When I first started practicing Ashtanga Yoga (exclusively), I often wondered if I really needed to honor the moon days. I mean, we are taught to practice independently, to our own breath, and without a teacher calling out the movements. So, even if the Mysore Room at the studio was closed, we all know our practice. So, what would be the harm?
Back then, my practice was relatively short (< 1 hour) and I was slowly learning how to manage my energy. Each day, I balanced the two ends of the energy spectrum. A tug-o-war of: How Not To Push Too Hard With My Athlete’s Mentality vs. How Not To Let My Chronic Back Pain Stop Me From Seeing Where My Practice Could Go On Any Given Day (rather than giving up without even stepping on my mat). Additionally, in these early days of Ashtanga, being a single mom, I had a hard enough time getting to the studio for my Mysore Practice. I guess I didn’t feel like I earned OR needed a rest day.
Fast forward 10 years and my view of the Moon Days is quite different.
- First off, my daily (6 days per week) practice is generally 1 ½ to 2 hours long.
- Secondly, my body seems to know that it’s time for a break from practice. It is just as important to let the body recover as it is to practice consistently.
- Finally, it’s tradition — a beautiful one at that.
During my evening walk, I look up a the full moon in the sky and smile. I try to capture the beauty that I see before me with my phone, but it’s no use. At bedtime, I look out the window to take it in one last time before going to sleep. Then, I crawl into bed without setting my alarm.
“Good night stars. Good night air. Good night noises everywhere” – Margaret Wise Brown
…and good night to all my fellow Ashtangis:
- Sleep in.
- Rest well.
- I’ll see you on the mat on Thursday.