with Breath, Hand Gesture, Sound, and Imagery
With 2500 nerve receptors per square inch, the hands are very sensitive and are an opportunity to bring the mind to a focal point. This practice uses a hand gesture, called a mudra in Yoga. Ushas Mudra, or the hand gesture of the dawn, helps us to open ourselves to new possibilities. As a hand gesture it supports us in greeting our day with a sense of mystery and curiosity. When combined with sound, breath, and imagery for peace, we are cultivating new pathways to peace in our lives.
“The hands’s direct route to our motivation, positive emotions, and cognitive abilities confirms their importance in our mental as well as our physical lives.” Kelly Lambert, neuroscientist
This practice uses a 4:4:6 count breath. This means inhaling for a count of four. Pausing for a count of four. Exhaling for a count of six. The speed and the pattern of the breath helps to calm the mind and the body. If retaining the breath for any period of time is uncomfortable, do your best and total permission to breathe as you need.
We will be using the sounds “sha-ma-ya.” In most cultures, if not all, the sound “shh” is used to soothe and the sound “ma” is used to denote a nurturing presence like mother, or mama. “Ya” is the sound for the heart and is also a sound for yes. When combined these sounds cultivate a sense of peacefulness that begins to resonate in the heart. It is like we are saying yes to the heart. If sound is uncomfortable for you, try it in a whisper, or even in your mind.
You will be invited to cultivate an image for peace. This could be an image from nature, from your life, a symbol, a feeling, or the word peace. You may discover that the image stays the same or changes. There is no wrong way to do this, only your way. This image becomes a short cut to cultivating peacefulness in your life.
Enjoy the practice and use it whenever you need!
If you wish to learn more about using hand gestures to help manage your mood, sign up for our Mudra Webinar Series starting August 2017.