Definition - What does Moon Salutation mean?
Moon Salutation is a sequence of yoga postures which harness and honor the energy of the moon. They are less well known than their counterpart, the Sun Salutation, but can be included in a yoga practice in a similar way, as part of a longer class or on their own.
Moon Salutations are considered cooling and soothing for the body, as opposed to the heating, invigorating nature of the Sun Salutations. They are considered particularly useful for practicing during the full moon, new moon or waning moon, as these are times when the body’s energy is naturally thought to be lower. They are also often used for evening yoga practice.
The Sanskrit name for Moon Salutation is Chandra Namaskara.
Yogapedia explains Moon Salutation
There are many variations of Moon Salutations, but the sequences typically include: mountain pose, standing crescent pose, goddess pose, triangle pose, pyramid pose and wide-legged squat over one leg. These are practiced before the sequence is reversed with the postures on the other leg.
Every posture is entered on an inhalation or exhalation so that the sequence is coordinated with the breath. They can also be slowed down to make the practice gentler and more meditative.
Moon Salutations mainly involve lower body work, so they are ideal for those who struggle with supporting their body weight on their arms in Sun Salutations. They are also good for those suffering from stress and exhaustion.
On a physical level, Moon Salutations have the following benefits:
- Stretches all major muscle groups
- Strengthens the whole body
- Improves flexibility
- Balances the respiratory, circulatory and digestive systems