Mudra means seal in Sanskrit. Its 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 usenot 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 were arguing, when were 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
Mudra for Preventing Burnout
This months focus is on the circle. The circle, along with the square and the triangle, are believed to be the first symbols taught to man by priests over 25,000 years ago, as mentioned in my opening section:
“At one level they represent sun (Circle and the One God), earth (Square: the Earthly Mother), and fire (Triangle: the Will); at another they symbolize the base (crimson), the sacral (flame orange) and the solar (flame yellow) energy chakras. These are the chakras of the Lower (material and physical) self. Harmony Angel Cards by Angela McGerr. (The base chakra in the second example is equal to the square, the sacral chakra is equal to the circle, and the solar (plexus) chakra is equal to the triangle.)
Since the base, sacral, and solar plexus chakras are represented by the square, circle, and triangle, respectively, I chose this months mudra to honor these original sacred symbols. This mudra will also help prevent the burnout that can happen during the holidays!
As we dive into the holiday season, remember to prioritize your time. Doing more than usual is status quo this time of year, so be sure and build in time to rejuvenate. At the very least, taking time outs for a mindful minute of breathing deeply will go a long way toward preventing burnout. Give the gift of a centered, focused presence to your friends and loved onesyou might just enjoy the holidays even more than usual!
Mudra: Sit with a straight back, bend your elbows, and raise your forearms up and in front of you, parallel to the ground, hands meeting at the level of the heart, palms facing the ground. Fold the thumbs in across the palms of each hand until the thumb tips rest at the bases of the ring fingers. Keep the four fingers straight and together. Face the backs of the hands toward each other and press only the fingertips together. Firmly press the fingertips and nails of each hand together, the upper hands not touching. Deeply inhale and completely exhale.
Breath: Long, deep, and slow. Repeat a few times and relax. Rest for a few minutes.
Even if it is difficult to hold this mudra in the beginning, after three minutes you will feel rejuvenated and surprise yourself with the power that is within in. The pressure of your fingers stimulates your electric currents and recharges them with vital energy.
Chakra: Base of the spine1; Reproductive organs2; Solar Plexus3
Color: Red, orange, yellow.
Source: Healing Mudras. Yoga for your Hands, by Sabrina Mesko.