In the Healing Yoga series, I’m introducing everyday yoga therapy practices for bringing balance into your holistic health routine. As a part of this series that combines mindful movement and meditation, one element will include simple mudras for directing your attention/intention. Mudras are gestures of the hands, face and body that promote balanced health on all levels. When these gestures are used consciously, their healing potential is powerful. Though the work itself is quite subtle, when practiced over a period of time you will begin to refine your awareness and experience the deep shifts in body-mind healing that come with this practice.
In Ayurveda, it is said that good health doesn’t come just from what you eat but what you digest. The first mudra shared in this series focused on stoking the essential fires of our digestion, our agni. This second mudra aims to support optimal assimilation of the nourishment we take into our bodies. Pushan Mudra directs breath, awareness and energy to the solar plexus, our seat of digestion in the body. It balances Samana Vayu, the inward circular flow of subtle energy in the body. By giving us the ability to digest what physically take in, we can better assimilate life’s experiences and process steps of growth along our journey with greater ease and lightness.
1. With the left hand, touch the tip of the thumb to the tips of the middle and ring fingers, then extend the little and index fingers straight out.
2. With the right hand, touch the tip of the thumb to the tips of the index and middle fingers, then extend the little and ring fingers straight out.
3. Gently place the backs of the hands onto the thighs or knees.
4. Sitting in an upright cross-legged position (you may elevate your hips as much as needed to make this comfortable for your hips and knees, or rest your back against the wall as needed), align the spine and relax the shoulders back and down.
5. As you hold the mudra, take several deep breaths to slow the mind down and become aware of the body. Notice as you breath what’s happening around the navel.
6. Allow each breath to flow into the belly and soften the area around the navel and below the diaphragm, the seat of the solar plexus. Visualize the breath as a golden light moving into this space of the body. This golden light brings warmth to the stomach and intestines, and stokes the fire of your digestion.
7. Continue to breathe consciously, visualizing anything that feels stagnant or undigested in your body and mind dissolving with the the gentle fire that glows through the belly. Repeat the affirmation, “As my entire being is nourished completely, I experience optimal health and vitality.”
8. When you feel completely nourished, continue breathing fully and slowly release the mudra, allow your hands to rest gently on the knees with the palms facing down. Take a moment to feel the energy cultivated and thank yourself for taking time to honor your vitality.
Note: This modified mudra practice is from Joseph & Lillian LePage’s book “Mudras for Healing & Transformation”, I highly encourage all to order a copy to explore this beautiful practice in more depth.