According to the Yogic texts, our body is the concoction of both- Heat as well as cold. Both types of energies have taken up residence inside our body. The Sun is the source of heat energy whereas Moon is the source of Coldness. It is believed that to balance our mind and body there is a need to maintain equilibrium between the energies.
What is Chandra Namaskar?
‘Chandra’ means moon, it is the ocean of pacifism. It is the source of calmness. Chandra Namaskar or Moon Salutation is the lesser known counterpart of Sun Salutation. It is practiced in the evening when the moon shimmers into the tranquil sky to restore the energy utilized during the full-day work. The 14 poses of Chandra Namaskar delineate the 14 lunar phases.
Prepare your Yoga mat to jump into the Pacific of Chandra Namaskar. Know how to perform various Asanas in their proper sequences with the step-wise guide to Chandra Namaskar.
The Chandra Namaskar, unlike Surya Namaskar starts from your right, moves to towards left and ends up on the right side in the 2nd round.
Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)
Start Chandra Namaskar with Pranamasana. Stand upright, keep your eyes closed, let your abdominal muscles pulled towards the spine. Fetch your palms together in prayer before your chest. Taking a deep breath and remember the god of calmness, the Moon. Its practice fills your inner core with peace and tranquility and relaxes your body.
Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arm pose)
After taking a few breaths in Pranamasana pose, fetch your arms towards the ceiling. Gently bend backward by pushing your pelvis out, as much as possible. This pose should be practised while breathing in. Hold the pose for a while. It tones the abdomen muscles and strengthens the spine. It enhances the capacity of lungs by expanding the rib cage. Do not bend much if your spine doesn’t allow. Learn more about the yoga pose.
Padahastasana (Hand to foot pose)
While exhaling, bend forward. Put your hands on the floor parallel to the legs. It is advised not to force your hands to touch the ground (especially those having back pain), flexibility will come with regular practice. It is highly beneficial in refreshing your mind as the blood circulates easily from heart to the brain. It tones the spine and abdomen. It helps you get relief from back pain and gifts you with loads of flexibility. Visit here to learn more about Padahastasana.
Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
Breathing in, stretch your right leg as far back as possible hiding the toes under. Bend the left knee in such a way that your foot is placed flat on the floor. Make sure your Tarsus is right-angled with the mat. Crook back forcing your chest outward and stare at the ceiling. This pose is good for indigestion. It also stretches the groin and opens the chest. Read more about the yoga pose.
Dandasana (Stick Pose)
Now push your feet backward, stretching the legs. Put your palms on the floor and try to bring your body in a straight line. Hold your breath for few seconds. It helps you improve your posture. It stretches the back muscles and spine. It helps you improve your posture.
Shishuasana (Child Pose)
Tucking the toes under, sit on the lower leg with your buttock on your heels. Bent forward facing the floor. Stretch your arms forward parallel to each other with the palms facing the mat. It helps better digestion and releases tension in the back. It also relieves neck pain and lengthens the spine.
Ashtanga Namaskara (Eight Limbed Salutation)
This pose looks slightly similar to the ancient way of salutation. Your eight limbs- chin, chest, palms (of either hand), knees and toes touch the ground while performing this pose. Make sure your hips and the abdomen remain ribbed. It improves your posture and flexibility.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Recline down on the mat facing towards the floor. Pressing the pelvis, raise the chest up. Look towards the floor with palms flat on the floor. Your heels should be close, elbow close to the body and hips flat on the floor. Cobra pose helps your chest to open up for better respiration.
Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)
Stand straight and curve your body down across your hips in front of you. Put your palms on the floor to make V-shape with your bottom being the peak point. Your feet should be together and body elongated. It lengthens the vertebral column, encourages circulation in the brain.
From here the steps will get repeated to finally come to the Pranamasana pose. The repetition of steps shall start with Ashwa Sanchalanasana, followed by Parvatasana, then Padahastasana and Hastottanasana, and finally Pranamasana.
Benefits of Chandra Namaskar
As discussed above, the moon stands for calmness and tranquility. Opposite to the Sun, which is the symbol of heat and alacrity, the Goddess Moon is the source of feminine energy. While a human body is the perfect amalgamation of hotness and coldness, Chandra Namaskar is an ideal exercise to attain the latter. The goodness of Moon Salutation can be described in more than a hundred pages. Let’s discuss some of the benefits of this 14-postures Yoga practice that can influence a human life including physical, mental and spiritual.
1. Stretches the Whole Body Parts
Chandra Namaskar is a collection of 14 different Yoga postures that are practiced in sequence and are great stretching exercises. Especially poses like Hasta Uttanasana, Ashwa Sanchalanasana and Bhujangasana are awesome physical tasks for elongating the body muscles and strengthening the core of our body. From thighs to the abdomen, and from arms to hips, Chandra Namaskar bolsters each and every part of the practitioner’s body. While practicing the poses, one thing that should be taken care of the most is relaxation during the sequences.
2. Pacifies the Brain and Soul
Peace and contentment are in the core of Chandra Namaskar. The Yoga exercise is practiced for attaining stillness in life. The beauty of practicing Moon Salutation is that one gets a proper amount of mental repose during the asanas. While Shishuasana gives the mind enough reasons and time to take one far from this noisy environment, Parvatasana is all about letting every issue go from the brain and fill the knowledge-box with stillness.
3. Improves Digestion
Moon Salutation is a fine practice for boosting the strength of the digestive system. The Yoga asanas included in Chandra Namaskar are of great stimulating benefits for the abdomen and digestive organs. When you stretch your body backward in the Raised Arm Pose and bend forward in Head to foot pose, the digestive system gets nurtured in an awesome way.
4. Complete Relaxation for the Body
Stress and anxiety have become part and parcel of this modern tiring lifestyle. Such has been the poor schedule of our personal and professional life that hassle and tightness are bound to attack the body and mind. The practice of Chandra Namaskar keeps the body away from all kinds of stresses. It lets the body ease off by giving the practitioner a much-needed respite.
5. Sponsors Spiritual Energy
To fall in love with the spiritual elements of Yoga, Chandra Namaskar is a stellar exercise. Although all exercises of Moon Salutation are mixed with the devotion and spirituality, Pranamasana and Parvatasana are the major sources of spiritual awakening. These poses show the ideal yogic path for leading a wholesome life. With spiritual energy, you can transform your life into a positive soul.
6. Detoxifies the Body
Make your dream of a detoxified body and flat belly true with regular practice of Chandra Namaskar. Poses of Moon Salutation are complete physical workout that promotes heavy breathing and sweating to throw away the physical impurities present in the body. Give this beautiful exercise at least half an hour daily to get the maximum benefits.
7. Immunity Booster Exercise
Chandra Namaskar sequences work on the path of stimulating the Immune system. With all the body parts at its strengthening best, there is no way any disease is going to attack the body. The calming energy of the Moon nurtures almost all the body cells to boost their ability to fight with the harmful microbes causing diseases.
8. Boosts Inner Body Metabolism
The physical practices of Chandra Namaskar help the internal metabolic activities to prosper in the best way possible. One of the best things that Moon Salutation does is the stimulation of blood circulation throughout the body. Circulation of blood is probably the most important process of the body that never stops. One gets a healthy respiratory system with pure oxygen while practicing the postures of Moon Salutation with perfection.
There is nothing that one doesn’t enjoy during the practice of Chandra Namaskar. If you are seeking happiness and success in life, embrace the spiritual beauty of the Moon by delving into the asanas of Chandra Namaskar.
Chandra Namaskar is an incredible tool for rehabilitation of your energy. This evening, get ready with your Yoga mat and fall in love with the miraculous beauty of Chandra Namaskar.