#19 Chandra Namaskara – Moon Salute

The Moon Salutation is a series of postures (asanas) done in sequence in honor of the moon and its special energies.

Everything is relative: the sun is yang relative to the moon. But, the moon is yang relative to the earth. Even the salutations to the moon can be too warming for the muscles at some times. However, on a cold winter morning when the muscles are very stiff and frozen, a few rounds of a moon salutation could be ideal just before a yin practice.

Just as there are dozens of variations of Sun Salutations, there are many versions of Moon Salutations. The offering below is based on the Kripalu tradition

Yoga is not about self-improvement, it’s about self-acceptance. ~Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa

The Moon Salutation, known in Sanskrit as “Chandra Namaskara” , is a serie of poses performed in a particular sequence to create a cooling flow of movement. Like the popular Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskara), each pose in a Moon Salutation is coordinated with your breathing: Inhale to extend, and exhale to bend. But unlike Sun Salutations, which are heating and stimulating, Moon Salutations are cooling and quieting. They are used to calm the mind and draw your awareness inward. Moon Salutations are useful when energy or temperatures are high and a tranquil, quiet presence is required. Follow the steps below and familiarize yourself with the essential components of the Moon Salutations!

 

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As mentioned it is the Kripalu Traditional Moon Salutation. While practicing Kripalu Yoga, you will be encouraged to approach each session with an attitude of prayer, where your body becomes a temple through which you can implore the presence of the divine. Given below are the 3 stages of Kripalu Yoga –

Stage 1: Willful Practice

In this stage, you need to pay exact attention to the details and alignment of each posture. You’ll also learn about breathing deeply, coordinating your breath with movement. The different aspects of this stage include –

  • Asana (posture)
  • Press points
  • Willful versus forceful
  • Self-acceptance
  • Pranayama (Control of Breath and Life Force)

Stage 2: Will and Surrender

In this stage, you will need to continue integrating the guidelines of the first stage, but prolong the holding of each posture. Some of the aspects of this stage include –

  • Pratyahara (Internalizing your outgoing energy)
  • Dharna (Concentration)
  • Working with fear and pain
  • Releasing the posture
  • Spontaneous movement

Stage 3: Surrender to the Wisdom of the Body

After completing the first 2 stages of kripalu yoga, you move to the final expression or the third stage, in which you need to, put aside all the rules and restrictions you’ve been practicing. The important aspects of this stage include –

  • The wisdom of Prana
  • Dhyana (Meditation)
  • Samadhi (Absorption)

With this intention, you can reach new depths in your life, as well as your practice of this discipline.

Asanas:

Easy to perform, I have introduced all the asanas you will need for this ritual on the previous posts; including steps, benefits and cautions.

Hope you enjoyed!

See you tomorrow!!

Namaste

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