Moon Salutation (Chandra Namaskar)
Begin in Mountain Pose with your palms together at the heart (Anjali mudra). Extend your arms out in front of you and overhead on your inhalation. Palms face one another. Exhale into a forward bend. Bend your knees if necessary. Inhale to bend the knees deeply as you lift the heels off the ground and lower into a squat. The hands meet at the heart. Bring the hands and heels to the floor as you exhale, and step your left foot back into a lunge. Keep the right knee directly above or behind the right foot. Lower the left knee to the floor and keep the toes tucked as you press through the heel of the left foot. Inhale to bring your arms in front of you and overhead. Exhale to lower your right leg and shift your body into Child's Pose, keeping the toes tucked (feet flexed). In Child's Pose, reach your arms out in front of you. Inhale to glide your chest through your arms, shining your heart out in front of you. Exhale back to Child's Pose. With toes tucked under, inhale to roll up through the spine as you lift the torso off the thighs, coming into a kneeling position. Sweep the arms out in front and overhead. Exhale to connect the hands to the earth and come into a lunge with the right leg extended behind you. Gently lower the right knee to the ground. Inhale to open the torso and extend the arms out in front and overhead. Exhale to lower the hands, step the right foot to meet the left, hip distance apart. Inhale to slowly rise up, sweeping the arms overhead. Bring the palms together and lower the hands to your heart.
Gaze should remain at or below the horizon throughout the salutation, and emphasis is on the internal gaze rather than external. Back of the neck stays long and ribs draw back into the body. Practice the Moon Salutation slowly and rhythmically.
Warms the joints and stretches the entire body while creating calm. Brings balance to all systems of the body.