mudra

Mudra Monday - Kanishtha

Welcome to Mudra Monday!

We are going to start this journey with the hasta mudras. Hasta means “hand.” These mudras cover the 5 chakras and culminates with the integration of the whole body. For each mudra we will cover the hand gesture, the corresponding element, chakra and the core quality.

Kanishtha Mudra

The Kanishtha mudra is associated with the root chakra which is in sync with the core quality of connection to the earth. It means lowest or youngest and is referring to the little or pinky finger. This mudra is helpful in many areas:

  • Reducing stress

  • Supporting regular bowel movements

  • The health of the skeletal system

  • Increasing our sense of embodiment and connection to the earth

  • Extending the length of the exhalation which activates our relaxation response

  • Improves our sense of security and grounding

  • Cultivates tranquility and comfort

How do I practice the Kanishtha Mudra?

  1. Hold your palms just below your breast bone and above your belly button

  2. Curl your 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers back into your palm

  3. Gently lay your thumbs on your folder index (pointer) finger

  4. Bring your little fingers to touch at the tip

  5. Relax your shoulders back and down.

  6. Allow your elbows to be away from your body pointing toward the sides

  7. Take several natural breaths

Affirmation:

I am grounded. I am secure. The energy of the earth supports me.

Click the image to Tweet now!

Click the image to Tweet now!

For a short guided mindful moment with Kanishtah mudra, listen here: Kanishtha

I suggest that you practice the kanishtha mudra at 2-3 times a day for at least one minute. As time permits you can increase the time up to five minutes. Share your experience throughout the week using the hashtag #MudraMonday and #MindsetStrategist on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

Mudra Monday - Introduction to Mudras

Welcome to Mudra Monday!

To begin this series I thought it was best to learn some background. I know you may be anxious to start learning and using mudras, but it is important to understand some history before you dive right in. Let’s get started!

What are mudras?

Mudra is a Sanskit word that has been translated to mean gesture, attitude or signature. More specifically the movements (gestures) induce psychological and spiritual attitudes that carry specific qualities (signature). Mudra is a combination of the root words mud and rati. Mud has been translated to mean delight or pleasure. Rati translates “to bring forth.” The practice of mudra help us awaken the inherent delight that is within us and waiting to be brought forth.

Although in this series we use the Sanskrit name for mudras and identify with the Indian spiritual traditions, many cultures globally use and practice mudras. In fact we use mudras (gestures) in our everyday body language. Crossed arms, clenched fist or open arms are non-verbal language to communicate moods and attitudes.

Mudras are in several categories, not just hand gestures. They can also be facial and even full body gestures. However hand gestures are the most common for a variety of reasons:

  • Regular use of the hands support the health of the hands overall and may aid in prevention of conditions such as arthritis

  • The fingers and hands contain many sensory nerve endings that trace back directly back to the brain and other parts of the body

  • Hands and fingers are very dexterous allowing for a large number of combinations to awaken psychological and spiritual qualities

  • Each finger corresponds to an element further contributing to the wide possibilities for balancing elements and health

    • Thumb - Fire

    • Index - Air

    • Middle - Space

    • Ring - Earth

    • Pinky - Water

How do Mudras work for us?

Mudras include inherent positive qualities that we refer to as core qualities. These are a part of our spirit that mudras help us to bring to the forefront. Mudras are a gateway to revealing our true being and supporting our mental and physical journey.

Mudras allow one to explore various facets of Yoga philosophy and psychology. They allow for a near direct and immediate benefit for those who use them. Another facet of mudras is the breath. Practice of mudras are in tandem with the practice of optimal breathing. The breath also serves to help balance our subtle bodies.We can channel our “prana” or life force energy to certain areas of our body to invigorate or help alleviate blockages.

How do we begin?

This first week is about getting used to bringing the practice into the forefront of your mind. It is ideal to practice mudras several times a day up to 5 minutes each session. For this week the goals is to practice breathing and sitting still at least 3 times a day. When you wake up before you get out of bed and right before you get into bed are two easy times to remember. That leaves at least one additional time for you to identify where you can consistently sit still for a few moments. Once you identify your times you can complete the following steps:

  1. Sit upright with legs uncrossed OR lay flat on your back with legs and arms uncrossed.

  2. Place one hand on your chest just below your collar bone

  3. Place the other hand just below your rib cage and above your belly

  4. Ensure that your mouth is closed and jaws un-clenched

  5. Breathe in slowly through your nose to a count of three. You should feel the hand beneath your rib cage rise as your abdomen expands. Hold the breath for three counts.

  6. Exhale through your nose to a count of three. You should feel your stomach muscles contract inwards to your body. Hold the breath for three counts.

  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 one more time.

  8. Repeat steps 5 and 6, but eliminate holding your breath only breathing in and out for three cycles.

You’ve now completed a five breath cycle. Let this be the start of your mudra practice this week. Take time out at least 2-3 times a day, each day to breath with intention and focus.

****SPECIAL THANKS****

A special thanks to Arti Datta and https://themudrafoundation.org for allowing me to use photos from their website to help share knowledge and benefit of mudras.

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Reference:

Page, J. L., & Page, L. L. (2014). Mudras for Healing and Transformation (2nd ed.). Integrative Yoga Therapy.

Mudra Mondays

Welcome joyful beings!

I would like to share my latest offering with you! As a “forever” student I am constantly finding new and interesting things to learn. As part of my regular yoga and meditation practice I use mudras to enhance my practice. Recently they seem to resonate with me more as I found my hands morph themselves into gestures that felt like the right thing to do, yet I had no idea what they meant or were supposed to support. In order to learn more I began my research. The Internet has plenty of information, but I found that Joseph and Lilian Le Page put together the most comprehensive and easy to user resource in their book Mudras for Healing and Transformation.

What is a mudra?

Mudras are conscious and intentional gestures using your hands, face and body that promote spiritual awakening, physical health and psychological balance. The root word “mud" means delight or enchantment and “rati” means to bring forth. Mudras are found in a variety of spiritual traditions although mostly associated with Indian traditions.

Hand gestures are most commonly used to evoke core qualities which are inherent positive qualities. The Sanskrit mudra name is reflective of the quality. For example kapota means “gesture of the dove" and it is the mudra for ahimsa. This gesture is used for cultivating non-violence.

Join me!

I welcome you to come along with me on this journey as I learn about and practice each mudra. I’ve decided that one mudra a week is a great start. That way I can give daily focused practice, at least 3 times a day of about 5 minutes each time, to each mudra.

I welcome you to come along on this learning journey with me each week! Check back weekly for a new mudra.

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) should you chose to sign up for a program or make a purchase using my link. It’s okay – I love all of these companies anyways, and you will too!