by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami
The Ganesha Mudra is a powerful hand lock which, when incorporated into your yoga practice, can lift your spirits, relieve tension and boost confidence! It is the physical embodiment of perseverance. To achieve it, you should begin in a comfortable seated position with a long, straight spine. Then:
- Bring both hands in front of your chest with bent elbows.
- Position your left hand, palm outward, so your thumb points down toward the solar plexus and your pinky points up toward the collar bone.
- Form a claw by bending the four fingers of your left hand and clasping them with the four fingers of your right hand. Your right palm should be facing your chest.
- Take a deep breath in through the nose. Fill up.
- Upon exhaling, forcefully pull both arms apart while keeping the claws locked. Feel that resistance open your shoulders and chest.
- Inhale again and relax your arms, always maintaining the Ganesha lock. Exhale and pull apart.
- Repeat this process six times, breath to movement.
- Interchange the direction of your hands, with your right palm facing outwards and the left palm facing inward.
- Repeat six more times.
Release the Mudra, feeling all tension melt away with it. Bring your unclasped hands to your heart, palms facing inward. Focus on slow, deliberate breaths, absorbing the restoration of equilibrium to the body, mind and soul.
Why does it work?
By uniting this Ganesha yoga pose with potent breath, blockages and obstacles are evicted from the body. With no refuge in the openness that’s been created, the clutter of the mind also dissolves. And since it’s his job to destroy what’s in the way, Ganesha has been known to place obstacles in the path of those who need to be “checked.” If something blocks your path, invoking Ganesha’s symbolic destruction with this Mudra can help to create space for what you seek!
Often honored at the opening of important rites and ceremonies, Ganesha represents new beginnings. His presence reminds us it’s only after we’ve removed the obstacles that we can begin anew. Sometimes, we must demolish the ego to rebuild a stronger foundation for personal growth. The yoga mat is the perfect place to lay that base!
Release After Resistance
The Ganesha pose can remove negativity and stress by stimulating resistance in the upper body. Sometimes, it’s only after release that we notice the heaviness of the weight we were carrying. What are you resisting? What’s holding you back? What obstacles can you remove to free yourself from what doesn’t serve you? Surround yourself with Ganesha, and all can become clear.
Here’s a Ganesha Mudra Meditation
The meditation is to be done while holding the Mudra pose.
- Fully inhale. Fill your lungs up to their fullest capacity.
- Fully Exhale. Empty your lungs until they are completely empty.
Every time you exhale draw your navel in, tense your chest and arm muscles and feel as if you are trying to get out of the grip, but you can’t. Stay relaxed in your face, top shoulders neck as you feel the tension. Completely exhale until your lungs are empty while visualizing and mentally repeating the obstacle (what’s holding you back).
- Then inhale to fill your lungs while releasing the tension. Maintain the clasp.
- Repeat this 6 times. For a total of 6 cycles.
When I do this I like to visualize myself exhaling against any resistance I might be feeling at the moment. It helps me to release the tension. I feel myself dissolving it and it opens me up and creates space.
When I inhale I visualize myself opening myself up to what I am focusing on (writing, finishing something I have been putting off), and the possibilities of exploring/learning something new.
Integrate what you are experiencing at the moment and use the Ganesha Mudra Meditation for that.
When you are done; visualize a clear path; visualize openness. Believe the pathway is clear for you to continue what you want/need to do. Believe that everything will have an outcome that will serve you in the best possible way possible.
There are many factors you can’t control, but be in charge of what you can control. Your thoughts, your actions is always within your control.
Give it a go, and see if/how it can support you. Make it your own. This meditation takes no more than 3 minutes.
Fill a small bottle with equal parts of the following essential oils:
Add a few drops of Gardenia essential oil.
Consider all obstacles in your way being removed from your path as you blend this oil, and invoke Ganesha, the remover of obstacles to give his blessings to your blend so that it may be the best oil you use to open all roads to success.
You can use Ganesha Road Opener Oil in a variety of ways. It can be worn on the body, dabbed into the bath, anointed on important documents, dropped in the heel of your shoe, dabbed on charms and talismans, rubbed on the front door, burned in a diffuser or simply worn during prayer or meditation. You may also petition Ganesha by placing out sweets, fresh flowers and a bowl of water with a bit of this oil blend mixed in.
This oil blend should be a basic staple in your collection, and I strongly suggest you keep it on hand to be used whenever needed. Anytime you must clear your way through physical obstacles, this is the oil for the job. Add Road Opener to any magick or impossible task you wish to accomplish.
Add this oil to liquid body soap, and every time you wash your hands, you will be imbuing them with the power to open roads in all that they encounter. Writing letters, doing chores and being involved in all manner of communications – we use our hands one way or another.
Adapted from a recipe in the Enchanted Formulary
If you are seeking new opportunities and wish to break down any obstacles that stand in your way, a Ganesha Road Opener Ritual just may be your answer!
To perform a Ganesha Road Opener Ritual, print out a picture of Ganesha and place it on an altar. You will also need a yellow candle, candy, a simple plate, a bowl of fresh water and some fresh flowers. Begin by cutting the flowers and placing them in the bowl of fresh water. I prefer to cut the flowers down to simply the flower tops and allow them to float in the water.
You will also want to add a couple drops of Ganesha Oil into the water as you do this. On your plate, place any items that reflect what you wish to accomplish. For example, you can place your business cards, some new silver coins, a job application, a prayer, petition, photos or even an important business contract. Get your yellow candle and anoint it with Ganesha oil, drawing the oil up the candle towards the wick.
- Here’s a recipe if you want to make it for yourself: Ganesha Road Opener Oil Blend
- Calamint, Sandalwood, and Hibiscus essential oils, hydrosols, or fragrances can be substituted for an oil blend.
- Sesame oil can also be used as a substitute.
Place the candle in an appropriate candle holder and then put it on the plate with your items. When you are ready, light the candle and say a prayer. When the candle has completely burned down, take all the remains and bury it in a flower pot.
Here is the easiest and most effective way to ask Ganesha for help:
- First study a picture of Ganesha, so that you may have a firm understanding of what he looks like and can recreate that image in your mind.
- Take a few deep breaths, close your eyes and bring that image of Ganesha to your mind. Try and see him in as much detail as possible. See his beautiful elephant-head, with welcoming eyes, large ears, long trunk and big, pot-belly. See him as clearly as you can.
- Now, simply speak to him, speak all of your concerns, worries, needs, etc. Know that as you speak he is hearing you and that you are making a connection with him.
That’s it! It’s that easy. When you have done this once, it is said that you will then have a permanent and ongoing relationship and connection with Ganesha. Speak to Him anytime you wish, as many times as you wish. It does not have to be a formal meditation. Take a moment in your day, if you feel the need, close your eyes and speak to him using the above method.
Invoking Ganesha With A Mantra
Another way that you can invoke the power of Ganesha is by repeating one of his mantras. In the simplest sense, mantras are ancient Sanskrit words of power. Each syllable of a mantra resonates a certain vibration. Mantras are used in meditation, to focus the mind, but they are also used to invoke the blessing of a Deity.
- A variety of Ganesha Mantras can be found here.
What is happening when you repeat a mantra over and over, is that you are matching your own vibrational frequency to that of the mantra and its purpose (wealth, health, success, knowledge, etc.). Each of the Hindu Deities has their own mantra or mantras, which invoke the type of energy that the Deity represents.
Collected from various sources
The materials needed are:
- Paper mache
- Latex or other water-based paint in a variety of colors
- Gold-leaf or metallic gold paint
- Paint brushes
- Sand paper
- Putty or joint compound
- Miscellaneous ornaments and cloth for dressing the image
- Replicas of the various implements he will be holding
- Mix paper mache to a firm but homogeneously wet consistency.
- Make an armature (skeleton) of wood, Styrofoam, or similar material.
- Create the image by covering the armature with paper mache.
- Make implements for each hand and make sure they can be inserted and glued later when the image is dry
- Brush the exterior smooth with a wet brush.
- Let the image dry in a cool place, away from the sunlight. (Drying time is usually one month for every foot in height for a clay image, three weeks for paper mache.)
- When dry, sand with coarse, then fine sandpaper
- Fill cracks with putty or joint compound.
- Sand again
- Apply a white primer and sand with very fine sandpaper.
- Make the image dust-free.
- Paint the torso, head, trunk, and limbs
- Use red paint and a fine brush for the Aum, swastika, and other – symbols.
- Paint, decorate, and/or assemble the various implements
- Place appropriate dress (traditionally white or red silk) upon the image.
- Glue the implements into the hands
- Decorate the image with ornaments, flowers, etc.
adapted from Loving Ganesa
by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami
An alternative method can be explored with this visual tutorial from Hobby Ideas:
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