Posts Tagged ‘Pranamasana’

Bear Pose to celebrate Winnie the Pooh Day (The Birthday of Winnie’s author A.A. Milne)

January 18, 2012

“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” -Winnie the Pooh

I love the wisdom of Winnie the Pooh (and his friends).  I have read the A.A. Milne books and the Benjamin Hoff  books, “The Tao of Pooh” an the “The Te of Piglet.”

“The hardest part is what to leave behind, … It’s time to let go!”

So much of what A.A. Milne’s characters have to say is great advice and perfect for the Yoga Mat.
“Just because an animal is large, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t want kindness; however big Tigger seems to be, remember that he wants as much kindness as Roo.” –Winnie the Pooh

To celebrate A.A. Milne’s Birthday ( born the 18th of January 1882), and his beloved characters, let’s practice…

Bear Pose:

Lay on your back

Raise both arms and both legs into the air

Rotate your wrists and ankles

“Always watch where you are going. Otherwise, you may step on a piece of the Forest that was left out by mistake.”

More Calendar Theme Yoga Poses

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A Prayerful Yoga Practice & the Anjali Mudra

January 4, 2012

Today we will be working on the Anjali Mudra.
Brings hands together in prayer position at heart center.  Your hands should be lined up evenly.  Press hands together slightly.

Come to a comfortable seated position with hands in Anjali Mudra for a few minutes of Centering.

Spend a few minutes for warm up asanas

Comet to Tadasana with hands in Anjali at heart center (near the back of the mat)

Begin Flow:

Tree Right leg up hands in Anjali Mudra

Step right leg forward in Warrior I hands in Anjali Mudra

Step Left foot forward, Chair Pose

Transition to Twisted Chair Right side

Return to Chair

Forward fold

Lunge (left leg back) hands in Anjali Mudra

Prayerful Triangle

Exhale Revolved Side Angle (hands in Anjali Mudra) – hold

Transition to Lunge

Step back into plank, lower

Child’s Pose

Garland Pose (heel down squat, hands in Anjali Mudra)

Forward Fold

Roll up to Mountain

Repeat on the opposite side

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Salutation Seal (Anjali Mudra or Hrdayanjali Mudra),hands in Prayer position (Namaste)

January 1, 2012

Mudra is Sanskrit for seal.  A mudra is a position, usually done with the hands, that directs the flow of prana (life energy).

As part of our Mudra Series, we are beginning with the Salutation Seal since most of us are very familiar with bringing hands together in prayer position.  This gesture first appeared in clay seals about 6,000 years ago.

The Salutation Seal is known by many names, Anjali Mudra, Hrdayanjali Mudra, Atmanjali Mudra, Pranamasana, Prayer Position, Namaste…

We will use the common Anjali Mudra for the rest of this post

Anjali (ON-jol-ly) means offering, salutation, to honor or celebrate.

How to:

Bring your hands together in Prayer Position at Heart’s Center:
Line up your hands and fingers, fingers are pointing up.
Press your hands together gently and evenly.
Bow head slightly

Hands represent action.  You can bring your Anjali Mudra to the center of the chest, Heart Chakra (thumbs resting against the sternum), the Heart represents emotion.  You can bring your prayer position hands to your forehead, Brow Chakra (thumbs resting against the third eye) the Head represents intellect. You can also bring your hands to your Crown Chakra (above the head).

Prayer Position symbolizes unity.  You are connecting the right and left hemispheres of your brain and are bringing all things into balance.  You become Centered.

Anjali Mudra is often used as a greeting and shows respect. This mudra is regularly used used with the word Namaste. The Anjali Mudra means much more than hello and goodbye.  It honors both the practitioner and recipient.

Uses and Benefits:

Helps Center
Shows Respect
Helps achieve a meditative state
Brings Focus
Helps alleviate Stress and anxiety
Brings a sense of humility
Stimulates the Heart Chakra (if hands are at heart center)
Stimulates the Third Eye (if hands are brought to the brow)

Asanas where the Anjali Mudra is commonly used:
The salutation Seal can really be used in any posture or seated Meditation, but you can find hands in Prayer Position regularly in:

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Vrkasana (Tree Pose)
Malasana (Garland Pose)
Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
Hanumanasana (Monkey Pose)
Anjaneyasana (Crescent Lunge)
Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I)

Try using Anjali Mudra during centering at the beginning of your Yoga Practice.

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