Gentle Power is within you,and it subtly illuminates your Shining Self.
The Hand Mudras of Yoga prepare you for Meditation and redirect life force energy back into the Mindbody system using a Yoga practice that is gently powerful. This practice is both balancing and a Divine gift for rediscovering the Shining Self within.
Ancient practices, passed down from the Rishis to the Gurus (usually in secret); the Mudras are attitudes which represent awareness of the psyche through mood or emotion in the inner world of the Spirit. The Hand Mudras of Yoga are practised in a wonderfully gentle way with subtle power, with breathing and withdrawal of the senses – Pranayama and Pratyahara – bringing awareness of our energetic body, self-healing and preparing for Meditation. Using the subtle energies and Ayurvedic Elements in this form of Yoga through the practice of Mudra, the mind gradually turns inward and induces the state of concentration or Dharana for Meditation.
The Mudras redirect Prana – your life force energy – back into the body/mind system and help strengthen the link between the physical, the mental and the pranic bodies . . . ultimately establishing balance to bring about higher states of consciousness. And bringing the light of Prana to shine on the Self within.
In these practices we work with an awareness of elements in our energy as a way of deepening our awareness and understanding of the gentle subtleties of our inner world which, with time and patience, ultimately lead us to the discovery of what we call in Yoga the Shining Self within. We focus on the Ayurvedic elements of Earth, Sun, Air, Space, Life Energy and Water.
Ayurveda is the ancient healing practice of India – the science or knowledge of life – and primarily our ultimate aim is to balance the elements of fire, earth, air, water and space, bringing harmony and balance to our life energy – and 6 of the Hand Mudras in Yoga direct energy in this way. Giving us today, a wonderful way of the ancients to work with the gentle power within us.
This is preparation if you’d like to practice yourself: you’ll be in a sitting position, and an easy cross leg posture will do with straight spine and head, and you can prop your back up with pillows and cushions if you need to . . . lie down if you need that and it’s nice to prop yourself up so that your back is at a 45 degree angle, spine straight.
So, to practice with the Ayurvedic Elements: adopt the Meditation Mudra by touching the tips of index fingers and thumbs together on both hands, resting back of hands on thighs, awareness on the breath and gazing down at the tip of your nose, relaxing the back of the eyes, back of the brain is soft, gazing deep within with inner eyes. On a deep exhale, relax the body down, let the breath ground you for your Meditation. Observe the flow of the breath.
6 of the Hand Mudras most commonly practised to bring us into awareness of our energetic body, our power for self-healing and of course, preparing for deeper meditation, are:
Air Mudra: Balancing Air element within the body . . . bring the index finger down to the Mount of Venus the fleshy mound at the base of each thumb and press down with the thumbs. The other fingers are straight. Holding the Mudra, focus on breathing practice: 4 rounds of the breath with retention, to the count of 4: inhale 2,3,4 . . . hold the breath 2,3,4 . . . exhale 2,3,4 . . pause, 2,3,4.
Space Mudra – Also known as Sky: Balancing Space element within the body . . . bring the middle fingers down to the Mount of Venus at the base of the thumbs on each hand, press down and hold in place with the thumbs. The other fingers are as straight a you can get them on both hands. Holding the Mudra, focus on breathing practice, 4 rounds of the breath.
Sun Mudra: Balancing Sun element within the body . . . bend the ring fingers into the mount of venus and press down with the thumb on the second knuckle (2nd knuckle away from the finger nails) keeping the other fingers as straight as you can on each hand. And now hold the Mudra, focusing on breathing practice.
Earth Mudra: Balancing earth element within the body . . . put the tip of the ring finger together with the tip of the thumb on each hand and straighten the other fingers. And now holding the mudra, focus on breathing practice.
Water Mudra: Balancing water element within the body . . . touch the tips of the thumb and the little finger together, index middle and ring finger on each hand are straight. Holding the mudra, focusing on breathing practice.
Life Energy Mudra: Balancing earth and water within the body to make life element . . . bring the ring and little finger together to your thumb on each hand, index and middle fingers are straight. And holding the mudra, focus on breathing practice.
Practised regularly, the Hand Mudras of Yoga will help build your sense and experience of the subtle, gentle healing power within you and your appreciation of your inner Shining Self. Ancient wisdom bringing deep preparation for your Meditation.
There is a series of guided practices that I’ve put together in our website’s Meditation Room: Gentle Power, Shining Self .