The Ease of the Moon
Updated: Apr 27, 2020
Based on the influence of some of my teaching instructors, I've added more aspects of Moon Salutation, or chandra namaskar, to sessions. Similar to Sun Salutation, there are variations in the Moon sequencing to keep things both interesting and progressive.
Kelly Harris, co-owner of tapas yoga shala in Rock Island, IL, likes to use a short Moon sequence on days when she feels particularly stiff or needs to awaken slowly. Para Yoga Teacher Karina Mirsky of Kalamazoo, MI believes the moon sequence to be important to the balance of lunar and solar energies.
There are other teachers who build Moon Salutations into special classes hosted during the new moon, full moon, or waning moon. Some teachers like to only do a Moon sequence in the evening, as the moon rises, for example; others believe it's appropriate for any time of day.
I think it's helpful for creating calming energy, because it's usually practiced more slowly than a typical Sun Salutation, which is specifically designed to heighten awareness. I also like the ease of a Moon sequence and that it's usually accessible to all practitioners with few modifications. Typical poses in a Moon Salutation include: *Child's Pose (any variation) *Hero Seat *Garland *Cat/Cow or just Cow *Extended Kneeling Pose and/or Modified Camel Pose *Half-Moon Pose (standing or kneeling--just the lateral spine bend only) *Downward Dog *Kneeling Lunge *Kneeling or Standing Head-to-Knee Pose But again, there are many variations that create different aspects of vitality. For example, you'll notice the difference between a Moon Salutation of all standing poses vs. one with predominately kneeling or resting mat poses. Keep this in mind when you practice at home. The psychological benefits of a Moon sequence can be enhanced with other quiet, nurturing practices, such as journaling, taking a soothing Epsom salt bath with scented oils, and disconnecting from technology.