What Is Moon Salutation And How To Do It? August 29, 2017

What does the moon remind you of? Love, tranquility, and stillness? Whatever it is, it feels nice to stand on the balcony and gaze at the moon. But, did you know there is something called the Moon Salutation that works wonders when practiced in the presence of the moon?

Moon Salutation is soothing and quieting like the rays of the moon. After a long day at work, that’s what you need. If you know how to practice the Surya Namaskar or the Sun Salutation, then you already know how to do the Chandra Namaskar. But, there is a small difference. To find that out, you have to keep reading.

What Is Moon Salutation And How To Do It

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Before we get into the details of the Moon Salutation, let’s compare it to its more famous sister practice – the Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskara.

Chandra Namaskar Vs Surya Namaskar

Chandra Namaskar Vs Surya Namaskar

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The difference between Chandra Namaskar and Surya Namaskar is similar to the difference between yin and yang, feminine and masculine. The Moon Salutation is relaxing whereas the Sun Salutation is energizing.

The Sun Salutation is about heat, light, and activity whereas the Moon Salutation is cooling, receptive, and meditative. Suryanamaskar is practiced in the morning when the sun rises and Chandra Namaskara in the evening when the moon is visible.

During the Sun Salutation practice, you must move from one pose to another quickly, while in the Moon Salutation, the poses are done slowly. Surya Namaskar is older than the Chandra Namaskar.

The Moon Salutation came into practice in the late 20th century. Chandra Namaskar is performed fewer times than Suryanamaskar. In Moon Salutation, Ardha Chandrasana is practiced after Ashwa Sanchalanasana whereas in the Sun Salutation, it is not performed.

The 12 steps of the Surya Namaskara refer to the 12 zodiac signs whereas the 14 poses of the Chandra Namaskara represent the 14 lunar phases.

Now, let’s learn how to practice the Moon Salutation.

The Moon Salutation Sequence

Following is the traditional sequence of the Moon Salutation.

  1. Pranamasana
  2. Hasta Uttanasana
  3. Uttanasana
  4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana
  5. Ardha Chandrasana
  6. Parvatasana
  7. Ashtanga Namaskara
  8. Bhujangasana
  9. Parvatasana
  10. AshwaSanchalanasana
  11. Ardha Chandrasana
  12. Uttanasana
  13. Hasta Uttanasana
  14. Pranamasana

1. Pranamasana

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How To Do: Stand straight. Keep your feet together and neck straight. Gaze forward. Bring your palms to the center of your chest and press them together to form the prayer mudra. Relax your body.

Tip: Keep hip-width distance between your feet if the thighs are rubbing against each other. It will ease your lower backache.

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2. Hasta Uttanasana

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How To Do: Inhale and raise your hands over your head, maintaining shoulder-width distance between them. Keep your arms straight. Bend backward, taking the arms along.

Tip: Keep your hands straight above the head when bending backward if bending it is not convenient.

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3. Uttanasana

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How To Do: Exhale and bend forward at the hip. Your torso should fall front, with your head touching the region just below the knee and your palms placed on the ground on either side of your feet.

Tip: If you have back issues, bend your knees for your palms to touch the floor and place your palms on your ankles if you are finding it difficult to put them on the ground.

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4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana 

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How To Do: Inhale and lunge forward on your left knee and stretch your right leg back as far as possible. Keep your toes tucked under. Bend backward and look upwards. Balance the pose with your arms by gripping the ground with your fingers.

Tip: Straighten your right knee such that it is at a 90-degree angle with the ground.

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5. Ardha Chandrasana

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 How To Do: Inhale and stretch your arms with your hands above your head. Arch backward, taking the arms along. Raise your chin and look upwards.

Tip: Straighten your right knee such that it is at a 90-degree angle with the ground.

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6. Parvatasana

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How To Do: Exhale and bring your arms down to the floor. Take your left leg back towards your right leg. Lift your body upwards at the hip. Straighten your legs and back. Keep your feet together and your palms pressed against the ground. Push your torso towards your ankles. Take a few deep breaths in this pose.

Tip: Bend your knees a bit if the pose is straining.

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7. Ashtanga Namaskara

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How To Do: Exhale and come onto your knees. Lower your knees, chest, and chin to the floor. Keep your abdomen and hips raised. Place your palms on either side of the chest.

Tip: Lower the knees before the chin and the chest.

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8. Bhujangasana

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How To Do: Inhale and bend your feet backward. Keep the palms intact. Lift your chest, slide it forward, and raise it while bending backward. Elongate your arms, square your shoulders and look upwards. Keep your hips and thighs on the floor.

Tip: Do not completely straighten your arms. Squeeze your buttocks and thighs to prevent lower backache.

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9. Parvatasana

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Get back to the Parvatasana position by lifting the hips and getting your feet onto the ground. Exhale when you raise your hips. Take a few breaths here.

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10. Ashwa Sanchalanasana

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Inhale and get into the Ashwa Sanchalanasana position (Same as 4).

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11. Ardha Chandrasana

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Raise your hands and stretch backward to get into the Ardha Chandrasana position (Same as 5).

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12. Uttanasana

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Stand up and bend forward to assume the Uttanasana (Same as 3).

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13. Hasta Uttanasana

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 Raise your torso and bend backward to come to the Hasta Padasana position (Same as 2).

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14. Pranamasana

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 Straighten up and form the Pranamasana (Same as 1).

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Now, that we know how to practice the Moon Salutation, let’s learn about its benefits.

 Benefits Of Chandra Namaskar

  • Chandra Namaskar helps you calm down.
  • It is soothing for those who feel stressed or overexcited.
  • The sequence helps channelize your creative energies.
  • The Moon Salutation strengthens and stretches your muscles.
  • It balances your energy, keeping you away from exhaustion.
  • The sequence is good for blood circulation and digestion.
  • Chandra Namaskar improves your flexibility.
  • It improves your confidence and reduces anger.

Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

Does the Moon Salutation work better for women?

Chandra Namaskar honors the feminine energy in each one of us.

Can I practice Chandra Namaskar every day?

Yes, the Moon Salutation is a great way to unwind at the end of the day.

You must be aware of the Surya Namaskar and maybe even practice it every day in the morning to energize yourself for the day. As much as energizing is important, after a long day of work, it is equally important to relax and slip into a meditative mode that will help you sleep better and wake up feeling well-rested. It is all connected, so do your part and keep the process smooth and healthy.

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