Have you ever tried a moon salutation? If you’re looking for yoga for relaxation, this simple series of poses is just the thing!
Whether you’re a yoga novice or an old pro, chances are you’ve run across the sun salutation in your practice. The sun salutation is one of my favorite yoga series. It’s invigorating, the flow is natural and smooth, and there are lots of fun ways to mix it up by throwing in extra poses.
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Moon salutation is a lesser-known series that’s just as beneficial. Unlike the sun salutation, which is meant to wake up and energize your body, moon salutation is a series of poses to help your mind focus and your body relax at the end of a long day. It’s a great yoga practice for the evenings, especially if you’re dealing with a lot of stress or have trouble sleeping.
Like any exercise, you probably don’t want to do moon salutation right before bed. Leave yourself about 30 minutes to an hour afterwards to wind down a bit. Maybe fix a cup of tea and curl up with a book!
Ready to get your moon salutation on? Check out the video on the next page!
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by bradleypjohnson
Moon salutation Tips
There are lots of variations on Moon Salutation, but I like the basic one in the video above. You can sneak in a round or two even on the busiest evening!
Moon salutation’s Sanskrit name is Chandra Namaskar and it’s meant to quiet the mind and relax the body. Don’t push yourself too far in these poses. Just try to relax, listen to your body, and get into the flow of the movements. To prepare for moon salutation, find a quiet room where you can turn down the lights. Roll our your yoga mat or a large, thick towel, and enjoy this series!
Like any yoga practice, you’ll want to begin with some deep breathing and end with relaxation. These don’t have to take a long time, but they do increase the benefits of your routine. Deep breathing helps you get centered before you start, and relaxation at the end – either sitting or reclined – helps your body retain the energy you created with this practice. Sounds hippie dippy, I know, but you’ll feel a lot calmer and more relaxed if you include these important steps.
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Since sequences like moon salutation are meant to be practiced in a flow – transitioning between poses, rather than pausing after each one – I’d suggest watching the whole video a couple of times before you do your first moon salutation. That will give you a feeling for how the series goes, so you won’t have to break your flow to pause the video.
Do you have a favorite yoga pose or sequence for relaxation? Tell us your tricks in the comments!