Eclipses: A Yogi's Perspective

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Eclipses have always been regarded as great times for practices of chanting and meditation in yoga - but not for asanas. During eclipses, it is very important to remain completely aware and conserve energy

 

An eclipse takes place when a celestial body is temporarily obscured, either by another body transiting between it and the observer, or between it and its source of illumination. They usually refer to either solar or lunar eclipses.

During a solar eclipse, the sun is obscured by the moon. During a lunar eclipse, it is the earth that obscures the sun; in other words, the moon passes into the shadow of the earth.

 

Why aren’t there Solar eclipses every month if the moon circles the earth?

This is because the moon’s orbit around the earth and the earth’s orbit around the moon are not on the same plane. The moon’s orbit is tilted by more than 5 degrees to the earth’s orbit around the sun, which makes the moon’s shadow miss the earth. Only when all three celestial bodies are aligned, can a solar eclipse take place.  

 

Eclipse’s and Yoga

Eclipses have always been regarded as great times for practices of chanting and meditation in yoga - but not for asanas. During eclipses, it is very important to remain completely aware and conserve energy. They are regarded as very inauspicious times for all worldly or material activity. The yoga texts say, that any chanting practiced during an eclipse will give manifold results, some even say that the effects are multiplied by a thousand.

 

Yoga practice for an Eclipse 

  • Never look at an Eclipse. Not even through special glasses or other equipment.
  • Try not to eat or drink at least four hours before and after an eclipse (if possible don’t even drink water). This will give your systems a complete rest and will aid in having total body awareness.
  • Disconnect your phones, computers and all distractions at least thirty minutes before the eclipse starts until thirty minutes after it ends.
  •  Sit in any meditative posture, or if uncomfortable sit on a chair or against the wall. Close your eyes and start to breath as deep as possible, feel your abdomen expand and contract. Continue to do so until your body feels completely relaxed and you develop awareness of your physical body.
  • Start your practice by chanting a mantra. If you have a rosary, then count the beads. Try to chant at least 108 times or if possible 1080 times.
  • If you don’t have a mantra, chant Om. This is known as the Pranava mantra, the primal sound. When chanting Om, ensure the chant is prolonged. It should be pronounced Aum. When chanting correctly; the resonance of “A” should be felt in the head, the resonance of “U” should be felt in the chest, and the prolonged “M” should be felt near the navel.

Photo credit: Celso Oliveira

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