So I’m pretty excited about this new book I’ve just discovered – It’s called Yoga in Your Hands. I won’t try to explain the process by which mudra works, for the author does that succinctly and eloquently. I will however, share with you one of the mudras I have been using for a recent health challenge. I also think it is perfect for the New Year – a way to let go and bless the old, and invite in the new. It would be perfect to use with a cleanse.
I believe mudras are effective because there is a combination of powerful forces at work. One, you are bringing mindfulness to your body/mind while breathing. Two, these hand positions stimulate specific meridians based on Chinese medicine that are scientifically known to create results. And three, if you use an affirmation with the mudra, you are training your very malleable brain (its called plasticity), to create new pathways for positive thought and a chemical release that aids healing of the whole organism. So without further ado, let us begin.
Its called the Pushan Mudra, dedicated to nourishment. Here is an overview of how to do this:
Place your hands as you see them in the photos above, resting on your lap. You can sit in meditation or lie down to do this, or perhaps make good use of time while you are in a waiting room…
During the inhalation, take in energy in the form of light. Pause, and give time and space to imagine the light spreading within you. During exhalation, let the expended light flow back out of you. Pause after the exhale. With every breath, there is more light and clarity in your physical and mental/emotional realms. (In the beginning, you may envision the exhale to contain darkness or smoke, something that encompasses what you are releasing, and then you may sense it becoming clearer).
You can also say the following affirmation, either as written here or in words that resonate with you.
” I thankfully accept everything that is good for me, let it have its effect within me, and release everything that is spent.”
As the author states, “This mudra symbolizes accepting and receiving with the gesture of one hand, and letting things flow, giving, and letting go with the other. It influences the energy currents that are responsible for absorbing and utilizing food, as well as helping with elimination. It intensifies breathing and therefore the absorption of oxygen and the release of carbon dioxide in the lungs. It has a relaxing effect on the solar plexus (area of the stomach, liver, spleen, and gallbladder) and regulates energies in the autonomic nervous system. It mobilizes energies of elimination, and detoxifies. It has an excellent effect on general or acute nausea, motion sickness, flatulence, and the sensation of being overly full.”
It works on the physical level, but I believe it works on the psycho-spiritual level as well, when you practice it with intention. I think its also a wonderful way to incorporate the healing of yogic practices for those who are bed bound or unable to do much physically because it’s accessible and simple.
I hope you will try it for yourself and notice the benefits. I highly recommend this book for those who want to dive deeper into background and continue exploring the other mudras. Yoga in Your Hands, by Gertrude Hirschi