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Finger Yoga (Mudras)

Loving Kindness Poem

"May I be happy and healthy

May I be safe and at peace

May I be kind to myself

May I accept myself as I am

May all beings be happy and healthy

May all beings be safe and at peace

May all beings be kind to themselves

May all beings accept themselves as they are"

Each of the four lines above correspond with tapping the thumb to a finger on the hand. As we say this poem out loud, we begin to bring our thumb to our index finger for the first line, guide the thumb to our middle finger on the second, ring finger on the third, and pinky on the 4th. We call this Finger Yoga, aka Mudras.

What are Mudras, anyway?

Mudras are yoga for your hands! The literal translation is "seal" or "gesture" as they help calm the nervous system, promote focus, and increase awareness. It is thought to connect the subtle energies of the body that extend out from the fingertips by closing the loop and harnessing our body's energetic potential. In addition to being fun, the simplicity of this self-regulation tool and its calming effects are why I teach these easy hand gestures to kids.

Mudras can take various shapes and forms. For instance, the traditional yogic mudra most people will recognize is the Jnana Mudra where the index finger and thumb touch, and the other three fingers reach out like a fan. This Mudra is said to promote knowledge and inner wisdom. There is Anjali Mudra, which is hands in a prayer-like position, giving the practice a reverence and an opportunity to express gratitude. Dhyana Mudra, or Meditation Mudra, is cupping one hand inside of the other in the lap to increase concentration.

My favorite Mudras to share with kids are owl eyes or binocular fingers (Jnana mudra but placed in front of the eyes) heart mudra (creating a heart shape with the hands) and placing it over the heart, Kindness Mudra (aka Lotus, creating a flower shape with the hands bringing the heels of the palm and pinkies together, letting the other fingers fan out).

I also like to tap each finger with the thumb and assign what we are most grateful for to each individual finger. I usually have kids walk around in a circle playing following the leader, repeating the gratitude chant they create for a few minutes. One time, one mudra was "I am grateful for donuts" and another was "I am grateful for long naps." Kids are funny!

I hope this helps explain what Mudras are and why we use them. There is no religious affiliation and these gestures are completely secular.

If you're interested in learning more, contact me today! I'd love to chat with you.



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