howling at the moon

I don’t like to consider myself a skeptic. I’m always looking for the good in situations, the bright side, the silver lining. But there are certain things that I don’t fully buy into.

In Ashtanga yoga, physical practice (asana) is avoided on full moons and new moons because of the strong swings in energy on those days (lots of energy on full moons, little energy on new moons). The idea is that an intense physical practice, such as yoga, is simply too much for our body and our minds on these days, and it is easy to injure oneself. Personally, I’ve never noticed a strong shift in my mood or physical state on a full moon or a new moon. I have practiced on moon days before (judge me!!) and never felt a difference. And I’m generally pretty in tune with shifts in my mood and body.


Yesterday, however, was a different story. The full moon was out even in the heat of the afternoon. Following Shala rules, there was no practice in the morning, so I slept in until — wait for it — 7 AM. After some coffee and a coconut (one of the most perfect breakfasts I have ever known), I set off to explore the idea of buying a netbook. The rickshaw ride was a bit frustrating, bringing us to the wrong place since, of course, K.D. road and K.D street are miles away from each other. I felt like I was back in Charlotte again, losing myself on Queens Boulevard and Queens Road East and Queens Road West. We finally found a place with reasonable prices and an only mildly pushy saleswoman. But the question still hung in the air regarding whether or not a computer was a necessity. Not wanting to make a hurried decision, I said I’d come back later.

The rest of the day, I was a mess. I wrote my parents an email to get their opinion on the situation, and found myself crying over my host family’s keyboard. I cried again at an internet cafe after reading my parents’ thoughtful responses and battling a dodgy internet connection. And I cried a third time on the walk home, when I finally told Mariel how volatile, unstable, upset I had been feeling all afternoon. It was a cry-fecta, if you will.

As we sat out on the balcony, writing and reading and watching that damn full moon illuminate the sky with all its energy, I conceded. Maybe there was some truth to the madness about lunar energy. I may be an emotional person (understatement, okay) but rarely am I so deeply affected by small things. (My parents are laughing right now because this breakdown most likely comes as no surprise to them. Whatever.)

Maybe it was just the lingering stress of adjusting to this trip, this new lifestyle, this new country, this new distance from my loved ones. I could just chalk it up to that. But instead, I’ll hike up my harem pants, sweep a printed scarf around my neck, and hold my head high as I blame it on the moon. It’s what we yogis tend to do, after all.

This is a completely unrelated picture of Ferdinand the bull across the street from our house. Perhaps he was feeling a little moody, too. He’s quite sensitive, after all.

7 thoughts on “howling at the moon

  1. It may be that India is closer to nature. I think our bodies have gotten thrown off by all the electro magetic waves, pollution , tall buildings etc and other things that come with city life. Not that Mysore is not busy and populated but maybe there is more a sense of earthiness there. Maybe the moon effected you there because you were somehow more in tune with it.

  2. Marian, I LOVE, absolutely LOVE this post…Of course, you know me, and you therefore must know that I completely relate to this, as I am quite (understatement, eh?) emotional myself…..On one hand you write about “the streets”, and yet the photo of ol’ FERDINAND looks like it is taken on a hilly rural area, with absolutely NOT roads except for perhaps a few dirt roads (with deep treacherous grooves, of course).

    I can’t picture the environment you are in….Please send more photos to help this old lady out, or just as good: would you write about it a bit more?

    I love you, Auntie

    • auntie en– your comments always make my day! i will be posting more pictures soon, i promise. if you can imagine a small slice of paradise with palm trees lining the streets and cows walking through them, that is mysore! glad to know i’m not the only crazy moon lady in the family 🙂 love and hugs! xoxo

  3. I’m actually a recent convert to the moon’s power re: moods and energy as well. I used to be totally cynical when my very yogic best friend attributed emotional swings to the lunar cycle, but then I found that my highs and lows often coincided with them as well. It’s common conversation for us–“hey, I was so irrationally moody yesterday– what was the moon doing? Oh it WAS, huh?! Makes total sense.”

    Keep posting! 🙂

  4. Pingback: all who wander | Marian Writes

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