(Pose of Reverence)
anjali = offering
mudra = seal
This is a centering yoga pose and through practice brings a meditative calm to the mind. The Mudra of the Yoga Pose of Reverence is a position of composure, expressing a receptivity to the Universe and the mind-body connection. Namaste position focuses the awareness of the mind and body.
Calms the brain and nervous system
Stimulates the pelvis, spine, abdomen, and bladder
Stretches the ankles and knees
Eases menstrual discomfort and sciatica
Consistent practice of this pose until late into pregnancy is said to help ease childbirth.
Traditional texts say that Lotus with Anjali Mudra destroys all disease and awakens kundalini.
Performing the Asana
Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front. Bend you right knee and bring the lower leg up into a cradle: The outer edge of the foot is notched into the crook of the left elbow, the knee is wedged into the crook of the right elbow, and the hands are clasped (if possible) outside the shin. Lift the front torso toward the inner right leg so the spine lengthens (and the lower back does not round). Rock your leg back and forth a few times, exploring the full range of movement of the hip joint.
Bend the left knee and turn the leg out. Rock your right leg far out to the right, then lock the knee tight by pressing the back of the thigh to the calf. Next swing the leg across in front of your torso, swiveling from the hip and not the knee, and nestle the outside edge of the foot into the inner left groin. Be sure to bring the right knee as close to the left as possible, and press the right heel into the left lower belly. Ideally the sole of the foot is perpendicular to the floor, not parallel.
Now lean back slightly, pick the right leg up off the floor, and lift the left leg in front of the right. To do this hold the underside of the left shin in your hands. Carefully slide the left leg over the right, snuggling the edge of the left foot deep into the right groin. Again swivel into position from the hip joint, pressing the heel against the lower belly, and arrange the sole perpendicular to the floor. Draw the knees as close together as possible. Use the edges of the feet to press the groins toward the floor and lift through the top of the sternum.
Bring both palms to the heart chakra in "Namaste".
Modify Your Practice
Half-Lotus Mudra: After bringing the first leg into position, as described above, simply slip the lower leg under the upper and the foot to the outside of the opposite hip. If the upper leg knee doesn't rest comfortably on the floor, support it with a thickly folded blanket. As with its companion, be sure to work with both leg crosses for the same length of time during each practice session. Bring the palms to Namaste.
Complimentary Yoga Poses
Matsyendrasana - Fish Pose
Baddha Konasana - Bound Angle Posture
Janu Sirsasana - Half Lotus Forward Bend
Virasana - Hero Pose
Deepen the Pose
During meditation practice, there's a tendency for students to cross their legs in the same way day after day. Eventually this can lead to distortions in the hips. If you are regularly using this pose as a platform for meditation or formal breathing, be sure to alternate the cross of the legs daily. One simple method to help you remember to do this is to bring the right leg in first on even-numbered days, the left leg first on odd-numbered days.