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Mudra means "seal" or "mark" and is a symbolic or ritualistic gesture. Most are performed with the hands and fingers, although some involve the entire body. They are used in meditation, martial arts, yoga or pranayama in order to direct energy flow within the body.
Mudras can help us to come back to intentions within our practice. They stimulate different areas of our brains and bodies. They can even produce specific energies and states of mind.
MUDRAS CAN HELP US TO COME BACK TO INTENTIONS WITHIN OUR PRACTICE.
When practicing mudras, our fingers each represent a specific universal element:
- Our thumb represents the fire element.
- Our index finger represents the air element.
- Our middle finger represents the space element.
- Our ring finger represents earth element.
- Our pinky finger represents water element.
Mudras can help us to create a balance of the elements within ourselves.
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Want to gain a better understanding of the mudras you're touching upon in your yoga practice and incorporate them more consciously? We're going to be breaking down mudras weekly in our #MudraMonday series.
Apana is Sanskrit for "outward energy" or "descending" and is often times referred to with prana or breath (Apana vayu refers to your movement of breath). Apana mudra is known as the "cleansing mudra". The Apana mudra is a beautiful expression for mental, emotional and physical digestion.
Women find the Apana mudra especially beneficial, assisting to regulate menstural cycle when practiced regularly, and even ease in child birth when delayed. Other physical benefits include detoxification - generating energy in the liver and gallbladder, and improving digestion.
Emotionally, the Apana mudra can be very grounding and helps to process and funnel strong emotions. If you're practicing the Apana mudra to address a strong emotion, envision the excess energy moving downward out your body and allow this to calm you.
TRY APANA MUDRA
Standing or sitting in a comfortable position, extend your arms out in front of you. Bend your middle finger, ring finger and thumb so that the tips of these fingers are touching, while keeping your other fingers extended and relaxed. The benefits of this mudra show up best when practiced 30-45 minutes a day. You can break up your practice into shorter time segments throughout your day.
The Apana mudra is a beautiful expression for mental, emotional and physical digestion.
Jenny is a mama, DJ, yoga teacher and beach-obsessed boss babe at TheKaiLife.com. You can find her with a huge smile on her face adventuring with her husband, son Kai and fur babies Koa & Snorkel; spinning music and dancing with you late night; on her yoga mat or under a palm tree.
Follow her on instagram @iseekthewaves @jadoreurlife .
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