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Anjali Mudra – Gesture of Divine Offering

August 4, 2011
This simple mudra is performed in various yoga asanas, classical dances, and forms of prayer, cultural greetings and symbolises the very essence of yoga, which is union.  The joining of the palms activates the right and left hemispheres of the brain alleviating stress and anxiety creating clarity of mind, stillness and peace.

Technique:

With palms facing upwards on the thighs settle into a comfortable sitting position supporting the legs if necessary, feel that the spine is aligned and lengthened by grounding through the sitz bones whilst taking the crown of the head upwards.  Release the shoulders; soften the throat, tongue and jaw. Breath should be slow and smooth – ideally Ujjayi if you are familiar with it.

Contemplate the right side: solar, masculine, logical, then the left side: lunar, feminine, intuitive or your own images for bringing the right and left side into oneness. Bring the palms together, fingertips pointing upwards, thumbs lightly touching the sternum in line with Anahata Chakra.  Allow the shoulder blades to move down as the elbows are brought in line with the wrists and space created in the armpits.

Maintain firm, steady pressure through the fingers with a slight space at the centre of the palms, if one hand is dominant, release it slightly until the both hands are pressing equally against each other.

Be mindful of any emotional changes without dwelling on any one in particular, rather try to observe the feeling as it arises then let it go.  Continue the practise for 5 to 15 minutes.

In his book The Healing Power of Mudras, Rajandar Menen writes:
” Depending on your spiritual orientation, you can metaphorically plant a seed prayer, affirmation, or quality such as “peace,” “clarity,” or “vitality” within your Anjali Mudra.
It is important that this anjali or offering be true to your Self as that will be the most effective and uplifting for you.  For some people this may be a sacred mountain, for others, Jesus, Krishna, or the Mother Goddess. Align your mind (awareness), feeling (heart), and actions (body) within this gesture.

When you feel your invocation is complete, draw your fingertips to the center of your forehead, Ajna chakra, and pause there feeling the calming effect of your touch. Bring your hands back to your center to ground your intention within your heart.

In daily life, this prayerful gesture can be used as a way of bridging inner and outer experience, when saying grace before meals, communicating our truth within a relationship, or as a means of cooling the fires of stress when feeling rushed or reactionary. Anjali Mudra is an age-old means of helping human beings to remember the gift of life and to use it wisely.   In a moment of simplicity we are transported to eternity through the Anjali Mudra.”

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Acknowledgements
The Healing Power of Mudras by Rajendar Menen.  Published by Pustak Mahal.  ISBN 978-81-223-0873-0

Jennifer Stephens is a Yoga Therapist and Ayurvedic Practitioner registered with AHPCSA.  Her Karma Yoga includes an outreach project for children and the elderly in Nyanga, Bravekids, (part of the Brave Foundation), working with children and seniors in recovery from physical trauma.

She teaches individual remedial yoga therapy in addition to group classes for adults and children and is a trustee of the Brave Foundation.  consciousheart@me.com | bravekidsa@gmail.com

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