The most popular yoga mudra and its “downside”: meet Jnana & Chin!

Mudras help awaken cosmic energy in the body, mind and soul. With hand mudra practice, healing is literally at our fingertips.

nadisOur palms and fingers are filled with nerve root endings, that constantly emit energy and are just waiting to be activated. Like the seven “famous” chakras along the spine, there is a chakra, an energy wheel, in the center of each palm. This chakra is part of a vast and intricate pathway of meridians or energy currents (nadis) networked throughout our whole body. According to many traditional texts we have 72.000 of them!

At the fleshy tip of each finger there lies an electrical contact point. Touching it with the thumb creates a lock, accomplishing a specific effect depending on the position of the fingers.

Jnana Mudra

In mudra science the thumb symbolizes the Divine or Cosmic Consciousness (Paramatma) and the index finger the human consciousness (Jivatma). When the two meet, there is realization, the oneness of humanity with the cosmic consciousness. It is also the symbol of the Infinite. This particular gesture is, as you well know, often used during meditation.

jnana mudra

The other three fingers, the small, middle and ring finger represent the three qualities of nature, the objective world (gunas): tamas (inertia), rajas (activity) and satwa (harmony, luminosity, creativity). This objective world symbolically disappears when union is achieved.

Jnana is a mudra for evoking wisdom.

How to

As all the hand mudras, Jnana mudra too, can be practiced it in a sitting or standing position. The only requirement is that the spine is completely erect – the chest, neck and head are held in a straight line. The hands are relaxed with a gentle pressure of the fingers.

We join the thumb and index finger, keeping the other three fingers straight. Palms are open up, towards the sky, in a position of receptivity. Traditionally Jnana mudra is done in the morning.

jnana mudra

Chin mudra

The name Chin is derived from the word chittha (consciousness). The hand positioning is practically identical to Jnana mudra, only that the palms are pointing down, towards the earth. In this position the energy is being given out to the earth.

Traditionally this mudra is practiced in the evening, like Jnana, usually during meditation.

chin mudra

The benefits

Both mudras can be used to help with loss of memory, lack of sleep, poor concentration and in general to enhance spiritual wisdom.

According to some sources Jnana is a miracle mudra, which regular practice helps to overcome bad habits of any kind, including addictions to intoxicants.

Since practicing these mudras with the awareness of their meaning, and allowing the energy to flow freely through my fingertips, I have to say, I feel a big difference. Mostly in being calmer and more focused. Still waiting for the effect on my bad sugar habit though. 😉

Let me know how you are finding it!

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Read more about mudras: Sarvajit  Mudra, The Lotus Mudra

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Sarvajit Mudra for stillness of the mind

Mudras are an ancient science that unlocks wonderful secrets. They help awaken cosmic energy to purify the body, mind and the soul. And the best thing is, they can be practiced by anyone, at any time!

We usually don’t even think about it, but through our fingertips different types of electrical waves flow to various parts of the body. Mudras use those energy currents for healing.

Sarvajit Mudra

Sarvajit Mudra helps balance the activities of the right and left hemisphere of the brain. It gives victory over all the senses and surrenders the mind to stillness. It leads to Nirvana, enlightenment.

Sarvajit Mudra

We can practice it in a sitting or standing position, as long as the spine is completely erect – the chest, neck and head are held in a straight line. The hands are relaxed with a gentle pressure of the fingers.

How to:

Interlace the little, ring and middle fingers and bend them. Straighten the index fingers, touching the pads together. Straighten the thumbs, bringing them together side by side, as you see in the photo. A little triangle will be formed above the thumbs.

The mudra can be practiced as a part of meditation. Practice for at least 3 minutes per day.

How to: Sarvajit mudra

The triangle symbolizes the connection between us and the Supreme, and the movement of consciousness away from the many into the One. The sacred geometry of the triangle impels us to surrender, enabling the one Supreme Self to be victorious over the illusion of the many.

Personally I find this mudra practice extremely soothing and calming. Let me know how it goes if you try it! 🙂

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Read more about mudras: The Lotus Mudra

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3 ways mindfulness will help you experience your full potential

Just a few years ago you could only read about mindfulness in yoga and spirituality magazines and websites. Today it is pretty much everywhere! The most prominent business publications, such as The Economist, Forbes and Wired, feature it regularly and there’s even an international conference focused on mindfulness in business, called Wisdom 2.0!

But what exactly is mindfulness and how can it work for you?

As yoga teacher and long time meditation practitioner I can definitely confirm the tremendous help it has given me during the busiest times in my law career and later on, in the startup world.

The time is now

Simply put, mindful living means being aware and actively present in the moment. It means noticing and completely engaging in what is happening in your life right now.

By doing that you are not governed any more by fears, expectations or reactions, that arise out of habit, but by a conscious response to actual circumstances. Being rooted in the present moment, you can better assess the situation, notice its various facets, and use all your skills, when taking action.

In fact, research has found, that with increased mindfulness people become more charismatic, innovative, effective and less judgmental. Memory and attention improve, relationships expand, stress and pain decrease, energy increases. In short, we start using our full potential.

Open your mind

One of the first steps towards mindful living is committing to noticing new things in your work and home environment. That way you open up your perspective and become aware of new possibilities. In turn this enables you to be more creative and innovative.

Acceptance is key

Despite the fact we all know failure is part of being an entrepreneur, we can easily get discouraged and perhaps even give up, when it happens.

Taking the mindful approach to it, makes all the difference. By acknowledging how we feel and accepting the situation as it is, we can come to a conscious realization, that what has happened is already in the past. Focusing on the present moment, gives us a new perspective – the opportunity to see, that every “failure” also brings a valuable lesson. Perhaps it is about how we can improve our product, maybe it is a pivoting point for our business, or a meeting with a potential new business partner or investor.

Harness diversity

Our reactions, especially when they are not mindful, are based on our own particular experiences and skills. Which are always limited, because we simply cannot know and master everything.

By regularly reminding ourselves, that other people see and experience the same situation differently than we do, we can become more accepting towards them and their opinions. As a result, our relationships with colleagues, friends and family improve, we collaborate better and as a result we can produce more innovative and creative results.

Experience your full potential

experience your full potentialAnd this is just scratching the surface of how mindful living can enhance our life! By taking up a regular mindfulness practice, such as meditation, we slowly develop a more permanent inner stability and peace of mind, an inner joy that does not depend on success in work or private life, and a growing sense of kindness and compassion.

To come back to our starting point, anyone can practice mindfulness in everyday life. The first step towards it, is to decide to be aware and fully present in the moment. Making it a habit, you will undoubtedly notice results, because by only being rooted in the now, we can tap into our full potential for creativity and success. And that is ultimately the basis of innovation and disruption.

Are you already using or thinking to start practicing the mindful approach in your private and work life? I would love to know what are the results that you are noticing!

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I wrote this article for Pitch.rs, a platform for sharing knowledge for entrepreneurs and startups.

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Uplift your day with yoga!

I love my morning yoga practice!

One of the main reasons why it’s a win-win situation?

You will RE-set our body and mind before you begin the day.

It’s something like resetting the computer. You bring your energy vibration, the body and the mind back into balance. Giving yourself the very best starting point. Before even beginning your daily tasks and challenges!

So, go on, uplift your day with yoga!

uplifting_yoga

I would love to hear from you. When do you usually practice yoga? Why do you choose that time of the day?

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Balancing act

Keeping balance in our lives is very important.

When we are out of balance, it is like our fuel is leaking. We are in fact losing vital energy (prana).

It might manifest like tiredness, inability to focus or being overly emotional…

As a tree dances with the wind, our balance shifts when circumstances change.

Take time every day to center yourself. Meditate, take a walk, go to yoga class, listen to music. Do whatever helps you step out of the hustle and bustle & tap into your inner balance.

And don’t forget that losing balance is part of life, so just keep smiling! 🙂

balance

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8 Yoga life-hacks to get rid of December stress

It’s that time of the year again! The time of lights, love and fun, but also overeating, late night parties and rushing around for gifts. To make it less stressful this time around, here you go, 8 yogic life hacks!

lifehack

Yes, that’s right, reflect on the year that’s passing, get together with your loved ones and celebrate the year ahead calmer and more energized than ever before

1. Drink up for focus & energy
About 80% of the human body is water. With your digestive system doing over-time, all the stressing, and alcohol’s dehydrating effect on top, your body needs to stay hydrated more than ever. Hydration keeps your brain in top condition, your mood stable, and prevents tiredness, migraine, constipation, muscle cramps and bad breath.

The hack: Drink a big glass of room-temperature water right after you brush your teeth in the morning. Also: take altogether about 2-3 litres (8-12 cups) of water throughout the whole day. But don’t drink it right after a meal, especially not a cold drink, it will slow down your digestion.

2. Rise and shine… with a splash
When you don’t get enough sleep and party through the night, it can happen that you wake up puffy and feeling like a zombi. No more of that!

The hack: After you wash your face and mouth with cold water, hold cold water in your mouth and splash some more over your open eyes. This has a double cooling effect. Then blink your eyes seven times and rotate them in all directions (side to side, up and down, diagonally, clockwise, counterclockwise). Hello freshness & alertness!

3. The 15-minute energizer
I realize I might lose you with this one. How could getting up earlier than usually help you, right? Trust me, it’s well worth it.

The hack: Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar) is a set of yoga postures best practiced in the morning, to energize your body, mind and spirit. Try it to believe it. It will stretch and tone the muscles of your entire body, improve blood circulation and stimulate your digestive, respiratory, and circulatory system. Regular sun salutations will also improve your intuition, bring more clarity and focus. Do 4-16 cycles and finish with a short relaxation lying on your back (Savasana). You can use this video as a reference.

4. Breathe through it
Breathing and mind are closely connected. Every thought changes the rhythm of breath and every breath changes the rhythm of thinking. Through the art of breath control (pranayama) we can influence the flow of vital energy in our body (prana), and our state of mind.

The hack: The first step is to become aware of your breath. Sit down with a straight spine and tuck your chin in to straighten your neck. Place your right palm on your chest and the left palm on your belly. Slowly inhale in the chest and exhale in the belly. Do 10-16 breaths. Notice the difference. Remember: smooth breath – calm mind. You can also do this after Sun Salutations, before going to bed or anytime during the day.

5. Bye bye hangover
Even if you usually stay away from alcohol, it can happen that during the party season you have a few too many drinks. And when you wake up in the morning… not pleasant.

The hack: Courtesy of Ayurveda (Indian system of traditional medicine):
– mix a glass of lukewarm water, 1 tsp lime juice, ½ tsp sugar, pinch of salt and, just before you drink it, mix in ½ tsp of baking soda, or
– squeeze a glass of fresh orange juice, mix in 1 tsp lime juice and a pinch of cumin powder, or
– get organic coconut water, or
– if you are feeling drowsy, headachy, with a burning stomach and no appetite: blend 1 tbs of yogurt, 1 cup water and a pinch of cumin powder – drink 3-4 times during the day. It prevents dehydration, relieves nausea and soothes a burning stomach.
(tsp=teaspoon, tbs=tablespoon)

6. Ate too much? Get back on track fast
Been there, done that… stomach pain, bloating, not being able to concentrate… not pleasant. In any case don’t beat yourself up about it, you enjoyed the food and that’s what matters. Here’s how to make it better fast.

The hack: Fennel seeds! Did you know that munching on a bunch of those will aid your digestion, relieve abdominal cramps, gas and bloating? Yes! Fennel seeds will also freshen your breath and they taste good. Just take a bunch and chew them well! I always keep some in my bag, handy stuff.

7. Sleep deprivation be gone
Yoga nidra, also known as yogic sleep or sleep with awareness, induces a full-body relaxation and a deep meditative state of consciousness. Slowing down your brain-waves it gives your nervous system a well deserved rest and allows you to occasionally “cheat” through sleep-deprivation. Some say that 1 hour of yoga nidra substitutes 7 hours of sleep. I’m not sure about that, but it always works wonders when I don’t get enough sleep.

The hack: You just lie down comfortably, close your eyes and follow the guided relaxation. The length will vary from 20 minutes to 1 hour, depending on which recording you choose. Here’s a shorter and a longer example, but you have many more to choose from on the web. Try it and emerge refreshed! A suggestion – cover your eyes with a lavender eye pillow to relax even deeper. P.S.: I’m preparing guided meditations and relaxations to be available soon on my website. Follow the blog to get notified!

8. Slow down, tune in
When we are balanced we are happy, healthy and we handle stress better. But how do we get there? Meditation is the art of bringing harmony to the body, mind and consciousness. It helps us achieve mental clarity, alertness, effectiveness, and a better ability to cope with a hectic work environment. It also simply means that you gently take what you deserve – space and time in your life, for your self.

The hack: Take 10 minutes out of your busy day to sit in a quiet place. Straighten your spine, relax your body and close your eyes. Take a few breaths as described in hack 4.. Visualize yourself in a place, where you feel calm and relaxed, it may be a forest, a beach, a place where you regularly go, or perhaps you visited it only once, wherever you feel calm. Notice how your breath is expanding. Feel with your whole body and mind actually being in that place. Keep breathing slowly and smoothly, stay alert and relaxed.

If any thoughts come, acknowledge them, but do not follow them. Let them pass by, like clouds in the sky. Continue as long as it feels comfortable. Before you finish, deepen your breath and repeat to yourself an affirmation of your choice three times. “All is well.“ or anything else that you feel you need in that moment. Open your eyes.

May your holidays be full of light & love! 

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Friday inspiration >>> quote, article, video!

The Friday inspiration posts are back! Better than ever!

And it’s Friday 13th too! 😉

>>> Fear is just a thought:

SaiBaba_inspiration
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

>>> One of the best and most comprehensive articles on the chakras, that I have ever read. I highly recommend it to everyone from yoga beginners to experts!

DeepakChopra_article

Read the article at MindBodyGreen.
 
>>> A completely different approach to goal setting – an amazing interview with Danielle LaPorte. Trust me, you want to take the time and listen to this!

A sneak peak into the tips you’ll get: (1) Feel what feels good, (2) Look for patterns, (3) Declare your core desired feelings, (4) Ask yourself: What do I want to do, have or experience to create my core desired feelings? This is the beginning of goal setting with soul. This is where you make connections between how you want to feel and what will actually help you feel that way.

 
See, everything you are looking for is already within you!

Have an inspiring weekend! 

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The Universe

Sit in silence and listen to your breath.

Let it expand.

You are a part of everything around you.

And yet, all you are looking for already lies within.

Gaze inside and you will find…

You are the Universe.