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Equinox is the time to begin Moon Salutations

MOON insight: Begin to Practice Moon Salutations

The first time I was introduced to Moon Salutations was in 2013 with Suzanne Blackwell, an powerful yet soul guiding Red Deer yoga instructor who brought in the necessity for me to practice Moon Salutations. Balanced & Unwind:

"Moon salutations allow us to experience the essence of lunar energy, and to see the moon’s qualities as part of ourselves, as well as integral to the natural world."

The practice I’m about to share with you is perfect for a full moon, for an evening spent on the mat, or whenever you may need to wind down and rest a while. It can be a stand-alone practice, or used as preparation for a self-guided asana practice.

Image from Shiva Rea - Yoga Journal

Why Practice Moon Salutations?

"As inhabitants of a high-octane, competitive culture, American yogis often gravitate toward practices of fiery, strength-building intensity. In fact, the most ubiquitous sequence in the West is surely the ultimate heat builder, the Sun Salutation. The sequence's Sanskrit name, Surya Namaskar, is literally translated as "bow to the sun." And as you lift your arms and then bow down, as you lengthen forward and jump back, you begin to embody solar energy. You stretch, strengthen, and warm your whole being from the inside out."

But on days when you're feeling depleted, overstimulated, or overheated, it's good to know that Surya Namaskar has a soothing sister sequence known as Chandra Namaskar, or Moon Salutation. As the name suggests, Chandra Namaskar is a quieting sequence that invites you to bow to and cultivate the moon's soothing lunar energy.

"This kind of practice is beneficial for men and women who are under any stress," says Shiva Rea, the creator of Prana Flow Yoga, who offers the sequence on these pages. "It's a great way to balance your energy before you get to the point of exhaustion." ~Shiva Rea Shiva Rea's quieting Moon Salutations.

Living in Red Deer?

Suzanne Blackwell is a Yoga Alliance ERYT-500, a registered 500-hr teacher with the YAA (Yoga Association of Alberta), and has also taken a 500-hour certificate in restorative yoga through Ajna Yoga in Victoria (an IAYT-recognized school).

Suzanne has been teaching yoga full-time since 2006 at local studios, recreation centres, public and alternative schools, and seniors facilities including Hatha, Restorative, Flow, Power/Ashtanga, and specialized classes. She often teaches unique and varied workshops and offers private restorative sessions for individuals in order to assist their return to health. She is also an instructor in the Kinesiology Department at Red Deer College.

Suzanne's website lists her black belt creds, Reiki Master among many other titles and her Facebook page: Her website. Here are the studios she offers classes at in Red Deer: Breathing Room (a community based yoga studio) YARD-yoga alliance of red deer (small classes with a range of sizes and ages and Red Deer's longest running yoga studio, I started in 2005 with Adele's Beginner Yoga)

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