yoga pirate…

{November 1, 2009}   i wanna hold my hand…

the buddha did it, belly dancers do it… even renderings of jesus show him doing it…and yogis do it too.  mudras are sacred hand gestures that are part of the body lock knowledge from ancient times from many regions, not just india.  the egyptians , greeks, romans all have images of this practice…from the universal hand gesture for prayer to the more complicated lakshmi devi mudra, mudras are fascinating to me…

lakshmi devi mudra

lakshmi devi mudra

it is said that hand mudras can channel energy, unify the two hemispheres of our brain and open the subconscious to the spiritual…i am starting to use the classic jnana mudra used to bring tranquility while meditating.  according to yogi maharaj this easy pointer to thumb mudra is suggested  to be used not only while sitting in meditation, but in shavasana.

life force energies, for me, can be super subtle…i do not have a teacher at this time who can direct me in energy locks like mulabandha so i feel i am at a loss as to how to skillfully work with mudras.  so i persist with my little ol’ practice and take notes on how i feel before, during and right after integrating different hand positions.  no great insights yet…like different asanas, i’m sure that some will be more significant than others.  in fact, if you think about it, asanas, like garudasana for instance, are certainly body mudras.

here are some starter mudras:

• Gyan Mudra (OM) : put the tip of your index finger to the tip of your thumb. One of the most common mudras, it is mainly used to bring tranquility during meditation.
• Apaan Mudra: bring the tips of your middle and ring fingers to the tip of your thumb for the intention to cleanse the body.
• Hrdayanjali Mudra : bring both hands together with the palms and fingers at the center of your chest to calm the mind.
• Shuni Mudra : tip of your middle finger is brought together to the tip of your thumb to bring patience.
• Prana Mudra : bring the tips of your ring and pinky fingers to the tip of your thumb which sends prana (life force) through your body. (from Annette Rivlin-Gutman for the seattle examiner)

…plus i just think they are beautiful.

do you integrate hand mudras into your practice?  what other body locks are you skilled at?


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