Blue Moon: Salute to the Moon
The last day of this month sees a full moon. It will be the second full moon of March and therefore a rare blue moon. A blue moon, I hear you say? Didn’t we just have one of those? Well, yes, we did: the “super blue blood moon” of January 31. So what’s the big deal?
By definition, a blue moon is the second full moon that appears in a single calendar month. There are roughly 29.5 days between full moons, making it unusual for two full moons to fit into a 30- or 31-day-long month. This astronomical-calendar event is so rare that after this one we won’t see another until October 2020. (It also means that poor, desolate February, that has so little going for it as it is, will never have a blue moon.)
So a blue moon, I think, is something worth celebrating. And what better way to do that than with the Sun Salutation’s lesser known counterpart, the Salute to the Moon (Chandra Namaskar)?
Salute to the Moon
This short sequence offers the perfect, soothing yin counterbalance to the energetic yang of the Salute to the Sun (Surya Namaskar). If we want to create balance in our busy, demanding lives, it’s helpful to practice now and then anyway, but it is particularly perfect for the end of a busy day when you’re feeling overstimulated or depleted.
And if you get to bedtime without having had time for any yoga during the day and would like a short sequence that will calm and prepare you for sleep, this is the one for you. It also contains the wonderfully-named Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana), which is always a winner in my book.
Like the Sun Salutation, in the Salute to the Moon there can be many variations but whatever the modifications they will include repetitions on both side. You can imagine these as the waxing and waning phases of the moon.
- Gently stimulates the lower back;
- Work on the hips, hamstrings and back of the body;
- Will quiet a busy mind.
Because it is nigh on impossible to describe sequences in way that is easy to follow in real time, I’ve found a lovely video that will guide you through Chandra Namaskar here. You can move slowly and appreciate the deeply calming nature of this sequence.
Once you’ve learnt the Salute to the Moon, you won’t want to wait for another blue moon in order to do it again!
This sequence is very beneficial in our hectic lives, but there are some contraindications including hernias, high blood pressure, sciatica, fever and heart disease. Please consult with your doctor or qualified yoga teacher before practising this sequence if you have any health issues or concerns.