Mudras are actions of the hands and fingers that are used to receive and guide prana (universal cosmic energy) in and throughout the body. It is said that each part of the hand has a reflexive connection to the brain. Mudras help to stimulate those connections. When mudras are done in conjunction with yoga breathing practices, prana can move more smoothly through the body, which helps to enliven and balance our internal beings.
There are many different mudras that can be practiced, but one that we have been using this week in class is one where we anchor the receiving and grounding energies inside of us. In this practice, one palm remains face up, index and thumb fingers to touch. The other palm remains face down, index and thumb fingers to touch. When the palm remains face up, it is said to harness the feminine energy, which is both giving and receiving. When the palm remains face down, it is said to harness the masculine energy, which lends to an inward, grounding focus. To live a healthy life, it is necessary to be grounded, but at the same time receptive. These opposing gestures are symbolic of and aim to achieve this balance.
Today, there seems to be an imbalance in energies. With the advent of social media and society’s overwhelming reliance on impersonal communication, such as through computers, we have become too closed off from life and one another. We are all in need of reconnecting with ourselves and to each other on a more natural and organic level. By practicing mudras, we can all benefit from focusing inwards to learn who we are as individuals and looking outwards to appreciate and connect with all of those special beings around us.
I encourage you to practice mudras. Little gestures such as palms facing down or palms facing up can have a tremendous effect on how we feel. They allow for an authentic and pure connection between our subtle minds and bodies and can in turn, have a positive effect on our mental state and others.