Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Anjali Mean?

Anjali is a Sanskrit word that means “divine offering,” “salutation,” “benediction” or “joining the palms in reverence.” In the context of yoga, it refers to the anjali mudra, or praying hands placed at the body’s heart center. Mudra is a Sanskrit word meaning “seal” or “gesture.”

The anjali mudra is one of the most popular and recognizable mudras in yoga. It is used as part of a greeting before yoga class and as a type of salutation at the end of class. But it is also a hand gesture (hasta mudra) used with asanas and during meditation.


Yogapedia Explains Anjali

This mudra is known by a number of names, including pranam mudra, namaste mudra, hrdayanjali mudra, atmanjali mudra, salutation seal and prayer position. Anjali mudra symbolizes both physical and spiritual harmony and balance united at the heart center. It is believed to have these benefits:

  • Calming and stilling the mind
  • Reducing anxiety and stress
  • Opening the anahata (heart) chakra
  • Stretching and increasing the flexibility of the wrists, fingers and hands

In a variation of the mudra, the praying hands may be placed in front of the forehead or above and just in front of the crown of the head.

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