A Sutra a Day: III-27 & 28 – Moon, Stars and Yoga

Nov 2, 2012 | Nature, Philosophy, Wisdom, XSutras, xTmp, Yoga practices, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali | 0 comments


  In a city environment, you have to work hard to connect with Nature. For instance, I tried to stay in tune with the cycles of the moon when I lived in Sydney, but living in such a dense environment, I often found it hard to get even a glimpse of the sky. As a Nature exercise, I would try to observe the moon’s cycles and plan my yoga classes to fit in with the full moon, the new moon, and in-between moons. When the moon was at its  maximum, I’d offer a full on dynamic sequence with backbends, arm balances, and salutes; when it was at low ebb, we would do restorative poses and pranayama. It seemed to work. My students and I came to appreciate knowing what phase of the moon we were in, even seeing if there was an energetic difference at different times. You might not get to see earth’s satellite but you  kept her in mind and perhaps felt her energies. Now that I live in the country, it’s easy to keep track of the moon’s cycles, feel its influence on the tides, watch our neighbours plant their crops accordingly, and admire the beauty of the big butterscotch moonrise viewed the other night. Watching the night skies, one’s ego naturally shrinks a little against the backdrop of starry infinity and grandeur.

In the Hindu tradition, the moon represents the psyche (citta) with its perpetual changes and explorations of the mind and its fluctuation. – The Essence of Yoga by Bernard Bouanchaud. Candre taravyuhajnanam

Samyama on the moon gives a thorough knowledge of the position of the stars at different times.*

Dhruve tadgatijnanam

Samyama on Polaris gives knowledge about the relative movements of stars.* *Patanjali’s Yogasutras, translation & commentary by T.K.V. Desikachar.


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