Moon Salutation – Chandra Namaskar

Moon salutation or Chandra Namaskar is a separate complex of yoga poses that can be performed in the evening. The benefits of practice are endless, as they not only contribute to the stress and negative emotions release, but also help to completely relax.

Chandra Namaskar consists of a series of asanas that help to balance the energy of the human body. This practice is useful for people who often experience stress and pressure.

Since the Moon itself does not emit its own light, but only reflects the sun, Moon Salutation is the mirror reflection of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation). On the contrary, the Moon Salutation allows cooling the body and replenishing energy reserves. It also helps to understand the very essence of the practice.

Performing this complex has many advantages for the body:

  • stress release;
  • due to the breathing exercises performing with the sound, which is recommended for the practice, the parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated. So, it launches the recovery and relaxation processes in the body;
  • improves blood circulation;
  • improves the condition of the joints and the spine.

When performing Moon Salutation it is worth remembering that the main feature of the practice is calm, smooth rhythm.

1.     Pranamasana:

  • stand straight, legs, and feet together;
  • bend the elbows, palms together – prayer position;
  • eyes are closed;
  • try to get rid of unnecessary thoughts;
  • relax the muscles;
  • breathing is smooth and calm.

2.     Hasta Uttanasana:

  • legs together;
  • raise your hands shoulder-width apart, inhale;
  • palms raised up;
  • smoothly bend your upper body and hands backward.

3.     Uttanasana:

  • legs together and straight;
  • bend forward smoothly, exhale;
  • when you bended completely, palms should be placed on the floor near the legs;
  • legs straight;
  • touch your knees with your forehead. This action is slow and is final in the position. You should do it as much as possible, do not expect it to work out right away. It is important not to overstrain the body and not to bring the muscles to pain.

4.     Ashwa Sanchalanasana:

  • put your right leg backward to the maximum distance, the left leg is bent;
  • arms straight, palms on the floor;
  • the knee and fingers of the right foot should touch the floor;
  • gently tilt your head back and arch your back;
  • deeply inhale.

5.     Ardha Chandrasana:

This position also has the name of “Crescent”, and you need to perform a smooth transition from the previous asana.

  • maintaining the balance of the body, lower the right support leg down, leaning on the knee;
  • take a deep breath, raise your hands and stretch them over your head;
  • lift your head up, raising your chin as high as possible. Externally, the position resembles a crescent;
  • gently lower your hands, holding them in the “prayer” position, after that place them on the floor, palms down.

6.     Adho Mukha Svanasana:

  • move your left leg beside, put both legs and feet together;
  • your back straight, buttocks are at the highest point of the pose. Asana resembles a triangle;
  • place your head between your hands, arms straightened, hands touching the surface;
  • take a few breaths.

7.     Ashtanga Namaskar:

This position is also called eight-limbed salutation because eight points of the body touch the floor.

  • lower your body to the floor by simultaneously lowering your knees, chin, and chest to the floor;
  • legs bent at the knees, knees touching the ground, arms bent;
  • the chin touches the floor, while the chest does not rest on the ground, but slides over it;
  • hips and abdomen slightly raised.

8.     Bhujangasana:

  • lower your hips on the floor, legs straight;
  • slide your chest forward, arching smoothly your back;
  • arms are straightened, or bended if it’s too tense;
  • the back and head are arched as much as possible.
  • the stomach is located close to the ground;
  • the position of the hips and legs remains unchanged, but engage them also, squeeze buttocks and thighs;
  • breathing is deep.

9.     Adho Mukha Svanasana:

  • hands and feet in the same position, raise your hips up;
  • straighten your back;
  • arms and legs straightened;
  • try to put heels on the floor;
  • take a few breaths.

10.  Ashwa Sanchalanasana:

  • move the left leg forward to the maximum distance, bend the left leg;
  • hands are straight, palms are on the floor;
  • the knee and the fingers of the right foot should touch the floor (the right foot is the supporting leg);
  • tilt your head back gently, arch your back;
  • Inhale.

11.  Ardha Chandrasana

  • keeping the balance of the body, raise your hands up;
  • stretch arms over your head;
  • on a deep breath, raise your head up, placing your chin as high as possible, arch your back. Externally, the position resembles a crescent symbol;
  • gently lower hands, holding them in a “prayer” position, after that you place them on the floor.

12.  Uttanasana:

  • bring the right leg forward, legs straight, feet together;
  • smoothly bend forward;
  • the stomach is retracted when tilting, make a full exhalation;
  • place your palms on the floor;
  • slowly touch your knees with the forehead. It is important not to overstrain the body, do it as comfortable as possible.

13. Hasta Uttanasana:

  • raise your torso with the hands width apart, inhale;
  • smoothly bend the upper part of the back with your hands over the head.

14.  Pranamasana:

  • stand straight, legs and feet together;
  • place palms together in front of the chest in a “prayer” position;
  • eyes are closed;
  • try to get rid of unnecessary thoughts;
  • relax the muscles;
  • breathing smoothly and calmly.

This is only a half cycle. Repeat it changing the legs in steps 4,5,10 and 11 to stretch the other side. All other asanas remain the same.

It is better to perform this complex with little light, starting with a short meditation. Even a 20-minute practice will be enough for evening exercises.

Remember about your own physical and moral attitude to the Moon Salutation. At the initial stage perform 3 rounds of a cycle (1 circle – 28 exercises), increasing the number of circles to 7.

You should perform Moon Salutation with full awareness, listening to your body, its needs and requirements. You should not expect that you will make each exercise perfectly after the first time; pain should not accompany your practice.