By Rev. Cindy Senarighi RN
Scripture With the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which [God] has called you, what are the riches of God’s glorious inheritance among the saints.
“Until we can receive with an open heart, we are never really giving with an open heart.” Brene’ Brown
When we love with an open heart—are emotionally available—we trust our feelings enough to share God’s love with others. But feelings can be tricky. Sometimes our emotions are glorious and hope-filled and at other times confused or unwelcome. Yogis have a simple practice that helps with feelings—that help us get back to loving with an open heart. It is called a mudra. Mudras are hand positions that are used to shift our energy or feelings in a more desirable direction, getting us back onto the healing path. Harvard studies have pointed to mudras as being beneficial in dealing with chronic pain. Believe it or not, we have all done a mudra at one time or another—probably as children, when we have crossed our fingers and hoped for something positive to happen.
A familiar hand position in church that would be considered a mudra in the yoga world is our prayer pose. Bringing our hands to our heart in prayer and bowing our head is a posture that we use to open ourselves to be moved in the direction of God’s will, of God’s desire for us and for all people. Prayer pose shifts our energy to align us more closely with God’s Spirit. It opens our hearts to receive the love of God and extend this love to all people.
Exhale My Heart
Pose Focus: I often use Fountain Breath to end my classes. It’s a flowing asana that opens up heart energy and uses prayer hands. Start in Mountain Pose or in a comfortable seated position. Bring hands to heart center in Prayer Pose and on inhalation raise the hands, palm to palm, above your head, straightening your arms. With an audible exhalation through the mouth, separate the hands and arms out to the sides and then circle them back to your chest, resting your hands once again in Prayer pose. Try syncing three cycles of Fountain Breath with a traditional closing prayer, such as “In the name of the creator (Breath), in the name of the son (Breath), and in the name of the Holy Spirit (Breath), Amen. Feel the opening of your heart.