So here is the story : tomorrow night there will be a full moon. Did you know ? I invite you to look up tonight coz it’s really beautiful to watch the full moon in NYC.
Why am I telling you that ? A yoga teacher thing again ? Anytime soon, you fear I’ll tell you to feel the leaves on your feet and smell the grass in Central Park ? Could do, that’s true. But I’m diverging.
To be as beneficial as possible, your yoga practice should be tailored to YOU (your ayurvedic type, the time in your life), but also the season and…. well the moon.
In Ashtanga, yogis are invited not to practice on full moon day- it is that serious guys. And if you want to practice anyways and on top of that you’re not an ashtangi ?
There is the Moon Salutation or chandra namaskara for Sanskrit fanatics ! Less known than the Sun Salutation, moon salutations are as soothing and cooling as sun salutation are intense and heat-building. Moon salutations are very helpful for people who are tired, depleted or in need of quiet.
In hatha yoga, it’s all about balance (« ha » translates as « sun » and « tha » as « moon » so hatha yoga should always try to keep the elements in balance), so if you need to cool off and rejuvenate, don’t forget the moon salutation !
There are certainly less versions of the moon salutation as there are of the sun salutes, but still… So below is a version of Kripalu that I learned during my 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training. Why not giving it a try during this full moon phase ?
You can practice in a flowing manner, following your breath or holding each posture for 3-5 breaths. Be mindful of lengthening the spine first in each pose to create space between the verterbrae before side-bending (to avoid any compression).
- Come to stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) at the center of your mat facing one side. Check your alignement.
- Inhale: Urdvha Hastasana- Reach your arms up
- Exhale: Chandrasana or Blowing Palm to the right- Side bend to the right
- Inhale: Urdvha Hastasana- Come back to center, reach up
- Exhale: Chandrasana or Blowing Palm to the left- Side bend to the left
- Inhale: Urdvha Hastasana
- Exhale: Victory Squat- Turn your feet side ways (45°), squat down with arms in cactus position. Careful with the knees- they should be in alignment with the feet and you should be able to see your toes!
- Inhale: Five pointed star- Come up, extend your arms at shoulder level
- Exhale: Trikonasana to the right- Turn your right foot (should be perpendicular to the small side of the mat), rotate the back hip slightly toward the front leg, deepen the left hip crease and come into trikonasana on the right side, rotating the torso towards the sky. Inhale here
- Exhale: Parsvottanasana- Come up and rotate the hips to face towards the right leg. Inhale: reach up, exhale- fold at the hips
- Inhale: Kneeling lunge- Put the back knee down, press the top of the left foot on the floor and reach up
- Exhale: Parsvokonasana- Bring arms down, come up into lunge and place back heel down (45 °). Put the left elbow on right thigh and reach left arm up, rotating torso towards the sky.
- Inhale: Five pointed star
- From there, repeat all the poses in a backward order on the left side… At the end, take a moment in Tadasana to feel the calming effect of Chandra Namaskar.