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How to ... Chandra Namaskara

Updated: Sep 21, 2021

Chandra Namaskara

Don't get me wrong, I love Sun Salutations. I love flowing from asana to asana, slowly (or not so slowly!) building heat. I love how you can lose yourself in the breath and the rhythm, finding mental stillness despite the physical movement. Sun Salutations surely epitomise the point of asana.

But if it's fun you're after, you can't do better than a few rounds of Chandra Namaskara, or Moon Salutation. Until you get used to them, Moon Salutations can feel clumsy as you need to adjust your stance more, shortening and lengthening, turning and straightening what seems like every two seconds. It's worth the extra effort learning this wonderful dancing sequence though, because there's the added bonus of introducing movement along the frontal plane of the body, not just the sagittal plane as in Sun Salutations. That means you get to stretch the sides of your body as well as extend and flex your spine. You're welcome, yoga nuts. You're damn welcome.

Now I realise I've probably sold this as a dynamic heat-builder perfect for working up a sweat. but this is where Chandra Namaskara really comes into its own. See, it's moon salutation remember? That's feminine energy, powerful stuff that quietly works on a deep, internal level. Sure, there's the glorious sense of expansion as you move into Five-Pointed Star Pose (notice I've exaggerated that pose in the unmodified version because it feels so good!), but then there's a slow drawing in ~ Triangle (Trikonasana) to Pyramid (Parsvottanasana) to Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana) to Cossack Squat (Skandasana) to Squat (Malasana). You are the incredible shrinking yogi! It's a very short step from here to the fourth limb of yoga, pratyahara ~ withdrawal of the senses. Follow the moon through her cycle, expanding and contracting and expanding again like a heart beat.

I've posted one of my versions of Chandra Namaskara and one with modifications below so you can start small and aim large, just like the moon.

Shine bright!

Chandra Namaskara Sequence ~ Trudy Morrison

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