Chandra Namaskar

Honoring the moon in a yoga practice can be a deeply spiritual and rejuvenating experience. The moon represents the feminine energy, intuition, and the cycles of nature. Here are some traditional ways to honor the moon in your yoga practice:

Chandra Namaskar

Chandra Namaskar, or Moon Salutation, is a relatively recent addition to traditional yoga practices. Unlike Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation), which has ancient roots and is extensively documented in traditional yoga texts, Chandra Namaskar does not have a well-documented historical background. It is believed to have been developed in the late 20th century as a complementary practice to the Sun Salutation, reflecting the balance between solar and lunar energies in the body. Where Surya Namaskars are energizing and heating, Chandra Namaskars are intended to be more soothing and introspective. The Chandra Namaskar sequence honors moon energy, calming, and reflective aspects of lunar energy.

Our sequence of Chandra Namaskar

The sequence of Chandra Namaskar can vary, so we chose this version of the sequence to practice: 

  1. Pranamasana (Prayer Pose): Begin by standing in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with feet together, hands in a prayer position at the heart center.
  2. Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute): Inhale and lift the arms overhead, Exhale arching to the right, inhale back to center exhale to the left, inhale to center.
  3. Utkata Konasana (Goddess) 
  4. Anjaneyasana (crescent or low lunge) “toward the back”
  5. Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon)
  6. Uttanasana (forward fold)
  7. Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute): Inhale and lift the arms overhead, Exhale arching to the right, inhale back to center exhale to the left, inhale to center.
  8. Utkata Konasana (Goddess) “back to same side”
  9. Anjaneyasana (crescent or low lunge) “toward the front”
  10. Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon)
  11. Uttanasana (forward fold)
  12. Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute)
  13. Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

Yin Yoga

– Yin yoga involves holding poses for longer periods, which complements the calming energy of the moon. A focus on hip openers and forward bends promote grounding and introspection.

Lunar Phases and Intentions

Align your practice with the phases of the moon:

  • New Moon: Set intentions, meditate, and focus on new beginnings.
  • Waxing Moon: Build energy and focus on growth and manifestation.
  • Full Moon: Celebrate achievements, practice gratitude, and engage in heart-opening poses.
  • Waning Moon: Let go of what no longer serves you, practice restorative yoga, and cleanse your space.

5. Moon Gazing (Chandra Darshan)

Spend time outdoors during the evening, observing the moon. Incorporate gentle stretches or a meditation session while gazing at the moon, absorbing its tranquil energy.

6. Use of Mantras

Chanting moon-related mantras can enhance the spiritual aspect of your practice. The mantra “Om Chandraya Namaha” is a traditional Vedic mantra to honor the moon.

7. Creating a Moon Altar

Set up a small altar with symbols that represent the moon, such as moonstones, silver objects, white candles, and images of the moon. Practice yoga near your altar to deepen your connection to lunar energy.

8. Moon Bathing

On a full moon night, practice your yoga sequence outdoors under the moonlight. The exposure to moonlight can be soothing and balancing for your body and mind.

9. Journaling and Reflection

After your practice, spend some time journaling your thoughts, emotions, and any insights that arose during your session. Reflect on how the moon’s energy influences your inner world.

Incorporating these practices into your yoga routine can help you honor the moon’s gentle yet powerful energy, fostering a deeper connection with the natural rhythms of the universe.