A Moon Salutation

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 round 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 the Moon Salutation. The offering below is based on the Kripalu tradition as adapted by the Ra-Hoor-Khuit Network. You may find it a great way to prepare the hips for a yin session targeting the liver. [Additional information can be found at the web site Ra-HoorKhuit Network.] This Chandra Namaskar [Moon Salutation] begins in mountain pose [Tadasana], just like a Sun Salutation. From there the flow is quite different. Use your breath as the envelope for all movements: begin the breath before you begin the movement and end the movement before you end the breath. 1) Anjali Mudra: Stand in Tadasana. Root your feet, hug your thighs together, and lift your crown to the moon. Press palms together at elbow level in anjali mudra (prayer).

2) Half Moon: Lift arms overhead, interlacing fingers, and pointing index fingers upward in temple position. Root left foot and left hip, extending torso and bend to the right. Root right foot and right hip and, extending the torso, come back through center - bending to the left. Root left foot, return to center.

3. Goddess: Step to the right and point feet slightly outward. Soften knees and squat, lowering your sitting bones and your bent elbows downward, but raise your hands and fingertips upward.

4. Star: Root feet and straighten legs, keeping feet wide apart. Hug thighs to the middle and lift your crown skyward. Extend fingertips and arms at shoulder level.

5. Triangle: Turn right toes to right, left heel to left, and press left hip, extending torso to right. Lower right hand as you raise left hand.

6. Pyramid: Lower both hands toward right foot, folding over the right leg. Rest your hands on leg, foot, or the floor. Root your feet and tighten your thighs, lifting your kneecap.

7. Lunge: Bend the forward (right) knee, bringing hands to floor on either side of front foot, and lower your back knee to floor. Root the right foot and top of the left foot into the floor.

8. Wide Leg Squat: Bring both hands to the inside of the right foot, and lower your tailbone as you pivot the right foot to face the center, rotating the left leg so that toes point upward. Bring your hands together in anjali mudra. If that is too challenging, keep the palms on the floor.

9. Squat: Bring the right leg toward center. Root your feet, lowering your tailbone. If flexibility allows, bring palms together at elbow level. If your heels are lifted, don't worry about it: you could try keeping the feet a little wider apart. Keep the knees and feet pointing in the same direction.

10. Wide Leg Squat: With hands once again on the floor, extend right leg to the side. Bring your hands together in anjali mudra. If that is too challenging keep the palms on the floor.

11. Lunge: Pivot to face the left knee, with hands on either side of the left foot, rotating the right leg and bringing the right knee to floor. Root the left foot and top of the right foot into the floor.

12. Pyramid: This time fold over the straightening left leg. Rest your hands on leg, foot, or the floor. Root your feet and tighten your thighs, lifting your kneecap.

13. Triangle: Sweep right arm upward and back, sliding left hand along the left leg towards the ground.

14. Star: Bring both arms to shoulder level, turning toes slightly outward. Root feet and straighten legs keeping feet wide apart. Hug thighs to the middle and lift your crown skyward. Extend fingertips and arms at shoulder level.

15. Goddess: Soften knees and squat, lowering your sitting bones and your bent elbows downward, but raise your hands and fingertips upward.

16. Half Moon: Straighten the legs and turn the toes forward. Step the right foot towards the left foot as you lift arms overhead, interlacing fingers and pointing index fingers upward in temple position. Root right foot and right hip, extending torso, and bend to the left. Root left foot and left hip, extending torso come back through center - bending to the right. Root right foot, returning to center.

17. Anjali Mudra: Complete the cycle by coming back to Tadasana. Root your feet, hug your thighs together, and lift your crown to the moon. Press palms together at elbow level in anjali mudra. Repeat the moon salutation as many times as you feel is needed.

MOON SALUTATION Chandra Namaskar
1. Pranams: Stand in Tadasana. Press feet, squeeze, crown. Press palms together at elbow level. 2. Half Moon: Circle fingertips overhead, interlacing fingers and pointing index fingers upward in "temple" position. Press left foot and left hip, extending torso to right. Press right foot and right hip, extending torso through center to left. Press left foot returning to center. 3. Victory Squat: Step to the right and point toes slightly outward. Soften knees and press sitz bones and elbows downward, fingers upward. 4. Five-Pointer Star: Press feet (straightening legs), squeeze, crown, and fingertips, extending arms at shoulder level. 5. Triangle: Turn right toes toward right, left heel to left, and press left hip, extending torso to right. Lower right hand as you raise left hand, pressing fingertips. 6. Runner's Stretch: Lower both hands toward right foot, resting hands on leg, foot or floor. Press feet, tailbone, crown. 7. Lunge: Bend forward knee, bringing hands to floor on either side of leading foot and back knee to floor. Press forward foot, palms, sitz bones, crown. 8. Extended-Leg Squat: Bring both hands to the left of the leading foot and press sitz bones downward as you pivot to face center, rotating extended leg so that toes point upward. Press hands, foot of bent leg so toes point upward. Press hands, foot of bent leg, heel of extended leg, sitz bones, crown. 9. Squat: Bring extended leg toward center. Press feet, sitz bones, crown. If flexibility allows, bring palms together at elbow level. 10. Extended-Leg Squat: With hands once again on the floor, extend right leg to the side. Press hands, foot of bent leg, heel of extended leg, sitz bones, crown.

11. Lunge: Pivot to face bent knee, with hands on either side on leading foot, rotating back leg and bringing back knee to floor. Press forward foot, palms, sitz bones, crown. 12. Runner's Stretch: Lift hips by pressing feet, tailbone, crown. 13. Triangle: Sweep right arm upward and back, sliding left hand up left leg. Press feet, squeeze left hipbone, crown, fingertips. 14. Five-Pointed Star: Bring both arms to shoulder level, turning toes slightly outward. Press feet, squeeze, crown, fingertips. 15. Victory Squat: Soften knees, press sitz bones, elbows downward, fingertips upward. 16. Half Moon: Press feet (straightening legs) and turn toes to face forward. Step right foot close to left foot as you bring arms overhead into "temple" position. Press feet, squeeze, crown, fingertips. Press right foot and right hip, extending torso to left. Press left foot and left hip, extending torso to left. Press left foot and left hip, extending torso through center to right. Press right foot returning to center. 17. Pranams: Press feet, squeeze, crown. Circle arms back to center. pressing palms together at elbow level. Source: blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_4a3ace07010005xf.html
www.proliberty.com/pranayoga/ChandraNamaskar.html

http://www.holistic-online.com/Yoga/hol_yoga_pos-moonsal.htm

Moon Salutation
Moon salutation (chandra namaskar) consists of 20 steps starting and ending with the prayer pose. The following are the steps: Step 1: Prayer Pose

Inhale-exhale as you place your palms flat together and rest your underarms on your chest. Your forearms, wrists, and hands are kept in a straight line.

Step 2: Half Moon Pose to the Right Inhale as you lower your arms to your sides and raise them over your head in a lateral, circular motion. When your hands meet, press your palms together, thumbs crossed, arms straight, and reach toward the ceiling. Continue by bending to the right, moving your left hip to the left. Your knees are locked, and your thighs and buttocks are tightened. Your weight is distributed equally on both feet. Direct your gaze forward.

Exhale as you return to vertical position. Step 3: Half moon Pose to the Left Inhale as you bend to the left, stretching your arms and side.

Exhale as you return to vertical position.

Step 4: Standing Backward-Bending Pose Inhale as you straighten your arms and bend back from the hips. Your legs should be straight, knees locked. The arch extends from the heels of your feet up to your fingertips. Direct your gaze toward the ceiling.

Step 5: Transition Pose 1 Exhale as you return to vertical position. Inhale as you sidestep to the right, bringing straight arms down to shoulder level, parallel to the floor.

Step 6: Standing Legs-Apart Hands-to-Feet Pose Exhale; as you bend forward knees bent and grasp your heels or lower legs, straightening your legs while pulling your torso between them. Feel the stretch in your legs, torso, and shoulders.

Step 7: Transition Pose 2 Inhale as you return to a vertical position, with straight arms over your head, palms pressed together, thumbs crossed, at the same time turning your torso and feet to the right (your left foot slightly less).

Step 8: Standing Head-to-Knee Pose to the Right Exhale as you bend down, left knee locked, directing your forehead toward your right knee. At the same time, try to touch the floor with your fingertips as far ahead of your right foot as you can. Gradually straighten your right leg, keeping your arms and fingers extended. Feel the stretch in your legs, back, shoulders, and arms. Note: If this is too difficult, you might support yourself with your fingertips resting on the ground on either side of your right foot.

Inhale-exhale as you return to vertical position, turning your torso and feet straight ahead. Inhale as you turn to the left.

Step 9: Standing Head-to-Knee Pose to the Left Exhale as you bend forward and down, right knee locked, directing your forehead toward your left knee. At the same time, try to touch the floor with your fingertips as far ahead of

your left foot as you can. Gradually straighten your left leg, keeping your arms and fingers extended. Feel the stretch in your legs, back, shoulders, and arms. Note: If this is too difficult, you might support yourself with your fingertips resting on the ground on either side of your left foot.

Inhale as you return to a vertical position, arms over your head, simultaneously turning front and aligning your legs.

Step 10: Standing Hands-to-Feet Pose Exhale as you bend forward and grasp your heels or lower legs and pull your head and torso close to your legs.

Step 11: Crescent Moon Pose on Right Leg

Inhale as you place your fingertips or palms on the floor beside your feet. At the same time take a big step back with your right, raising your torso and head, briefly assuming the Equestrian Pose. Still inhaling, bring your hands over your head, palms together, thumbs crossed.

The arch extends from the toes of your right foot, through your leg and torso, and up to your fingertips. Your elbows are locked, your mouth is closed, your head is tilted back, and your gaze is directed upward. Exhale. Note: If you are new to the pose, you might want to start by keeping your knee on the floor. As you advance, lift it by straightening that leg.

Step 12: Squatting Pose with Forward Bending Inhale as you place your fingertips or palms on the floor and bring your right leg forward equal with your left. Your weight is supported by your toes and fingertips. Your thighs are parallel to the floor. Exhale as you bend forward, bringing your chest as close to your thighs as possible, fully stretching your back.

Step 13: Crescent Moon Pose on Left Leg

Inhale as you place your fingertips or palms on the floor beside your feet. At the same time take a big step back with your left leg, raising your torso and head, briefly assuming the Equestrian Pose. Still inhaling, bring your hands over your head, palms together, thumbs crossed.

The arch extends from the toes of your left foot, through your leg and torso, and up to your fingertips. Your elbows are locked, your mouth is closed, your head is tilted back, and your gaze is directed upward. Exhale. Note: If you are new to the pose, you might want to start by keeping your knee on the floor. As you advance, lift it by straightening that leg.

Step 14: Downward Dog Pose Inhale as you place your fingertips back on the floor. Exhale as you step back with your right leg and arch your back from your hips.

Keep your heels on the floor.

Step 15: Downward Dog Pose with Right-Leg Raise

Inhale-exhale as you raise your right leg as high as you can, keeping your knee locked and pointing your foot.

Inhale-exhale as you lower your leg and resume the Downward Dog Pose.

Step 16: Downward Dog Pose with Left-Leg Raise Inhale-exhale as you raise your left leg as high as you can, keeping your knee locked and pointing your foot.

Inhale-exhale as you lower your leg and resume the Downward Dog Pose.

Step 17: Cobra Pose

Inhale as you roll forward, supporting yourself on your toes and palms. Your knees are locked, your thighs and buttocks are tight. Tilt your head back as you look toward the ceiling. The arch extends from your toes to your chin.

Exhale.

Step 18: Squatting Pose Inhale as you roll back onto your toes with help from your arms. Exhale as you lift your knees from the ground, still supporting yourself with your fingertips.

Step 19: Squatting Pose with Arms over the Head

Inhale-exhale as you raise your arms over your head, palms together, thumbs crossed. Your elbows should be locked, your back straight, and your thighs parallel to the floor. Feel the stretch in your torso, shoulders, and arms.

Note: If you have difficulty balancing on your toes, resume the Squatting Pose with your fingertips on the floor.

Step 20: Prayer Pose Inhale as you stand up, simultaneously bringing your hands to your chest and resuming the Prayer Pose.

Exhale. Take two steps forward, right leg first, to resume the starting position.

Source: http://www.holisticonline.com/Yoga/hol_yoga_pos-moonsal.htm

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