Step-by-Step Moon Salutation - Chandra Namaskara

The moon salutation sequence, known in Sanskrit as Chandra Namaskara or Chandra Namaskar focuses on channelizing lunar energy which represents cool, relaxing, and creative qualities. You will find that this sequence calls for us to step the left foot forward first instead of the right which is found in Sun salutations or Surya Namaskar. As we honor the lunar side of the body evoking a grounding energy in this sequence, it can be a supportive practice before bed.

This sequence of asanas stretches and strengthens all of the major muscle groups, aids in flexibility and increases the function and balance of the respiratory, circulatory and digestive systems. There are different variations of this practice with some that include a standing side stretch, triangle pose, skandasana, goddess pose and pyramid. Enjoy exploring the different interpretations including this one below.

1

Mountain Pose - Tadasana and Raised Arms Pose - Urdhva Hastasana

Mountain Pose and Raised Arms Pose with Backbend. © Barry Stone

Begin the sequence standing in Mountain Pose - Tadasana.

Inhale - Hook the thumbs of your outstretched arms as you raise them up over the head. This variation of Raised Arms Pose -Urdhva Hastasana is a backbend, so reach the arms toward the wall behind you.

2

Standing Forward Bend - Uttanasana

Standing Forward Bend - Uttanasana. © Barry Stone

Exhale - Fold forward into a variation of Standing Forward Bend - Uttanasana. As you exhale, let the arms swing down behind your back. Interlace your fingers behind the back and bring your hands over your head as you fold forward.

3

Lunge Pose

High Lunge. © Barry Stone

Inhale - Release your interlaced hands as you swing the arms up next to your ears and step the right foot back to the end of your mat coming into a High Lunge.

4

Downward Facing Dog - Adho Mukha Svanasana

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Downward Facing Dog. © Ann Pizer

Exhale - Drop the hands to the front of your mat as you step the left foot to the back of the mat coming into Downward Facing Dog.

5

Plank Pose

Plank Pose. © Barry Stone

Inhale - Come forward into Plank Pose.

6

Knees, Chest, Chin - Ashtanga Namaskara and Cobra - Bhujangasana

Knees, Chest, Chin - Ashtanga Namaskara and Cobra - Bhujangasana. © Barry Stone

Exhale - Lower down to Knees, Chest, Chin.

Inhale - Come forward into Cobra Pose.

Advanced Alternative (not pictured):

Exhale - Lower down to Chaturanga.

Inhale - Come forward to Upward Facing Dog.

7

Back to Downward Facing Dog

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Downward Facing Dog. © Ann Pizer

Exhale - Push back to Downward Facing Dog.

8

Lunge Pose

High Lunge. © Barry Stone

Inhale - Step the right foot to the front of your mat as you bring the arms up next to your ears coming into a High Lunge Pose.

9

Standing Forward Bend - Uttanasana

Standing Forward Bend - Uttanasana. © Barry Stone

Exhale - Step the left foot forward to meet the right foot as you swing the arms down and interlace the fingers behind your back coming into a variation of Standing Forward Bend - Uttanasana.

10

Raised Arms Pose - Urdhva Hastasana and Mountain Pose - Tadasana

Raised Arms Pose - Urdhva Hastasana and Mountain Pose - Tadasana. © Barry Stone

Inhale - Release the hands from behind your back and hook the thumbs in front of you as you come up to stand. In a continuous movement, take the arms up and back behind you coming into Raised Arms Pose -Urdhva Hastasana.

Exhale - Bring the arms back along the side of the body as you come back into Mountain Pose - Tadasana.

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