Healing Through "Handy Postures of Prayer"Mar 19, 2021
One of the best things about mudras is that they offer a form of yoga, or union with God, to all, especially those who cannot get to their mat. They provide a space to invite the physicality into the body-mind-spirit connection. You can sit with them for as long as the communication lines are open between you and God - 3 minutes, 30 minutes, and even in incremental periods 3 times 10 minutes/time. You can continue to practice them for 1 week, 1 month, or linger with them in a 40-day practice.
A benefit of a more extended practice is your hands become more aware of the time you ask of them and grow more responsive. However, the postures of prayer are also beneficial in an emergency when we need to connect with God at an emotional moment. It is a grace they can be practiced when necessary and for as long as required, providing a tangible and healing way to ponder the meaning of what we bring to our prayer. As you form and hold the mudras, reflect on what the posture offers. What does it feel like physically? What emotional meaning does it afford your heart? How does it spiritually connect you with God?
Let us reflect mentally for a moment - what does this yoga offer to the mind? The brain is a muscle and, as such, must be trained daily to gain strength, endurance, and balance just as any other muscle requires. Studies have shown the positive influence that touch has on brain waves. Simply joining the hands together in prayer or holding someone's hand signals to the mind this is a particular time carved out as unique from the rest of your day. This is a blessed time to reach beyond yourself and extend outward.
Closing the eyes or gazing at a fixed point (Drishti) to enhance visualizations requires brainpower and grants one a taste of the many healing properties in utilizing the imagination. The imagination connects us with that childlike quality we are called to hold. Repeating affirmations, chanting, or singing with tethered hands promotes expression. As children recite nursery rhymes to hear the sound of their voice, so too we lift ours upward to our Heavenly Father. Cerebral activity calms and regenerates as we join or form our hands, balancing the right and left hemispheres, promoting memory, creativity, and connection.
Emotionally, we begin to become aware of our self - our souls, feelings, and moods. Our prayers and byway our relationship with God begins to form a soothing, tangible connection. This physical awareness through prayer postures aids us in our relations with our fellow brothers and sisters. We begin to recognize all as children of God who hold heavy burdens in their grip. We begin to release blame, grief, and hurt because we learn we have the power to form all that we carry through the creative gift of our hands - give it over to God, then release and surrender. Through this practice of yoga or union, we can free others through our extended hands, which no longer cling but are cleared of burden, retaining only God's loving presence.