Have you ever wondered why your yoga teacher asks you to place your palms together in front of your heart?
This gesture is one of many called a mudra.
A mudra is a symbolic seal or gesture that we use in our physical practice to focus intention. Mudras can help to facilitate flow of movement, tune awareness, and relieve stress.
One of the most common mudras in a yoga practice is Anjali Mudra. This is the positioning of the palms together at the front of the heart. This mudra is a seal, connecting the energetic body with the physical body. It is a representation of honour towards yourself and the rest of the universe. As we physically flow through a yoga practice, this mudra helps us to stay grounded and aware of our physical bodies, as well as letting go and finding meditation in our movement.
Another common hand mudra is the Gyan Mudra. You may have done this mudra while sitting cross legged on your mat. This mudra is done with palms facing up, connecting the index finger and thumb, with the middle ring and pinky finger extended straight. This is the mudra of meditation, helping to invite calm and ease to the mind.
And a final example of a hand mudra that you can use in your yoga practice is called the Padma, or Lotus Mudra. This mudra is done with base of hands together, pinky fingers touching and thumbs touching, and palms and fingers opening up to the sky. This is a symbol of growth, knowledge and potential. It can invite purity and ease through transformation.
Try these mudras in your yoga practice, or use them to help focus in meditation!