Moon Salutations, also known as Chandra Namaskar, place the focus on inward experience and gentle awareness. This calming flow channels a cool, relaxing, and creative energy. It will also stretch and strengthen your spine, legs, arms, back, and stomach. Move through the sequence slowly and mindfully staying connected to deep, smooth, breaths from the diaphragm.
Moon Salutations can be included as part of a longer practice or on their own for a restorative, calming flow. The contemplative aspect of this flow makes it the perfect end to a long day or a grounding practice first thing in the morning. Remember, the postures are just postures – you have to bring the breath. It’s all about finding what feels good for you and remaining mindful through each movement. Connect and let this restorative practice soothe your mind and body.
1. PRAYER POSE
Begin standing, grounding through the feet and stacking head over heart over pelvis. Maintain awareness of the line running up and down your spine. Bring your palms together in front of your sternum. Take a moment with your eyes closed to connect to your breath, breathing deeply from the diaphragm.
2. RAISED ARMS POSE
Inhale. Bring your arms forward and up, reaching as high as possible. Feel the stretch through the sides of your body and down your spine. Gently arch your back by pushing your arms back and your hips forward. Relax your shoulders and connect to your core through deep intentional breaths. Only go as far back as feels good.
3. STANDING FORWARD FOLD
Exhale. Come back to center and then gently bend forward from your hips. Reach your hands down and allow a generous bend in the knee if necessary, finding what feels good. Relax through your shoulders, neck and head releasing any built up tension.
4. EQUESTRIAN POSE
Inhale. Step your right leg back and put your right knee to the floor, toes pointing back. Stack your left knee over your left ankle, arching your back to look at the sky. Make sure to stay connected to your core and listen to your body here.
Raise your arms and stretch back to look at the sky. Pull your shoulders away from the ears and tilt your head back, breathing deeply.
6. MOUNTAIN POSE
Exhale. Bring your palms to the floor and step your left foot back. From your core, lift your hips into the air. Push away from the ground through all of your fingers and toes. Take a minute to enjoy the stillness and connect to your breath.
7. EIGHT-LIMBED SALUTATION
Exhale. Come onto your toes and lower your knees, chin, and chest to the floor. Keep your hips and belly lifted.
Inhale With awareness through the spine, pull forward, dropping your hips and raising your heart up and forward. Open your shoulders away from the ears and look up the sky. Keep your hips and thighs grounded.
9. MOUNTAIN POSE
Exhale. Release down and push up your hips up. Ground through every finger and push away from the matt. Lengthen through the spine and ground through the heels.
10. EQUESTRIAN POSE
12. STANDING FORWARD FOLD
Exhale. Come back to center and gently bring your right foot up to the left and push up through your legs, bringing the crown of your head to the floor. Bend forward from your hips, allowing a generous bend in the knee. Relax through your neck and shoulders. Inhale and exhale mindfully.
13. RAISED ARMS POSE
Slowly rise up on the inhale connecting through the feet and rolling up through every vertebra. Stretch your arms forward and up, pushing your thumbs back. Breathing in, come up to standing position. Gently arch your back and stretching your arms back, pushing your forward. Maintain relaxation through the jaw and neck.
14. PRAYER POSE
Return to center and exhale, gently releasing your arms to your sides. Take a moment to breathe and bring awareness to both sides of the body. Bring your hands to heart and begin again, repeating the practice on the opposite side and then as many times as feels right.