Traditionally in Ashtanga Mysore practice we take a day of rest on Full and New moons. I won’t go into the reasons (they can get quite gnarly/mystic), but as today is the first moon day in months that has fallen on a day off, and on a Sunday nonetheless, I wanted to ponder how best to practice moon day’ing to the max.
Although it isn’t recommended to practice your asana practice on a moon day, it doesn’t mean we should drop daily practice altogether. Quite the opposite! Journalling (by way of blogging in my case), meditation, cooking delicious food, spending time alone, spending quality time with friends/family, cake definitely features, time spent outside in the elements… When the body can fully rest we can redirect some of that energy towards more contemplative practice. Here are some great thinking points to carry through a moon day:
- How does my practice off the mat address the other 7 limbs of Yoga (Yama, Niyama, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi?
- What feelings or emotions aren’t helping me at this time and can instead be left behind on this moon day?
- What foods can I prepare and eat today that make me feel wonderful? – After a week of perhaps eating foods that are more convenient for the working day.
- What are my goals for the next 2 weeks/month ahead?
- Is there any clutter mentally or physically that can be cleared away to open up space? Setting time for the necessary jobs about the house and then a short meditation.
- Who have I been neglecting and how can I get in touch?
- Is there anything creative bubbling under the surface and how can I access that creativity today? – arts, a trip to the museum, writing, dancing, baking.
Think of it as a fortnightly M.O.T to check in and recalibrate before hitting the road again. Often on a moon day we don’t have the luxury of a full day of pondering and pottering but even if an hour can be put aside for some key introspective practice, it can really set the tone until the next opportunity arises.