Yoga has been practised for thousands of years and has become a popular form of exercise and relaxation in the modern world. From dynamic flows to intense poses, yoga offers a wide range of practices that can benefit both the physical and mental well-being of individuals. One such practice is Chandra Namaskar, also known as Moon Salutation. This yoga asana is a gentle yet powerful sequence that can help calm the mind, body, and soul.
What is Chandra Namaskar?
Chandra Namaskar is a series of yoga poses that are performed in a specific sequence to honour and connect with the energy of the moon. Just like Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) which is performed in the morning, Chandra Namaskar is usually practised in the evening or at night when the moon is visible. This practice involves a series of 14 poses that flow together, creating a beautiful dance-like sequence.
How to Practice Chandra Namaskar?
To begin your practice of Chandra Namaskar, find a quiet and comfortable space where you can move freely without any distractions. You can use a yoga mat or practice on a soft surface such as grass or carpet. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)
Stand tall at the front of your mat with your feet together and hands in a prayer position at your heart centre.
Take a few deep breaths to centre yourself and set your intention for the practice.
Step 2: Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
Inhale and raise your arms towards the sky, keeping your hands together in a prayer position.
Arch your back slightly, opening up your chest and lifting your gaze towards your fingertips.
Step 3: Padahastasana (Standing Forward Bend)
Exhale and slowly bend forward from your hips, keeping your spine straight.
Bring your hands down to touch the ground or rest them on your shins.
Step 4: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
Inhale and step your right foot back, keeping your left foot in place.
Gently lower your right knee to the ground and lift your head.
Step 5: Santholanasana (Plank Pose)
Exhale and bring your left foot back to join the right, coming into a plank position.
Ensure that your body is in a straight line from head to heels.
Step 6: Ashtanga Namaskar (Eight-Limbed Salutation)
Slowly lower your knees, chest, and chin to the ground while exhaling.
Your hips should remain lifted, and elbows should be tucked close to the body.
Step 7: Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Inhale and slide forward into a cobra pose, keeping your legs and pelvis on the ground.
Your hands should be placed beside your chest, and your shoulder blades should be pulled back.
Step 8: Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Exhale and lift your hips towards the sky, coming into a downward-facing dog pose.
Your hands should be shoulder-width apart, and your feet should be hip-width apart.
Step 9: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
Inhale and step your right foot forward between your hands, keeping your left knee on the ground.
Lift your head and gaze towards your fingertips.
Step 10: Padahastasana (Standing Forward Bend)
Exhale and bring your left foot forward to meet the right, coming into a forward bend.
You can bend your knees if needed to touch the ground with your hands.
Step 11: Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
Inhale and slowly rise, keeping your arms by the sides of your body.
Arch your back slightly and lift your gaze towards the sky.
Step 12: Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)
Exhale and bring your hands back to the prayer position at your heart centre.
Take a moment to feel the energy flowing through your body.
Repeat steps 2-12 with the left foot leading in steps 4 and 9 to complete one round of Chandra Namaskar. You can practice as many rounds as you like, depending on your comfort level.
The Benefits of Chandra Namaskar
Chandra Namaskar is a gentle practice that offers numerous benefits for the mind, body, and soul. The yoga pose helps to calm the mind, balances hormones, increases flexibility, aids in digestion and also, promotes better sleep.
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