A Step-by-Step Full Moon Yoga Sequence

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This Tuesday is the last Full Moon of 2016 and what better way to make the best of it than to improve your mind, body, and soul with a little bit of yoga. Traditionally, practicing Ashtanga yoga isn't encouraged during the full moon because the energy of the moon is known to influence us to be headstrong, which (physically) is likely to increase the chances of an injury. But if we listen to our bodies and refrain from pushing beyond our limits, then the idea of doing yoga during the full moon is nothing to entirely shun from or be hesitant to initiate. The yoga sequence known to be practiced under the full moon is called Chandra Namaskar, or Moon Salutation. Chandra Namaskar is known to be a more soothing and calming alternative yoga sequence compared to the energizing Sun salutation. These particular yoga poses create a cooling flow of movement that is soothing to our bodies and replenishes our vital energy. This moon salutation is most useful when energy is high and tranquil, which is exactly why if it is to be practiced, despite the Ashtanga yoga traditions, then it's best to do it while harnessing the energy of a full moon (or new moon).

BENEFITS OF CHANDRA NAMASKAR:

  • Stretches and strengthens all major muscle groups.

  • Brings creativity to light (such as writing, art, dancing, etc)

  • When you don't feel centered, it helps create a balance in the body.

  • If you're feeling hot headed or aggressive due to the effects of the moon, moon salutations will maintain a positive heart rate.

  • Increases the functioning and balance of the respiratory, circulatory, and digestive systems.

  • Increases flexibility and suppleness.

  • Chandra Namaskar helps generate gratitude and removes tension, egos, and stress.

  • Generates peace and patience, which helps you connect with your intuitive side.

  • Enhances blood circulation, decreasing insomnia.

  • Eases pain from menstration cycles for women

CHANDRA NAMASKAR Moon Salutation

The yoga poses of Chandra Namaskar traces a large circle with the body, forming the shape of a ripe full moon. In order to feel the flow of your moon salutation, coordinate each pose with your breathing (inhale to extend, exhale to bend).

So to begin, you're going to start in:

URDHVA HASTANASA (RAISED ARMS POSE)

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Relax your shoulders.

Gaze upward.

Legs straight.

Feet completely flat on the floor.

Back straight.

Core engaged.

INDUDALASANA (STANDING CRESCENT)

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Transitioning from Urdhva Hastanasa, bend to your right while pushing your left hip outward and reaching upward with each inhale. Repeat the same steps with the other side.

UTKASANA KONASANA (GODDESS POSE)

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Keep your feet wide apart, turning your toes slightly outward.

Keep your knees blended directly over your toes.

Palms facing forward.

Keep your hips lowered into a squat.

STAR POSE

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Straighten your legs, keeping your feet wide apart.

Extend your arms at shoulder-length.

Reach out through your fingertips.

TRIKONASANA (TRIANGLE POSE)

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Gaze at your hand that's above you.

Straighten arms.

Turn your foot 45 degrees out, other one is parallel to the floor.

The arm above your head should be aligned with your other arm.

PARSVOTTONASANA (PYRAMIND POSE)

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Fold forward through the hips.

Straighten legs.

Turn your foot 45 degrees out, other one is parallel to the floor.

Nose toward knee.

Hips even and flat.

ANJANEYASANA (LOW CRESCENT LUNGE)

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Step your foot forward, lower your back knee down, and tuck your back toes.

Keep your right knee over your ankle.

Reach your chest and arms up, then lean back into a gentle back end.

SKANDASANA (DEEP SIDE LUNGE)

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Keep your leg straight and bent knee facing forward.

Hands in prayer position, or if needed, rested on on the floor.

Keep toes pointed.

MALASANA (GARLAND POSE)

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Make sure you draw your shoulder blades toward one another

Keep your chest open

Extend out of your lower back

Feet flat on the ground

Elbows pressed into your knees to open your hips

Hands in prayer position

Soft gaze out to the front.