The sun and moon are not just entities in the sky - they are free medicine given to you by Mother Earth. The sun and the moon connect you to the yin and the yang, the god and the goddess within you, the male and the female – this is Mother Earth’s free medicine for us all to benefit from!
The rising sun, if viewed with your eyes, has an antidepressant effect on your mind. Wake with the rising sun, the way animals in nature do, and you will see many benefits. With the moon, you'll receive the same amazing, balancing benefits.
The moon, known as soma in sanskrit, which is also another name for kapha dosha (made of the elements of water and earth). Another sanskrit word for moon is Chandra.
Full moons have been known to have a big impact on thoughts, emotions, and the nervous system. The full moon is a special time to go inward, meditate, contemplate and give your overactive and overheated mind a break from constant thinking.
Visarga kala is the time of year when the nights grow longer and days shorten. During autumn and early winter times, kapha and pitta dosha show predominance.
During this time, it is the moon or soma that affects us beings living here on planet Earth. The cooling moon rays sweep across the hot and dry land rendering everything moist, dewy, cooled and softened. This is an ideal time to build up your strength for the year ahead with nourishing, sweet, unctuous foods. Our immunity is at its highest point this time of year.
Ayurvedic Full Moon Rituals
On full moon nights, you can make special recipes like Golden Moon Milk (see recipe below!), make moon water, gaze, chant and/or sing to express your gratitude to the moon.
The full moon is the best time to make ghee, as it permeates the ghee with super-nourishing qualities. The waxing moon phase controls soma or the very essence of life itself, while ghee is considered to be the very essence of milk itself. By preparing ghee during the full moon, we imbue the ghee with the highest essence of life, making it a true "superfood."
Golden Milk Recipe
Drink 1/2 to 1 cup of warm golden milk 30 minutes before bedtime. Here's Chef Sanjai's recipe, which was featured in my bestselling book, Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom.
1 cup whole cow's milk or goat's milk (not reduced fat)
4 cups water
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
2-3 green cardamom pods, crushed
2-6 saffron threads
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon powder
organic sugar to taste (1-3 teaspoons)
Combine milk and water in a medium saucepan. Add all spices (but not sugar). Heat on high, stirring occasionally until mixture begins to boil. Quickly reduce heat to medium-low and stir occasionally, ensuring mixture does not boil over. Cook until the added water has evaporated (20-25 mins). Once liquid has been reduced down to ~ 1 cup, remove from heat and strain, discarding any pods or spices left at the bottom. Add the sugar if using. Drink hot or warm. Sip on your golden milk in a quiet, cozy space, then prepare for bed.
Learn more delicious recipes from Chef Sanjai as part of my online Ayurveda course, Alchemy through Ayurveda.
Acharya Shunya is a globally-recognized spiritual teacher and Vedic lineage-holder who awakens health and consciousness through the Vedic sciences of Vedanta, Ayurveda and Yoga. Her life partner, Chef Sanjai has resurrected forgotten yet seasonally pertinent, healing and delicious ancient recipes and developed original recipes too, inspired by ancient Ayurvedic texts from 1 BCE to 16 CE.
Together, for the last 12 years, they have been the driving force behind their wisdom school Vedika Global's much awarded Ayurveda program, Alchemy through Ayurveda with its emphasis upon health through in depth knowledge of healing foods, spices and recipes. Follow Chef Sanjai on Facebook here!
Check out Acharya Shunya's best-selling book on the Vedic art of mind + body + soul well-being and health, Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom (Sounds True, 2017), which highlights Chef Sanjai's top 30 recipes for everyday health, spring detox, overcoming indigestion, etc. They have also recorded a unique series of classes together available in the Ayurveda Ancestral Herbal Library. In these classes, they share rare, lineage-based Ayurvedic recipes for handcrafting health with the power of Ayurvedic superfoods, spices, herbs and garden flowers. They are now co-authoring an Ayurvedic Cookbook.
Acharya Shunya's second book with Sounds True is to be released in 2020, titled, Sovereign Self, Claim Your Inner Joy and Freedom with the Empowering Wisdom of the Vedas, Upanishads, and Bhagavad Gita. She is a keynote speaker at national and international conferences and serves as an advisor to the Indian Government in matters pertaining to global integration and cultivation of Ayurveda and Yoga.