Wind Down with Moon Salutations

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Last week, we covered a fun and energizing way to start your day with yoga’s sun salutations. And today, we’re going to help you wind down each day with yoga’s moon salutations!

Sun salutations are meant to be heating and stimulating whereas moon salutations, or Chandra namaskar, are cooling and quieting. Perfect for just before bed each night, here’s why you should and how you can do moon salutations.

 

Benefits of Moon Salutations

Like sun salutations, each movement in the moon salutations sequence is coordinated with your breathing: inhale to extend, exhale to bend. This creates a smooth, peaceful moving meditation helping you to calm the mind and draw your awareness inward before sleep. Calming the mind before you go to bed helps make for a deeper, more peaceful sleep so you feel more refreshed each morning.

 

Moon Salutations Sequence

  1. Begin in mountain pose.
  2. Inhale, press your palms together in prayer position, thumbs on your sternum. Take several breaths here.
  3. Inhale, sweep arms out and up, interlacing your fingers overhead with your index fingers pointed to the ceiling.
  4. Exhale, press your left hip to the side and bend your upper torso to the right for half moon pose.
  5. Inhale back to center.
  6. Exhale, press your right hip to the side and bend your upper torso to the left for half moon pose.
  7. Inhale back to center.
  8. Exhale, release your arms to your side.
  9. Inhale, step your feet wide.
  10. Exhale, bend your knees, extend your arms and bend them at the elbows with your fingertips pointed toward the ceiling for goddess squat.
  11. Inhale, straighten your legs and extend your arms for star pose.
  12. Exhale, rotate your right foot to point to the front of the mat and reach your right hand out and down for extended triangle pose.
  13. Inhale, lower your left hand and turn your torso in line with your right leg.
  14. Exhale, fold your torso over your right leg for pyramid pose.
  15. Inhale, bend your right knee.
  16. Exhale, lower your left knee to the floor.
  17. Inhale up for low crescent lunge.
  18. Exhale, place both hands on the floor to the inside of your right foot.
  19. Inhale, extend your left leg up and out to the left for low side lunge.
  20. Exhale, step your left foot forward, coming into a low squat with your upper arms inside your knees for garland pose.
  21. Inhale with your hands in prayer position and exhale fully.
  22. Inhale, place your hands on the floor to the inside of your left foot and extend your right leg out to the right for low side lunge.
  23. Exhale, rotate your right leg in and back, placing your right knee on the floor.
  24. Inhale up for low crescent lunge.
  25. Exhale, place your hands on the ground.
  26. Inhale, straighten both legs.
  27. Exhale, fold your torso over your left leg for pyramid pose.
  28. Inhale, extend your right hand straight up to the ceiling, opening your torso to the right for extended triangle pose.
  29. Exhale fully.
  30. Inhale, raise your torso and extend your arms out, keeping your feet wide for star pose.
  31. Exhale, bend your knees and arms for goddess squat.
  32. Inhale to straighten back up.
  33. Exhale, step to the front of the mat for mountain pose.
  34. Inhale, sweep arms out and up, interlacing your fingers overhead with your index fingers pointed to the ceiling.
  35. Exhale, press your left hip to the side and bend your upper torso to the right for half moon pose.
  36. Inhale back to center.
  37. Exhale, press your right hip to the side and bend your upper torso to the left for half moon pose.
  38. Inhale back to center.
  39. Exhale, release your arms and bring your hands to heart center for mountain pose.
  40. Breathe here for a few moments.

 

 

You can repeat this sequence as many times as you’d like before sleep. Or, try a few rounds in the morning instead of your sun salutations for a more soothing start to your day!

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