In Vinyasa Yoga, a very common sequence is the Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar). Sun Salutation is considered a Yang practice where the flow of the asanas (poses) are faster, more aggressive and challenging and is meant to create heat and energy in the body. Most yoga classes will start off with Sun Salutations as a warm up or within other sequences to push and challenge the body. The complimenting sequence to Surya Nasmakar is the Yin practice of the Moon Salutation (Chandra Namaskar). This quieting practice is slower, passive, more grounding and is meant to soothe and calm you – a perfect cool down or restorative practice.
These dueling practices hold significant benefits so depending on where your mind and body is at, choose the practice that will help bring balance to you. If you are feeling agitated and stressed, Chandra Namaskar would be beneficial. And if you are needing a pick me up or are feeling fiery, try Surya Namaskar to strengthen and energize.
When life’s pace picks up speed, I invite everyone to try Chandra Namaskar. It’s goal is to ground and nurture your body but you will still feel your muscles benefit from the stretch this sequence gives you.
Practice this sequence 5 times on each leg and observe how your body feels. Check out next week’s blog post when I mix up Surya Namaskar with some challenging strengthening poses to really get your heart rate going!