Whether you believe in magic or not, it is more than likely that at one point in your life you have felt the power of the moon. The large reflective object, that lies 384,400 km away in space, not only offers us up a natural source of light at night and controls the rhythm of our tides, but it may also be behind the rhythm of how our emotions flow.

Since ancient times, people have celebrated the moon and have promoted its power and energy-lifting benefits through lunar rituals, moon bathing, moon dances and moon water. One of the more recent additions to the list combines both moonlit evenings with the calming and relaxing atmosphere of yoga.
Whilst traditional yoga practitioners would speak against practicing on new moon and full moon nights and most probably recommend using that time to allow the body’s natural cycle to synchronise with the moon, the mixture of both practicing yoga and bathing in the moonlight both provide benefits that compliment one another.

Tonbo no Yu is an onsen facility operated by Hoshino Resorts, a company that runs some of Japan’s most luxurious ryokans and offers up a range of opportunities unique to each hotel’s location.
During the end of August and through September Tonbo no Yu will be holding ‘Tsukikoyomi Yoga’ (Lunar Calendar Yoga), which combines a relaxing trip to the hot springs with a session of Moon Yoga.

Tsukikoyomi Yoga is being jointly run by Yoga company Suria, who will provide a Suria brand ambassador and Yogi to run the Moon Yoga sessions.
The event will only be held on 4 days, with schedules set for the first and last quarter moons, a new moon and a full moon. After the yoga session you will be encouraged to continue relaxing in the hot spring waters of Tonbo no Yu.

The yoga session will focus on building a connection between the phases on the moon and the rhythm of the human body. The lesson content is carefully designed so that people of all yoga abilities can partake. Even those with no previous knowledge and experience of yoga will be able to take part in the slow moving poses under the guidance of a professional Yogi.
After each session, participants will be provided with a specific herbal tea according to their age.

29 August 2020 – First Quarter Moon

The filling Moon – Relax and Energize with Instructor Hanako Murakami

As the theme of this lesson is the first quarter Moon which is filling up, participants will focus on relaxation and their vitality.
The session will incorporate basic yoga poses, deep breathing techniques and relaxing meditations. Relieve yourself of daily stress and prepare for tomorrow with this easy class. *Elementary School children are welcome to participate in this session.

5 September 2020 – Full Moon

Regain yourself with the flow of The Moon’s energy with Instructor Shunsuke Sakami

At its fullest, the energy of The Moon is at its maximum. Split into two sections, the first half of this class will incorporate dynamic deep breathing and yoga movements in order to keep the body refreshed.
In the second half of the session, the energy that was raised in the first half will gradually decrease. Towards the end of the session participants will focus on the suppleness and strength of the spine. The class will end with a seated meditation in the moonlight, where participants are encouraged to become aware of themselves through dynamic breathing.

12 September 2020 – Second Quarter Moon

The waning moon – Energy encompasses the body and heart with Instructor Mika Nihira

As the moon wanes, its energy begins to encircle the human body and heart. This session works with stretching technique to beautify and balance the body. With a large portion of the class focusing on the pelvis, this session is recommended to people who have concerns about their hip joints and legs.

18 September 2020 – New Moon

New moon, new beginning with Instructor Takaharu Hasegawa

As the New Moon represents a new start in the lunar calendar, this session focuses on new beginnings.
During the new moon, it is best to use this time to reset or cleanse oneself of the tiredness and stress of everyday life. It is also a great time to start something new, perhaps a hobby, skill or a new diet.
The class begins with dynamic breathing technique exercises. When the body is warm enough participants will move on to practicing moon poses underneath the New Moon, here, they will sense the new found energy of the lunar calendar as it begins its cycle once again.

After each yoga session participants are welcome to relax in the waters of Tonbo no Yu. Here you can find a large indoor bath with tall windows, and outside an open-air bath surrounded by trees. Feel the full power of the moon and immerse yourself in the natural hot-spring waters on Tonbo no Yu.

Tsukikoyomi Yoga Overview

Location: Momomi Square, Hoshino, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano 389-0194
Dates: Saturday 29 August, Saturday 5 September, Saturday 12 September, Friday 18 August
Time: 18:30 ~ 19:30 (arrive at reception by 18:00)
Price: 3,500 yen (plus tax). *Elementary school age students may only participate on Saturday 29 August at a price of 1700 yen (plus tax)
Includes: Yoga session, hot spring entry, herbal tea, towel set for bathing, rental yoga mat

Sessions can be booked on the website up until 18:00 pm on the preceding day. Use these sessions to learn more about our connection with the moon and revitalize with the power of the moon.

By - Connie Sceaphierde.