The Anjali Mudra is a common hand posture used during the practice of yoga. It is often applied as the starting posture that leads to other postures. In Sanskrit, the term ‘Anjali’ means ‘to offer’ or ‘to salute’ and the term ‘Mudra’ means ‘seal’. Therefore, as such, the posture symbolizes ‘honour’ and celebrating this moment.
When you do your yoga practice, it is important to understand the reasons of why we do so. The Anjali Mudra has its own significance in yoga practice.
The gesture signifies the intention to progress to highest spiritual awakening. When done the right way, the palms are not kept flat pressed against each other. The knuckles at the base of the fingers are bent a little, creating space between the palms and fingers of the two hands made to resemble a lotus flower, ready to blossom, which symbolizes the opening of our hearts.
The comparison is being done to a lotus bud, yet to bloom, because of the qualities of a lotus flower. A beautiful lotus can grow in muddy water. Our lives can get difficult as the ‘muddy’ water, but, through our efforts and practice, it is possible to emerge from difficulties and blossom like a lotus flower. This way, we can radiate beauty to those around us.
This gesture can be applied to many asanas, and can be a pointer to keep our inner attitude of peace during practice. When you incorporate Anjali Mudra in your asanas, it will bring us humility rather than make us feel proud about being able to perform the asanas.
Once you truly understand the meaning of this mudra, and embrace it, it can help us ensure that the position is based on humility, rather than an ego expression to achieve perfection on a physical level.
Also known as ‘Pranam Mudra’ or ‘Prayer position’, Anjali Mudra is performed in the centre of our heart chakra and represents the balance and harmony between the right side and left side reunited on our centre. This balance is not only physical, but also mental and emotional, and the whole idea is to focus attention on the centre to prepare ourselves for meditation and contemplation.
So Anjali Mudra is much more than a mere mudra. Incorporating this simple mudra in our yoga practice, reminds us to stay on our feet and ensure that we do not nurture unhealthy pride, but rather, perform the act of offering and grace.
Although attitude is a little thing, it makes a huge difference, and Anjali Mudra teaches us this concept.