A few years ago, I was introduced to the magic (and science) of mudras. These hand gestures (more commonly, but sometimes body postures as well), triggers specific effects on the brain and body. The term “mudra” translates to “seal”. In a way, it is an impression we form within ourselves, through the use of our hands. As indicated by reflexology, yogic science also believes that our entire bodies are reflected in different parts of our hands.
Since then, I’ve gotten to know several mudras, but among my favorites, are those practised with this Yogi Breath meditation and pranayama (breath exercise). The latter strives to deepen and lengthen the breath, and by extension, to calm the nervous system (shifting it from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic).
I could write a lot about this breath, of the effects produced by the mudras, but it’s best to just experience it!
When you’re starting a meditation practice, it can feel overwhelming, scary and downright weird. You might be wondering…
Am I supposed to just sit there, and do nothing?
How in the name of wine + chocolate cake am I supposed to think of nothing?!?
When am I EVER going to find the time to sit and breathe when the kids are running around and my to-do list is a mile long?
Forget it, I’m too “hyper” to meditate.
I resisted meditation for a long time…until it seemed like the only option left to help me heal some emotional issues, anxiety, depression and grief I had been carrying and struggling with. You know, stuff that counselling didn’t help me solve, because talking about it kept me in my mind, as opposed to in my body, my heart and in tune with my soul. I needed to be listening, feeling, noticing, forgiving and letting go.
At one point, I told myself: “What have I got left to lose?” One day at a time, I began to sit with my breath, sometimes with guided meditations, sometimes with a structured practice, and other times, just a much more flexible approach. Eventually, I worked my way through styles and found ones that worked for me, and built a daily meditation practice.
Yoga saved my life, and meditation saved my soul.
That’s why I want to share as much as these gifts as I can with my students and clients, and my friends and family (and anyone, really, who is ready to commit to their most meaningful, whole-istically healthy lives). I even created a FREE, 7-Day #MeditateWithMercedes meditation challenge (sign up here if you’d like to try it and be held accountable by having the prompts… it’s like I’m holding your hand virtually!).
When you don’t know where or how to start, developing breath awareness can be the most accessible, and is truly the most basic approach to meditation, as this is the simplest form of mindfulness (also known traditionally in yogic culture as “vipassana” in sanskrit).
Join me for this simple (and short!) Breath Awareness Meditation:
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