Full Moon and New Moon in Ashtanga Yoga are considered days off the practice.
What are the grounds?
The human body consists of 70% of water. Accordingly, just like other things that have a quality of water, we depend on the Moon cycles. The Moon Cycles are established upon the Moon’s position relative to the Sun. Both the Moon and the Sun affect gravity. Their position results from various energetic phenomena we can compare to a breathing cycle.
The energy of a Full Moon represents the ending of inhalation – when the power of Prana is the greatest. This expansive, upward force makes us feel energetic and more emotional. However, we are at that time not well grounded. Upanishads state that the main Prana resides in the head. That is why during Full Moon, we tend to be more stubborn. Also, blood circulates faster, the body and mind are more dynamic, and the risk of injury increases.
The energy of the New Moon represents the ending of exhalation when Apana’s power is the greatest. Apana is a Prana that governs the bottom of the abdomen. It moves energy downward. It makes us feel calmer and more grounded, but its density makes us less eager to make a physical effort. Blood circulates slower, body and mind incline towards heaviness.
The agricultural almanac recommends planting seeds during New Moon when the germination power is the greatest, whereas graft plants during Full Moon when the blooming power is the greatest.
Practicing Ashtanga for a long time makes us search for natural cycles and tune into them. Observing and abiding Moon days is one of the ways to recognize and respect the rhythm of Mother Nature so that we live in harmony with Her.