Chandra Namaskar means Moon Salutation. Chandra Namaskar is nice to do in the evening preparing the body and the mind for a restful night’s sleep. This is a complex of exercises that can be different in different yoga schools. I would introduce you one that I’m used to practice. There are the steps of Chandra Namaskar:
1. Tadasana / Mountain Pose: Inhale and extend your arms outwards and upwards, interlacing your fingers, index fingers pointing skywards.
2. Indudalasana / Standing Crescent Pose: Exhale and bend to your right extending long through the left side, all the way from the outer left foot to the tips of the index fingers. Inhale to centre and exhale and bend to your left. Inhale to centre.
3. Prasarita Padottanasana/ Spread Legs Intense Stretch Pose: Step the feet apart, feet parallel and hands on the hips. Lift the sternum and lengthen the spine. Exhaling, fold from hips, bend your elbows, put arms on the floor between the floor. Don’t bend your knee, keep the spine straight. With inhale – lengthen the spine, place hands on the hips and come up.
4. Trikonasana / Triangle Pose: Inhale, turn both feet to the right, arms outstretched and parallel to the floor. Exhale, reach long over the right leg. Lower the right hand to ankle or shin and extend the left arm to the sky. Inhale and rotate the chest to the sky.
5. Pada Hastasana/ Hand to Feet Pose: Stand on the front edge of the mat. Stand in Tadasana. Inhaling , rise both arms up, elongating the spine. Exhaling, slowly bend forward from the hips, grab your ankles. Inhaling, bring arms in line with the ears, slowly rise the body in upright position, stand straight.
6. Virabhadrasana A: Squat. Step right foot backward, bring front knee over the ankle, square hips to the front and rise your palms, Repeat on the left side.
7. Adho Mukha Svanasana/ Downward Facing Dog: Come to your hands and knees. Feet are separated to hip-width apart. Exhaling, raise the hips up to the ceiling, straighten the arms and legs. Keep the back and legs straight. Head, neck and spine are in one line. Inhaling, extend your right leg up, then exhaling lower it down next to the left foot. Inhale, extend the left leg up and exhaling lower it.
8. Pada Hastasana/ Hand to Feet Pose: Walk with your hands towards your feet.
9. Tadasana/ Mountain Pose: Raise your straight hands up, slowly rise your torso and stand straight
For the full effect, stand in each pose as long as your body wants (at least 5 breath).
The physical benefits of the pose include stretching and strengthening of the thigh muscles, calves, pelvis, and ankles, mainly the lower body. I feel it helps to activate root chakra and it stabilise svadhisthana chakra.
By Kateryna Lemeshko