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What is the Anjali Mudra?

At the end of every class we put our hands together to say Namaste. That gesture is the Anjali mudra. The word mudra is Sanskrit for seal, mark or gesture.

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Mudra is used in ceremonies and dance, and frequently shown in sculpture and painting. In statues of Buddha, for example, the characteristic hand positions are different mudra.

According to Encyclopaedia Britannica a “mudra acts as a kind of visual ‘seal,’ affirming a mystical or magical vow or utterance, such as a supplication to ward off evil. A mudra often accompanies the spiritual utterance known as the mantra.”

Mudras and mantras are a key part of the practice of yoga. They connect us to the spiritual traditions of yoga, affirm our dedication, and enhance our energies.

The Anjali mudra is special because joining the palms connects the left and right sides of our brain. It promotes unity — which is the goal of yoga — and expresses respect for those around us. Bringing our hands to our heart is an acknowledgment of our spiritual and emotional core, and our willingness to open and connect to others.

This holiday season, let’s practice Anjali mudra mindfully. Let’s connect our brains, hearts and spirits to the benefit of ourselves and those around us.

Read more: Namaste, The Gift of Metta, and Om Mani Padme Hum Mantra