Snapshot in time, February 2017: pink hearts everywhere but only little kindness can be seen. Let’s explore mudras for those of us who feel disconnected from love.
New to this series? Check out the episodes 1: Mudras to Fight Flu and Cold, 2: Mudras for Better Sleep, 3: Mudras for Calm & Creativity and 4. Weight Loss Mudras to learn more about the concept and why and how mudras are meant to work.
If you think, oops, now she’s quick with the next episode, the 4th instalment went live just a few weeks ago, you’re right. But you know, as I faced the nearly endless marketing noise formerly known as the Valentine’s Day… and remembered just how many of my beautiful friends are going through serious heartbreak, be it from a relationship that ended or from a really saddening end of a friendship, I thought that we could as well celebrate and nourish the love we have within us.
Anyway, I just went through my mudras and meditation books searching for all things positive, strengthening, healing. The result is what you’re reading now.
In fact, I discovered those particular mudras that come without any beautiful Sanskrit name in the book ‘MUDRAS’ by the Zurich-based mudra expert, author of several books and yoga teacher and yoga school owner Gertrud Hirschi. She collects classic as well as the less known hand gestures, and with the latter, unfortunately she rarely credits the exact source although each book of hers includes a proper bibliography. Given that mudras often were passed from teacher to student, the obscure mudras seem like true gems worth exploring.
How to practice:
STEP 1. The gesture itself is reminiscent of the Hakini mudra or the Concentation mudra (which is one that brain scans have proven the efficiency of) as to start this practice, your fingertips touch.
STEP 2. Next, gently press your hands while still holding the gesture against your face – thumbs against your chin, index fingers against the root of your nose.
STEP 3. Deep, calm breath is key here: with longer exhalation (for 12 breaths) and just natural, deep breath after.
Also known as the Vajra Mudra, the Six Elements Mudra or the Fist of Wisdom Mudra, this one is not exclusive to Hirschi books, but it’s rare in India and attributed to Japan and Korea – a “Buddhist” mudra so to speak.
How to practice :
STEP 1. Your left hand forms a fist, then you stretch the index finger.
STEP 2. Curl the fingers of your right hand around it.
STEP 3. Press your right thumb against the tip of your left index and hold your hands at the heart level.
STEP 4. Your breath should be is quiet, slow (not heavy), and rhythmical.
In her book MUDRAS, Gertrud Hirschi states that your environment will me the best mirror for this mudra’s success – as you grow more for-giving towards yourself, so will others. An interesting promise for sure!
I was able to find this particular mudra under the name of Peacock mudra, but the source remained mysterious to me.
How to practice:
STEP 1. Press the backs of your hands against each other and place your hands against your breastbone.
STEP 2. Your breath is quiet and slow, exhaling is slightly longer than inhaling.
Hirschi suggests that this mudra that “stores” your vitality also helps you to listen to your inner self as you meditate; allows you to gain clarity on the unresolved pains and mistakes of the past that prevent joy and happiness in the now.
How to practice:
STEP 1. This very simple mudra reminds me of the Prithvi and of the Surya Mudra, only that here your fingers are to be stretched apart and
STEP 2. …your thumb is pressed against the base of the ring finger while
STEP 3. …your ring finger is pressing against the thumb base – if you can. As in yoga, this is not about perfection but about intention.
If we’re friends over on Instagram, you possibly have noticed that I really love me some statement jewellery. And the pieces you see here are in fact so gorgeous (and ethical? Of course!) that, after buying something for myself at Abury, I went to actually borrowing the pieces you see here for these special photos!
Abury truly excel in finding ethical treasures across the world: the stunning hand-woven, flexible and soft rings made of upcycled beads in beige, turquoise/ black and gold are crafted in Tanzania (28€ each ring) and the bold Organic Tague bracelets that come in the most effervescent variety of impressive colours (39€ each) are an Ecuadorean art – sales support rainforest protection.
And as much as I like nail art, I find that bold pieces go particularly well with simple manicures in bold statement colours. Here I’ve used Acquarella water-based peelable nail polish in ’30 love’ and an all-time staple: Korres in the nearly black ’29 ultra violet’. But if you prefer to see more nail art in the next MUDRAS&MANI instalment, lemme know.
Mudra photography and also graciously modelling the shadow hand in the opener: