Being a relatively green yogaphile, recently my attention has been drawn to hand mudras in yoga—I've begun playing with one or two in my practice. I like mudras (mudra means "seal" in Sanskrit). They help keep me focused and make asanas feel complete.
My two favorite mudras at this point are Anjali Mudra and active Gyan Mudra. Most everyone has seen Anjali Mudra—prayer hands. It's a very centering and spiritual hand mudra.
Anjali Mudra: Salutation Seal/Heart Seal
Please see Yoga Journal's page on Anjali Mudra for a complete description of this popular mudra.
In "For Beginners: Anjali Mudra," Shiva Rea suggests a variation on Anjali Mudra that I just loved:
"...slightly part your palms as if to make a cup, so that your hands resemble the bud of a lotus flower. Depending on your spiritual orientation, you can metaphorically plant a seed prayer, affirmation, or quality such as "peace," "clarity," or "vitality" within your anjali mudra. Drop your chin towards your chest and awaken a sense of humility and awe with which to begin your practice, as if waiting to receive a blessing of good things to come."
The concept of using your Anjali Mudra to plant and hold a seed—an intention for your practice, perhaps—brings a more physical element to an often intangible intention.
Next blog...Gyan Mudra: The Knowledge Seal