Moon Salutation: Embracing the Serenity of Chandra Namaskar

In the vast expanse of yoga practice, where the sun salutation (Surya Namaskar) shines brightly as a dynamic sequence to energize and awaken, there lies a gentle counterpart, the Moon Salutation (Chandra Namaskar). This tranquil sequence serves as a reflective journey, mirroring the cooling, soothing qualities of the moon.

Chandra Namaskar invites practitioners into a flow that balances the fiery energy of the sun with the serene, calming influence of the moon, promoting harmony within the body and mind. As we delve into the moon salutation, we embrace the opportunity to explore the softer side of our yoga practice, nurturing our inner peace and fluidity.

This article aims to illuminate the path of Chandra Namaskar, guiding you through its sequences, benefits, and the profound impact it can have on your mental and emotional well-being.

What is the Moon Salutation?

The Moon Salutation, or Chandra Namaskar, offers a serene complement to the Sun Salutation’s vitality within yoga. This sequence, akin to a dance in the moon’s glow, provides a reflective practice that balances the day’s solar energy with the moon’s calming influence.

Unlike the energizing Surya Namaskar, Chandra Namaskar focuses on introspection and the soothing aspects of yoga, promoting a fluid motion that reflects the cyclical nature of life.

Chandra Namaskar’s series of poses forms a graceful flow, honoring the yin energy and encouraging a connection with the universe’s rhythms.

Ideal for evening practice, it aligns with the moon’s energy to prepare the body and mind for a peaceful night, fostering a balance between our inner and outer worlds.

This practice not only serves as a physical exercise but also as a journey towards inner peace, offering a deeper connection to the natural world and enriching the yoga experience with the moon’s tranquil wisdom.

The Philosophy Behind Chandra Namaskar

Chandra Namaskar, or Moon Salutation, taps into the profound lunar reverence embedded in yoga’s ancient traditions, transcending mere physicality to honor the moon’s cyclical impact on life.

This practice is a tribute to renewal, reflection, and equilibrium, drawing on the moon’s symbolism of coolness, receptivity, and the feminine divine in yoga philosophy. It offers a bridge to these qualities, fostering a deep connection with nature’s rhythms and our own subtle energies.

Aligning with the lunar cycle, Chandra Namaskar reminds us of life’s impermanence and constant change. The sequence promotes a harmonious flow, encouraging surrender and acceptance, thereby grounding and liberating the practitioner.

It cultivates an awareness of the interplay between the tangible and the ethereal, emphasizing balance in all aspects of being.

Integrating Chandra Namaskar into regular practice invites an exploration of yoga’s quieter, introspective side, creating a sanctuary for reflection and inner peace. This not only deepens the yoga journey but also brings a mindful presence to daily life, reflecting the moon’s serene light.

Sequences and Benefits

Chandra Namaskar, or Moon Salutation, unfolds through a series of poses that flow seamlessly into one another, mirroring the cyclical and graceful nature of the moon’s journey across the sky.

This sequence is designed to cool the body, soothe the nervous system, and cultivate a sense of inner peace and fluidity.

Each posture in Chandra Namaskar is a step in a meditative dance that honors the moon’s calming energy and our connection to it.

Sequence Steps and Their Benefits

1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana): The sequence begins and ends in Mountain Pose, grounding and centering the practitioner, establishing a connection to the earth and a sense of stability.

2. Raised Arms Pose (Urdhva Hastasana): Arms are lifted overhead with an inhalation, introducing a gentle stretch to the body, encouraging openness and receptivity.

3. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana): A forward fold that calms the mind, stretches the hamstrings, and allows a moment of introspection.

4. Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana): Transitioning into a low lunge opens the hips and chest, promoting flexibility and stimulating the abdominal organs.

5. Side Lunge (Skandasana): This pose strengthens the legs and opens the hips, encouraging fluidity and grace in movements, much like the waxing and waning of the moon.

6. Goddess Pose (Deviasana): A powerful stance that activates the core, legs, and glutes, while also opening the hips and chest, embodying the strength and nurturing aspect of the feminine energy.

7. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana): Enhances balance and concentration, stretches and strengthens the thighs, knees, and ankles, and opens the chest and shoulders.

8. Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana): Stretches the spine, shoulders, and wrists, and calms the brain, preparing the practitioner for the reflective aspects of the sequence.

9. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana): Deepens the introspective quality of the practice, stretches the spine, shoulders, and hamstrings, and helps calm the nervous system.

10. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) or Child’s Pose (Balasana): Cobra pose opens the heart and strengthens the spine, embodying the lunar quality of receptivity. Child’s pose offers a moment of rest, surrender, and nurturing.

11. Closing Sequence: The sequence gently concludes in the same manner it began, with Tadasana, bringing the practice full circle and symbolizing the cyclical nature of life and the universe.

Energetic and Physical Benefits

Chandra Namaskar’s benefits extend beyond the physical, touching the energetic and emotional layers of our being.
Physically, it enhances flexibility, tones the body, and promotes balance and coordination.

Energetically, it aligns the practitioner with the soothing, reflective energy of the moon, encouraging a state of calm, introspection, and renewal.
This sequence is particularly beneficial for cooling down the body, making it ideal for evening practice or to balance intense solar energies.

Through regular practice, one can cultivate a deeper sense of harmony, peace, and fluidity in both body and mind, embodying the serene and transformative energy of the moon.

Practicing: Tips and Techniques

Practicing Chandra Namaskar, or Moon Salutation, offers a unique opportunity to connect with the calming energy of the moon, making it a perfect practice for winding down at the end of the day.
To fully embrace the serenity of Chandra Namaskar and integrate its benefits into your yoga practice, consider the following tips and techniques:

Best Times for Practice

• Evening or Night: Aligning with the moon’s energy, practicing Chandra Namaskar during the evening or at night can help soothe the body and mind, preparing you for a restful sleep.

• Full Moon and New Moon: These lunar phases are especially powerful times to practice Moon Salutations, as they invite reflection, release, and new beginnings, respectively.

Preparation Exercises

Before diving into Chandra Namaskar, warming up the body with gentle stretches or a few rounds of Sun Salutation can prepare your muscles and joints for the sequence.

Incorporating breathing exercises, such as Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing), can also help center your mind and balance your energy.

Modifications and Variations

• Flexibility and Strength Variations: Not everyone has the same level of flexibility or strength. Use props like yoga blocks or straps to modify poses as needed. For example, in Triangle Pose (Trikonasana), a block can support your hand if you can’t reach the floor.

• Injury or Physical Limitations: Listen to your body and adjust the sequence to accommodate any injuries or physical limitations. For instance, if you have knee issues, you might choose to skip the Goddess Pose or modify it to reduce strain on your knees.

• Pace and Duration: The beauty of Chandra Namaskar lies in its fluidity and grace. Maintain a slow and steady pace, allowing your breath to guide your movements.

You can decide the number of rounds according to your time and energy levels, making the practice as short or as long as you wish.

Remember, the essence of Chandra Namaskar is to honor the moon’s energy and your connection to it.

Approach the practice with an open heart and mind, allowing yourself to be guided by the sequence’s reflective and introspective nature.

By incorporating these tips and techniques, you can enhance your experience of Chandra Namaskar, making it a nourishing and enriching part of your yoga journey.

Chandra Namaskar for Evening Practice

Chandra Namaskar is ideal for evening practice, aligning with the night’s tranquil energy to help the body and mind unwind. Its gentle, flowing movements, reflective of the moon’s soothing qualities, facilitate a release of the day’s stress, easing into calmness.

The sequence’s mindful pacing and deep breathing enhance relaxation by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, preparing the body for rest.
This practice not only cools down the body after a day’s heat and activity but also shifts the mind towards a meditative state, quieting mental noise and paving the way for restorative sleep.

Integrating Chandra Namaskar into your evening routine can regulate sleep patterns, with its rhythmic movements and focused breathing promoting a smoother transition into deep sleep.

By fostering inner harmony and aligning with night-time rhythms, Chandra Namaskar becomes a holistic method to enhance nightly rest, ideal for improving sleep quality.

Integrating Moon Salutation into a Holistic Yoga Practice

Integrating Chandra Namaskar into your yoga practice enriches it with balance and harmony, providing a gentle counterpoint to the energizing Sun Salutation.

Here’s how to seamlessly incorporate it:

1. Complement Sun Salutation: Start with Surya Namaskar to energize, then transition to Chandra Namaskar to cool and calm, balancing solar and lunar energies.

2. Follow with Pranayama and Meditation: Post-Chandra Namaskar, engage in pranayama and meditation to deepen calmness and presence. Practices like Anulom Vilom or Brahmari enhance relaxation and inner harmony.

3. Transitioning Tool: Use Chandra Namaskar to smoothly transition to Savasana, facilitating a gradual shift towards relaxation.

4. Align with Lunar Cycles: Practice Chandra Namaskar more on full and new moon days to connect with lunar energies, fostering introspection and renewal.

5. Reflect Post-Practice: Conclude with reflection or journaling to internalize practice insights, enhancing mental and emotional awareness.

Incorporating Chandra Namaskar fosters a balanced approach to yoga, nurturing both action and introspection, and promoting unity within and with the external world.

The Impact on Mental and Emotional Well-being

Chandra Namaskar reaches beyond the physical to positively affect our mental and emotional states. Its fluid movements and meditative pace are potent stress relievers, fostering emotional balance.

The practice promotes mindfulness, encouraging practitioners to focus on the breath and present moment, thereby reducing anxiety and mental clutter.

Aligning with the moon’s calming energy, Chandra Namaskar helps cultivate inner peace and resilience, offering solace for those facing mental unrest or emotional challenges.

This intentional movement quiets the mind and provides a tranquil retreat from daily stressors.

Practicing Moon Salutation in the evening signals the body to prepare for sleep, lowering the heart rate and relaxing the nervous system. This not only improves sleep quality but also contributes to overall mental and emotional well-being.

As a part of a holistic mental health regimen, Chandra Namaskar offers a natural way to maintain balance and serenity.


In the gentle embrace of Chandra Namaskar, we find a sanctuary of calm, a reflective journey that mirrors the moon’s tranquil journey across the night sky. This sequence, with its soothing flow and meditative grace, invites us to slow down, to breathe deeply, and to connect with the quieter aspects of our being.
As we move through each pose, we are reminded of the beauty of balance, the strength in softness, and the power of letting go.

Let the Moon Salutation be your guide to inner serenity and balance. In its practice, discover the space to release the day’s stresses, to honor your body’s need for rest, and to cultivate a deeper connection with the natural world.

As the moon rises, so too can your spirit, lifted by the gentle power of Chandra Namaskar. Embrace this practice as an invitation to explore the depths of your own tranquility, to find harmony within the ebb and flow of life.

Allow the moon’s serene energy to infuse your evenings with peace, preparing you for a restful night’s sleep and a rejuvenated awakening to the new day. In the quiet moments on your mat, under the moon’s soft glow, may you find a profound sense of well-being that illuminates every aspect of your life.

By Mirko Rau

Mirko Rau is a dedicated practitioner of Hatha and Yin Yoga, with a passion that has spanned over 15 years. His journey into the depths of yoga has not only deepened his own practice but also inspired him to share his insights and experiences with others. Mirko is the creator of OMeditations, a German blog focused on meditation and mindfulness. Through his blog, he aims to demystify meditation practices and make them accessible to a wider audience, encouraging individuals to find peace and balance in their daily lives.

Photo by malith d karunarathne on Unsplash