Joseph Le Page (Author), Lilia Le Page (Author)
I love mudras. They are one of my earliest discoveries of yoga, dating back to my childhood when I would "play" with my hands. Bend them, press them together, make them soar like wings. I let my hands dance as the true expression of my anahata (heart) chakra that they are. As I grew into an artist, yoga teacher and healer, the magical emanations of energy from my hands became an even deeper part of my practice, and how I share healing with others.
The Kripalu tradition is part of my lineage as a yogi, and Swami Kripalu, like many yogis, was known to have eruptions of spontaneous mudras while deep in meditation. Mudras create powerful energetic "circuits" in our system on many levels, in all of our koshas (energetic sheaths.) They hold energy, heal, protect, enlighten and express.
Over the years I have learned mudras from my teachers, but many, many more have simply come through my hands in a natural way. This is the point I want most to share with you, that mudras, like all yoga, are already in you. All aspects of yoga will express themselves naturally if you allow them to, and take the time to be mindful and notice what is occurring. The more you do this, the more it will occur. In Kripalu yoga we use the acronym BRFWA (Breath, Relax, Feel, Watch, Allow) for the process which encourages meditative states to arise, which will in turn lead to many things including spontaneous asana and mudras experiences.
So, as always, got first to your own practice and explore with the wonder of a child.
But, then go and purchase this book. Mudras for Healing and Transformation by Joseph and Lilia Le Page of Integrative Yoga Therapy. This is by far the most extensive, well-research, clearly organized and beautiful book on yoga mudras I have ever seen. This book is clearly a labor of love and I can't imagine how long it must have taken for them to write it.
The book is organized into section for the different uses of mudras, some of which are: mudras for the koshas, chakras, vayus, health challenges, the 5 elements, protection and spiritual awakening.
Each mudra has a "quick reference guide" which not only outlines the steps for performing it, but the benefits, characteristics, core qualities and more.
Additionally, their are seven appendices in the back illustrating mudras for the main asanas, pranayama, chanting, therapy and other uses.
And the illustrations are really, really beautiful.
At 658 pages this is an incredible resource and it is very nice that it is now available as an ebook (on Amazon.com) so that you can take it with you without carrying an encyclopedia! However, the softcover version is also available through their website.
I give this book my highest rating. It is an absolutely must-have for any yoga teacher or serious student of yoga. Or anyone who simply loves mudras and their transformative power.
If you would like to learn more about how to incorporate mudras and mantras into your yoga practice, please join me in Asheville for my exciting new workshop Into the Mystic: Journey into the Mystery with Yoga, on March 5, 2014 and March 13, 2014.
Wishing you magick in your hands, and all that you do.
Love and light,
Teal Chimblo Fyrberg
Blissful Body Yoga is located deep in the beauty and magick of the Appalachian mountains, in Asheville, North Carolina.