Live Be Yoga ambassadors Lauren Cohen and Brandon Spratt are on a road trip across the country to sit down with master teachers, host free local classes, and so much more—all to illuminate the conversations pulsing through the yoga community today.
During our time at the Kashi Atlanta Urban Yoga Ashram, we had the privilege of practicing with Swami Jaya Devi, the ashram’s founder. Devi led us through a Kali Natha Yoga tantric practice known as moon cooling breath, which is designed to reduce excess heat in the mind and body, while connecting you to the feminine, intuitive energy of the moon.
There are two parts to this pranayama practice. The sequence with this breath pattern is meant to help establish yourself in your “center point,” where you feel calm and centered. The half moon mudra (pictured above) honors the different phases of the moon.
Watch also Swami’ Jaya Devi discussing How to Live the Life of a Yogi.
To prepare, make the half-moon mudra with your hands that you will take in various positions throughout the sequence: create a c-shape with both hands in front of your chest. Wrap the left hand around the right to make a half moon shape between the hands.
Moon Cooling Breath with Half-Moon Mudra
Take a comfortable seat. Bring your hands to prayer in front of the heart (Anjali Mudra). Close your eyes and picture yourself sitting under the full moon.
Circle Arms Overhead
Release your hands and inhale to circle your arms over your head, placing the right hand over the left in half-moon mudra – honoring the moon above you.
Bring Mudra to Your Sacrum
Exhale and circle the arms behind your back, holding the half-moon mudra against your sacrum – honoring the different phases of the moon around you.
Sweep Hands Out Front
Inhale and sweep your arms straight out in front of you, holding the half-moon mudra out in front of the heart chakra, representing the future coming towards you.
Exhale to Prayer Pose
Keeping your arms extended in front of you, bring your hands together into a prayer position with the fingers pointing forward. As you exhale, draw the hands back to Anjali Mudra in front of the heart. Take 3-5 grounding breaths with the eyes closed.
*Repeat this sequence three times, finding a rhythm with the breath and movement.
Part 2: Variation with Satali Pranayama
Place your hands into the half moon mudra in front of the mouth.
Inhale Through Curled Tongue
To begin the moon cooling breath, curl your tongue like a straw and inhale through the curled tongue.
*If you cannot curl your tongue simply inhale along a flat tongue.
Exhale Through Nose
Curl the tongue to the roof of the mouth and exhale out the nose. Lower the mudra to your lap and continue the pranayama practice for 7-11 breaths.
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