There are some days when I just need to give my heart a little love: Silent Sunday seems like an especially appropriate time to do that. You can use today’s mudra as part of a seated meditation, and I find that I often hold it when I am out walking. The mudra addresses the heart on a physical, emotional, and energetic level: Emotionally, it soothes and opens the heart, while keeping it protected from internal negativity and external negative energies. Physically, the mudra is said to sedate a stressed heart, and to restore a steady heartbeat.
Special note: I have used this mudra when my heart rate accelerates during exertion, and I can vouch for its ability to calm a rapidly beating heart.
If you would like to invoke this mudra’s powers during a seated meditation, your practice will be more comfortable if you prepare your spine and hands. Try a few cat/cows, some torso rotations, reclining twist, and shoulder and head rolls. Then transfer the gist of the spinal exercises to your hands: bend and flex the wrists, open and close the hands, massage each finger and the palms, and then roll the wrists in circles.
Because you are preparing yourself to work with the heart, you may want to add a simple bit of qigong. There is a qi point in the center of the palm, between the middle and ring finger metacarpals: With the thumb tip of the opposite hand, lightly press the point and rotate counter-clockwise in a tiny circle. To outside eyes, the movement would be indiscernible; it is as if you are guiding the circle with your mental intention as much as by physical movement. Continue for a minute or so, then repeat on the other hand. Breathe long and deep as you move the heart qi.
Now, the mudra: On both hands, curl the index finger inside of the thumb. Then, touch the middle and ring fingertips to the thumb tip; let the pinky extend straight. Most commonly, you would rest the backs of your hands on your knees, and meditate, closed eyes gazing up at your Third Eye. Maintain long, deep breathing as you settle into your practice; eventually, you can cease to monitor the breath, as it will slow and steady as your meditation deepens.
I often allow my hand position to present itself. Today, for example, I felt called to hold the mudra in a different manner. With elbows in at my waist, and the forearms out to the sides at about a 45-degree angle, I held the mudra, palms up. To me, this felt as if I were opening my heart to receive the love and guidance of the Universe.
Allow yourself to experiment with how you place this (or any) mudra. The angle and level at which we hold mudras accesses different parts of the surrounding electromagnetic field. I believe that our own energies resonate with the field’s energies in different ways, on different days. So have fun, and create your own positions according to your energetic intuition.