The Anjali Mudra or praṇāmāsana is one of the most common mudras in yoga and is routinely used by yoga instructors when teaching yoga. In a yoga class the instructor will show the Anjali Mudra at the beginning or at the end of class while saying, “Namaste.” The Anjali Mudra is also seen combined with many asanas, such as the Sun Salutation and Tadasana (seen in photo here). The Anjali Mudra is also seen in Buddhism, Hinduism and many other religions. Of course, in the West it is seen as being the hand gesture of prayer.
Because the Anjali Mudra is so closely associated with religion, many non- religious people do not wish to make the gesture. It is, however, very important to separate the mudra itself from its religious associations.
Anjali Mudra Position:
The Anjali Mudra is one of the easiest mudras. Simply bring the hands together at the palms with the fingers reaching upwards. The hands are pressed together firmly and evenly. If using this mudra in yoga, the hands will usually be placed in front of the heart. If in Christianity, the hands will be in front of the centre of the torso. Different religions have the hands in different positions.
In the most common form of anjali mudra, the hands are held at the heart chakra with thumbs resting lightly against the sternum. The gesture may also be performed at the Ajna or brow chakra with thumb tips resting against the “third eye” or at the crown chakra (above the head). In some yoga postures, the hands are placed in anjali mudra position to one side of the body or behind the back. Anjali mudra is normally accompanied by a slight bowing of the head.
Anjali Mudra Meaning:
The Anjali Mudra means “Namaste” and is regularly used in greetings.
Anjali Mudra Benefits:
- Bringing the palms together in the Anjali Mudra connects the right and left hemispheres of the brain.
- The Anjali Mudra connects the practitioner with spirituality / god / divinity.
- The mudra promotes respect for oneself and others.
- The mudra is a natural remedy for stress and anxiety.
- It is a useful mudra for entering into a meditative state.