Meaning of Anjali Mudra

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The Anjali mudra is a hand posture commonly use during the practice of yoga. Not only for the opening and closing of the class but it can also be applied to some other postures. Anjali is Sanskrit term which means, “to offer” or “to salutate”, and the term mudra means “seal”. So basically, it symbolizes that we are “honoring and celebrating this moment”.

Prayer hands yoga

It is important when we do our yoga practice to understand the reasons why we are doing what we are doing, and not only doing it just to follow a procedure. You may find that the Anjali mudra sign has many meanings. However, the explanation given by Krishnamacharya is my favorite:

This gesture signifies the potential for an intention to progress to greatest spiritual awakening. When done properly the palms are not flat against each other; the knuckles at the base of the fingers are bent a little, creating space between the palms and fingers of the two hands resembling a flower yet to open, symbolizing the opening of our hearts.

We can apply this gesture to many asanas instead of keeping our hands separate; it can be a reminder for us to keep an inner attitude of peace during our practice. Also, once we truly understand what it means and we embrace this meaning it can help us ensure the position is based on humility rather than an ego expression to achieve perfection on a physical level.

Anjali mudra it is known also as Pranam Mudra, Namaste Mudra and Pray position and most of the time we perform it with our hands in the center of our heart chakra, this represents the balance and harmony between the right and left side reunited on our center. This balance can be not only physical but also mental and emotional, and the idea is to bring us to the center to prepare ourselves for meditation and contemplation.

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About the author


Pilar is Bodhi Surf +Yoga's head yogini and travel planner. When Pilar is not doing her own Ashtanga practice, she can be found assisting guests improve their own practice, reading food and yoga blogs, or spending quality time with her beautiful daughters Maya and Clea!

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