(Naga, the snake goddess, symbolizes supernatural strength, wisdom shrewdness, and potency)
Cross your hands in front of your chest, and also cross your thumbs over each other. This gesture is sometimes called "the mudra of deeper insight." Even when we take the spiritual path, we will encounter worldly challenges time and time again. Only by working through these challenges do we progress on the path; and only so can we fulfill the purpose of our lives. This is why the Naga Mudra can be successfully used to solve everyday problems. Answers can also be expected to questions about decisions that must be made, the meaning of a specific matter, the future, and the spiritual path. When we need to know something, then we will also know it at the right time. But we must question and listen.
Blazing fire is a powerful element. It warms, moves, and activates us. This is why visualizations of fire always set something in motion, develop strength, and pleasantly relieve tensions. When we mentally kindle the fire in our pelvic floor, this will not only give us strength, but also light. We can carry this light with us like a torch, and it will show us the way.
With your powers vA imagination, kindle a fire in your pelvic floor. While inhaling, let/ the flames flicker high upward so you encounter the world with a fiery heart. Let the flames continue to rise higher so you have a bright, clear head. Your breaths are deep and powerful at the beginning; with time, they become slow, fine, and flowing. Each inhalation causes you to sit straighter, both inwardly and outwardly, as if you were being pulled upward. While exhaling, hold onto your new size but let go of every inner tension. Stay in the stillness for a while. First ask your questions, and then listen inside yourself.
All my senses are focused on the Divine, and I thankfully accept its wise advice and its deeds.
Place your hands like empty bowls on your thighs. Let your fingers rest next to each other in a relaxed way, with the thumbs against the outer edge of the index finger.
0 CThe focus here is - openness and acceptance. What wealth does life (or the universe) have waiting for us? How often do we pass it by without paying any attention? How often are we outwardly or inwardly closed to a new opportunity?
How often do we ignore the gentle hints from the universe until we need the blows of fate to get back on the right track? We can be spared all this if we remain open. One reason why we close ourselves—in addition to apathy—is fear. But whatever is bad cannot get to us and affect us if we strive for a pure heart. This is a law of the cosmos. We can only attract what also has an equivalent within us. This is why mental-emotional hygiene is so important. We can hardly avoid the negative feelings that occasionally arise within us, but we can also come to terms with them and transform them at any time. This is part of the maturation process.
The Pushpaputa Mudra expresses this openness. Only with open hands can we enrich the world, and only with an open mind and open soul can we receive what cosmic consciousness gives us.
Your two hands are like open flowers. Imagine another flower on top of your head. While inhaling, golden rays come from a cosmos that embodies love, warmth, joy, and peace. Through the open flowers, they flow into your innermost self. Then let yourself be filled (take a pause in your breathing for a moment) and radiate this wealth through your heart into the world while exhaling.
1 open myself to divine joy (or healing power, light, love, etc.), let myself be filled by it. I radiate it into the world through my heart.
e find the first written records of the mudras of Hatha Yoga in the Hatha Yoga Pradipi^a (Pradipi\a means the "little lamp of yoga") and in the Gheranda Samita (the collected teachings of the sage Gheranda). Ten mudras are discussed in the first work and 15 more in the second, making a total of 25 mudras. According to these writings, the effects of the mudras extend from healing everyday complaints to maintaining youthful freshness at a ripe old age, to even determining one's own day of death. However, many yoga masters think that these promises should not be taken too literally. They say these are superficial explanations for non-initiates. The deeper aspects of the mudras are only revealed to those who seriously practice them through the guidance of a teacher.
Classical mudras are mainly used for awakening kundalini, experiencing states of expanded consciousness, or achieving enlightenment. Since such practices are like a tightrope walk and accordingly dangerous, they can only be learned with an experienced teacher. The way in which I use the mudras in daily life and present them here, they primarily serve the health of body, mind, and soul. This is reason enough for me to practice them.
Swami Satyananda Saraswati, a recognized Hindu yoga master, was the first to describe them so that even we normal mortals can do them. He also gives the advice of practicing the mudras in combination with body postures (asanas) and breathing exercises (pranayamas) since this will considerably intensify the body and breathing work. Mudras are also the ideal preparation for meditation. Today, other directions such as Power Yoga and Kundalini Yoga, agree with his opinion.
I will first present the mudras that are practiced in the seated meditation position and then a mudra sequence.
Exercises in the Seated Meditation Position
JNANA MUDRA AND CHIN MUDRA
(Gesture of knowledge and gesture of wisdom)
The only hand mudra mentioned in Hatha Yoga is found on page 3.
• Assume the seated meditation posture and hold this mudra as described.
(The gaze into the void)
• Assume the seated meditation posture in front of a white wall (with your eyes looking at the wall).
• Place the thumb of your right hand between your nose and upper lip.
• Stare at your little finger.
• After a short while, lower your hand and continue to look at the place where the little finger had been.
• Concentrate as long as possible on this spot and think of nothing else.
Effect: Promotes memory and concentration and calms the mind.
SHAMBAVI MUDRA (Glance directed upward between the eyebrows)
• Assume seated meditation posture and form the Chin or Jnana Mudra with the hands (see page 139).
• Direct your gaze inward and upward, as if you wanted to look at the center of your forehead.
• Calm your thoughts; don't think of anything; or just observe your breathing.
• End the mudra as soon as your eyes get tired.
Effect: I encountered this mudra at Mental Training.19 It has also been tested and found to have a very calming and stress-reducing effect. It is considered one of the most highly developed techniques of yoga. With this mudra, we are said to transcend the mental world and are able to enter into the realm of highest consciousness.
AGOCHARI MUDRA (Gaze at the tip of the nose)
• Assume the seated meditation posture, form the Jnana or Chin Mudra with your hands (see page 139).
• Focus your eyes on the tip of your nose.
• As soon as your eyes get tired, end the mudra.
Effect: This mudra promotes concentration, calms the nervous system, and stimulates the root chakra.
Gerhard H. Eggetsberger, Power für den ganzen Tag (Wien, 1995), p. 40.
(The consciousness of inner space—tongue on the gums)
• Assume the seated meditation posture.
• Place the thumbs of both hands on the pad of your middle finger of the respective hand.
• Raise your chin a bit and direct your eyes upward to the center of the forehead.
• Roll your tongue backward and place the tip on the gums.
• Observe the four phases of breathing (inhalation, extended pause, exhalation, extended pause).
Effect: This is another mudra that I have encountered in Western mental techniques. It quickly brings us into a light trance, activates the brain activity, calms the emotions, and creates an inner balance. The tongue position has a positive influence on the limbic system, which is responsible for our feelings and moods. It also supports the integration of both brain hemispheres. In relation to the meridian system, the tongue on the gums activates important meridians. As a result, these experience an energy lock and charge themselves more intensely. It is worthwhile to practice this mudra a few minutes a day for a number of weeks.
BHU] ANGAN1 MUDRA (Snake breathing)
• Assume the seated meditation posture and hold your hands in Mudra Number 8 (see page 74).
• Now swallow the air as if slurping water, and direct it to your abdomen.
• Arch your abdomen in a relaxed way and hold the air for a moment in this area.
• Let the air back out again by belching.
• It is sufficient to do this exercise 3 to 5 times in a row.
Effect: This mudra strengthens the abdomen, eliminates gases, has a cleansing effect on the digestive tract, and makes stomach complaints disappear.
KAK1 MUDRA (Raven beak)
• Assume the seated meditation posture.
• Focus your eyes on the tip of your nose.
• Now inhale slowly and thoroughly through your mouth.
• Now close your mouth and hold your breath for about 10 seconds.
• Then exhale very slowly through the nose.
Effect: The Kaki Mudra has a cleansing effect on the mouth, gums, and the entire upper digestive tract, from the stomach far into the intestines. Accordingly, it also causes the skin to become more pure. In addition, it has a calming effect on the autonomous nervous system. It also improves the sense of taste for sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. And finally, it stimulates the secretion of saliva and has a cooling effect.
yONI MUDRA (Seal of the inner source)
• Assume the seated meditation posture and now breathe slowly, rhythmically, and deeply.
• Hold your breath and close your ears with your thumbs, the eyes with your index fingers, and the nostrils with your middle fingers. Place the ring fingers on your lips and the little fingers beneath them to close your mouth.
• Take the middle finger from your nose and slowly exhale. Leave the other fingers where they are.
• Inhale and then close the nostrils again.
• Hold your breath and feel your way into the silence.
• Take the middle finger away again and exhale.
Effect: A wonderful silence arises and all the sensory organs become sensitized. This also achieves a quick and deliberate disconnection from outer influences.
SHANT1 MUDRA (The mudra of peace)
• Assume the seated meditation posture. Close your eyes and place your hands in your lap.
• Exhale completely. Concentrate on your root chakra (see Appendix D) and do the Maha Bandha (see page 171).
• Hold your breath for several seconds.
• While inhaling, release the Maha Bandha. When the lungs are filled with air and the body arches slightly, place your hands on your stomach (solar plexus chakra), the sternum (heart chakra), and forehead (forehead chakra).
• Now spread your arms widely and concentrate on your crown chakra.
Effect: Deepens the breathing. A feeling of peace may arise. This mudra also kindles the vital energy in the root chakra, distributes it throughout the entire body, and therefore helps us achieve inner strength, personal magnetism, and health, says Swami Satyananda Saraswati. You can associate an additional, very lovely spiritual aspect with this mudra when you imagine the power that rises from your root chakra to be the energy of peace. It fills your body, your soul, and your mind. By spreading your arms, you send vital energy out into the world—it becomes a gesture of blessing.
The so-called bandhas (loc\ exercises) are also associated with the mudras in classical yoga.
• Assume the seated meditation posture. Now exhale well. At the same time, press your hands onto your thighs and tighten the musculature around the perineum (PC) by tensing the bladder and the sphincter muscles at the same time, as if you wanted to hold back feces and urine (Mula Bandha). In ordinary exercise this is call the Kegel exercise.
• Then pull in the abdominal wall (Uddiyana Bandha).
• And press the chin onto the larynx (Jalandhara Bandha).
• After a few seconds, release every tension, raise the chin, and inhale deeply.
Effect'- The Maha Bandha can be used for a weak bladder, hemorrhoids, constipation, descended organs, weak digestion, flat breathing, or neck tension; it has a preventive effect on these symptoms or diseases. The brain energy is also activated by the contractions of the bandha. I usually practice the Maha Bandha before meditation, which helps me go into a deeper state more quickly. It may lead to a light trance, which can sometimes be quite pleasant.
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