Mudra Magic: Anjali Mudra, The Hand Movement of Offering

Name: Anjali Mudra (Alternatively  Pranam Mudra, Namaste Mudra and Pray position)

What It Means: Anjali mudra means "to offer" or "to salute," while mudra means "seal." Anjali mudra is often used as a way to return to one's heart or to greet a person, often while saying "namaste," or before or after a yoga practice. This gesture first appeared 4,000 years ago. 

What It Does: Anjali mudra is performed as part of a physical yoga practice allowing a person to connect to his heart, other people and the divine. It allows a person to alleviate mental stress and anxiety and it helps the assist the practitioner in achieving focus and coming into a meditative state.

Physically, it helps promote flexibility in the hands, wrists, fingers and arms (Yoga Journal)

How to Perform the Mudra: Place palm against palm firmly against each other with your thumbs pressing into your sternum. You may also perform this mudra at third eye center or at your crown chakra.  

Length of Practice: Practice this mudra for 5 minutes for maximum effects, though it is often practiced for just a moment or two. 

More on the Mudra: In the words of Krishnamacharya"This gesture signifies the potential for an intention to progress to greatest spiritual awakening. When done properly the palms are not flat against each other; the knuckles at the base of the fingers are bent a little, creating space between the palms and fingers of the two hands resembling a flower yet to open, symbolizing the opening of our hearts."

Photo: Parker Peterson