Traditionally defined as a symbolic hand gesture used in Hindu and Buddhist ceremonies and statuary, and in Indian dance, this practice has found its way into mainstream yoga and meditation practice. Mudras are used to center inward and channel the body’s energy fields, chakras, and personal guidance system. As a yoga teacher, I bring mudras in when I feel that my class is having difficulty finding stillness and clarity. Sometimes, our everyday life gets so hurried and noisy, that stillness and calm feels uncomfortable. During these times, calming your breath, finding your center, and quieting your inner chatter may be difficult. Using mudras as support for your brain, giving it something soothing to focus on, helps us dive into a deeper focus and calm. From here we can get more from our yoga and meditation practice.
Mudra means “seal,” “gesture,” or “mark” and the use of mudras can bring even more spiritual clarity to our practice. Unless you are practicing energy work every day, you may not even be aware of how powerful you are. Tapping into your energy body can help difficult things seem easier. You can relate your energy body to that of your muscles. To get stronger muscles, you utilize them. To sharpen your energy field, you tap into it often. Mudras can help.
Explore mudras step by step and add something new to your practice. There are plenty mudras to choose from, and I share some of my favorite in this video.
A quick, beginner practice, using mudras is to simply sit in easy seated posture and place your palms, facing upward on your knees. Gently tap your thumb and index finger together and hold. Move to your thumb and middle finger, then press your thumb and ring finger together, and finally press your thumb and pinky together. As you do this simple, un-rushed motion, claim a mantra for each finger. For instance, to center myself, for teaching,
I sit with this practice and use the words: FOCUS, CALM, VITALITY, CLARITY, PEACE.
These are elements I want to channel, as a teacher, to share best with my students. Find your words, and most importantly, find time to sit in meditation and practice with mudras. You can take this practice with you, anywhere you go, to find what you need immediately. How powerful is that? Give it a try, and let me know what favorite mudras you find that work best for you. Don’t forget to watch the video--if you're a dog lover, you'll enjoy the cameos from my beloved family members.
As a bonus reminder, the energy body is anchored by seven chakras along our spine. Here's a refresher of who and where they are and what purpose they serve. Enjoy!