Definition - What does Ganesha Mudra mean?
Ganesha mudra is a sacred hand gesture or "seal" used during yoga and meditation practice as a means of channeling the flow of vital life force energy known as prana.
Named after the Hindu elephant God Ganesh, this mudra is believed to invoke his energy as the remover of obstacles. As such, practicing the Ganesha mudra is said to enhance self-confidence and provide the courage to overcome anything that is holding one back.
To practice Ganesha mudra, first bring the palms together in Anjali Mudra, before swiveling each hand so that the fingertips point towards opposite elbows. The right palm should be facing towards the body, the left palm facing away. Once in this position, slide the hands back until the fingers lock together and grasp each other. The thumbs simply rest on top of the little finger of the opposite hand. The hands stay at the level of the heart as they are energetically pulled apart without releasing the grip.
The positioning of the arms across the chest with the elbows wide is symbolic of the notion that our biggest obstacle is often ourselves.
Yogapedia explains Ganesha Mudra
In Hindu and yogic traditions, Ganesh is believed to be both the remover of obstacles, and responsible for placing certain obstacles in one's path in order to help develop strength and resilience. The Ganesha mudra is therefore considered to be energetically strengthening, both physically and emotionally.
It can be used to boost self-esteem and self-confidence, whilst cultivating a sense of inner power. It is also believed to develop the courage to approach life with an open heart.
Ganesha mudra stimulates the anahata chakra and can, therefore, be considered a heart-opening practice. With regular use, this mudra may evoke strong feelings of warmth and brightness in the heart area, which can be helpful for those suffering from heartache, depression or feelings of heaviness and sadness.
Physically, Ganesha mudra helps to strengthen the muscles of the arms, chest and shoulders. It releases stress and tension in these areas, and can even help to open the bronchial tubes and lungs as a result.
Since Ganesha mudra is associated with the element of fire, it is also particularly useful for stimulating the metabolism and digestive fire known as agni, making it beneficial in countering any digestive problems.
For maximum benefits, Ganesha mudra should be practiced daily up to five or six times, ideally during meditation or pranayama practice.
To enhance its effects, a Ganesha mantra such as Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha can be chanted throughout the practice, either aloud or silently. This helps to invoke the spirit of Ganesh, whilst connecting the practitioner with the symbolism of this mudra.
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