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nov-full-moonPhoto Courtesy of http://www.danceislove.com

Depending on where you live in the world a full moon is on it’s way April 25th or 26th.

The period around a full moon is considered to be a very auspicious time, as there is believed to be an abundance of spiritual energy available. This energy has the potential to produce wisdom, understanding, and inspiration in those that are receptive. Through quiet contemplation, meditation, and basic asana practice we can tap into this energy.

So check the exact time of the full moon in your part of the world  Full Moon Calendar and practice the Half Moon Pose or the full Moon Salutation (See below) a few days before and of course, on the night of the full moon.

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Chandra Namaskara (Salute to the Moon)

1. Begin in Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)-Inhale and Exhale
2. Inhale to Hasta Uttanhasana (Raised Arm Pose)
3. Exhale to Padahastasana (Hand to Foot Pose)
4. Inhale to Ashwa Sanchalanasana(Equestrian Pose) continue to Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
5. Exhale to Parvatasnaa (Mountain Pose)
6. Hold the breath out and come into Ashtanga Namaskara (Eight Point Pose)
7. Inhale into Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
8. Exhale into Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)
10. Inhale to Equestrian Pose and continue into Half Moon Pose
11. Exhale to Padahastasana (Hand to Foot Pose)
12. Inhale to Hasta Uttanhasana (Raised Arm Pose)
13. Exhale to Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

Stand in Tadasana (Standing Base Position) for a few moments visualizing a full moon until the body settles and the breath slows. Finish the practice by lying in shavasana afterword and be aware of the positive energetic effects of the moon and the practice on your body, mind, and spirit.

Reference Asana, Pranayama,  Mudra, Bandha by Swami Satyananda Saraswati

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Sure it’s a little weird, but those with seasonal allergies swear by it.  My experience is that weird can sometimes be worth it!

Jala Neti or “Neti” is a yogi cleansing practice that cleans the air passageways in the head relieving blocked sinuses, stuffy noses, etc. due to allergy and colds by removing dirt, mucus, and other irritants.  Neti can even relieve muscular tension in the face leading to younger looking skin.  Through its calming effect on the brain it can even help to reduce anxiety, anger, and depression.

With all those benefits why not give it a try?

 To Start

A neti pot made of plastic, pottery or brass should be used.  In the past I’ve used a ceramic one but I am currently using is a plastic one that I picked up at Walgreens or CVS.  Fill pot with about 16 oz of luke warm water and 1/2 teaspoon finely ground salt.  If the pot is smaller, the ratio is about 8 oz of water to ¼ teaspoon of salt.

1.         Begin over a sink.

2.         With the legs comfortable apart, lean forward and tilt the head to one side.

3.         Breathe through the mouth.

4.         Gently insert the nozzle into the upper most nostril.

5.         Tilt the neti pot so that the water doesn’t run down your face.

6.         Lift the elbow holding the pot so that the water flows through the lower nostril.

7.         After half of the pot has emptied (8 oz) remove the nozzle.

8.         Gently blow the nose removing excess water and mucus.

9.         Repeat the process on the other side.

10.       After completing on both sides continue to gently blow any excess water or mucus from the both nostrils ensuring the nostrils are completely dry.

The above does take practice. Depending on how you tip your head, water may go everywhere but your nose and even into the ears at first!  The good thing is that since the benefits of neti have gotten a lot of attention the past few years there are a slew of “how to’s” on the internet  if the above doesn’t work for you.

Avoid neti if you suffer from chronic bleeding or ear infections and when both nostrils are totally blocked due to colds and sinus infections.

Reference: Asana, Pranayama, Mudra Bandha  by Swami Satyananda Saraswati