yoga teacher trainingBy Amruta Kulkarni, CYT 500

Perhaps you have attended or instructed a yoga class where you placed your palms together at the chest, fingers pointing up, or you pressed the thumb and forefinger together while resting your hands on your knees and breathing deeply. Both of these common images of a yogi are symbolic gestures called mudras. The first, often called prayer position, is sometimes known as the Anjali or Namaste Mudra. It is used often in the sun salutation, tree pose, or mountain pose. The Guyan Mudra, which connects the thumb to forefinger, stimulates knowledge and imparts calm.

Mudras, meaning gestures, are an ancient tradition, which can be tracked back to early civilizations such as: India, Egypt, and many parts of Asia. Theoretically, primal man may have used mudras before formal language was constructed, because they are typically performed with the hands and fingers. Each mudra has a specific target in the body to which it reaches in order to guide the energy flow to specific areas of the body. Practicing mudras can aide in healing, improve concentration, and bring balance to the mind and body.

Some other common Yoga mudras include the Active Guyan Mudra, where the first joint of the index finger bends beneath the first joint of the thumb, forming a small circle. The Active Guyan Mudra imparts active knowledge. Shuni Mudra gives patience by touching the tip of the middle finger to the tip of the thumb. Surya or Ravi Mudra brings the tip of the ring finger to the tip of the thumb, imparting energy, health, and intuition. For clear and intuitive communication, touch the tip of the pinky finger to the tip of the thumb, called the Buddhi Mudra. To perform the Venus Lock, men interlace the fingers with the left pinky finger on the bottom and the right index finger on the top.

Women should do the same, except place the left index finger on top. Then, press the base of the thumbs together to channel sensuality and glandular balance. Focus on breaking through barriers and achieving good luck with Jupiter Mudra by lacing the fingers together, except the index fingers, which press extend out and press together. The Bear Grip will stimulate the heart and increase concentration. To do it, point the left thumb down with the palm facing away from the body, point the right thumb up with palm facing the body and clasp the fingers of both hands.

© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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