Anjali Mudra is a hand gesture that especially Yogis seem to make make very often. ;)
The palms of the hands are pressed together in front of the heart or above the head with raised arms in several Asanas.
But why are we making this gesture?
I asked my students this question during one of my classes a little while ago and it seems like most of them loved to get a little explanation:
Anjali is a Sanskrit word that means among others ‘gift‘ or ‘divine offering‘.
This mudra unites polarities. Ha and Tha – the sun and the moon – day and night, positive and negative. With the gesture of ‘collecting’ these polar energies (by spreading the arms widely, raising them above the head to make the palms touch) and bringing them into the heart (by lowering the hands pressed together in front of the ribcage) we can unify these energies and also center ourselves to find balance.
It’s also like opening up yourself to the universe and collecting all of it in the heart, but also to embrace all the shadow sides simultaneously.
If you want to consciously involve this mudra into your daily Yoga practice, you could try to be aware of every single time you make it, for example in the beginning or during Sun Salutaions and several Asanas (like Anjaneyasana, Tree pose or Malasana) and even say a Mantra to yourself:
“I am centering myself.” , “I’m in total balance.” , “I embrace my own light and dark side and unify them in my heart.”.
Anjali Mudra can also be used as a way to say ‘hello’ when you greet someone else, like in the beginning of a Yoga class. Yoga teachers usually say ‘Namasté’ and bow with Anjali Mudra in front of their heart or with the thumbs slightly pressed against the forehead. This means “The light in me honors the light in you”.
Doesn’t this all sound lovely?
So all I say is ‘Namasté’ to you now! :)