Ashtanga Yoga is not practice on days of full moon and new moon. Ashtanga Yoga Cheltenham will be closed on moon days. During those days the body can strain excessively, the mind can be more distracted and the learning more difficult.

Here is the list of moon days in 2024

Thursday 11th ● new moon
Thursday 25th ◦ full moon

Friday 9th ● new moon
Saturday 24th ◦ full moon

Sunday 11th ● new moon
Monday 25th ◦ full moon

Monday 8th ● new moon
Wednesday 24th ◦ full moon

Tuesday 7th ● new moon
Thursday 23th ◦ full moon

Sunday 4th ◦ full moon
Sunday 18th ● new moon

Thursday 6th ● new moon
Friday 21st ○ full moon

Sunday 4th ● new moon
Monday 19th ◦ full moon

Monday 2nd ● new moon
Wednesday 18th ◦ full moon

Wednesday 2nd ● new moon
Thursday 17th ◦ full moon

Friday 1st ● new moon
Friday 15th ◦ full moon

Sunday 1st ● new moon
Sunday 15th ◦ full moon
Monday 30th ● new moon

Both full and new moon days are observed as yoga holidays in the Ashtanga Yoga tradition. What is the reasoning behind this?

Like all things of a watery nature, we are affected by the phases of the moon. The phases of the moon are determined by the moon’s relative position to the sun. Full moon occurs when they are in opposition and new moon when they are in conjunction. Both sun and moon exert a gravitational pull on the earth. Their relative positions create different energetic experiences that can be compared to the breathing cycle. 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. The Upanishads state that the main prana lives in the head. During the full moon we tend to be more headstrong.

The new moon energy corresponds to the end of exhalation when the force of apana is greatest. Apana is a contracting, downward moving force that makes us feel calm and grounded, but dense and disinclined towards physical exertion.

The Farmers Almanac recommends planting seeds at the new moon when the rooting force is strongest and transplanting at the full moon when the flowering force is strongest. Practicing Ashtanga Yoga over time makes us more attuned to natural cycles. Observing moon days is one way to recognize and honor the rhythms of nature so we can live in greater harmony with it.