Introduction to Mudra

Greetings wonderful friends x

It is with great sadness I start this months page with news that B.K.S. Iyengar passed away today. He revolutionised the practice and teaching of yoga throughout the world.

Ienga

Portrait of BKS.Iyengar by Kamakshi

The  Sanskrit word Mudra is translated as ‘gesture’ or ‘attitude’ . Mudras can be described as psychic, emotional, devotional and aesthetic gestures or attitudes. The word Mudra can mean ‘delight’ or ‘pleasure’ , it can be defined as a ‘seal’, ‘short-cut’ or ‘circuit by-pass’.

Mudras are a combination of subtle physical movements which alter mood, attitude and perception, and which deepen awareness and concentration.  A Mudra may involve the whole body in a combination of asana, (postures), pranayama, (breathing), bandha, (locks or holds), visualisation or hand positions.

There are five groups of yoga Mudras; Hasta meaning hand mudras. Mudras which join the thumb and index finger engage the motor cortex at a very subtle level, generating a loop of energy which moves from the brain down the hand and then back again. Mana meaning head Mudra which utilise the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and lips. Kaya meaning postural Mudras which utilise physical postures combined with breathing and concentration. Bandha meaning lock, they charge the system. Adhara meaning perineal Mudras, focusing on the lower centres of the brain.

iyengar

Between them these groups engage substantial areas of the cerebral cortex. The comparatively large number of head and hand Mudras reflects the fact that operation and interpretation of information coming in from these two areas occupies approximately fifty percent of the cortex.

Mudras are performed either in combination with or after asanas (postures) and pranayamas (breathing). Practical instruction should be considered to be a necessary requisite before attempting them.

I hope you have all been enjoying the summer whether you have explored some of the world or even staying at home, always roll out your mat and fill the space with some cat stretches and cobra. Let yoga work it’s magic so you feel amazing, with a wonderful glow and an inner smile (those of you who joined me for the ‘inner smile meditation recently can re-visit). Enjoy the flow and feelings you get as you absorb the rest of the season.

September retreat postponed until the New Year, still going ahead, dates to follow. New classes commencing……….watch this space …….!!

“When I practice, I am a philosopher, when I teach, I am a scientist, when I demonstrate, I am an artist”  B.K.S.  Iyengar 14/12/1918 – 20/08/2014

with love, gratitude & blessings

Susan x x

 

 

 

 

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