In the Mudra

A-okI’m just now realizing how powerful mudras can be in my yoga practice and even in my everyday life. Mudras are hand postures that help direct prana, one’s life energy, throughout the body and evoke certain emotional and mental qualities. Particularly, I have been focusing on and experimenting with the Jnana Mudra, or the Knowledge Mudra, in which the tips of the thumb and index fingers come to touch, as the rest of the fingers gently extend outward. It is considered the mudra of concentration and mental peace, but I had never noticed any effects it had on me until I had a paper to write last month and decided to strike a mudra during my morning pranayama (breathing) practice, in hopes of sharpening my focus for my task ahead. So I softly concentrated on the way the energy flowed through my fingers and hands for about 5 minutes, all the while breathing. And honestly I’ve never experienced myself so focused, yet so calm during the day! It was shocking that I was capable of that. I usually have a subconscious fist-fight in my head, while trying to get things done and by the end of the day I feel exhausted, like I was literally fist-fighting somebody the whole day! So I want to choose a more sane way of going about my everyday life (no more metaphorical black eyes and bruised fists) and this mudra seems to be doing just that for me. I now sometimes strike this lovely hand pose while driving (with one hand, of course). That’s what I like about this mudra; it is accessible anywhere I go, when I’m in need of a bit more focused and calm energy. It’s all right there in my hands.

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Photos: by Sam

Mudra Sources: 2nd Star to the Right, Healing Mudras: Yoga for Your Hands by Sabrina Mesko.

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