Have you ever felt yourself tired when you are doing yoga asanas or any other sportive activities? Or can you do another one-and-a-half-hour yoga class after finishing one-and-a-half-hour class? Why do we feel so? Why do we fell so tired one day but energetic the other day? Most simply, because of our daily activities, whether they are too much or not. The other reason is our mind. Once the mind says you are tired, we feel tired whatever we do. Is this the only reason?

Moon(1)

There is another important factor affecting our energy. Most of us forget about this factor. I can hear you ask what this factor is. The moon and the phases of the moon. Don’t you tell me why we are talking about moon without any reason. There is new moon today. Look at the sky, and you will see.
It is possible to see beliefs regarding sun, moon, solar and lunar eclipse in Central Asian cultures. “The sky” is sacred for Turks who are living in a wide geography from the Central Asia to Anatolia. For this reason, there are beliefs and rituals regarding the sky, sun, moon and other natural events. In Turkish mythology, there are many sayings about the sun, moon and other natural events and solar and lunar eclipse.
In old Turkish beliefs, beliefs regarding sun and moon are inseparable. These cultures believe that the sun and moon are relatives. Respect to the sun, moon and stars affected daily life of Turks. For instance, the Huns searched the phases of sun or moon when starting a new project and made their decisions according to the conditions of the stars. Moreover, Turks believed that the God gave the duty of preservation to their leader as given to the sun and associated their leader with the sun.
Old Turks showed their respect to the sun and moon by referring to them in their epical stories. For example, In the Oghuz Khan Epic, Oghuz Khan’s mother was named “Ay Kagan” (Moon Kagan) and some of their children as “Ay” (Moon) and “Yildiz” (Star).
Beliefs regarding moon are more than those regarding moon probably because the moon is closer to the sun and it has many phases. The rise and fall of the moon were perceived as death and birth by old Turks and therefore, full moon was depicted as “old age” or “death” and new moon as “renewal”, “youth” and “resurrection.”
Moreover, moon is a healer according to these beliefs. A person who sees the new moon and chants “I have seen the new moon and my callus has gone away” believe that his/her callus is gone away. Similarly, a person with a wart believe that it will go away as s/he chants “I have seen the moon and my wart is gone away.”
In astrological aspect, new moon is the time to seed plants and make preparations. It is related with new beginnings whereas full moon is the time when we end up, conclude ongoing incidents or projects. If we want to start a new project, we should prefer new moon time, and prefer full moon time if we want to give up or leave anything. New moon is related with male energy but the full moon is related with female energy.
After giving some examples about our own beliefs and a few astrological examples, I want to talk about the phases of moon and yoga. What’s yoga got to do with the phases of the moon? I think this is the question in your mind. Surely, it is related because 70 percent of our body is made up of water. Just try to remember science lessons. The moon, water and tides… Has this meant something to you? Let me try to explain it as much as I can.
Most of our body is made up of water and therefore in new moon and full moon times our body is affected just as the seas or oceans during tide times. In new moon times, we feel ourselves tired and exhausted but in full moon times we feel strong. In full moon time, the “prana” (life force) in our body has an upward move with the effect of the moon and we can force ourselves more than necessary during these days. The full moon energy coincides with our inhalations and the “prana” is so strong at these times. These times are when we expand, have an upward move, and feel ourselves energetic but do not touch on a strong base, which can lead to an injury.
However, the new moon times, we feel exhausted and tired due to the effect of the moon and this time coincides with our exhalations. At this time, the “apana” (the downward energy in our body) increases and this is the time we constract, move downward, feel ourselves calm but ground firmly.
To this end, we do yoga, especiallly Ashtanga yoga, in the days between new moon and full moon days because this is the only time that we can keep our prana in balance. Only to protect our body and ourselves and to live in harmony with the natural flow.
Also, it will be useful to remember that Hatha yoga is set up of two words, including “ha” (the sun) and “tha” (the moon). Hatha yoga is a style of yoga we do to balance the energy of our body according to the changes in our lives, i.e. to balance the solar and lunar energy, or male and female energies, in our bodies.
Since the beginning of the article, I have tried to talk about the effects of natural events, particularly the sun and moon, on our bodies and cultures. Since the moon and sun are a part of nature, it is our duty to live in harmony with them. So why do we oppose to natural balance or flow when we can live in harmony with the nature, be in unity with it, and be yoga with it?