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What are Mudras?

Mudras are symbolic hand positions or gestures used in yogic practices, ceremony, and ritual. These hand positions are commonly used in Hindu and Buddhist practices as well as in some classical Indian dance. Mudras are commonly used to direct the flow of prana, (conscious life force energy) in a particular way. Mudrās may be used in a yogic practice as a subtle but powerful way to shift one’s awareness, and to help one integrate a practice into the more subtle expressions of one’s consciousness.

You have probably seen many mudras used in sculpture or art in depictions of both deities and religion leaders: The Buddha is often depicted in dhyana mudra (concentration mudra). Over the centuries Jesus has been depicted using prana mudra (life force mudra), and pṛthvī mudra (‘Vast one’ or Earth mudra). In classical Hindu art you will often find deities such as Parvati in abhaya mudra (fearlessness mudra) in which a deity’s right palm is open towards the viewer, in a gesture that offers reassurance and dispels fear.

What is Padma Mudra?

Some mudras are said to have deep healing properties which open and cleanse channels called nadis, which allow prana (life force energy) to move through the chakras with ease. Padma mudra works specifically with the anahata (heart) chakra. When we practice padma mudra we make a conscious choice to create a more loving attitude towards others, within the matrix of our own consciousness.

How to Practice Padma Mudra (lotus mudra)

  1. Find a comfortable seated or standing position, close your eyes and take a deep cleansing breath.

  2. Exhale.

  3. Inhale and bring hands gently into Anjali mudra (prayer hands) in front of the heart center.

  4. As you exhale, slowly and softly unfold the hands, keeping the base, thumb and baby finger touching, the same way a lotus flower would unfurl.

  5. You are welcome to set an intention here or say a mantra, affirmation or a quiet prayer. A favourite of mine is a form of Buddhist metta (loving kindness)


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