The Ganesh Mudra
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.
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