February 28, 2011 § 4 Comments

For years in developing my home yoga practice I heard the advice, “Just do what your body wants to do.” I never understood what that meant until the morning that I’d decided I needed hip-openers and ended up spending my whole practice working just on my shoulders. Interesting stuff. I no longer find the practice of listening to my body *quite* as subtle and mysterious as listening to my heart; maybe they both just really come with time.

A few weeks back, getting settled for my sitting practice, I randomly found myself in this position and began using it frequently to center myself because it just felt nice. I have very little knowledge of mudras at this point, but this hand position I know as jnana mudra, the wisdom or knowledge mudra, and I began holding it at my heart. I wouldn’t be surprised if this exists as a known position, if you know more about this or about the mudras, please enlighten me! It occurred to me yesterday when I found myself in this position yet again, that the timing and the symbolism was very sweet when viewed in relation to my recent discovery.

For those of you who practice (meditation and/or yoga), do you use mudras? And for those of you who don’t, does the concept of following your body or just doing what it wants you to do make any sense (I’m curious)?

§ 4 Responses to Wisdom/Heart

  • Elizabeth says:

    I know one mudra. I use it when I remember because I was at an event where we did an evening of mudras and I felt the power in them. I use it mostly at the beginning of the occasional seated meditation to ground/center. You’ve reminded me that I was going to try to learn a few more.

    • Mel says:

      Thanks for your comment Elizabeth! Mudras are one of those things for me, that I dont understand how or why they are so centering and feel so good Im trying to let the why go and just enjoy 😉 Ill bet a whole evening of them was wonderful! I would love to learn more about them too, please let me know if you find any good resources.

  • Rachel says:

    This is the first I’ve heard of mudras…so can’t comment on that. But I can say that sometimes my body is not subtle when it tells me what it wants (or not) to do that day. What I find most interesting is that those days where I don’t feel like moving, if I push myself to go out for a run or bike ride, it always ends up being a great outing. On the other hand, days I’ve felt jazzed up to go, often end up being really crappy efforts. My exercise routine totally benefits from never having a set plan…but doing what I feel like at the moment.

    • Mel says:

      I wonder sometimes if it’s taken me so long to really communicate with my body because of a lack of athleticism or not having used it consistently in a certain way? I’ve spoke with other people who have a history of high activity and/or sports who seem to get this completely.

      I wonder about this too – “On the other hand, days I’ve felt jazzed up to go, often end up being really crappy efforts.” What would you consider a crappy effort?

      And I love your sentiment about never having a set plan.

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