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Moon Salutation Yoga Sequence

November 14, 20165 min read

Ever have those days when you think you might scream if the instructor leads you through another Sun Salutation? Or is that just me?

I know… not very yogic of me and I haven’t actually screamed.. out loud that is…

While I love the strength and familiarity of the Sun Salutation there are days it’s just not what my body needs. Some days I need something softer, gentler, something even deeper. On these days I turn to the Moon Salutation instead.

There are many variations of the Moon Salutation yoga sequence but this is my favourite version that has a meditation that you say along with the poses for an even deeper connection and sense of empowerment.

The Tradition of the Moon Salutation Yoga Sequence

There are many different moon salutation flows and sequences however I favour this one as it is not simply a variation on the sun salutation but a complete counter series of poses that was designed to honour the feminine nature just as the sun salutation honours our more masculine strength and power.

Practising the Moon Salutation yoga sequence is a wonderful way to start connecting and honouring nature’s rhythms. In the Ashtanga yoga lineage there is a ritual during the full and new moon periods of suspending your normal yoga practice for something a little softer – perhaps going deeper into poses. In other systems of yoga, you alter your practice during your menses to honour this period of cleansing and to prevent injury in the body.

Before the advances of electricity, lights and central heating women’s menstrual cycles would sync to the rhythm of the moon. The Full Moon is associated with ovulation. The days just before and after ovulation are high energy, lots of action and interaction days.

The New Moon days (traditionally at the time of the menses) are darker, more introspective.  The New Moon is the time for cleansing the body, clearing out old thoughts and beliefs and making space for the new creative ideas and energies to come in.

When to Practice the Moon Salutation Yoga Sequence

full moon photo

On our Full Moon Days we often have a lot going on and often need to reign that high energy in so we can take action. Practising the Moon Salutation on these high energy full moon days brings us back to what’s important so we take action in the right direction.

During our New Moon Days and menses period, this Moon Salutation yoga sequence helps us go within and reflect. Helping us find that quiet space to simply be.

Depending on which phase of the cycle you are in pause and emphasis different parts of the series. On Full Moon days spend more time in the big standing poses – harnessing and assuming your full power enjoying the power pose effect.

On New Moon days hang out longer in pyramid pose, the lunges and squat. Taking time to understand your needs, desires and connect with your inner wisdom.

Created by Women for Women

This version of the Moon Salutation was created by several senior teachers the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the 1980s. It was created to balance off the more vigorous sun salutation which is contraindicated during menstruation and pregnancy.

This softer version of the vinyasa includes side stretches, hip-opening poses and introspective poses to honour the feminine nature within.

Benefits of the Moon Salutation

The series of poses were chosen to stretch and strengthen the reproductive system but include many other benefits as well for both women and men.

Relieve back pain and strengthen the core.
Stretch the side body and improve lung capacity.
• Strengthen the legs.
• Stretch and tone the pelvic and hip muscles.
Feel a sense of empowerment both from the poses and the meditation.
Connect to your inner wisdom and feelings.

The Moon Salutation Meditation

The meditation that Laura originally created for the series is full of the power of the goddess and mother earth. It reminds us of our own power and the deep connection we have to all living creatures. I encourage you to print out the full version of the poem to recite as you practice the series. You can find the full version here.

I find the full version too deep and lengthy to use in my youth and teen classes so I created the version below several years ago which is simpler, easier for teens to connect to and flows well as we do the poses around the circle of our class.

Adding in the meditation along with the poses deepens the practice. It highlights the empowering nature of the poses such as goddess and squat and encourages us to get quiet and reflective and draw upon on inner wisdom before branching out again.

Moon Salutation Yoga Sequence

Moon Salutation Yoga Sequence

Asanas for the Yoga Moon Salutation:

Prayer Pose – palms together overhead
Crescent Moon Pose – arching to the left
Goddess Pose – squat, arms at sides in an L-shape, palms forward
Transition Pose – star pose, the body is like a 5-pointed star
Triangle Pose – extending to the left, right arm up
Head to knee – left leg
Lunge to the left
Forward Facing Lunge – right leg extended
Squat Pose – Malasana, hands in prayer position
Forward Facing Lunge – left leg extended
Lunge to the right
Head to Knee – right leg
Triangle Pose – extending to the right, left arm up
Transition Pose – star pose
Goddess Pose
Crescent Moon Pose – arching to the right
Return to
Prayer Pose – palms together overhead

moon salutation meditation for teens

Moon Salutation Sequence and Meditation

Use this moon salutation pdf printable to keep the image, poses and the meditation handy both for your own practice and use it to teach from.


teen class wave

When teaching, I put the large image of the series in the centre of the circle and we face each other doing the poses with one foot on your mat and the other stepping in between your mat the next persons.

By the end of the flow, you will come to stand on the mat of the person beside you. We then repeat the series until you come back to your own mat.

For large classes, we may not get all the way back to our mats but do it enough that everyone remembers the poses and a few of the meditation verses.

Enjoy the flow today and let me know what you think of the series in the comments below.

Moon salutationsun salutationyogayoga sequence

Krista Strayer

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