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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-Hoor-
Khuit 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