Chandra's Embrace

Welcome to October, yogis! We have begun the transition into shorter and darker days. As the curtain of the evening sky lowers earlier throughout autumn and trees shed their leaves, Nature calls us to follow her pattern of transition; therefore, cultivating balance in our lives becomes necessary to maintain inner and outer steadiness. This transition has us unpack our vacation suitcases of summer, and roll out our yoga mats, returning to our practice. We let go of summer’s spontaneity and revisit the roots of our families in harvest and feast. The light foods of summer are replaced with autumn’s earthy, grounding bounty. Ultimately, we find that the outpour of summer energy transforms into groundedness--balancing the effects of summer. One way in which Nature provides that balance and steadiness during transition is through the gravitational pull of the moon or Chandra.

As we head into darker days, we spend more time under the radiant, grounding energy of moonlight. Though Halloween and popular culture present the moon in eerie forms in October, the significance of the moon’s balancing energy is auspicious for many across the globe. The moon inherently represents balance. It reflects the light of the sun, but without the intensity of the heat. In Sanskrit, the moon is called chandra, which translates to “glittering” or “brilliancy of light.” It is said that like the moon’s reflection of sunlight, chandra represents the reflective qualities of the mind. In contrast, Surya or the Sun represents the output of energy. Combined, then, Chandra and Surya represent perfect equilibrium between external and internal energy.

Mythology explains this concept through the story of Chandra or the God of the Moon. Chandra appears each night in a chariot drawn by ten white horses or antelope. As he sweeps the night sky and passes the moon, he leaves behind dew. This dew symbolizes balance, for it is how Nature cools herself after a sweltering hot day. Additionally, after the sunny and kinetic busyness of a summer day, dew symbolizes the passive qualities of Chandra. Unlike a powerful rainstorm, dew softly and subtly provides life and nourishment in still, quiet moments of darkness. Thus, after the intensity of summer passes, Chandra represents the balancing transition to cooler, darker, and passive energy.

We see the moon's balancing energy manifest in our lives varying shapes. Mostly, the moonlit evenings of autumn afford us the opportunity to begin the transition inward. On our yoga mats, we can experience this by practicing more grounding postures or through Chandra Namaskars (moon salutations). Or in the spirit of honoring “the reflective light of the mind,” we can spend more time in meditation or introspective practices. Allow the coming autumn days to cultivate balance in your life. Take time to root and ground each day. Reconnect with family and friends that offer support and contribute to steadiness. Enjoy the darker days of autumn under the glow of lamplight and a good book or by journaling for deeper self-reflection. By transitioning into balance, we prepare our bodies and minds for the colder days that lie ahead.

Join us this month at Longwave Yoga to find the balancing, transitional energy of the moon:

Join Mary and Eddy for Restorative Soundbath on October 1, 6:45pm-8:45. Enjoy two hours of restorative yoga, Thai massage, and live music. This is a perfect opportunity to slow down and ground.

Get connected to your yoga practice with Nikki Costello’s The Practice: Threading Consciousness Through the Body, October 13-15. In this weekend event, we will explore how to use the elements of Nature to maintain steadfastness and contentment. Full weekend of individual sessions are now open!

Cool the summer fires of your heart and find balance with the grounding sweetness of kirtan. Join Mary and Eddy for Kirtan on October 20, 7:30pm-9:00 for this devotional event!

Don’t just look at the moon! Howl at it with Angela and Rebecca in their spooktacular event Howl at the Moon: Halloween Yin and Yang Flow, October 21, 6:30pm-8:30pm. Wear your costumes for this two-hour event that includes an all-levels vinyasa class and a dark, moonlit yin practice.  Children ages 8-12 are also welcome with accompanied adult, and kids 13+ welcome to join without parent supervision.