By now we know all about the Sun Salutations (see blog post on Sun Salutations), it's time to talk about the Moon salutations, or Chandra Namaskar in Sanskrit. You may notice in the future that the Moon and I are getting very friendly this year! I will try to continuously bring you the New Moon Wishing guidance for each month, to harness the energy of each cycle as best as we can. The second new moon of the year is coming up on 15th February, it will be an Aquarius New Moon (see blog post on it in a couple of days time) and what better way to pay our respects to the Moon than to salute her.
Starting with the energy that the Moon brings to us, the lunar energy is cooling, calming, relaxing (mind you try telling that to people who go crazy at the Full Moon). The Moon is all about emotions, and as emotions heighten during Lunations (Full or New Moons) if we have craziness coming up it is just a reflection of what we are pushing down and refusing to feel for the rest of the month.
What are the main differences between Sun and Moon Salutations?
-Sun Salutations trigger heat in the body - awakening and energising it. Moon Salutations provide cooling - a soothing and calming effect.
-Sun Salutations are a yang practice, whilst the Moon Salutations are more yin.
-In the Sun Salutation you face the front of the mat, in the Moon Salutation you move around facing front, side and back.
-Sun Salutations are practised in the morning, Moon Salutations more in the evening or at lunations.
Benefits of the Moon sequence:
-focus on the lower body, stretching and strengthening all of the major muscle groups, aiding flexibility and aiding respiratory, circulatory and digestive systems.
-preparing the body for a restful night
-cooling if there is too much fire in the body
-they have a meditative, calming effect
Step-by-step Moon Salutation:
2. Upward Salute
3. Standing Crescent Pose away from the center of the mat
4. Upward Salute
5. Standing Crescent Pose towards the center of the mat
6. Upward Salute
7. Goddess Pose
8. Star Pose
9. Star Pose turning to the right
10. Triangle Pose to the right
11. Pyramid Pose over right foot
12. Lunge over right foot
13. Wide legged squat over right leg (or in lighter version Side angle Pose to right)
14. Squat (or in lighter version Goddess pose with arms resting on thighs)
15. Wide legged squat over left leg (or in lighter version Side angle Pose to left)
16 Lunge over left foot
17. Pyramid Pose over left foot
18. Triangle Pose to the left
19. Star Pose turning to the left
20. Star Pose
21. Goddess Pose
22. Upward Salute
23. Standing Crescent Pose towards the center of the mat
24. Upward Salute
25. Standing Crescent Pose away from the center of the mat
26. Upward Salute
Enjoy this short video of the Moon Salutation, the first round is an easier version where instead of the side squats we come into Side angle Pose, and instead of the full Malasana, Squat pose, coming into a low Goddess pose.
When shooting the video I was going for the dark Moon ambiance but the video turned out too dark and I had to use the light filter which effected the quality of the video, hope you can still enjoy it.