Archive for August, 2017

Lotus Love Blog

Mudra Medicine by Tina Spogli

Posted on: August 16th, 2017 1 Comment

As I’m about to embark on my second Reiki training {energy healing through the hands}, I’m feeling especially in tune with the healing power that comes from intentional movement of the hands. Movement is medicine for creating change, and just as we move our bodies in our physical asana practice to unlock healing energy, we can too through our hands. Our hands are extensions of our hearts, with the power to create, transform, & heal. The energy centers of the entire body are located in the hands, so by connecting, bending, and touching the fingers in a certain way, we can begin to bring our bodies & minds back into balance. Each finger represents an element found in nature: Thumb/Fire, Index Finger/Air, Middle Finger/Ether, Ring Finger/Earth, & Pinky Finger/Water. Like the rest of our yoga practice, mudras are great medicine for union within ourselves, and with the Universe.

Below are three of my favorite Mudras. You’ll find instructions on how to move into the mudra, benefits, & other findings from my personal exploration with them.

ATMANJALI MUDRA / Gesture of Prayer

Press your palms together in front of your heart, letting your thumbs touch your sternum. Atmanjali Mudra {Prayer} is commonly used in yoga classes as a greeting, along with “Namaste.” This is a way of showing respect to others, as in “I see you,” meaning I see that divine light & love in you. With the palms resting on the heart, we can think of turning this gesture inward for a dose of self-respect and love. This mudra promotes balance between the right & left brain hemispheres, and calms our thoughts. The way the palms meet, it is a gesture of duality merging into wholeness, a yoking of light & dark, sun & moon, masculine & feminine. This yoking is also true of our experiences, being able to integrate past experiences, good and bad, with the present so that all experience can be food for who we are becoming.

BHUMISPARSHA MUDRA / Earth Witness Mudra

Sit in sukhasana {easy cross-ankle pose}, and bring your left fingertips to the Earth outside your left thigh. Bring your right palm face up on your right knee, and connect your thumb with the ring finger for Earth energy. Whenever life feels a bit up in the air, or I’m caught up in my thoughts, this mudra is able to ground & center my energy. As the left fingertips plug into the ground, it’s a beautiful reminder of our own deep connection to the Earth, and all its creatures. With every exhale, you can imagine roots growing down into the Earth through your left fingertips & sit bones, and with every inhale the spine growing taller. You can keep this breathing visualization going, so that with each exhale your roots grow a little bit deeper into the ground. Eventually your roots will find a large crystal at the center of the Earth, they securely wrap themselves around it. Feel yourself connected to the Source of all things, at the same time knowing that all creatures are connected to this same Source.

GARUDA MUDRA / The Mystical Bird

Link your thumbs and allow your other fingers to fan out wide, right palm in front of left. You can place this mudra at your navel, heart, or anywhere in between. The thumbs represent that element of Fire, which gives this mudra a feeling of strength and fierceness. The way the other fingers spread wide gives the feeling of freedom – I like to even play with some free flowing movement here of a birds wings. The element of the bird is Air, and this mudra works to open the chest for deeper breathing. It also improves circulation and mood. As the bird is able to glide in the air and be carried by the wind, we can begin to let the body & mind be carried by the wings of the breath.     

Tina developed a deep love for quieting the body and mind during her time living in one of the loudest cities. Yoga found Tina in 2007 while she was living in New York, and the practice quickly became her sanctuary amidst all of the hustle.

She believes in the transformative process of yoga, with its ability to bring us back into our bodies and breath, and stretch our mental limitations of what we think is possible – both on and off the mat. Her mantra is to come as you are, and observe what unfolds. Tina’s classes are thoughtful and intentional, sharing inspiration from her personal practice and life.

Tina is a 250 RYT, and a graduate from Laughing Lotus in New York and San Francisco. When she is not on the mat, you can find her in nature, exploring photography, and hanging with her animal friends! She is very grateful to be a part of the Laughing Lotus community of the east and west, and is thankful for this space to share her heart and energy with you.

Setting Intentions with the Kubera Mudra by Adriana Feliciana

Posted on: August 2nd, 2017 No Comments

Mudras are a conscious way of holding the arms and hands in order to express meaning. We often use a mudra at the beginning of our Practice to effectively engage and influence our body and mind. Wayne Dyer says, “Live every day with intention,” and I have found that defining my intentions before setting off on any project is an excellent way for me to stay focused.

The Kubera Mudra helps support you in setting your intentions and manifesting your desires. You can begin with either hand. The thumb, middle and index finger are joined together with the other fingers curled in towards the palm. The thumb represents fire, the index represents air and the middle represents space…all joining together to form a powerful force that helps you focus on fulfilling your desires and aspirations.

 The effect of a mudra can be greatly enhanced with intentional breathing. Pay close attention to maintaining even breaths while lengthening the pause after inhaling and after exhaling by several seconds. Hold your arms about one inch away from your body. Create as much length as you can in the spine and roll the shoulders back to bring a sense of inner balance and to help regulate the nervous system so you can remain focused.
Exhale vigorously several times before you begin to make room for what you want to achieve. The Kubera Mudra can be practiced throughout the day as many times as desired. I like to use this mudra every morning at the end of my mediation time to set my intentions for the day. When I set my intention each morning, I am then able to invoke this mantra throughout the day and remind myself to stay focused on what is really important…being present and alert to life’s lessons that are dispersed everywhere.

Adriana loves yoga because the practice allows her to truly inhabit her body and find a comfortable and livable space deep within. Inspired by Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga, Adriana blends compassion for all beings with a challenging mindful asana practice that supports where her students are while encouraging them to explore their edge. Come to class with her, and your prana will be stoked through conscious breathing techniques while cultivating inner perceptual awareness and increasing concentration.