Mudra means “seal” in Sanskrit. It’s a symbolic or ritual gesture using primarily the hands. Each position is believed to have a specific effect. Specific positions can lead to specific states of consciousness symbolized by the hand positions. For example, if a person frequently and with feeling does a position of fearlessness, they will also be freed from fearfulness in time. Mudras are said to engage areas of the brain and/or soul influencing them, sometimes physically, by their use—not unlike an affirmation, or reflexology for that matter.
“One way that all of us can better care for ourselves is by developing techniques for coping with the irritations and anxiety that are part of life…
Think of these gestures as self-talk for your hands. These simple movements, the gestures that we often make unconsciously, can help us focus on our work, calm ourselves, release anger and energize us. Used for centuries by many different cultures, mudras are seen in Eastern dance and meditation, in ancient Egyptian friezes, even in Byzantine icons of Christ. Most of us use them today, too: we wave goodbye, we press a hand to our chest in distress, we wriggle our fingers to release energy, or press fingertips together to calm ourselves.
Easy to learn, mudras can be done anywhere, at any time: at traffic lights, in meetings, in airplanes, when we’re arguing, when we’re grieving, when we need to prepare for sleep. The word mudra can be translated from the Sanskrit as that which brings inner peace, and that s what mudras are: a physical means of quieting our bodies.” Product description for Mudras: Ancient Gestures to Ease Modern Stress by Emily Fuller Williams.
A great video about mudras: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7-iXzMdfIs&feature=player_embedded#at=147
(Gesture of enlightenment, or gesture of calling witnesses)
This newsletter has been all about magical portals and finding our own inner magical realm. This mudra reminds us that “cosmic consciousness in all its forms manifests itself in everything and everyone around us, that we are connected with everything through our individual consciousness.” ~ Mudras, Yoga in Your Hands, by Gertrud Hirschi.
To me, cosmic consciousness is being conscious of the magic. If it manifests all around us and we are connected to it, then we are never far from connecting to our inner magical realm—our magic portal. We are all one—even if we don’t acknowledge the magical realm yet. Connecting to the “cosmic consciousness”, we are guided through our intuition, our third eye chakra highlighted earlier, and we are supported. When we share our insights—our intuition—we are “calling witnesses” to our inner magic.
How to do Bhumisparsha Mudra:
- Point the left hand down to the earth and let your fingers touch the ground.
- Let your right hand point upward to Heaven, like an open flower.
Bhumisparsha means “touching the earth” and helps to calm the mind. I often use the phrase “connecting heaven to earth” when cueing a pose. I think yoga is vital to keeping us connected to both. We are the conduit in the middle. This mudra exemplifies that to me. The left hand, our yin or feminine-side hand, connects to the earth—our mother. The right hand, our yang or masculine-side hand, connects to the sky—our father. Connecting heaven to earth, “we are guided, protected, supported, and upheld on our path in life” as the affirmation so beautifully reminds us below.
Source: Mudras, Yoga in Your Hands, by Gertrud Hirschi
The following meditation and affirmation is also from the above source:
Simply look at an object or being (stone, plant, animal, etc.) While inhaling, absorb its energy, while exhaling, give it your energy. Each breath is like a band, and the connection becomes denser and denser until you merge with it. You can connect with cosmic consciousness in this way, and it will show you the path to eternal unity.”
Affirmation: Connected with cosmic consciousness, I feel myself guided, protected, supported, and upheld on my path in life.