Spring has arrived. This month's mini home practice invites reflection as we refresh our intentions for personal growth.
Padma mudra is a meditation upon the qualities evoked by the symbolic gesture of a lotus flower. A mudra is a yoga technique in which the hands form a particular gesture in order to direct awareness to an energetic intention. I like to define a mudra as a yoga pose for your hands.
Padma is the Sanskrit word for lotus. The lotus, similar to a lily pad flower, has roots buried in pond mud. It floats idly upon calm sunlit waters. The lotus is a symbol of the purity, peace and beauty.
The practice of padma mudra bestows these qualities upon the practitioner in a simple but profound way. Like the lotus flower, we are transformed out of naivete and ignorance through mindful awareness. Try padma mudra any time you have lost your way or need a refresh.
To try it, close your eyes and call to mind a locally blooming flower. Imagine the color, shape, and stalk of this flower. Picture it fluttering gently, reaching for the fickle spring sunlight, yearning for warmth and growth but rooted in dirt. Direct the feelings evoked by this flower into the space of your heart. Settle your awareness there for a few breaths.
Open your eyes and take a deep breath as you draw your arms out to the sides and up above you, gazing up toward your hands. As you breathe out, bring your hands together in front of your heart. Seal your wrists, pinkies and thumbs together and flair your other fingers and palms outward like flower petals. Feel the sense of reaching as your wrist extensors work to bloom open your fingers a little wider.
Settle your gaze here upon your hands and be still. Imagine drawing the energy of the lotus into your heart space. Spend a minute or more here, cultivating this energy and meditating upon it.
When you are ready, release padma mudra and sit quietly for 2-3 minutes. Reflect on how the energy of the lotus flower is connected to the energies of your own heart.
Repeat the practice any time you feel inspired by beauty in nature to cultivate these qualities within yourself.