A nice thing about mudras is they’re inconspicuous, they stay out of the way. You can be in an office meeting, a bus commute, waiting in line—and no one will even know you’re doing yoga with your hands! It’s not exactly the same as busting out a Warrior 1 in airport security.
Personally, I like integrating mudras throughout my day at the office. They encourage me to take an extra breath before jumping into reaction mode. I’ve found the following three mudras are especially well suited to modern life.
Apan Vaya Mudra—We’re distracted by hundreds of different interruptions, digital and physical, throughout our day. The Apan Vayu Mudra encourages one to sink into the bliss of a leisurely pause and find the beauty in stillness. In this incredibly fast moving, instant-information world, this mudra is my go to.
Bend your index finger to touch the base of your thumb and bring the tip of your thumb to touch the middle and ring finger. Rest your hands on your lap. For added affect turn your phone to vibrate and put your computer to sleep. Enjoy a few minutes of nurturing silence.
Kubera Mudra—Oh man, if you have a job that requires planning and goal setting, let me introduce you to your new secret weapon. This mudra creates momentum behind wishes, desires, and goals of all levels Trying to find that random email in your inbox from three weeks ago? Boom, Kubera has your back. Looking to position yourself for a promotion? Kubera is here to help.
Bring the tip of you thumb, index, and middle finger together with intensity. Important to this mudra is the mental attention you give to what you are trying to manifest—to recall a fact, less preparation is required, but for something more signifiant, say a promotion or successful execution of a project, take time to inquire whether this is truly in your, and the world’s, best interest.
Hakini Mudra—Research has shown that super-villains are on to something with all their finger tenting. The Hakini Mudra is recommended in many management courses as a technique to support memory recall and mental concentration. It also promotes balance between the right and left halves of the brain.
I use this in meetings a lot—it’s a wonderful way to focus on the meeting at hand rather than find excuses to distract myself. It also stimulates the lungs, which supports taking an extra breath, instead of jumping in and interrupting someone. Try it for yourself by bringing the corresponding fingertips and thumbs together. You can let it sit in your lap or on the table.
Mudras are incredibly powerful tools at our disposal. Their power is not just in their specific affects but also due to their ability to be executed at anytime. You don’t need to get to a studio or gym to do a mudra, just a hand and a couple of minutes. Try one today in a place you wouldn’t normally bust out into Lotus flow, and enjoy the benefits of a yoga wherever you are.
Josh believes in the importance of moving yoga beyond the studio and into everyday life. His even-tempo flow based classes focus on consistency of effort, breath, and attention. Beyond yoga, Josh spends his free time biking and listening to hip-hop. Catch up with him at the Lotus this August and September Monday and Wednesdays