By Kimaya Singh
Are there similarities in the solar and lunar salutations? The practice of Yoga is certainly accessible to people of all ages and all fitness levels. Many of the poses can be modified to fit the needs of the practitioner. People often use blocks and straps to help them with the poses, especially at first. Beginners are often familiar with the Sun Salutations, as they are an important part of contemporary Hatha Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga. Examples include Mountain Pose and Downward Facing Dog. The Lunar (Moon) Salutations are offered as your practice of Yoga evolves and are more conducive for intermediate level practitioners. Some of these poses require a bit more experience and focus to do them correctly.
Back strength is a major component to Lunar Salutations. After starting out in Mountain Pose, practitioners must then go into a partial back bend with their arms stretched out behind them. From there, bend forward at the waist into a Standing Forward Bend. The legs are straight, with the forehead to the knees. Arms are also straight and are to be lifted behind the back with the hands connected. The stretch will be felt in the arms and the back. After this pose, go into a Lunge then Downward Facing Dog. Notice how Moon Salutations call for deep stretches.
The next step in this sequence is the Plank Pose. Plank is good for strengthening both abdominals and the back. The next pose is Knees, Chest and Chin, aptly named because those are the body parts touching the floor. The hips are above the knees and the chest, and this is almost like a modified push-up. This position is good for the arms. After that pose, Cobra is next. From there, return to Downward Facing Dog then back into a Lunge Pose before standing up and going into Standing Forward Bend. Stand up straight and move into a back bend, with your arms reaching out behind you before going back to Mountain Pose.
The whole sequence is usually repeated a number of times. Special attention must be paid to the breath. Many people feel this salutation in the back and the abdominal area. Modifications can be done to make the poses easier or more challenging. The Lunar Salutations are not necessarily meant for practicing at a rapid pace due to their challenging flow. However, mastering them at a slow pace will definitely help one wind down and add more variety to one’s Yoga practice.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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