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This is the most comprehensive guide on Moon Salutation.
Moon salutation is also known as Chandra Namaskara in Sanskrit.
Here the word ‘Chandra’ means ‘The moon’ and the word ‘Namaskara‘ means ‘To salute’.
Most of the people only know about sun salutation. It is highly praised in yoga.
In the same manner, moon salutation is also very important in yoga.
Here, we will discuss what is moon salutation, its benefits, and how to practice it.
Let’s start our discussion.
1. What is Moon Salutation?
Moon salutation and sun salutation both are part of Hatha yoga. In the word ‘Hatha’, ‘Ha’ means the sun, and the word ‘tha’ means the moon.
Hatha yoga was developed by the ancient yoga practitioners (also known as yogis) to increase the stillness and strength of the body and to increase the control of the mind.
In Hatha yoga, the moon is associated with negative energy, static force, receiving, spiritual, and the left side (Ida Nadi) of the body.
Moon salutation is a combination of certain yoga poses performed one by one consecutively.
It starts from standing positions and contains several body rotations and twists.
2. Difference Between Sun Salutation & Moon Salutation
Sun salutation and moon salutation are different from each other in many ways. Here are some of the differences between them.
There is a major difference in the timings for the practice of sun salutation and moon salutation.
Sun salutation is generally practiced early in the morning- in the presence of sunlight, moon salutation is generally practiced at night- in the presence of moonlight.
The best time to practice moon salutation is in summer at night. (especially the full moon night)
2) Their Effect
It is the most important difference between sun salutation and moon salutation.
Sun salutation is known to fill us with immense energy whereas moon salutation is known to provide us immense relaxation.
Sun Salutation is considered to be a yang practice, related to heat, light, and activity whereas Moon Salutation is associated with a yin practice that is receptive, meditative, and provides cooling.
In short, sun salutation creates heat and energy in the body, and moon salutation calms and soothes the body.
3) Purpose of Origin
Sun salutation is practiced in the presence of sunlight so that we expose our bodies to the sun.
According to modern science, sunlight helps our bodies to produce vitamin D.
In the same way, moon salutation is recommended to practice in the presence of moonlight so that we can expose our bodies to the moon.
Is taking moonlight beneficial?
Of course, moonlight is also beneficial as the sunlight.
According to Ayurveda, sunlight heats the body and increases the pitta whereas moonlight cools down the body and lowers the pitta.
So both are necessary.
4) Difference in Speed
We have to quickly or speedily change the yoga poses in the sun salutation whereas, in the moon salutation, we change the yoga poses slowly.
5) Difference in Age
Sun salutation is said to be older than moon salutation.
- Sun salutation is related to Pingala Nadi and the male counterpart of the body whereas moon salutation is related to Ida Nadi and the female counterpart.
- The practice of sun salutation is generally done facing the short end of the mat while moon salutation is done facing the long end of the mat.
- Sun salutation starts always with the right side of the body whereas moon salutation starts with the left side of the body.
- Sun salutation is practiced at the beginning of the yoga practice and moon salutation is generally practiced at the end of the yoga practice.
3. Benefits of Moon Salutation
As we know that moon salutation is a combination of yoga poses, you can get the individual benefits of all poses.
You also get the benefits of practicing these poses in combination.
Here is the list of benefits of moon salutation.
1) Stretches practiced in moon salutation tone the side muscles of the body and strengthen the abdominal and arm muscles.
2) It increases lung capacity and improves the function of the respiratory system.
3) It helps in the alignment of the spinal column and releases the tension in the arms, neck, and shoulders.
4) Moon salutation also helps in opening the hip muscles and increases flexibility with the stretching of the hamstrings, quadriceps, pelvis, and buttocks muscles.
5) It also helps in bringing the balance to the chakras. We all know that the chakras play a very important role in the body.
6) As moon salutation is known to balance the chakras and calm the body, it can literally help you in relieving stress and anxiety.
7) Moon salutation is generally practiced at night so the calmed nervous system at night can help you to get better sleep.
8) It also helps to improve concentration, stability, and strength.
4. How to Practice Moon Salutation?
When we search for moon salutation, we find the two most common variants of it. Here, we will discuss both of them.
1) Moon Salutation Variation Number-1
Here is the step-by-step process to perform moon salutation is shown in the below image.
Methods to perform moon salutation –
1) The Prayer Pose (Pranamasana)
First of all, stand straight and keep your feet together and your neck straight. Bring your palms to the center of your chest and press them together to form the prayer pose.
2) The Raised Arms Pose ( Hasta Uttanasana)
Inhale breathe and raise both of your hands over the head, keeping the shoulder-width distance between them. Keep your arms straight. Bend backward as shown in the below image.
3) The Hand to Foot Pose (Padahastasana)
Breathe out and bend your body forward. Place both palms on the floor. If you can’t put your hands on the ground keeping knees straight then slightly bend your knees. Then try to straighten them.
4) Equestrian pose (Ashwa Sanchalanasana)
Push the right leg back as much as possible. Keep the right knee on the floor and make sure that the sole faces the ceiling. Also, look upside.
5) The Stick Pose (Dandasana)
Hold your breath and push the left leg back. Bring the body into a straight line like a stick while keeping the knees straight.
6) The Child Pose (Balasana)
Breathe out and pull yourself back. Take your hips to heels and forehead towards the knees and put your hands on the ground, Then stretch your knees.
7) Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute with the eight parts of the body)
Move forward from the child pose and keep your chin very close to the ground. Your chin, chest, palms of your hand, knees, and toes should touch the floor.
8) The Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Take a breath and perform the cobra pose as shown in the below image.
9) The Mountain Pose
Breathe out and make the V shape of your body as shown in the below image. Try to keep the sole of your feet touching the floor.
Now, we will perform all the above exercises in a reverse manner and we will get back to the original position as shown in the below image.
2) Moon Salutation Variation Number 2
The complete process of it is shown in the below image. Practice all the steps smoothly and slowly.
You can practice any of the versions of the moon salutation mentioned above.
1) Is it Necessary to Practice Moon Salutation If I Practice Sun Salutation Daily?
Both are part of Hatha yoga. The aim of Hatha yoga is to balance our lunar and solar energies but we generally focus on only one energy. So if you want to experience the best outcome of Hatha yoga, you should practice both.
2) What Type of Clothes Should I Wear While Practicing Moon Salutation?
You can wear white-colored clothes if you are practicing moon salutation under the moonlight.
3) What is the Best Time to Practice Moon Salutation?
The night is the best time to practice moon salutation. It is also recommended to practice it under the moonlight.
4) With Which Nadi, Moon Salutation is associated?
5) What are the Benefits of Moon Salutation?
It calms the mind and improves the stillness, stability, and concentration of the mind.
Here, we have discussed what is moon salutation, its benefits, the difference between sun salutation and moon salutation, and how to practice it.
Despite having numerous benefits, the moon salutation is not that famous.
If you want that many people get to know about it, then share this article with people to aware them about the moon salutation.
If you have any questions related to this article, you can let us know in the comment box.
Thanks for Reading…!!!