Today is a new moon day, a special one in that it also has a partial solar eclipse. That means that this morning the sun will move between the Earth and the Moon. Here in Istanbul, if the cloudy weather clears for a moment, we may be able to view an ominous shadow on the sun.
People often ask me why we observe moon days by not practicing. I usually refer to the explanation given by Tim Miller, who has kind of like a sun for me. He has been a very bright light on my path, a continual source of warmth, positivity and inspiration. His explanation of yoga and moon days addresses energy, nature, water, rest, etc. Check out the link above if you are interested.
While spending some time in India over the last few years, I have come to understand how significant people’s ‘home practice’ of worship is. In Mysore, most Hindu homes have special rooms (or corners) for worship. There are home-made alters inside the home and in the courtyard, and people actually perform daily worship.
Hinduism is fascinating in that way: it at once inspires initiative, self-practice, and creativity in puja (worship), and also has an sense of strict reverence to the method of the scriptures. Much of the ritual is intuitive and much of it stems from tradition. One of the traditions is Vedic Astrology, which still has an influence of many peoples’ worship today.
It occurs to me that maybe part of closing a yogashala on full and new moon days, is simply that there is the yoga of worship to do at home. I mean, is it possible that the teachers in our lineage did not go to work on these days in order to do puja and chanting and meditation at home?