Today’s Silent Sunday falls into the category of Combo Platter Cure-All. I have chosen three mudras (created from a combination of related hand configurations) that will shift the energy of how and where you are, to the vibration that is needed to balance and steady you. Although I suggest ways in which to engage the hand gestures, mudras work best when their placement feels authentic and organic to the practitioner; therefore, if, as you experiment with the following mudras, you feel a strong pull toward a particular positioning of the mudra, go with your gut.
First, a quick reminder about chakras and their energies: For today’s purposes, the 7-chakra system is used; some chakra systems invoke an 8th energy wheel, which I interpret as the aura. In the 7 framework, the first three energy centers—Sacral, Root, and Solar Plexus—comprise the Lower Triangle. The Upper Triangle consists of the Throat, Third Eye, and Crown. Linking the Upper and Lower is the Heart Chakra.
When you need to shift Lower Triangle energy is when you feel: overwhelmed by earthly demands; or alternatively, bored by the drudgery of routine. An imbalance in the Lower Triangle can present as sexual obsession, stubbornness, or self-centeredness. This is the time to call upon your higher self, i.e., the Upper Triangle and Heart Center.
To push the base energies further up the spine, through the wheels of energy toward the crown, come into a seated position. Rest the backs of the hands in the center of your lap, with the backs of the four fingers resting against each other and pointed straight upward: The thumb tips are free to touch each other. Hold this mudra with eyes closed, gazing steadily up and in to the Third Eye. Inhale as you visualize the breath energy moving upward from the mudra, through the Heart, and into the Crown. At the peak of your inhale, suspend the breath for as long as you can; as you exhale, imagine the energy shooting up and out of the skull like fireworks. Repeat the process 10 more times, for a total of 11 rounds.
On the other hand, you may find yourself with a hyperactive mind, speaking carelessly, or conversely, dreamy and without focus. In this case, the Upper Triangle has run amok: The antidote is to equalize its energy with that of the Lower Triangle. To do so, bring the hands above the head; allow the arms to be comfortably bent, with the hands 4-8 inches over the crown. When you find the placement that feels right, bring the backs of the fingers together as you did with the first mudra; however, in this gesture, the fingers interlace, with the intertwined fingers pointing down. The thumbs point straight behind you.
With the mudra engaged, open the eyes slightly to gaze down at the tip of the nose; be sure to keep the head upright, with no bend in the neck. Inhale long and deep through softly rounded lips; exhale deeply through a wide open mouth, tongue out and extended. Continue breathing in this manner for 8 breaths. Then, close the eyes, and relax the eyes under the closed lids. Continue to breath deeply, in and out through the nose, for another minute, mudra remaining aloft.
Finally, you will know that your Heart Center needs some attention when you feel agitated, anxious, fearful, or oddly cold and detached. More obvious occasions to attend to the Heart Chakra are grief: Death of a loved one, animal or human; demise of a relationship; or a sense of spiritual uncertainty, i.e., loss of faith. Any of these circumstances require a direct shot to the Heart.
Although I most often employ the traditional Prayer (Anjali) Mudra placed at the Heart Center, today’s suggestion is a bit more active. The first portion of working with the Heart Chakra is a moving hand shape; the idea is to shake the energy, whether the Heart seems overly sensitive or out of touch. To do this, bring the hands in front of the chest, fingers interlaced. Turn the palms, so that they face away from you.Then, inhale, and as you exhale, push the arms straight out at the level of the heart, fingers still laced, palms pushing forward. Inhale to retract the hands to a few inches in front of the Heart; exhale to push out. Continue this movement at a rapid pace for 1 minute.
Then, with the hands a few inches in front of the chest, palms facing you, hook the middle fingers around each other. Inhale, and pull the fingers strongly away from each other (yet keeping them interlocked). Inhale long and deep, engaging the isometric pull all the while. Exhale slowly and fully through rounded lips as you relax the pull. Continue this pattern for 1 minute.
Finally, do bring the hands into Namaste, or Prayer Mudra. Under closed lids, gaze softly up to the Third Eye, and resume normal natural breath. Remain here for as long as you like.
Special note: The above mudras may be practiced individually or combined. For example, to enhance the effect of moving from the Lower to Upper Triangle, go through each mudra progressively: Begin at the base, move to the Heart, and end with the Upper. Or, practice the Lower or Upper mudras as needed, and close the practice with the Heart. As always, investigate to discover what you need, when you need it.