- Practice What You Teach: Keeping Teaching Real through the Evolution of Your Personal Practice
- It's All in the Hips, Or Is It?
- Day or Night? Body and Mind Considerations for Scheduling Your Yoga Practice
- This Yoga Love Affair (Part Two): Making it Last a Lifetime
- This Yoga Love Affair: A Collage of Views on How to Keep Your Yoga Practice Sustainable Over One Year
- To Be Thankful Without Grasping and Real Without Apologizing
- When Burnout Knocks: The Struggle of Keeping Teaching Healthy, Honest, and Vibrant
- Living Yoga Off The Mat
- Tuning Up Mind and Body: How Yoga and Sound Therapy Work in Harmony
- Making It to the Mat: What Yoga Teachers Need to Know About the Most Difficult Part of the Practice
3 Mudras For Opening Your Heart Center
At Yandara, our philosophy is, at its essence, one of teaching from the heart. To connect more deeply to the heart’s intelligence, here are three powerful mudras to practice while sitting in meditation that will help you connect more deeply with the energy, intuition, and wisdom of living and leading from your heart.
This mudra feels so natural and beautiful. In Buddhism the lotus blossom actually symbolizes the heart opening. Bring your hands together in front of your heart center with your pinky fingers touching each other and your thumbs touching each other. It’s as if your hands are blossoming, bringing forth a sacred lotus flower which springs from the muck and mud of chaos that is life in this human form. The lotus flower symbolizes our transformation as we open our hearts to shed the layers of what we are not and open to more of what we truly are. We move from dark to light, from judgment to compassion. Sit in a seated meditation posture for a few minutes with your hands in lotus mudra, visualizing the breath coming in and out of your heart.
This is the prayer mudra, mudra of gratitude. It’s what we do when we bring our hands to our hearts at the end of our practice to bow in namaste. We’re all very familiar with this one, and for good reason. It’s powerful! Anjali mudra reminds us to be grateful for everything, to bow to our inner truth, and to connect to the profound sacredness of the universe. Practice sitting in meditation with your hands in anjali mudra and really drop into the sensation of what it feels like to hold your hands in prayer. Feel the radiance of your heart emanating with love. Smile and be grateful.
When you’re aching inside the heart, this mudra lightens the heart and alleviates the density of heartache around the heart center. For ganesha mudra, we take the left hand in front of the heart center with the back of the hand facing inward, towards the heart. Then the fingers of the right hand pull on the fingers of the left hand, with the right thumb pointing to the sky and the left thumb pointing to the earth. On an exhale, try to pull your hands apart. On an inhale let go and release. Again on the exhale, try pulling the hands apart, and again on an inhale release. Do this five times and after the fifth time, keeping the position of the mudra, gently relax the hands and place them to rest at your heart. Then you’ll switch the hands and do the exact same thing on the opposite side. When you’re finished, take your hands to rest on the knees, palms facing down, closing the eyes, and feeling into the sense of the heart softening and brightening, opening and relaxing. Sense the space around the heart becoming more expansive. Now return to anjali mudra and bow to your heart in gratitude.