Whenever we feel stressed, depleted or over stimulated, a calming moon salutation can balance our energy. Also known as Chandra Namaskar in Sanskrit, moon salutations nurture the moon’s calming energy and honor its immense power. The moon salutation benefits range from calming the body and cooling it of excess fire to connecting us to nature and balancing the chakras.
On the nights of a full moon or new moon, practicing a moon salutation outdoors, or setting a beautiful place indoors with healing crystals, candles and essential oils, will harness your ability to live in tune with the moon and capture its power. Before starting your Chandra Namaskar sequence, set your intention for your practice. If its around the time of a new moon, have your intention be something you’d like to bring into your life, while on the full moon, it should be what you’d like to release. Add a moon salutation sequence to your new moon ritual or full moon ritual to create a true appreciation for lunar energy.
Start your moon salutation yoga practice with a simple meditation. Bring your intention to your breath and intention. Read through the instructions below and then follow along with our moon salutation video. Practice the moon salutation sequence as many times as you’d like, ranging from one to 108 times.
How to Practice a Moon Salutation Sequence
- Come to the center of your mat. Find strength through your feet, lifting your core up and rolling your shoulders up, back and down. Bring your hands into prayer at your heart’s center.
- Inhale, extend your arms up overhead. Exhale, bend to the right. Inhale back through the center, and exhale as you bend to the left.
- Step your legs about torso distance apart, toes facing the corners of your mat. Inhale your arms up into a T position. Exhale sink into a wide, legged squat as you bend your arms at the elbow. This is known as Goddess Pose. Remember to keep your knees stacked over your ankles and to send your hips backwards as if you’re sitting in a chair to protect your knees and spine.
- Inhale as you come back to standing. Rotate your left toes to face the top edge of your mat and angle your right foot to be at a forty five-degree angle with the top of the mat. Also make sure that the arch of your back foot is in line with the heel of your front foot for stability. Bend the front knee, so that your thigh works its way to making a ninety-degree angle with the ground. Gaze of your front fingertips and you are in Warrior II.
- Exhale and place your back hand on your back thigh, and extend your front hand overhead, keeping the bend in your front knee.
- Inhale as you straighten the front knee and bring your arms back into a T position. From here, extend your front hand forward, as if you’re reaching across a counter. Then rotate your hands down, so your front hand rests on your shin and your top wrist is stacked over your bottom wrist, for Triangle Pose.
- Allow both hands to come to the ground, placing each hand on either side of your front leg. Rotate your back foot so it is now facing the top of your mat. If you’d like, you can lower your back leg for added stability.
- Inhale extend your left arm up, opening the chest to the left. Exhale, lower the left arm. Inhale again, extending the right arm overhead and exhale as you lower it.
- If you haven’t already, lower your back knee down for stability and inhale as you extend both hands up overhead into crescent moon pose. Exhale as you release both hands back to the ground.
- Inhale as you press through the toes of the back foot and bring the back foot closer to the front. Fold forward in Pyramid Pose.
- Exhale as you rotate your toes to face the side of the mat, folding deeper into a wide-leg foreword fold.
- Inhale extend your left arm up, twisting your torso open. Exhale as you close. Inhale as you extend your right arm up, and exhale as you close.
- Inhale as you slowly make your way back to standing with your feet wide and arms out in a T position.
- Repeat Steps 3-13 again, this time with the other side of your body.
- Exhale and step your feet together, inhale as you bring your arms up overhead.
- Exhale as you bend to the left, inhale as you come through the center and exhale as you bend to the right. Inhale as you come back to center, and exhale as you lower you’re hands down to your heart.
- Pause here and feel the energy you just created flow through your body. When you’re ready, you can repeat the moon salutation sequence or end your practice.
You may also enjoy our Sun Salutation Sequence.