27 Mar Anjali/Atmanjali Mudra // Monday Mantra Mudra Meditation #2
MONDAY MANTRA, MUDRA, MEDITATION #2 //
ANJALI MUDRA, NAMASTE
Hello Dear Goa Flow-er
This Monday i focus on a Mudra you are very familiar with and do all the time. It’s one of the first mudras you learn when starting a yoga practice; Namaste; or the correct name is Anjali Mudra, or also Atmanjali Mudra. Hopefully this focus will give you more clarity, meaning and context.
ANJALI/ATMANJALI MUDRA // This mudra is practiced with hands together, palms pressed firmly while thumbs lightly touch the upper sternum; at the heart centre. Our spiritual heart is at the centre of our chest. Our physical heart is centre left. Anjali (or Atmanjali) Mudra is performed from our spiritual heart.
Together with the hand gesture we also apply a small bowing of the head, as it’s an acknowledgement of the Divinity of your inner self (your soul), but also an acknowledgement of the person’s (or people’s) soul you are gesturing to.
All over Asia, Anjali/Atmanjali Mudra is used as a greeting. Namaste is a way of saying “hello” or “goodbye” but with a deeper meaning. In a yoga class we usually vocalise ‘Namaste’ to greet each other at the beginning of a class or to close the practice at the end of a class, but in India you’ll notice there is no need to vocalise, as the meaning is already known.
Anjali is Sanskrit for “divine offering”, “a gesture of reverence”, “a salutation”, and is derived from anj, meaning “to honour or celebrate.”
Atma means ‘soul’ and Mudra means “seal” or “sign.”
Basically when we offer a ‘Namaste’ it means:
“I salute the Divinity within me to the Divinity within you.”
It’s about honouring yourself, honouring the person/people around you with mutual respect and equality. So beautiful, right?
Anjali/Atmanjali Mudra also helps connect the right and left brain hemispheres into the centre. It yokes, or connects; (the essence and meaning of yoga), by drawing you into your heart, so you can tune in to what your soul desires.
Because a Mudra is a seal that draws the energy into the body, Anjali/Atmanjali Mudra connects mind and body into your heart and draws the Prana into you. Automatically you withdraw from the external environment to your internal environment and this helps increase focus/concentration and can help alleviate stress and anxiety.
To me Anjali/Atmanjali Mudra is a wonderful neutraliser. Feeling crappy, disconnected? Get your Anjali Mudra on. It will instantly calm your mind by tuning you in to what you are grateful for and give you a new/different perspective.
Try the Mudra on right now and notice how this simple but powerful gesture resonates with you. Find, and use your own words so you can bring this into your practice.
MANY WAYS // Often Anjali/Atmanjali Mudra is associated with the seated yoga pose; Easy Seat (Sukhasana) or the standing yoga pose; Mountain Pose (Tadasana), but we use it in many other asanas as well. No matter what asana it is used in, the meaning of the Mudra is the same but with an added depth considering the purpose of the asana we’re practicing.
ANJANEYASANA (photo below) – Here i use Anjali/Atmanjali Mudra at my forehead. Thumbs touching third eye (Ajna chakra), giving thanks/gratitude and staying open to possibilities. In the Gratitude Flows i offer on my YouTube channel i use this in the Gratitude Salutation. We gently touch Ajna Chakra, which is the centre for intuition and inner wisdom; and Anahata Chakra, the centre for unconditional love on every exhale; to draw mind and heart into one. When we remember to make this connection, it makes all the difference.
BALASANA (photo below) // Here my arms are extended over head as i am bowing down, honouring the Earth and the opportunity to release and let go.
As you practice your yoga from now on notice how many yoga poses you already practice Anjali/Atmanjali mudra in. Remind yourself of the Mudras’ meaning and notice how it infuses your practice and offer you a deeper connection. I would love to hear what you discover.
Namaste, Anita Goa 🙂