yoga teacher certificationBy Faye Martins

What are Moon Salutations? A Moon Salutation, or Chandra Namaskar, is the counterpart to the Sun Salutation. While the Sun Salutation pays respect to the masculine side of our nature, the Moon Salutation does the opposite by honoring our feminine side. Moon Salutations are less stimulating than the Sun Salutation, providing a more calming effect than the energy generated by a Sun Salutation. We often use the Sun Salutation to generate heat within the body, and get our engines revved up for the day. A Moon Salutation, then, is often used to cool down the body and mind at the end of a long day. Moon Salutations work to open the path to enlightenment by unveiling our inherent wisdom, creativity, balance and intelligence.

Much like the Sun Salutations, there is more than one version of the Moon Salutations. Moon Salutations may be practiced at any time of the day or night. They are particularly powerful, however, when performed outdoors, under a full moon. Since the pose is meant to celebrate the moon and all of its power, performing it by moonlight will allow you to absorb the moon’s energy to enhance healing, intuition, and empowerment.

Begin a Moon Salutation in Mountain Pose. Check for proper alignment; toes, shoulders and hips facing forward, tailbone lengthened, belly pulled in and the roof of your mouth lifted toward the sky. Inhale as you bring both arms up toward the sky in a Standing Back Bend. Open your heart to the moon. Exhale as your reach both arms out and down into a Standing Forward Bend. Release the weight of your arms and head while you gently engage the kneecaps, but do not lock the knees.

Inhale as you lift the torso up and step the right foot back into a lunge. Exhale and plant your right knee on the mat. Inhale, then carefully reach your arms up and back, pressing your shoulder blades down your back, away from the ears in Crescent pose. Exhale as you bring the hands down beside feet, then step the left foot back and lift your hips up into Downward Facing Dog. Inhale and lift your right leg up behind you, squeezing your thighs to keep your hips squared to the front, into One Legged Downward Facing Dog.

Exhale, stepping your right leg forward between your hands, into a deep lunge on the opposite side. Inhale, drawing your hands up and back into another Crescent pose. Exhale, stepping your left foot forward next to the right, into another Forward Bend. Inhale as you slowly come to a standing position again, reaching your arms up and behind in another Standing Back Bend. To complete the pose, exhale into Mountain Pose; hands in Prayer Position above the heart.

© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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