September 22, 2023. On this day the Moon passes the local meridian of 180° due S at 7:01 pm Pacific time (UTC-7), just as Christopher’s Yin Yoga class is beginning, and ten minutes after the Sun has set. The Moon touches its light / shade equivalence at 12:09 pm. The next day, on the Autumnal Equinox, the Sun rises due East and sets due West.
This Quarter Moon is a cardinal point, a singular instant in space and time where the Moon is exactly orthogonal to the Earth. Much like the next day’s Autumnal Equinox where the Earth is at a right angle to the Sun — all this relative to the long axes of New and Full Moons, and Solstices (the other cardinal points) — Yin and Yang are in parity, if only briefly. The Moon appears equally lit and shaded, and day and night are of near fifty / fifty duration. Balance!
After, the illumination of the Moon’s surface spreads toward the Full Moon a week later. And, In the Southern Hemisphere, following the Equinox, the days get longer and longer, the air and Earth begin warming, and eventually Summer manifests. (Here in the north, it’s just the opposite, Winter will soon be taking hold.)
The lunar phase is the First Quarter Moon of lunation 1246. The Early Heaven Bagua trigram is Fire. Fire indicates, among other things, a departure, or a change of state. Moving from predominately Yin to predominately Yang. Indeed that’s the case. It’s self-evident, but maybe less obvious.
Such processes are part of life. In fact, they are life. The interplay of these polarities, ostensible opposites, reveal natural cycles. The aforementioned seasons, the lunar phases, day and night, work and rest, sleep and wakefulness, breathing … So mundane, yet so vital.
I don’t believe all this order was planned, per se, nor do I think it’s accidental. Rather, it’s an example of a particular system’s function. What system? The Universe, of course. These moments — Quarter Moons or Equinoxes — are reminders. We are not separate and apart from Nature. However insignificant we are nonetheless integral to it all.
What can we do to maintain personal balance, even if on our own tiny scale? Let me recommend adding some calming Yin yoga to offset the often frantic, harried, day-to-day of modern existence. And it does seem more frenetic than ever, doesn’t it? So, as the circling fishes of the Taiji (the Yin / Yang symbol) reveal, balance is dynamic and is rarely a one-to-one arrangement. With Yin yoga a little goes a long way. Find out for yourself!
Friday’s Yin yoga specifically acknowledges such dynamics. The sequence is:
- Supported Back Extension
- Gambling (Deep Squat)