An Extra Boost
It’s this time of year that the winter doldrums can begin to set in. Cold temperatures, snow and ice can mean we are indoors, isolated from those who help to lift our spirits. Unfortunately, this time of year can also lead to increased illness and decreased motivation. Therefore, finding small ways to boost our energy, health and frame of mind can become all the more important.
Since teaching gentle yoga, I have begun to read about the benefits of mudras for those with arthritic hands. Mudras are hand gestures that allow you to elicit a deep inner wave of power into your practice while simultaneously stretching stiff fingers and bringing increased sensitivity back to the hands. Yet, these same hand gestures are a powerful non-verbal way for any one of us to connect with our practice.
Imagine my surprise when I recently learned about “Prana Mudra” as I was nursing a headcold. In Sanskirt, prana means vital life; in yoga, prana refers to the subtle energy that underlies the entire universe. Therefore, the idea behind this mudra is to generate the deep flow of prana within your practice. It can be used in the morning to help awaken the body and bring life back to your muscles. Additionally, this mudra is said to foster good health, boosting your immune system and providing extra energy when you feel drained.
To practice this mudra, press the tip of your thumb and the tip of your ring finger and little finger together, forming a circle; remaining fingers can extend out or open to the sky.
You can begin your practice with this mudra (come to a seated position, with the back of your hands gently resting on your knees, thumb, ring and little fingers touch) and then continue to use it throughout your pose sequence when you require additional focus. Then again, why stop there? Maybe there is a free minute in your workday, a nap time or another moment that you can make yours and practice this mudra. The possibilities to find small opportunities to lift your day are endless when you are looking and take the time to notice them.
Once again, I find my practice on my mat brings additional benefits to my day off my mat…
~The divine in me salutes the divine in you, Namaste~