Definition - What does Merudanda Mudra mean?
Merudanda mudra is set of three mudras, or hand gestures, that helps to bring awareness to the breath.
This mudra sequence should be practiced in a comfortable seated position, either on a chair or on the mat, in sukhasana. First, the thumbs are extended and the remaining four fingers are bent inward into the palm. In the first position, the hands are placed on the knees, thumbs pointing toward each other. This stage sends the breath to the lower lungs, abdomen, pelvic floor, sacrum and low back. Then, the thumbs move to the next position, pointing upward to the sky. This should direct the breath to the solar plexus. The final position is when the thumbs point in the oposite direction, sending the breath to the upper chest and spine in general.
Yogapedia explains Merudanda Mudra
Merudanda mudra can be used in meditation. It centers and calms the mind and quiets the breath.
The first position wth the thumbs pointing toward each other is called adho merudanda mudra. It helps to relieve pain in the low back. The next gesture with thumbs pointing upward is called merudanda mudra and helps to straighten the back and relieve pain in the middle of the back. The last one with thumbs pointing away from each other is called urdhva merudanda mudra and helps with pain in the upper back.
The merudanda mudra sequence is great for improving the awareness and the experience of directing the breath to different parts of the body. It teaches to notice the movement of the breath, its quality and origin during the sequence.