This weekend, on Cinco de Mayo (this Saturday, May 5), the moon will not only be full, it will appear to be larger than any other full moon this year. Aptly named the ‘supermoon,’ Saturday’s full moon will be about 16 percent brighter than average. Due to its position in orbit, the moon is in its perigee stage, which means it is closest to the Earth. Because the moon’s orbit is not perfectly circular, it has moments when it is closer, and moments when it is further away. To have a full moon coincide with the moon’s perigee is incredibly super, hence the nickname it was given.
Whether you are planning on taking a stroll in the moonlight, or taking a drive out into the countryside to see the moon rise from behind the trees, it should be a marvelous sight. An evening yoga session even sounds like a blissful endeavor during the supermoon, but according to the ancient yogi sages, there are some precautions to consider. Since this moon is bigger, brighter, and a bit more special than any other full moon, it is worth examining some myths and truths for practicing yoga during a full moon.
Myth: All yogis should avoid practicing yoga when the moon is full.
Truth: In the Ashtanga yoga tradition, yogis observe the full moon to rest.
The moon has an effect on the Earth’s bodies of water. Since our bodies are mostly water, the moon has an affect on our bodies as well. During the full moon many of us are a bit more edgy, irritable, or downright moody, and this can result in injury if we are not careful whilst practicing yoga.
Myth: The full moon signifies a woman’s menstrual cycle, and when a woman is menstruating, they should not practice yoga.
Truth: Women’s cycles may be consistent with a 28 day cycle like that of the moon, but in no way does a woman always menstruate on the full moon. While a woman may refer to her period as her “moon time” this has little to do with whether or not the moon is full. It might, however, dictate the type of yoga practice a woman will feel comfortable doing.
Respecting your cyclical nature, whether you are a woman or a man, is an important aspect to consider with regard to your yoga practice. The real balance lies in whether or not you are able to ebb and flow with the rise and fall of your ambitious nature so you don’t get hurt.
The best way for you to determine if it is right to practice on the full moon is to pay attention to yourself. If you are one who follows tradition, then skip your practice until the moon begins to wane. If you understand yourself to know how to maintain a healthy balance, practice with astute consideration of your energy level.
May 3rd, 2012