Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion to delve into the heart of our yoga practice. Yoga is strongly connected with the word “Namasté”. Translated as “the light within me salutes the light within you,” the expression is associated with a specific gesture – the bringing of the hands together so that the thumbs can press toward the heart. We usually use this gesture when we begin or complete our practice, however, this same action may also be used in Tadasana (Mountain Pose), before we begin Sun Salutations, or in balance poses such as Vrksasana (Tree Pose).
This sacred hand position is known as anjali mudra (AHN-jah-lee MOO-dra).
Anjali means “offering” and mudra means “seal” or “sign”. In general, anjali mudra is used as a posture for returning to one’s heart; whether you are greeting someone or saying goodbye, initiating or completing an action. In class, we salute ourselves and each other and give thanks for our efforts, the teachings and the benefits that the practice brings to us. Symbolically, as you bring your hands together at your heart center, you are connecting the right and left sides of your body as well as your active and receptive natures. Therefore, anjali mudra connects us with the true meaning of the word yoga, which is to unify or yoke together.
Today, on Valentine’s Day, honor the light that is within your heart.
Take this opportunity to reflect on the love that you hold deep inside and share that devotion with others.