How To Practice The Moon Salutation Sequence In Yoga (2022)

Reviewed by Gaelle Clement, Natural Health Practitioner
Written by Shirin Mehdi

The Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskara) has a less popular but just as effective sister called the Moon Salutation (Chandra Namaskara). While the former is energizing, the latter is relaxing. As the name suggests, the Moon Salutation is performed in the soothing rays of the moonlight.

After a long, stressful day at work, the best thing you can gift to your body and mind is a peaceful session of the Moon Salutation. If you are familiar with Surya Namaskara, you already know how to go about this other salutation. But, there is a slight difference that you need to consider. What is it? In this article, we will discuss how both these salutations differ from each other and the sequence of Moon Salutation. So, keep scrolling to get started right away!

What is a moon salutation

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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

The difference between moon salutations chandra namaskar and 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

10. Ashwa Sanchalanasana

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

11. Ardha Chandrasana

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

12. Uttanasana

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

13. Hasta Uttanasana

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

14. Pranamasana

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

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.
  • It balances your energy, keeping you away from exhaustion.
  • Chandra Namaskar improves your flexibility.
  • It improves your confidence and reduces anger.

Frequently Asked 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.

The Moon Salutation comprises 14 poses representing as many lunar phases. It has a relaxing and soothing effect on the body and is performed in the relaxing rays of the Moon. The sequence starts and ends with Pranamasana with fewer reps performed than the Sun Salutations. Moreover, these asanas are performed slowly and in a relaxed way, unlike Surya Namaskara. Practicing the Moon Salutation every day is said to calm the body, reduce stress, strengthen muscles, improve blood circulation, enhance digestion, etc. Hence, try giving a shot at this yoga technique and welcome change in your life.

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Gaelle Clement

(Natural Health Practitioner)
Gaelle is an international health practitioner currently based in Krasnodar, Russia. She is passionate about helping people of all genders... more

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