What is a Moon Day?


In Ashtanga Yoga practice a Moon Day is the day on which a full or new moon exerts its strongest influence.


So What?


Regular Ashtanga Yoga practitioners should not practice on the days of the new or full moon. The day you rest is the day of your regular practice time nearest the new or full moon.


Certified Ashtanga teacher, Tim Miller’s website is often referred to on why this is:


Like all things of a watery nature (human beings are about 70% water), 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 moons occur when they are in opposition and new moons 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 breath 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. 

Why are the moon days sometimes occurring on different dates in other territories?


The moon is not completely full or new for an arbitrarily nominated day or 24 hour period. The moon is completely full or new, only for a moment. In different time zones the completely full or new moon occurs at different times of day. And therefore sometimes on different days. For instance, in Bangkok in 2010 the moon was full on the 8th of October at 1:44 am. London is 6 hours behind Bangkok, so in London the moon was completely full at 7:44 pm on the 7th of October, the previous day.


Why does the Thai moon calendar sometimes disagree with the yoga moon calendar? 


This is a common question. Comparing the stated moon days on the Thai calendar with scientifically calculated moon phases, it was found that dates of moon days often differ by one or even two days. No explanation or relationship could be found by this writer! Extensive checking on the internet similarly brought no answer. Wikipedia have a “Thai lunar calendar” page which states the following:


The Thai lunar calendar (Thai: Patitin Chantarakati) (literally, Against-the-Sun Moon-Ways) is Thailand's version of the lunisolar Buddhist calendar used in the Southeast Asian countries of Cambodia, Laos and Burma. Based on the third-century Surya Siddhanta Hindu calendar, these combine lunar and solar calendars for a nominal year of 12 months. An extra day or an extra 30-day month is intercalated at regular intervals; Thai, Lao, and Cambodian versions do not add an extra day to years with an extra month.


Not sure what that means exactly, or if it offers an explanation. If anyone thinks they know, please write in. 

Ashtanga Yoga Bangkok

Moon Days - Bangkok 2012

Moon Days

Full Moon


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Mon 9th

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Mon 23rd

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New Moon


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