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Moon Days

In India, where yoga comes from, the term ‘moon day’ is a loose translation of the Sanskrit term ‘tithi,’ and would be more accurately translated as ‘lunar phase’ rather than ‘moon day.’ Each tithi is the time period that it takes for the the moon to traverse 12° in the sky. Thus there are 30 tithis (or lunar phases) in one complete lunar cycle. Due in part to the elliptical path of the moons orbit, the length of each tithi varies significantly and begins at varying times of day. Tithis vary in duration from approximately 19 to 26 hours. What loosely gets termed the full and new ‘moon days’ are actually the 15th and the 30th tithis of this Indian Astrology (Jyotish) system. -Andrew Hillam


Just as Sundays used to signify a western God’s day of repose, so the ashtanga moon days are set around an ancient Indian tradition. In old time India it was common to take a day of from work every blue moon, or more specific every new and full moon. This tradition has carried over to the yogic system we follow as ashtangis. With 6 days practice weekly it has become a cherished day where we can ease our sore bones and muscles for one extra moment before we again commit to the principle of Tapas in our pursuit of cultivating true and lasting yoga within. As a matter of fact this day of the moon was often used for alternative practice of spiritual kind, such as prayer or types of worship. In the yogic tradition moon days might be a day where we turn our focus to Kriya Yoga’s other two pillars - Svadyaya and Isvarapranidhana (Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 2:2)

As we western yogi aspirants inspiredly attempt to understand the instructions and guidelines of the yogis path, we often get disoriented in the foreign cultural patterns we meet. As we try to make sense of it all we sometimes unintentionally overlay what we experience with our own inherent culture, which adds further to the confusion. In this way many a yogi has imposed meaning and consequence to the moon days over the years, such as, ‘the body is made primarily of water hence the effects of the moon cycle is significant on the body’, ‘an injury on a moon day will heal only slowly’ and other compelling interpretations. How such claims fit into a scientific world view or the yogic approach is curious, yet one could make the case for the power and positive effects which personal conviction and ritual has on our lives- whether science based or not.

We urge you to study vigorously and apply common sense while seeking out your own truth in regards to the moon day paradigm as any dogma you meet in yoga and every other aspect of your life.


Moon Day Calendar 2023



Friday 06th ○ full moon
Saturday 21st ● new moon


Sunday 05th ○ full moon
Monday 20th ● new moon


Tuesday 07th ○ full moon
Tuesday 21st ● new moon


Thursday 06th ○ full moon
Thursday 20th ● new moon


Friday 05th ○ full moon
Friday 19th ● new moon


Sunday 04th ○ full moon
Sunday 18th ● new moon


Monday 03rd ○ full moon
Monday 17th ● new moon


Tuesday 01st ○ full moon
Wednesday 16th ● new moon
Thursday 31st ○ full moon


Friday 15th ● new moon
Friday 29th ○ full moon


Saturday 14th ● new moon
Saturday 28th ○ full moon


Monday 13th ● new moon
Monday 27th ○ full moon


Tuesday 12th ● new moon
Wednesday 27th ○ full moon