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Happy Asana August 19, 2023 – Meditations: Mudras
Bonus Daily Asana Challenge
We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for August. Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Upper Limbs Day today, I recommend a meditative Yin or Restorative session.
We just wrapped up practice of each of the Limbs of Yoga. Before we will begin a series on more advanced specific Asanas, I want to revisit a subtle technique. Mudras are usually translated as seals, marks or special hand gestures. The primary benefits and reasons the subtle techniques of Bandhas and Mudras are for altering the flow of energy during particular Asanas. This discussion behind these subtle techniques is beyond our short and sweet daily practices, but please see the links for more detailed information on the philosophy behind each practice.
Hasta Mudras – Special Hand Gestures
I have been familiar with using Mudras from Bollywood dancing since before beginning Yoga. Beginner Yogis may be familiar with the ‘prayer hands’ during Asana class, or recognize some of these gestures from images of meditation practices, and Hindu or Buddhist imagery.
There are hundreds Mudras! Each has a unique purpose, benefit, and meaning, but a handful of Mudras from the image below are most common. The power of each Mudra is tied to both elemental and reflexology.
PS there are also Mudras performed with other parts of the body such as Mana Mudras with the head, a practice particular to Kundalini. I find generally in the US that’ Mudra’ refers to hand seals only, and other special practices are referred to by their full names.
Today’s Positive Practice suggestion
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Mudra. I recommend trying both Gyan Mudra and Apana Mudra, which we will integrate with our Asanas later this week. These are used both in Asana and meditation practices.
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Share your Practice
Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Have you used Mudras before in your practice? Always remember, be kind!