With Durga Puja only a week away, let’s try and raise the goddess within us. Let’s listen to the voice of strength, valour and grace in us. Let’s get fit for the festive days with a refreshingly deep and calming lunar sequence known as Chandra Namaskar. All you need to do is follow these eight steps...
Start the sequence with
TADASANA. Lifting your hands slowly and gracefully, bring them together on the top of your head.
Chandrasana: Gradually drop the body to the left side and then repeat the same on the right, moving slowly with awareness.
Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana): From Chandrasana, seamlessly fall into the Goddess pose (victory squat) with your legs 3.5 feet part and knees pointing outwards. The upper arm must be parallel to the floor and elbows bent towards our face. The fingertips must be pointing towards the sky.
Five-Pointed Star: Raising the body from squat to standing position, straighten your knees from the Goddess pose. The arms should be straightened simultaneously and they should remain parallel to the floor.
Trikonasana (right leg): Keeping your right foot at an angle of 90 and left foot at 45 , let your hands and head fall to the right, all the while keeping the chest pointing towards the front. Be aware of the stretch on your sides, arms and inner thighs.
Parsvottanasana (right leg): From Trikonasana, swing both arms and hold on to the ankle. Bring the nose as close to the knee as possible without straining yourself. Feel the stretch in your lower back, hamstring and calf muscles.
Anjaneyasana: From Parsvottanasana, bend your right knee and place both your hands on either side of your right foot. Keep the left leg on the ground and stretch your hamstrings and hip flexors. Raise your hands above your head.
Deep Squat Switch (right, centre, left): Bringing both hands in front of the body, continue a deep squat on the right leg. Keeping left leg straightened, flex toes for an intense but not strenuous hamstring, calf muscle stretch. Keeping hands on the ground in front, slide into the centre of the deep lunge as the body balances on both legs. The stretch targets the inner thighs and the quadriceps, lengthening and strengthening the muscles. Shift the body onto the left leg in a deep squat, while the right leg remains stretched out.
From this position (8c) onwards, continue the same exercises as above but on the left side and backwards. So go from left side-squat to Anjaneyasana on the left leg, then Parsvottanasana, Trikonasana, Five-pointed star, the Goddess pose and finally Chandrasana on the left and right, thus completing the entire cycle of the moon.
Don’t forget to breathe continuously and gently throughout the sequence.
The Chandra Namaskar sequence can be practised after the heat-producing Surya Namaskar to balance the yin and yang in the body, bringing peace and serenity. Now open the doors to an inner radiance!
Pictures: Rashbehari Das
Varuna Shunglu holds yoga classes at Tollygunge Club.
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