Yoga in your hands: The elements at your fingertips15th September 2020
Our mind and bodies are made up of elements just like the world around us. Learn how to access simple hand gestures designed to help with overall well-being.
In Yoga and Ayurveda (yoga’s sister science: the knowledge of life) it is explained that we have each of the five elements within our body and through the changing seasons, lifestyle, diet and personality we can have more of one or two (dominant).
One way to balance elements within the body is by practicing something called mudras. A mudra is a gesture/shape made with the body, a hasta mudra is a gesture with the hands.
In the picture above I’ve labelled each finger to show which elements they represent. This is the same for both hands.
Before practising any mudras, make sure your hands and the joints are warmed up by trying the following exercises:
Warm up those joints
- curl fingers into a fist and squeeze, then open and spread fingers wide (repeat a few times)
- You can try clapping to remove any stagnation (clapping also evokes joy, think about when you usually clap!)
- Rub palms of hands together for 10 seconds or more
Anjali mudra/ Atmanjali mudra (gesture of prayer/gratitude)
This gesture brings harmony, balance, silence and peace.
Bring both palms together in front of the chest, gently press/rest the thumbs into the chest. Take 10 slow breaths and concentrate on your hands, when you feel ready to finish gently bow your head towards your heart and take a moment to think of something you are grateful for.
This mudra makes it into most yoga classes as a lot of teachers use it as a greeting to open or close a session. In terms of the elements, it symbolizes a balance and a coming together of/ union of all the elements. All fingers gather together at one central point. It also helps to balance the left and right hemispheres of the brain. A great mudra for balance, inner reverence and a great opportunity to give thanks.
Chin mudra/ Jnana mudra The gesture of knowledge/consciousness
Supports memory concentration, relaxes the mind, encourages a sense of grounding.
Bring the tip of your thumb and first fingers together, all other fingers stretch outwards slightly. Relax the back of your hands on your knees, close of soften your eyes and focus on your finger tips.
This mudra brings together the fire (thumb) and air (index finger) elements bringing a balance to the mind and is said to connect us to our higher self. For that reason this mudra is used a lot in meditation practices.
There are many mudras that can help with your overall well-being if you’d like to know more or if I can be of any service to you personally then do get in touch 🙂
Have a blessed day