Chandra Namaskar – Moon Salutation

Chandra-namaskar-hatha-yoga-moon-salutation-medium

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The word chandra means ‘moon’. The sequence of asanas is the same as Surya Namaskar except that Ardha Chandrasana, the half moon pose is performed after Ashwa Sanchalanasana. Whereas the twelve positions of  Suya Namaskar relate to the 12 zodiac or solar phases of the year, the fourteen positions of Chandra Namaskar relate to the fourteen lunar phases.

1. PRANAMASANA
Keep the eyes closed. Stand upright with the feet together. Bring the palms to meet in the center of your chest. Relax the whole body
Modify:
If you have lower back problems, or if your knees/thighs are rubbing together bring your feel parallel hip width apart.

Pranamasana

2. Inhale – HASTA UTTANASANA
Bring the hands shoulder width apart, bring them up over the head, and reaching back. You should bend the back slightly
Modify:
Hand straight up instead of back

Hasta-Utthanasana-Raised-Arms-Pose

3. Exhale – UTANASANA
Bend forwards from the hips until the finger or palms of the hands touch the floor on either side of the feet. Do not strain
Modify:
If you have slipped disc or lower back problems keep the knees bent so that the palms come to the floor.
Bring the hands onto the shins/ankle until you have enough flexibility to reach the floor

Uttanasana

4. Inhale – ASHWA SANCHALANASANA
Stretch the right leg back as far as is comfortable tucking the toes under. At the same time bending the left knee leaving the foot flat on the floor. Arch the back and gaze up to the sky
Modify:
bring the back knee onto the floor

Ashwa-sanchalanasana-Equestrian-Posture

5. Inhale – Ardha Chandrasana
Raise the hands, and stretch both arms over the head keeping them shoulder width apart.Arch the back look up, raising the chin.
Modify:
Bring the back knee onto the floor

Ardha-Chandrasana-(Anjaneyasana)-Half-Moon-Pose

6. Exhale – PARVATASANA/MOUNTAIN POSE
Bring the palms onto the floor and stepping the left foot back beside the right, while lifting the hips up into the air. Lengthening through the spine, bringing the shoulders towards the ankles. Take a few breaths. (This posture is similar to Downward facing dog, except the feet are together)
Modify:
Keep the knees slightly bent if the posture is too intense.

parvatasana

7. On the next Exhale – ASHTANGA NAMASKARA
Coming onto your toes, simultaneously lower the knees, chin, and chest to the floor. The hips and abdomen remain raised.
Modify:
Lower the knees first then the chest and chin

ashtanga-namaskar-asana

8. Inhale – BHUJANGASANA
Keeping the hands and feet in place, slide the chest forward and raise the chest up. Opening the shoulders (pulling them away from the ears) and tilting the head back to look at the sky. The hips and thigh should be on the floor.
Note:
Keep the buttocks and thighs engaged (squeezed) to prevent problems in the lower back. Unless you are very flexible dont try to straighten your arms

bhujangasana

9. Exhale – PARVATASANA/MOUNTAIN POSE
Keeping the hands and feet in the same position lift the hips up, bringing the heels to the ground, lengthening through the spine, bringing the shoulders towards the ankles. Take a few breaths here. As you exhale lifting the hips towards the sky and pressing the hands into the ground. (Same as step 6)

10. Inhale – ASHWA SANCHALANASANA
Bring the left foot forwards between the hands, and push the pelvis forwards. Lift the torso and tilt the head back, arching the back and looking up to the sky (Same as step 4)

11. Inhale – ARDHA CHANDRASANA
Raise the hands, and stretch both arms over the head keeping them shoulder width apart.Arch the back look up, raising the chin. (Same as step 5)

12. Exhale – UTANASANA
Bring the right foot next to to the left, and straighten the knees. Bring the crown of the head towards the floor. (Same as step 3)

13. Inhale – HASTA UTANASANA
Keeping the arms shoulder width apart, raise the torso with spine as straight as possible. Bring the hands up over the head, and reaching back, bending slightly. (Same as step 2)

14. Exhale – PRANAMASANA
Bring the palms together in front of the chest center. (Same as step 1)

 

Repeat the cycle reversing the legs in Steps 4,5,10 and 11 (Ashwa Sanchalanasana and Ardha Chandrasana), to stretch the other side. Rest all the Postures will be the same.

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