Moon Salutation…

I had a request from a student in my yoga class for the Moon Salutation.  Thought of as the opposite to the Sun Salutation, I have to admit that I hadn’t done it in a very long time and had to look it up again to remind myself of the sequence.  As I read more about it, I was amused to find out that while the Sun Salutation is used to connect to the sun’s energy to strengthen the body and ignite our inner fire, the Moon Salutation is used to cool our bodies, calming the body and relaxing the mind.  No wonder I don’t include it in my practice… in my usual fashion, I focus my classes on pushing my body to strengthen because that’s what I’m comfortable with.  I have an extremely hard time calming my mind and staying still, so the Moon Salutation doesn’t come easy to me.  I get impatient, my mind wonders and I get side tracked…even when teaching!

After doing the Moon Salutation, I can see the mood in the class change…it’s such an interesting phenomenon to watch for.  When you know what the series is aimed at achieving but the students don’t, it’s amazing to see their bodies reacting to the postures without their knowledge, the energy in the room calming, the breathing softening, the lines on their faces smoothing over with calmness…I’m not one for the ‘become one with the earth and the sky’ type of yoga, but at times I’m reminded of the power that the postures can have. 

The Moon Salutation is best done at night.  While there are many variations of it, here are the postures of the main practice:

Mountain Pose – palms together, in prayer, lengthen your tailbone
Standing Backbend – bring your palms to the ceiling and overhead arching your back
Crescent Moon Pose – arching the arms to the right, and then to the left
Goddess Pose – stepping your right foot back, squat, arms out to sides
Star Pose – bend your knees, arms open, chest opening up
Extended Triangle Pose – right arm goes down to your foot, legs stay straight
Head to knee – turning to the right, keep the legs straight, arm on either side of the leg
Runners Lunge – bend the right knee, try to keep the left leg straight
Forward Facing Lunge – left leg extended, see if you can lift your hands off the ground
Squat Pose – bring the left leg in, hands in prayer position, heels off the ground if you can
Forward Facing Lunge – right leg extended, hand off the ground to balance
Runners Lunge  – to the left
Head to Knee – left leg straightens
Triangle Pose – opening up to the right, right arm up
Star Pose – bend your knees, arms up
Goddess Pose – straighten your legs
Crescent Moon Pose – arching to the right and left
Standing Backbend – bring your palms to the ceiling and overhead arching your back
Mountain Pose
– palms together in prayer



2 comments on “Moon Salutation…

  1. Now this sounds like yoga I could really enjoy!!!! No downward dogs hidden anywhere in there, right?

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