A mudra is a hand gesture used to seal an intention into a yoga or meditation practice (the word mudra translates to mean seal). I love them and use them frequently in the classes I teach and my own personal practice. Ganesha Mudra is a current favorite, which like the playful Hindu god for which it’s named, aims to remove obstacles for us so that we can feel clearer and more joyful.
Here, removing obstacles symbolically requires three steps:
- Strength: no matter what you’re up against–morning traffic jam, recurring self-doubt, or hitting the wall at mile-22 of a marathon–you’ll need to bear down, toughen up, and steel your physical, mental, or emotional reserves to face the obstacle if you want to overcome it.
- Gentleness: in the environment of your mind, in the aftermath, with yourself or others, somewhere along the obstructed path, you’ll need to show some grace. You’ll need to let go. You’ll need to soften or bend or bow. That’s just how it goes. The strongest, staunchest, toughest tree can snap in a storm; meanwhile, the slender, pliable reed bends will the breeze, weathers the elements, and stands tall once again.
- Listening to your heart: do it closely. Do it often. If the answers are too muddled, painful, or daunting, keep listening. You’ll get there. The joy will be waiting. The obstacle will be toast.