As one of my favourite hasta (hand) mudras, it‘s Sanskrit name, Pranidhana, is one that yoga disciples would be familiar with.
The word appears in the 8 Limbs of Yoga, as one of the Niyamas, ‘Ishvara Pranidhana’, which translates as ‘surrendering to a higher power’.
Hence why the mudra is also known as ‘Gesture of Surrender’, the cultivation of letting go, physical as well as emotionally & mentally.
The practice of surrendering begins physically; releasing tensions... & as the body begins to relax, you turn to the thoughts & feelings that may be weighing down the mind & the heart. Teaching yourself to let go of these attachments & inviting a lightness to living, a sense of inner peace.
Pranidhana Mudra supports Apana Vayu by directing breath, energy & awareness towards the pelvis & base of the spine, consequently strengthening the eliminatory functions of the body. It slows down breathing & lengthens exhalation, offering a sense of deep release not only to the body, but psycho-emotionally too.
1. Sit in cross-leg or kneeling; make sure you’re sat up tall with spine elongated from base to crown of head; shoulders rolled back & relaxed so chest & upper back is spread out
2. From the same hand - touch tips of middle & ring finger with tip of thumb
3. Keep index & little finger extended & connect with opposite hand from their tips
4. Soften gaze or close the eyes; breath slowly & steadily through the nose
5. Observe the flow of your breath, its pace & rhythm, any physical/emotional/mental effects it brings to the body & mind
Hongyi the yogi
Full-time yoga teacher & trainee yoga therapist in London. Eager to share, eager to learn!