Communication Through Ashtanga, Stacked Stones, And Moon Phases

Communication Through Ashtanga, Stacked Stones, And Moon Phases

  • Posted by kaleigh
  • On September 19, 2018
  • Comments

Natives of the Arctic needed a way to communicate through vast expanses of space and time. Natural landmarks in permafrost are hard to distinguish against a white, washed-out landscape, and getting lost is the path of least resistance.

To communicate safety, hope, and direction, Inuits started stacking stones. Inuksuk – stacked rocks of any size that resemble a human – listen to, transcribe, and communicate ancient messages. They look like stoney, stout friends. Some point which way to go with their Warrior II like arms. Others, encouraged travelers to continue down their path. Seeing an inuksuk isn’t rare – Western Canada is dotted with them – but understanding their message is.

Every other week, an inuksuk shows up in the night sky. For Ashtangis, full moons and new moons can illuminate the way. Understanding the moon’s phases (tithi) provides insight into our emotional, physical, and psychological states. During these days, Ashtangis take holiday by abstaining from asana practices. This reprieve allows us to look inward and upward, and translate our celestial friend’s message.

In our asana practice, we use Apana – grounding, downward energy, and Prana – lifting, upward energy. The sensation of exhaling in samasthiti and rooting down through the feet is Apanic energy. Raising the arms over head and gently opening the chest during an inhale in the same posture creates Pranic energy. These two energies spin patterns that are recognized and expressed through the breath – inhaling to rise, exhaling to fold. During moondays, we are meant to feel these energies.

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