Meditation is hard. If you meditate regularly, you can attest to this fact. If you don't, you're probably even more aware of how challenging it can be to get started. In theory, the idea seems simple enough: Sit still, close your eyes, and breathe. Yet, in practice, it's a daunting face-off between you and your hectic schedule, the phone ringing, your itchy nose, the pins and needles in your feet from sitting cross-legged, and on and on . . .
There are several tools to help you connect to a meditation practice that works for you. Your breath (prana) and your gaze (drishti) are the two most obvious that come to mind; however, your hands can help too. By using your hands to form a mudra or seal, you set a tone for your meditation session and anchor your attention to a physical experience. Different mudras symbolize different meanings, evoke different feelings, and direct your focus in a slightly different way.
The above mudra is called padma mudra and is among one of my current favorites. Padma translates to mean lotus flower, and you'll notice that the position of the hands mimics a blossoming flower. To try it: Connect your thumbs to one another and your pinkies to each other as well; with the outer edges of your hands sealed together, splay the rest of your fingers outward. Now, hold the opening of your hands above your heart and below your chin.
This mudra is meant to heal and uplift the heart. Physically your hands are positioned just above your heart chakra, and their intention is to draw the energy of the heart upward and outward. As you perform this mudra, close your eyes, breathe easily, and feel your heart warming and opening.
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