Moon Salutation: Chandra Namaskar

17th September 2020

We are generally familiar with the sun salutation sequence which is a lovely warming flow often done at the start of a class or the start of the day.

The moon salutation is a standing series of postures, all likely familiar to anyone that practises yoga regularly.

It is traditionally done before bed or in evening classes as it is considered a cooling sequence (yin to the yang of the sun salutation) and female rather than male. This recognises traditional Indian and Chinese medicine which recognises the energy channels (nadis) in the body through which our prana (or life force) flows. The Ida Nadi on the left is related to our femininity which is considered to be cooling, calming Yin energy whereas the Pingala Nadi on the right is related to our masculinity and is heating, energising, Yang energy.

Applying these principles is simple. When you feel sluggish stimulate the right side of your body to energise (for instance breathing only through the right nostril). The opposite is believed to cool and relax you.

Following these principles the sequence begins, unusually for yoga, on the left. The sequence of nine poses are first done on the left with Malasana (the Garland pose) at the top before we move in reverse through the poses on the right side.

Each pose should be held for at least six breaths.

Moon Salutation Sequence

The sequence is as follows:

  1. Mountain Pose
  2. Palm Tree Pose
  3. Upward Salute Side Bend (to the left as are all poses 3-9)
  4. Goddess
  5. Five Pointed Star
  6. Extended Triangle
  7. Intense Side Stretch
  8. Low Lunge
  9. Wide legged squat over one leg
  10. Garland
  11. Wide legged squat over one leg (to the right as are all poses 11 -17)
  12. Low Lunge
  13. Intense Side Stretch
  14. Extended Triangle
  15. Five Pointed Star
  16. Goddess
  17. Upward Salute Side Bend
  18. Palm Tree Pose
  19. Mountain Pose

Download the Moon Salutation PDF

You can download the pdf for the sequence here.