Ha Tha (sun/moon)
“Balance is a constant dance between contraction & expansion, the coming, the going of waves in the shore, the sun, the moon, the opening & closing of a bird’s wings, the inhale, the exhale, day and night, yin and yang… the deeper our presence in each part of the process, the more we can learn from each small act of coordination between the opposites …
Ancient yoga texts refer to Ha as Sun and Tha as Moon, therefore Hatha Yoga is said to be “the yoga in pursuit of balance”. Most of our human activities are performed during the day, guided by the light and energy of the sun, we are encouraged to get up every morning, move around, work and play, get our stuff done. On the contrary, during the night, we take refuge, go within, sleep, and regenerate. Both these aspects of our days and nights are of equal importance for our well being, if we don´t get anything done during the day we feel frustrated and inefficient and if during the night, we don´t sleep and take time to restore, we feel drained and exhausted. We understand through this process the importance of cultivating balance in our lives.
Everything in nature reminds us of the importance of this vital equilibrium, the seasons, the night and day phases, sunny and rainy days, light & shadows, the moon cycle…
We yogi(ni)s find a particular inspiration in the moon: Chandra (Sanskrit name for moon). There are many reasons why the moon is so inspiring for yoga practitioners:
- It reminds us that change is the only constant in this life
- Its mystery & mysticism calls for quietness, contemplation & reflection
- The powerful, yet gentle influence of the moon is so impressive that it pulls currents and tides, it changes the course and behavior of oceans and rivers, imagine how much it can influence us humans, our bodies composed of 60% of water
- We might feel more energetic, dynamic or emotional during the days where the moon is growing or it is full and this reminds us of how we are part of a system much larger than ourselves and as we surrender to this realization, we open up to synchronize with everything around us
Practicing yoga is not only about our time on the mat but also about cultivating deep awareness, first within ourselves and then expanding it to our environment. The powerful full moon, with its magical brightness, shinning back at us once a month is a reminder that we are in this world interacting with each other and our surroundings to inspire and lift each other.
“The moon does not fight. It attacks no one. It does not worry. It does not try to crush others. It keeps to its course, but by its very nature, it gently influences. What other body could pull an entire ocean from shore to shore? The moon is faithful to its nature and its power is never diminished.” ― Ming-Dao Deng, Everyday Tao: Living with Balance and Harmony