The Chandra Namaskar or the Moon Salutation is representative of the Ida nadi which is the feminine energy force. On the other hand the Surya Namaskar as we all know dates back to the ancient vedic period and is representative of the Pingala nadi which is the masculine energy force. Surya Namaskar starts from the right and ends on the left warming up the entire body preparing us for the entire day, but through the course of the day ours bodies get extremely fatigued and over stimulated. That’s when the Chandra namaskar walks in.
The Chandra Namaskar starts from the left and ends on the right, it should preferably be practiced at the end of the day to have a cooling effect on the body as it is only done 4 to 5 times at once .
Both Chandra and Surya Namakar are extremely important and compliment each other since both of them are representative of the two energy forces. Nadis's are subtle energy channels in the body. The Pingala Nadi is associated with the solar energy with sun-like nature and male energy force whereas Ida Nadi is associated with the lunar energy with moon-like nature or the female energy force. These energy forces are so powerful that they cannot exist in isolation and need each other to balance out the energy forces just as all the world is made in duality, day-night, hot-cool, high and low, similarly the two forces of energy have masculine and feminine characteristics.
What makes Chandra Namaskar different is the fact that it is feminine in nature. Shakti who symbolizes the feminine principles being power, energy, movement and change is a part of everything around us. Imagine a world without the feminine energy force, everything would stagnate. Where would life begin from? Who would be sensitive to our problems? will there be emotions like love, care, affection, warmth ,comfort gentleness, empathy, patience ? Would anyone understand your thoughts without you even having to say it? As we all know the only thing constant in life is change and Shakti manifests change.
Practicing this Chandra Namaskar will bring out the best in best in you, leaving your body and mind relaxed at the end of a long and stressful day . So remember, next time one wants to relax and have a good time, a few Chandra Namaskars will do the trick .
Steps of Chandra Namaskar
Mountain pose-Stand with your feet together, toes, heels and inner thighs touching each other. A long and deep breath in, taking the hands over the head, interlocking the fingers, index finger pointing up, stretching the hands and lengthening the spin . We will stay in this posture and align every movement with the breath.
Benefits: Tadasana helps increase height. It stretches the arms, chest, abdomen,
spine and legs.
Side stretch pose-Taking a long and deep breath in we will stretch towards the the left making sure the torso stretches to the side and doesn’t tilt forward or backward. There will be a contraction on the left hand side and expansion of the right hand side. Breathing out and coming back to the center the same will be repeated on the right hand side.
Benefits: Stretching increases the flexibility of the spine, arms, rib- cage.Stimulates
the liver, kidney and spleen function.
3. Uttkata Konasan:
Goddess pose/Victory pose: Jumping into goddess pose with the feet 3 to 4 feet apart, the toes will be pointing outwards with thighs parallel to the floor, we will lower the thighs widen the legs keeping the forearms 90 degrees to the arms, back straight , hands firm ,palms facing you .
Benefits: Strengthens your hips, groin and opens the chest. Strengthens the
quadriceps, arms and upper back.
4. Utthita Tadasana:
Five pointed star-Straightening the legs, hands parallel to the
floor at shoulder height.
Benefits: Stretches the sides, improves digestion and strengthens the legs and inner thighs.
Triangle pose- left ankle 90 degree to the left and right ankle 45 degree facing the left hand side, pushing the outer right soul into the floor for better balance. We slide the left hand towards the left calf ankle or floor, and extending the right hand up towards the ceiling ,making sure that the right and left hand are properly aligned.
Benefits: Strengthens and stretches the hips, back, arms, thighs and leg. It stimulates the function of the kidneys.
Hand to knee pose-Holding the calf or ankles with both our hands we will gradually push
the chest forward and touch our nose to the knees making sure we breathe in every
movement while doing the asana.
Benefits: Lengthens the spine and stretches the shoulders,wrists(in the full pose)hips and hamstrings. This posture improves posture and sense of balance while stimulating the digestive system.
7. Ashva Sanchalanasana:
Equestrian pose-The right leg would stretch back remaining completely straight with left leg bending without changing the position of the legs. Arms will remain straight keeping the hands on the floor, the chest will remian forward, chin up, pushing the hips towards the floor for a deeper stretch in the hips.
nefits: Develops confidence and courage, it massages the abdominal organs
and opens out the hip flexors.
Straightening the right leg, toes of the right foot pointing towards the ceiling with the left leg on the floor; hands in Namaskar Mudra, the body weight will shift from the left leg to the right leg straightening the left leg.
Benefits: Better balance, Improves glute activation and strengthens core.
9. Ashva Sanchalanasana
12. Utthita Tadasana
13. Utkata Konasan
As you see there is a repetition of the same postures in reverse order as we move up and back to the starting position.
Note: Since we had been sent a request to post a video and a basic understanding of the Chandrama Namaskar, we decided that there was no better day than World Yoga Day to begin a new and beautiful chapter in our Abhyasa..
This article has been written by KyogiNi a.k.a. Nikita Singh, who is a Calcutta based yoga professional and practitioner. As a student of Psychology and an avid lover of animals she has a keen understanding into the inner workings of the human mind and heart.