With a new moon around the corner, it's perfect timing to share something new I recently learned. Everyone already knows sun salutations, but what about it's less popular little sister?
Drum roll please:
Moon Salutations, folks.
I know, I know, I’ve been doing a lot of talk about the moon lately. I’ve been feeling those wild woman vibes lately, and I’m all in...
Moon Salutations, known as Chandra Namaskar in sanskrit, are essentially a mandala flow.
It's a sequence of grounding postures designed to honor the moon and balance our energy. Why? Because it's really important for us to slow the f*ck down more often.
We live in a world that screams at us to do more, consume more, get it done faster, and be the best, it makes me want to puke. This is why we need yoga.
The side to side motions and circular pattern of this sequence represents the waxing and waning of the moon as it completes a full cycle. I’m not sure why it's not more popular, so I’d like to give it the attention it deserves.
Moon salutations are are all about shifting us out of that fiery "do more" masculine energy, and into that soothing, calming, feminine energy.
Moon Salutations, Step by Step
First things first. Set the vibe for your practice.
Maybe light a candle or two, whip out my Gettin Weird playlist, and get into that primative, goddess chick mode. If the weathers allows for it, practicing outdoors would be especially nice.
To start: Tadasana / Mountain Pose
Feet together or hip width distance apart.
Arms down at your sides, fingers spread, palms facing forward.
Take a moment here to become centered. Close your eyes, and draw your attention inwards. Begin to focus on your breathing. Filling your belly up on the inhale and gently pulling belly button to spine on the exhale. Think about what the moon represents for you.
1. Crescent moon / Side bend:
Inhale and sweep both arms overhead.
Grab the left wrist, exhale, and reach over to the right, shifting hips in opposite direction.
Inhale, come back to center
Grab the right wrist, exhale, and reach over the left, shifting hips out to the right.
Inhale, back to center, bring palms together in anjali mudra at your heart.
2. Goddess Pose
Inhale, step feet wide apart, Toes pointing slightly out.
Exhale, bend the knees and sink your hips down towards the ground
Keep knees in line with ankles. Knit the rib cage in and keep tailbone slightly tucked.
Goddess arms: out to the sides at shoulder height, bent at 90 angle, fingers spread, palms facing forward, mimicking the shape of the legs.
3. Star Pose
Inhale, straighten legs, toes pointing forward.
Arms out to sides in a T at shoulder height.
Palms facing forward, fingers engaged.
4. Trikonasana / Triangle:
Turn right foot out, left foot in. If using a yoga mat, you want your left foot parallel with the short edge of your mat.
Exhale, shift the hips out to the left, reaching long out over the right leg.
Tip torso down, rotate chest open, Right hand reaches down to block, shin or ankle.
Left shoulder stacked on top of right, left hand reaching toward sky.
Micro bend in the right knee to avoid hyper extending
5. Pyramid Pose
Bring left hand down to frame the right foot
Square your hips to the front
Baby step with back foot to shorten your stance, foot at a 45 degree angle
Ground down through the back foot
Inhale long flat back, exhale fold over right leg, chest towards thigh
6. Anjaneyasana / Low Lunge
Step left foot back, drop knee to floor
Right knee stacked over right ankle
Imagine a slight magnetic pull between your right heel and left knee
Inhale, lift arms up overhead
Belly button to spine, chest lifts
If it feels ok, find a baby back bend
Exhale, bring both hands to floor
Lift knee up off the ground, walk hands and pivot feet, opening up to the left side
Right leg stays bent
Left leg extended out to side, foot flexed
Option to find your balance, bringing your hands to prayer position at your heart center.
From here we transition over to skandasana on the other side.
We do this by walking our hands over to the left, bending into the left knee and extending the right leg long.
I like to refer to this move as the “primal jungle walk”. It’s one of my favorite moves. I like to pretend I’m doing it in a loin cloth on a tree limb.
AND THEN, we simply rewind back through the sequence, moving through poses 6-1, swapping out rights for lefts, and ending back where we started.
This fun little graphic took way too much time to create so please pin it on pinterest or share it somewhere!
Stop, Drop, and Moon Salute
Whenever you're feeling stressed, depleted, or low on energy
On new and full moons
Towards the end of yoga class as a cool down
At the end of the day before bed
So there ya go, try celebrating your next new or full moon with some moon salutations :-)
You can watch the full demonstration in this clip here: