Today is the new moon.
The Ashtangis will not practice yoga today because the new moon pulls us downward. On the other hand the full moon pulls us upward.
When my yoga teacher said this, I had to object. At nine in the morning (as it then was), the new moon was well above above the horizon, somewhere near the sun in fact. The new moon pulls us upward during the day time. The full moon, on the other hand is below the horizon during the day and pulls us down. Not only that but the new moon is right near the sun, so the pull of both combines, whereas when the full the moon and the sun pull in opposite directions. The upshot being that we get a stronger upward pull during the new moon than at any other time. Exactly the opposite of what she said.
My teacher tried to talk about tides and fluids, which is completely irrelevant to whether the moon is pulling up or not. Eventually she settled on prana. Which might mean breath, and might mean spirit (yes, I know that spirit used to have the same double meaning). Well, the air molecules in my breath are moving so fast from ambient heat that the pull of the moon exherts such a slight force that it will not be observable. And anyway it will still be upward during the day at the new moon.
As for my spirit… Personally I’m feeling fairly up-beat. My injury is fading, it isn’t raining, I’m more cheerful than I’ve been in a month. The moon is totally invisible today, but then I don’t see the moon most days. Why is it’s invisibility supposed to affect me?
To me, it just sounds like a lie.
Yoga comes with this huge superstructure of completely made up concepts with, as far as I can tell, no reality outside the imaginations of yogis. What are the nadhis? Can you dissect a body and find a chakra? No.
The night before last a different yoga teacher informed us that our problems are rooted inside ourselves, and if we can transform ourselves we can solve our problems. I could not help wondering what self-transformation could solve global warming.
I love yoga poses. I love striving to find the perfect instantiation of each pose in each moment. I love moving. But I hate the philosophy that comes with it.