chandra namaskara

ahimsaka satya chandra namaskara

salutations to the moon
As there are many variations of sun salutations, there are also different variations of moon salutations. Often less know though, or mixed as variations within sun salutations.  The moon salutations add lunar energy to a solar energy dominated practice, create harmony, and can be a grounding, calming end to a session of sun salutations.
The following sequence of a moon salutation series, can be practiced as a stand alone practice, for a more grounding and calming practice. Or as a start for more “yin-yoga”, lunar energy, focused practice.  Where the classical sun salutations predominately alternate between forward bends and back bends, this sequence of moon salutations focuses more on side stretching and twisting. It is a complementary asana sequence, when combined with classical sun salutations gives full range of movements to the spine. 
Whereas the twelve positions of surya namaskara relate to the twelve zodiac or solar phases of the year, the fourteen positions of chandra namaskara relate to the fourteen lunar phases. In the lunar calendar the fourteen days before the full moon are known as sukla paksha, the bright fortnight, and the fourteen days after the full moon are known as krishna paksha, the dark fortnight. The name of each day introduces each asana and is used as a basis for learning the days of the lunar cycle. Doing both both the left and right site, all the lunar phases are being passed.
The lunar energy flows within ida nadi, relating to the para-sympathetic nervous system in our physical  body. It has a cool, relaxing and creative qualities. It has a introverted or mental force and is responsible for consciousness.
When practicing the chandra namaskara as a stand alone practice, honoring the moon, it is best practiced at night, especially when the moon is visible, or at dawn at the time of the full moon. Be aware of the different experiences giving by the changing aspects of the moon. Make sure the stomach is empty before starting the practice. Synchronize the movement with the breath and where the breath is in the body (where can the breath move freely and where is the breath restricted) while holding each position. For activating the ida nadi, start with the left leg first, and take the left side of the poses first. This will have a more calming and grounding effect. When in the “moon-pose” ( shashankasana, shashank also means moon in sanskrit as is the word chandra, also translated into hare or rabbit pose, or balasana, childpose, but in this variation keeping the hands to the front of the mat ), create a feeling of instant relaxation, surrendering the body and mind, and let the breath deepen. Visualizing a full moon shining over a dark blue ocean at night.
Suggested a slow practice of 3 to 7 sets.
Benefits;
Bringing the body and mind into a more calm, centered, peaceful state. Cooling for the brain and helps to eliminate anger. Side stretching helps facilitate the breath. Twists are purifying, stimulate the digestive system and give a nice massage to the internal organs. The asana help to relieve constipation, to release pressure from the spine and regulates the functioning of various glands in the body.
mantra’s accompanying the movements
1 om kamesvaryai namaha             salutations to she who fulfills desires
2 om bhagamalinyai namaha        salutations to she who wears the garland of              prosperity
3 om nityaklinnayai namaha        salutations to she who is ever compassionate
4 om bherundayai namaha            salutations to she who is ferocious
5 om vahnivasinyai namaha         salutations to she who resides in fire
6 om vajreshvaryai namaha          salutations to she who possesses vajra (the                                 thunderbolt) and is adorned with diamond ornaments
7 om dutyai namaha                         salutations to she whose messenger is shiva
8 om tvaritayai namaha                 salutations to she who is swift
9 om kulasundaryai namaha         salutations to she who is virtuous, respectable and                charming
10 om nityayai namaha                   salutations to she who is eternal
11 om nilapatakinyai namaha        salutations to she who is adorned with a blue flag
12 om vijayayai namaha                  salutations to she who is ever victorious
13 om sarvamangalayai namaha  salutations to she who is the source of all good                         fortunes
14 om jvalamalinyai namaha         salutations to she who is fenced with instant flames
the mantra (sanskrit for that what protects the mind) creates a back ground sound (noise), preventing other thoughts to arise, they create a vibration for the breath, a rhythm for the mind and a pattern for the body together with the movements.  The effect is a calming almost hypnotizing for the mind, making the movements go with ease and seemingly without effort.
breath; deep rhythmic breathing
round one, starting with left leg
pose 1 inhale and exhale, centering, moon pose arms forward on the mat, palms down
pose 2 inhale on knees hands at the chest, palms together
pose 3 exhale, left leg steps forward point hands and arms forward, palms together
pose 4 inhale take hands and arms to the sides, horizontal palms facing front
pose 5 exhale take left side first, left hand up, right hand down, stretching left side
pose 6 inhale back up, center
pose 7 exhale take right side, right hand up, left hand down, stretching right side
pose 8 inhale up and exhale left hand back, look over the left shoulder, right hand forward, twist
pose 9 inhale back to center
pose 10 exhale right hand back, look over the right shoulder, left hand forward, twist
pose 11 inhale back to center
pose 12 exhale hands together point hands and arms forward, palms together
pose 13 inhale, left leg goes back, on knees hands at the chest, palms together
pose 14 inhale and exhale, centering, moon pose, arms forward on the mat, palms down

round 2, same but starting with right leg and take right side first.
pose 15 inhale and exhale, centering, moon pose arms forward on the mat, palms down
pose 16 inhale on knees hands at the chest, palms together
pose 17 exhale, right leg steps forward point hands and arms forward, palms together
pose 18 inhale take hands and arms to the sides, horizontal palms facing front
pose 19 exhale take right side first, right hand up, left hand down, stretching right side
pose 20 inhale back up, center
pose 21 exhale take left side, left hand up, right hand down, stretching left side
pose 22 inhale up and exhale right hand back, look over the right shoulder, left hand forward, twist
pose 23 inhale back to center
pose 24 exhale left hand back, look over the left shoulder, right hand forward, twist
pose 25 inhale back to center
pose 26 exhale hands together point hands and arms forward, palms together
pose 27 inhale, left leg goes back, on knees hands at the chest, palms together
pose 28 inhale and exhale, centering, moon pose, arms forward on the mat, palms down

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asana, shavasana, coconuts (part II) ; oil pull

coconut oil pull for detox
what shavasana is to the asana practice, is coconut to the shavasana
This post is related to a series of post about nutrition & yoga.
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Asana’s work from the outside of the body into the inside of the body, pranayama works from the inside, the core, to the outside of the body. Both work on all aspects of the body mind, from the gross to the subtle. Pratyahara works from the senses and the mind. Dharana works with the mind. Meditation is beyond the mind and works with the subtle energies within the body mind. Nutrients work on molecular level, they can do there work from the inside of the cell, and penetrate the cell from the outside. Taking particular nutrients together with a yoga practice, can upgrade the beneficial effects more, what yoga has prepared within the body mind, nutrients can take beyond that. And/or what the nutrients have been doing on a cellular level, yoga can act on.
When starting your practice you may experience the effects of the body detoxification process. Same when you are moving deeper into certain asana, taking a new asana, or taking a more intensive meditation period It can lead to the body-mind purging all the things it doesn’t want to have in there anymore. Side effect of this is that you may feel feverish or even sick, headache, rash or any other symptoms can occur. Which can jeopardize a steady daily practice. Daily oil pulling before committing to your practice can help to relieve the effects of detoxification, and in general create a better state of health, and not only for your teeth and mouth.
Taking it that you are already on a more or less “sattvic” diet; pure, no processed food if possible and well-balanced. Or at least trying to keep your food intake as pure and natural as possible. Oil pulling can be effective for boosting your immune-system and taking “remaining” toxins out of the body that have been stored in the tissues and now released into the system by practicing yoga asana, or sitting meditation.
Oil pulling is the ancient Ayurvedic technique that basically involved swishing a tablespoon of cold-pressed oil around in your mouth every morning for 20 minutes. Because purportedly, this swishing will pull the “toxins” out from all over your body, drawing them into the oil ( the oil pulls the “toxins” out of your tongue ) and therefore cleansing your whole system.(disease promoting toxins are removed, thus allowing the body to heal itself). It will heal your gums and whiten your teeth too.
Another effect of oil pulling is that fights off the harmful bacteria in the mouth, it will help strengthening your immune system and fight of diseases. As simple as it is, oil pulling has a very powerful detoxifying effect. Our mouths are the home to billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites and their toxins. Candida and Streptococcus are common residents in our mouths. It is these types of germs and their toxic waste products that cause gum disease and tooth decay and contribute to many other health problems including arthritis and heart disease. Our immune system is constantly fighting these organisms. If our immune system becomes overloaded or burdened by excessive stress, poor diet, environmental toxins and such, these organisms can spread throughout the body causing secondary infections and chronic inflammation, leading to any number of health problems.

The key to successful oil pulling is in the duration of the swishing. Oil is viscous, it’s “sticky” and it spreads. Given enough time ( a full 20 minutes ), it will slowly seep all the way up into those bacteria-filled pockets. Tooth brush bristles can’t get up there. Toothpaste is foamy and runny, not sticky at all, so it won’t get up there. Mouthwash isn’t viscous at all. But oil seeps in everywhere, and then as you swish, it’s drawn back out. Oil pulling is the only way to reach, and dislodge, those harmful bacteria that are buried so deeply under your gum line.
How to apply oil pulling:
Every morning, first thing in the morning, before brushing your teeth or rinsing your mouth out, measure one tablespoon of virgin cold-pressed coconut, sesame (sesame and coconut are the most reputed), sunflower, or olive oil
Swish this oil around in your mouth, letting it pass over your tongue, your gums, and all your teeth, and trying your best to move it between each tooth, for a full 20 minutes. Meanwhile you prepare your yoga practice or start with a basic warming up for the joints.
The oil will turn white and frothy. Don’t gargle it or you’ll risk swallowing it. When the 20 minutes is up, spit it all out. Spit into trash, compost or outside in, just not in the sink – to prevent clogging.
Gargle, preferably with salt water, and thoroughly rinse your mouth out. Brush your teeth as normal.
Toxins are pulled from the body the very first time you try it. One of the first cleansing symptoms you will experience is an increased flow of mucous from your throat and sinuses. Mucous drainage is one of the body’s methods of removing toxins. While you are pulling, mucous may build in the back of your throat. You may even have to expel the oil and clear the mucous from your throat before reaching a full 20 minutes. That’s okay, take another spoonful of oil and continue until you’ve pulled for a total of 15-20 minutes. You may also experience a little nausea and perhaps even need to vomit as your body expels toxic waste. Other symptoms may also arise temporarily. These symptoms will subside as your body becomes cleaner and you become more comfortable with oil pulling. Oil pulling should become a regular part of your daily schedule, like brushing your teeth (at least repeat daily for a minimum of 30 days, but ideally 45-60 days).
according ayurvedic medicine it can help against (when done daily):
alleviating allergies
against eczema
arthritis, relieve of joint pain
better sleep
brightening & whitening teeth
boosting the immune system
chronic blood disorders
clearing the sinuses
decreasing headaches
decreasing inflammation
digestive troubles
fresh breath
having a clearer mind
heart disease
hormonal disorders
improve oral health (healthier gums – bleeding gums, tooth decay and gum diseases are diminished)
improving PMS symptoms, more relieve
improving the lymphatic system
increasing energy
more clearer skin, more soft
preventing bad breath
regulating menstrual cycles
removal of mucus
Sunflower and sesame seed oils are the most commonly used for oil pulling, but any vegetable oil will work. People have had success with olive, coconut, almond, and other oils. Coconut oil because of its many health benefits is preferred. If you use a mild flavored coconut oil it is very pleasant in the mouth. Some oils, such as extra virgin olive oil, are so strong flavored that many people find them difficult to use.
This information has worked for us  Please do not consider them as medical advice, and always consult your doctor to treat any medical condition.

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