The moon salutation is a popular and appreciated yoga sequence that involves several asanas done in a particular order. It is similar to the sun salutation series. What you need to consider is that each of the moon salutation poses should be well-coordinated with your breathing: on extensions, you must inhale, and on bends, you should exhale.
Still, unlike its complementary sequences (the sun salutation), the moon salutation is all about achieving cooling and quieting effects. This is a great sequence to try if you want to calm your mind and gain awareness of the environment you’re in. There are several variations available out there, but in this post, we will discuss the moon salutation, variation one, which is suitable for students of all experience levels.
So, here are the necessary poses included in the moon salutation.
1. Standing Mountain Pose
Stand tall and keep your feet hip-width apart. Put your palms together like when you pray. Breathe deeply several times. Both thumbs should be placed on the sternum in a resting position.
2. Upward Salute Side Bend or Half Moon Asana
Inhale deeply and sweep both arms over your head and to the side. Your fingers should be interlaced, while your index fingers should point toward the ceiling. During a deep exhale, start pressing your left hip to one side and bend the upper body to your right at the same time. Both feet should remain well-grounded, and the thighs must be firmly engaged.
Inhale again, but this time, come back in an upright straight position. On an exhalation, bend your torso to the left.
3. Goddess Squat
Keep your feet wide apart and turn your toes out to the sides. Exhale slowly and bend both knees until they are right over your toes. Now, lower your hips into a regular squat position. Extend both arms out to your torso’s sides. Make sure they are aligned with your shoulders. Also, the palms must face forward.
Bend your elbows while pointing your fingers upward. There should be a 90-degree angle between your lower and upper arms.
4. Star Pose
Keep your legs straight and feet hip-width apart. Extend both arms and align them with your shoulders. Palms must face forward. Also, keep your fingers as spread as possible.
5. Extended Triangle Asana
Rotate the right foot out to the side until it forms a 90-degree angle with your leg. The left toes should be slightly turned in. With your right hand, try to reach in the exact same direction that the right foot is pointing. The left hip must be shifted back. Keep your right hand on your ankle or shin in a resting position. The other arm must be extended up toward the ceiling.
6. Pyramid Pose
Turn your upper body to the right and lower your left hand. Exhale slowly and wrap your torso around your right leg. Place both hands on the lower foot or even directly on the floor if you can reach so low.
7. Low Crescent Lunge
Bend your right knee while placing your fingertips down on the mat or on the floor. The left foot should be stepped to the mat’s back part. The other leg must remain at the front part of the yoga mat. Slide your left leg back a couple of inches while lowering the knee as low as you can.
8. Low Side Lunge Asana
Put your hands on the floor close to your right foot’s inside part. The right foot, as well as the right leg, must both face forward. Keep the knee slightly bent. Now, turn the toes of your left foot forward and try to keep the left leg extended. Also, put your palms down on the floor.
9. Garland Pose
Lower your tailbone by stepping the right foot in toward the left foot. This way, you will do a low deep squat. Both forearms must be on your knees’ inside part. Put your palms together like in a prayer.
These were all the asanas required by the moon salutation sequence. But because this is a well-rounded series, you must close the circle by repeating the poses described above. Only that this time, you will do them in a reversed order.
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So, after doing the garland pose, you must perform all the other aforementioned asanas, in the following order:
1. Low side lunge
2. Low crescent lunge
3. Pyramid asana
4. Extended triangle pose
5. Star asana
6. Goddess squat pose
7. Half-moon pose
8. Tadasana or standing mountain pose
This is a great yoga sequence that is best performed in the evening to happily conclude the end of a day. Guess what? You can repeat this sequence as many times as you like. It will restore your peace and balance. Now, embrace it, and let serenity fill you up. Namaste!