Don't you love it when an opportunity to rethink, reimagine, or reconsider something mundane presents itself to you? Just last week in Online Yoga Membership (OYM) we did just that with something we yogis do so very often that it can start to lose the fullness of its meaning: Anjali mudra, or palms together at the heart. 🙏 (See! It's so common and accepted it's an emoji!)
Bringing palms together at the heart is an ancient gesture of greeting and respect in Eastern cultures, and it has Western connotations of prayer. In yoga classes it often used at the beginning and end of class, as well as in some yoga poses throughout the practice. It is frequently paired with namaste, which is an acknowledgement of the Divinity in all, or as I was taught and will often say, "The light in me, bows to the light in you." Anjali means "offering."
But how much have you thought about the subtleties that can be found in this simple mudra?
Try it this way, and see how it feels: Bring your palms together at the center of your chest. Now soften your palms, leaving a hollow space between your hands. Notice the difference in the way this mudra feels when you press the palms together vs. when you leave a hollow space. Take your time and consider what changes for you. Do you feel different in your mind, body, or emotions with hands pressed vs. soft and hollow? (There is no wrong answer here.)
Now, what if that hollow space is full of potential? Say your prayers into it. Speak your intention into that softness. Breathe as you hold your heart there, lovingly and quietly, and allow a healing to happen. Let the contents of your heart pour into that hollow as an offering. Hold dear ones there, sending them the compassion, support, or courage they need. Hold the whole world there and send it love.
When the hands are pressed firmly, like so many things we put under pressure, there simply isn't room for any of that. Your hands, which connect to your heart on a chakra level, are unable to give or receive, as long as there is no space.
As life is speeding back up to (and surpassing!) our pre-COVID pace, I'm going to remember to keep some space. The pressure I feel in my life is self-created, so I'm looking for ways to self-create some space. I'm finding this physical reminder of a soft and hollow anjali mudra is a great place to start. Perhaps you will discover the same thing and more.
Before I let you go, two opportunities to make some space together on the mat:
More info on my Events page at www.jessgoulding.com/events.
May you leave a hollow space between your palms that will ease life's pressure and allow you to give and receive fully all the blessings of this life.
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