Friday, June 29, 2007

Jnana Mudra and Nadis

Yoga teaches that our bodies are filled with (composed of?) energy pathways that yogis call "nadis."

I mentioned in the prior post on pranayama that during parts of the session with Darren Main, I could feel energy moving through my arms and hands. Since that experience, I've used part of my meditation periods to focus more intently on the breath. This morning, at the peak of several inhalations, I again perceive a branching nadi in my right wrist, hand, and fingers. As I continued the practice, I had a lesser, but still perceptible, experience of the same in my left wrist, hand, and fingers. Interesting.

A couple of weeks ago, I began teaching yoga in my home to a group of women from my congregation who have banded together to form a "Healthy Habits" group. They asked me to teach, and I agreed. Most of them are true beginners, without any prior practice. At the end of the session, I took a few minutes to show them a basic sitting pose, and then walked them through a basic breath cycle. Once they settled in, I joined them in meditation for a few minutes. My meditation posture usually includes the jnana mudra, and I moved into it that evening, as well. After the class, one of the participants asked me what the mudra was for. I gave the "standard" answer: it's a way of bringing mindfulness to my hands, giving them something to do, and that some people believe that the mudra connects energy pathways in the thumb and index finger.

I suppose I can answer the question a little more definitely in the future.