Alliteration…got to love it. Opens the doors for so many opportunities. Motivational Monday, Tequila Tuesday, Work out Wednesday, Throwback Thursday…you get my point. We here at Bliss Yoga Salzburg want to take the opportunity to Alliterate, while learning more about the Philosophy, Alignment and Story that Yoga has to offer.
Over the next three months, we will be diving into the world of yoga.
In March we will explore Mudras (an Introduction to this Month Below), April will be about Asanas, beloved, classic, feared…the alignment, the how to, the what not to do etc., and in May we look into Mantras, silent or sang.
We hope that you join us on this journey through the different avenues that Yoga has to offer, and maybe you will learn a tip or two along the way.
What is a Mudra?
“Mudra” means a sign or a seal.
Mudras are hand gestures, which strengthen and purify your mind and body. By tapping into different energies to create the free flow of “Prana” (life force, life energy) through our bodies. Sometimes this Prana gets stuck or blocked, and these Mudras help reinforce the flow- releasing blockages. Mudras are easy to use and safe to practise on your own. You do not need any special “Mudra” teacher to gain the benefits that this free flowing energy can give you.
Practicing these Mudras helps you bring physical benefits (releasing of Headaches) as well as mental benefits (Better concentration). In Yoga and meditation they help to bring a calmness and inner peace to the person.
Regular practice of mudras can have the following effects:
Allows energy to move through your body
Increases the mobility in your hands – some of the gestures are like a game of “Twister” for your fingers
Helps you gain more concentration- by bringing your energy and focus inward
The Nadi`s (energy Channels) start or finish in the hands and feet, so when we move our hands in certain ways holding the different Mudras, we activate the flow to particular areas, which remove blockages and redirects the Prana to where it is needed.
Throughout March we will be working through the following elements:
Fire – Thumb; Air – Index Finger; Ether – Middle Finger; Earth – Ring Finger; Water – Little Finger
Please note that the subject of Mudras is a very in depth topic, which includes but is not limited to the Chakras, Doshas, the Elements, Reflexology etc.
Mudras for modern life, Swami Saradananda – I have often used some of these Mudras during my yoga lessons to help with the flow of energy targeted during the specific classes.
To kick off… With a Mind Mudra to increase concentration and clarity
Anjali Mudra/ Namaskar Mudra
This is not “just” a greeting. For the Buddhists, Hindus and other religions, this is a sacred gesture.
„Both Namaste and Anjali mudra are performed by pressing the palms of the hands. When we say Namaste or Namaskara -it is usually performed during greeting the other person or during pranam by pressing palms on heart chakra and bowing head. Namaste honors the light, goodness, or divine of the other person. Namaste is not the same as saying “hello”. This gesture is used in India and Nepal for both greetings and farewells while carrying a deeper and more significance than a simple hello or goodbye. The joining of the two palms can also be taken as the coming together of the right and left hemispheres of the brain representing the unification.” - https://healthylife.werindia.com/body-and-mind/namaste-anjali-mudra
By joining both hands in this symmetrical way balances all your energies, connecting the currents of your right side and left side of your brain.
“In the yogic view of the body, the energetic or spiritual heart is visualized as a lotus at the center of the chest. Anjali mudra nourishes this lotus heart with awareness, gently encouraging it to open as water and light do a flower.” – Yoga Journal https://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/for-beginners-anjali-mudra
In a comfortable seated position, with a lengthened spine, slowly bring the palms of your hands together, as though you were joining the energies of the left and right side of your body, and place them in the middle of your chest, with your thumbs placed on your sternum – your chest centre. Gently let your chin sink towards your chest.
Practicing this Mudra reduces stress, balances the energies and draws your attention inward – to focus on you.
Try incorporating this Mudra into your Yoga practice, maybe you have already noticed how it forms a part of your practice, but now have a little more knowledge of its effects. For example in Vrksasana (Tree Pose), Anjayneasana (low lunge), Virabhadrasana II or III (Warrior II or III).
“Yoga is the experience you have when your mind is peaceful” Patanjali, Yoga Sutras.