One of my favorite parts of my practice is Surya Namaskar, the practice of sun salutation. The sun is our primary source of light and light is the source of all life - the sun salutation practice honors life and both the outward manifestations of light and the inner light in all of us. One of my regular instructors in Park Slope incorporates Surya Namaskar into all of her classes and usually will give the class a few rounds to do on their own with their own breath. I’ve actually cried while doing this before. (Keep in mind I also apparently now cry during Sports Authority commercials).
Today while doing some perusing of my favorite yoga sites from around the interwebs I stumbled on an article about CHANDRA Namaskar - the practice of MOON Salutation. Excuse me? I fucking love the moon. The sun is sooooooo 2010. I immediately started scouring the entire world wide web to see if I could find a chart with the complete cycle. Since I’m a very experienced web detective I was able to find the following:
I’m actually shocked that I haven’t heard of this before, especially since I’m now so into the idea of adding more yin elements into my practice - calming, restorative poses with longer holds and a more introspective and meditative quality than the faster paced flowing yang style that I’ve been practicing pretty much exclusively for the past two years. Furthermore since I consider myself somewhat of a mystic and I definitely have a magical quality to my thinking about a lot of things - nature in particular - I’m super into the idea of being able to channel the energy of the moon, which is associated with the feminine, the dark and the mystical.
For those of you who don’t believe in harnessing the dark energies of the moon, there are in fact physical and mental benefits as well:
“Chandra Namaskar promotes a sense of mental, emotional, and physical balance. There are many different variations in the series, but some of the forms of Chandra Namaskar include Half Moon or Triangle pose, which offset the body’s center of gravity, improving balance. It also promotes digestion, by opening up the chest cavity, expanding the lungs, and exposing the heart. Other poses, within the series, help tone the spine and improve the strength of the arm and shoulder muscles.” - from http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org/2012/01/29/therapeutic-aspects-of-chandra-namaskar/
I want to try to incorporate this into my home practice on evenings when I don’t go to the studio (which once I start teacher training will only be two nights a week - yikes!)