About a month ago at our Teachers Professional Development and Sharing session MARGARET NORTH shared with us a wonderful 2 hour session on Yoga Mudrasana ( Seal of Yoga pose).
I thought you may be interested to read her notes that she provided. Those of you in Margs classes will I am sure at some stage experienced this posture and so will know how important the preparations are to achieving the final posture……..
Yoga Mudrasana is known as the Pose of Psychic Union or the Seal of Yoga. The latter name because the full version has hands crossed over the back holding the opposite foot in Padmasana, thus sealing within oneself the acquired pranic energy.
I have huge appreciation of Yoga Mudrasana as a practice. For me it works easily to link my body, mind and soul. As a teacher I appreciate it because there are many variations so that a version can be taken by anyone, even sitting in a chair, whatever the freedom of their body.
PREPARE FOR THE POSE
Create gentle but complete stretches and rotations in ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, wrists, spine.
ENTER THE POSE SLOWLY AND CAUTIOUSLY
Maintain caution around all joints, particularly ankles, knees, hips, shoulders.
When there is hip replacement, sciatica or varicose veins modify the leg position to avoid excessive outward rotation or pressure.
It is essential to maintain a straight spine with neck in line with spine to avoid negative effects on lower back or neck.
TAKE EACH STEP WITH FULL AWARENESS
Sit on a folded blanket. The more stiff the hips the higher the seat should be, even a chair.
Gently and slowly draw the left leg to the crotch or to opposite groin. Draw the right leg to the left foot or opposite groin.
Take hands into Namaste in front of the heart chakra.
Ease the tailbone to the rear and elevate the spine and arms, keeping neck relaxed. Inhale fully while arms are lifted toward ears or as high as appropriate if shoulder issues.
From upright position start exhaling, sweeping arms outwards and behind the back, linking hands, while tilting straight spine forward, lengthening tailbone to rear.
Tilt the forehead towards the earth, arms toward the heavens.
If no lower back issues, the spine can be rounded thus bringing the forehead closer to earth.
If taking the pose as a Mudra (a meaningful gesture), emerge from it immediately by inhaling, lowering the arms, taking chest forward and upward to bring the spine to vertical. Unwind the legs and take gentle releasing movements.
If taking the pose as an Asana, breathe easily and hold until the body requires otherwise. Maintain observation of the physical effects and release or modify as necessary to hold the pose for longer. Aim to attain a heightened awareness of one’s personal higher aspirations. Release as for the Mudra.
AVOID ALL STRAIN so that pranic energy can flow freely throughout all chakras and the meditative effect can take place.
NOTE the different pressures and the release within each chakra in turn.
OPTIONS WITHIN THE ASANA
Lower body: Padmasana, Ardha Padmasana, Sukhasana, Svastikasana, Siddhasana, wide v-legs, Vajrasana, or seated on chair.
Upper body: Hands holding opposite toes in Padmasana, arms in Reverse Prayer, hands linked lifted heavenward or held behind spine.
YOGA MUDRASANA brings to our attention the state of wellbeing of every part of our body as we focus to open up virtually every joint. It eventually stimulates every chakra as we are enabled over time to make the asana more complete. At whatever level the asana is practised it offers inward-turning toward a meditative state. The position of the firm seat on the earth and the arms circling outward and lifted heavenward represent the aspiration of all of us, once we are grounded, to pursue the path of self-realisation.
I like to take a sense of gratitude during the asana because the position itself makes me aware of every part of my body and I am grateful to my body for the service it gives me. The head down position reminds me of my humility that I am a grateful part of the whole with which I am blessed. The circling and lifting movement of my arms represent my embracing what I have yet to capture to lift me higher in my aspirations.
My hope is that this pose will offer you ongoing and ever-deepening benefits, not only to your body and the focus of your mind, but will allow your glorious soul to break free of various conditionings and see you soar spiritually to as yet unrealised happiness and peace.
Margaret North IYTA
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