- Posted: 4/30/2019
- By: Maryam Ovissi
Namaha, namaste. This is the first of many series of blogs that we are launching on our new website that just launched a few weeks ago, and we're looking forward to sharing information about tools that we share at Beloved Yoga, and tools that you can use at home. Today, the tool that I'll be sharing is a tool set that comes from the world of mudras. Mudras are tools that are used in the yoga practice, that are directly derived from classical Indian dance. A lot of people don't know that yoga has been inspired from tools that come from other practices, and interestingly enough, Indian dance is a big influencer in the vinyasa and the hatha yoga practice. The mudra is Dhyana Mudra. It's a pretty simple and, in my opinion, very beautiful mudra because it represents something that we're trying to bring into our practice. The mudra is one hand sits on top of the other, and the thumb tips gently touch. It sits on our lap, quietly. Dhyana refers to one of the limbs of the eight-limb path, and it's the limb of meditation, so this is a gesture that represents meditation, and if we just look at it for a moment, it represents being held. That one hand is holding the other. There's a lot of kind of different variations, of how you place your right or your left hand on top, and kind of how do the thumbs touch, but I want to make this really simple. Just this act of feeling one hand holding the other is very powerful in this journey of feeling safe and like beholding ourselves. Meditation is a powerful tool, and neuroscience is giving us more and more information about this. In a recent book by Sarah Peyton, called The Resonant Self, talks about the default mode network. It's an aspect of the brain, and the brain, when it is not processing what is happening in the world around, the brain, the nervous system goes inward, and processes the memories, our experiences, starts to integrate new experiences, extracting wisdom, and what they have found is that one of the most effective tools to help this default mode network, getting quiet and comfortable with ourselves, is meditation. We believe here at Beloved Yoga that meditation is a really important skill to develop because we learn how to become comfortable with ourselves. The more that we develop comfort with ourselves, the more we can hold that space for others. Right now, in this country, we're dealing with a very serious epidemic, the loneliness epidemic. A recent statistic shares that loneliness is affecting us just as much as obesity, and the damage that it's putting on our bodies is equal to smoking 15 cigarettes a day (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3890922/) Meditation is a tool to get comfortable within ourselves, not go projecting into the future, and not falling into the past, but being right here.
At Beloved Yoga, this is what we teach, how to be here, peacefully, with ourselves, and passionately, and with love and warmth. So join me as we take our Dhyana Mudra, gently sit it into the lap, take a few breaths, begin to let the eyes turn downwards or inwards, and let us share a space of comfort and ease.