The moon is with us every second of our day. Sounds incredulous? How about tapping into lunar energy and letting yourself be nurtured by it? It is as surreal as it sounds - and as real as the poetry of a full moon and the promise of a new moon. And it is no new-fangled idea, but a time-tested practice carefully preserved in Nature and by the tradition of Yoga.
- Photo/ Valery Sisoev
The cycles of the moon have been honored in cultures and spiritual traditions across the world over the ages. The tides and currents of the ocean in a synchronous dance with the phases of the moon is single-handedly responsible for some of the most stunning biological phenomena.
Take a look at this beautiful article from the Smithsonian, for example: How moonlight sets nature's rhythms.
The nectar of the moon is as much part of the sacred microcosm of the human body as it is of the earth and all living beings. All movement in Yoga, including that of the breath, has two pathways - the Moon and the Sun - the Ida and the Pingala - respectively in Sanskrit. The energies of Apana and Prana that correspond to the moon and sun pathways converge in the central energetic pathway or Sushumna, the yogic highway to freedom and liberation.
In the Hathayogapradipika, which, alongside Sage Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, constitutes one of two seminal texts on Hathayoga Vidya (Science of Yoga), the scholar Svatmarama says:
- (Hathayogapradipika 2:7)
"Badhapadmasano yogi prana chandrena poorayeth I
Dharayithva yathashakthi bhuyaha sooryena rechayeth II
The Yogin assuming the Padmasana [lotus posture] should draw in the Prana (vital energy) through the moon [Ida Nadi or Left nostril] and, having retained it as long as possible, should then exhale it through the Sun [Pingala or the Right nostril]."