Moon Salutations

Every yogi has heard of Sun Salutations, and nearly all have performed them at least once. What many yogis don’t know of, however, is the twin sister of Sun Salutations: Moon Salutations

In both myth and reality, the sun and moon are closely linked and work together to create what we identify as day and night. Without one we wouldn’t have tides, and without the other, we wouldn’t have life. It only makes to dedicate time to the recognition and worship of both. While Sun Salutations are designed to wake up and invigorate the body, Moon Salutations calm and quiet the mind.


There are a few different variations to Moon Salutations, but this is one that anybody can perform: 

Mountain Pose – Stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides, palms facing forward. Without holding onto any tension, make your body as tall as possible, imagining a string at the top of your head pulling you up. Keep your feet firmly grounded, tailbone extending down to shift your hips into their natural position, and stretch your spine up. 

Upward Salute Side Bend – Lift your arms up above your head, interlace your fingers, and lean to one side. Come back to center then lean to the other side. Back to center. 

Goddess Pose – Step your feet wide apart and point your toes out towards the corners of your mat. Bend your knees and sink down into a squat, making your thighs parallel to the ground. Reach your arms out to the sides and bend your elbows, forearms up and palms facing outward. For a deeper variation, lift onto the balls of your feet while keeping your thighs parallel to the floor.

Star Pose – Bring your heels back down to the mat and straighten your legs. Extend your arms up and angle them out slightly. Your body will resemble a star (hence the name).

Triangle – Turn your right foot towards the top of the mat and your left foot to the side at a 45-degree angle. Reach out to the side through your right hand, then hinge at the hip and bend your torso to the right over your leg, reaching your hand down towards your shin. Extend the left arm up in line with the right. 

Pyramid – Lower your left hand and turn your torso to the right, placing your left hand where your right one is (shin, ankle, or floor). Distribute your weight evenly between your front and back legs. 

Low Crescent Lunge – Bend your right knee and place your hands on the mat on either side of the foot. Turn your left leg in and rest your knee on the mat, then untuck your toes and keep the top of your foot flat against the mat. Align your right knee over your ankle, and either keep your fingertips on the mat or reach your arms up, leaning back slightly. 

Low Side Lunge – Set both hands on the inside of your right foot and turn both feet so they are facing the side of the mat. Keep your knee bent and either move your hands to your right thigh or keep them on the mat. 

Garland – Step your right foot closer to your left, a little wider than shoulder width. Come into a deep squat with your hips down. Wedge your elbows against the inside of your knees, hands in prayer.  

Once you’ve completed these poses on one side, work your way back up the list on the other (garland to low side lunge, low side to crescent lunge, etc.). You will essentially be doing the routine backward. Feel free to do as many rounds of Moon Salutations as you wish. Try doing a round outside at night and see how that feels! The moon might appreciate the attention.

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