I have always had a fascination with the moon. Thanks to my ashtanga practice, my appreciation has expanded to include the lunar cycle. In the beginning, my awareness was nothing more than knowing when mysore (or led practice if it fell on a Friday) would be canceled. A simple internet search of “moon days” provided me with a nice printout of all the full and new moons for the year. Keeping track of these days, and honoring the tradition of taking rest, has lead to some understanding (albeit small) of the basis for the tradition’s encouragement to be attuned to the forces of nature.
I find it interesting how the moon’s position changes the gravitation pull on, not only the waves of the ocean, but on us as well. The practice of taking the day off instead of practicing affords me the chance to observe myself in a different way. Instead of finding out the hard way, I can simply observe whether I am more headstrong under the influence of full moon energy. These tendencies become increasingly more apparent in the days leading up the full moon.
This past Sunday, our teacher (Mojdeh) interrupted our practice to remind the everyone in mysore not to push beyond our limits. Although I was already feeling a new twinge at my hamstring attachments, I did notice that I was trying to push past it. By Monday, there was no way I was about to push past it – which is a big reason I am most appreciative this particular moon day.
Another reason to enjoy the moon is because of the cool total lunar eclipse that had me digging out my tripod and primitive nighttime photography skills to attempt to capture an image of it. Of course, having trained my body to wake early for my daily practice, it was not very cooperative with my efforts to stay up late – even with the promise of sleeping in until 6 am. I ended up setting up the interval timer and went to bed with the hope of getting up periodically to see the event at some point.
Unfortunately, the few times I peered out the window all I could see was a haze covered moon partially eclipsed. I finally gave up all together and turned off the camera around 12:45 am.
Apparently, the sky cleared up shortly after I gave up. Nonetheless, any serious photographer would not have let themselves fall asleep on the job. The moon moved out of the frame several times which might not have occurred had I not been zoomed in as much. Additionally, photographing an eclipse requires one to adjust the settings such that enough light is being let in to get a crisp image. Maybe I can get a better image on October 8th, when the next of four lunar eclipses (set 6 months apart) is due to occur. Until then, the above image of the full moon (uneclipsed) will have to do.
Happy Moon Day!