what it is, benefits and how to perform the sequence

The Moon Salutation is a yoga sequence with relaxing properties for both the mind and the body. Here are the benefits and how to do it.

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Il Salute to the Moon is known in Sanskrit as Chandra Namaskarais a series of poses performed in a particular sequence to create a continuous and relaxing flow of movement.

Like the famous Greeting to the Sun, Surya Namaskara, each pose in a Moon Salutation is coordinated with your breath: you inhale to extend and you exhale to bend. But unlike the Sun Salutation, which warms and stimulates, the Moon Salutation refreshes and calms. It is used to relax the mind and draw awareness inward. The Moon Salutation is useful when energy or temperatures are high, and a calm and silent presence is required. For this reason, it is also recommended in the evening before going to sleep

According to yogi philosophy, they exist within our body due to different energy:

  • Yan: masculine element, represents the sun and symbolizes energy and extroversion.
  • Yin: feminine element, represents the moon, symbol of calm and introversion.

It is important to take care of both these energy flows; therefore, if the Sun Salutation has the objective of energizing and reactivating the body, the SSalute to the Moon goes to relax and rebalance the energy level.

Both sequences lengthen and strengthen all muscle groups, increase circulation, build strong breathing, aid the digestive system, strengthen the immune system, relax the mind, and release physical and mental tension. (Read also: Yoga, the best way to have iron abs: the 8 most effective asanas for a flat stomach)

Salute to the Moon: what is it, the sequence

The Moon Salutation is a very symmetrical and balanced flow. In fact, at the beginning, you move through the first half of the sequence focusing on the right side of the body, then reaching a symmetrical central pose and returning to the starting position focusing on the left side of the body.

Precisely the repetitiveness of the sequence of movements relaxes the mind and bodyreducing stress and anxiety.

Il Moon Salutations can be included as part of a longer yoga session or performed alone; it is very suitable to do in the evening, to calm down and soothe the body and prepare the mind for a restful sleep.

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Benefits of Moon Salutation

The Moon Salutation has so many benefits for mind and body:

  • Prevents insomnia
  • Regulates the hormonal system in women
  • Relieves stress
  • Reduces symptoms of depression.

Since it is one calming sequence, is suitable for those who suffer from stress as it balances energy. Especially if practiced in the evening, in those moments of transition between day and night, the mind and body benefit from it positive and calming energies.

The sequence focuses above all on lower part of the bodyand goes to:

  • stretch and strengthen all major muscle groups,
  • help flexibility
  • increase the functioning and balance of the respiratory systems
  • positively influencing the circulatory system promotes digestion.

Furthermore, this practice has extremely positive effects on well-being of women. Here are the main ones:

  • Tone your muscles
  • Relaxes the nervous system
  • Improves circulation
  • It’s good for the skin
  • Regularizes the menstrual cycle.

Why is this sequence linked to feminine energy? Because in different cultures the moon is always connected with the feminine. Also, for women with the period performing the Moon Salutation can give great relief especially in case of low energy. (Read also: Practicing yoga helps reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, study)

How to perform the Moon Salutation

salute to the moon

Infographic of Yoga poses for Yoga at home in concept of Yoga Moon Salutation in flat design. Woman exercising for body stretching. Set of yoga posture or asana infographic. Yoga Vector Flat Cartoon Illustration.

The Moon Salutation can be practiced inside a yoga session or repeated alone in the evening.

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Start standing in the center of the mat with your hands in prayer position over heartand take a few slow meditative breaths.
  2. Inhale, stretch your arms overhead. Palms together and arms stretching. It also lengthens the entire spine.
  3. Exhale, press into your left foot, and feel the stretch through the entire left side of your body.
  4. Inhale back into the center and lengthen the body.
  5. Exhale, twist to the left, press into your right foot, and feel the stretch through the entire right side of your body. Inhale and become central.
  6. Exhale, spread your feet, bend your knees and lower your hips, stack your knees on your ankles, your thighs should always remain parallel to the ground. The coccyx lowers, the hip bones rise. Arms in cactus position.
  7. Inhale, straighten your right leg and rotate your right foot forward and your left foot makes a 45 degree angle. He stretches his arms out to shoulder height.
  8. Exhale, twist to your right, and place your hand on your shin or the ground. Raise your left arm, palm facing left, look at the fingertips of your left hand.
  9. Inhale, rotate your hips around the front of the mat, bend forward and release your head towards your front leg, keeping your legs still.
  10. Exhale, bend the right leg and lift the left heel, firm the back leg, hug the hips outside the midline, press on the feet and widen the collarbones, lengthen the spine to the tip of the head, pull the sternum forward and towards the top.
  11. Inhale, place your left knee on the ground, hug your outside hips to your midline, extend your arm straight up with your palms pressed together. Draw the navel towards the spine, widen the collarbones, lengthen the spine to the tip of the crown.
  12. Exhale, place both hands on the floor on the inside of your right leg, and rotate your hips toward the side of the mat. Press into both feet, keep your right knee over your right ankle.
  13. Inhale, bend both knees and sit your hips together deep squat. Press your elbows into your thighs, hug your outside hips to your midline, let your pelvis become heavy toward the back of your heels. Widen your collarbones, lengthen your spine to the tip of the crown.
  14. Inhale as you straighten your legs. He turns his toes forward and places his left foot next to his right. At the same time, spread your arms out to the side and above your head. He interlaces his fingers and points his index fingers towards the ceiling. Exhale as you press your left hip to the side and bend your upper torso to the right. Keep your feet on the ground and your thighs firmly engaged. Inhale and return to center. Exhale as you lean to the left, then inhale to return to center. Exhale as you release your arms.
  15. Merge the palms of hands in prayer position. She rests her thumbs on her sternum and you take several breaths.

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