As a complementary technique to yesterday’s article about ways to protect yourself physically, mentally, and energetically, today’s Silent Sunday practice offers a two-part mudra and pranayama session. The practice first eliminates fear and its ramifications from the mind and body (which may manifest as headache, stiffness, and/or constricted digestion). After a thorough mental and physical cleansing, the practice shifts to balance mode: The mudra roots you in a state of equanimity and courage in the face of negativity.
The pranayama for each part of the practice also provides eliminatory and cooling, steadying qualities. For the first part, you will enact Lion’s Breath, which I have described in earlier articles: Inhale smoothly and deeply through the nose, and as you exhale, stick the tongue way out and down; exhale powerfully from the rear of the throat. Any sounding that you emit is natural and desirable.
The second breath technique is Sitali pranayama, also explained in earlier posts: First curl your tongue and allow it to extend out through your lips; if you can not curl the lips, stick your tongue partially out through slightly opened lips. Inhale in this position, withdraw the tongue, and exhale fully through your nose.
Throughout the practice, sit in your most comfortable, aligned position, with closed eyes focused on the Third Eye.
To accompany the Lion’s Breath pranayama, you will create Apana Mudra. This hand position aids in digestion and elimination on the physical and mental level. If you have already been exposed to a toxic situation or person, or you find your thoughts moving in a negative direction (fear, judgment, blaming, impatience, etc.), this mudra will help to release the negativity. The position is simple: Touch your thumb tip to the tips of the middle and ring fingers; the other fingers extend straight. With this mudra in place on both hands, rest your hands on your thighs or knees, palms down, so that the mudra dangles off the edge of your legs; its is if you are releasing negative energy down and away. Breathe with this mudra and Lion’s Breath for 1-3 minutes.
The second mudra is Kashyapa Mudra. Notice that the thumb remains in contact with the same fingers as are used in Apana Mudra: However, as you make a fist, the thumb now nestles between the middle and ring fingers, tucked in at the webbing between the two; allow the thumb tip to peek out slightly from its secure resting place. Not only does the secure hold of the thumb and the fists’ swaddling effect reflect the quality of protection, the thumb now finds itself situated between the balance of masculine and feminine energies represented by the other two fingers.
As you begin to practice Sitali breathing with this mudra, allow yourself to place the hands wherever it feels intuitively correct. The mudra draws in protective energies and surrounds you with their vibrations: On one day, you may feel as if you need to keep your hands next to each other in your lap; another day may find you holding the mudra aloft, with your arms extended. Trust that your intuition knows how to activate this mudra: Hands close and low suggests that you feel shaken by fear, and need to stabilize yourself. If you are called to hold the mudra away from or above you, chances are that your magnetic field has been weakened by exposure to negativity, and you are allowing the mudra to saturate the energy field around you.