We are continuing to bring focus to practice. This term the hands hold our awareness. The asana practice has some new ideas for you to work with and the hands provide the strength and guidance to carry you both physicaly and mentally. The pranayama practice includes the inner self mudra and during meditation dhyana or contemplation mudra.
Mudra bring stability to the mind. It is said they work at a deeper and subtler level than asana. Different parts of the hand relate to the elements, attitudes and parts of the body. A mudra is a specific posture to channel energy into particular chakras and in turn affects the organs to which it is connected. Some of you wil remember our year of practice to connect to ideas around chakras (please see earlier blog posts). Some mudras are performed with asana and pranayama while others are practiced following them separately.
As a reflexologist, I have an energetic connection to the hands. Reflexology works to rebalance and centre the person by touching ‘reflexes’ on the feet and hands to facilitate healing in the body. However for the receiver this can be a passive experience compared to use of mudras in yoga practice.
Feuerstein writes that,
‘just as sound has a transcending aspect, so also the positioning of the body in space can communicate or invoke primal truths. Thus the mudras which are mostly hand gestures (hasta mudra), are both expressive and conducive to spiritual states.’
In contradiction with Gertud Hirschi, Feuerstein places the right hand on top of the left for dhyana mudra. This is my natural inclination. I do not know if there is a left versus right dominance preference. Unlike me some of you are left handed, I would be interested to know what your experience is.
Some of you described new expereinces of meditation whilst using a hand mudra. This could be something particular to the mudra and providing focus for the mind during meditation.
I look forward to hearing how your practice develops this term.
- Feuerstein G (2008) The Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice, Hohm Press
- Hirschi G (2000) Mudras – Yoga in your Hands, Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC
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