Mudras are powerful hand gestures, and part of the ancient yoga tradition. They can be thought of as yoga for the hands, impacting various parts of the body, mind, and spirit in different ways. They can also bring you relief at times of struggle. The heart-centered, heart-opening mudras during various times will help you stay present and accept the pains and struggles you are experiencing at the time.

These five mudras for the heart will help you connect with yourself.

· Lotus mudra

To do lotus mudra bring your palms together, and then open them into a lotus shape. The thumbs and the little finger stay together meaning they touch each other. We can remember our innate compassion by practicing lotus mudra while sitting in quiet meditation. This mudra works to open the heart while also grounding us to the earth.

· Anjali mudra

To practice Anjali mudra or the larger mudra, sit with joining hands as you join them while praying for as long as you like. To state gratitude practice Anjali mudra while breathing in the word “thank,” and exhaling the word “you.” There is some kind of sacredness in joining your hands. Because almost everyone around the world join their hands while praying, there is a feeling of humbleness and gratefulness while you perform this mudra.

· Ganesha mudra

To perform Ganesha mudra, lock your fingers together into a kind of claw where your hands face each other while pulling outward with the hands, keeping your fingers locked all the while. You can pull, then release a bit, pull, then release. Do this repetition six times. Then reverse the hands and repeat. Lord Ganesha is all about removing obstacles, and this mudra helps remove the obstacles blocking your heart to open fully. It’s also said to open the lungs while removing obstacles in all areas of your life.

· Abhaya hridaya mudra

To do this mudra, cross your wrists like right behind the left. With the back of your hands pressed together, wrap the right pointer finger around the left one, the right middle finger around the left one, and the right little finger around the left one. Then bring your ring fingers to touch the thumb. Hold this mudra at your heart centre and meditate upon your innate fearlessness. This mudra helps you in gaining the courage and open our heart at times that are scary.

· Apan Vayu Mudra

To practice Apan Vayu mudra, sit cross-legged and rest your hands on your thighs with the palms facing upwards towards the sky. Fold your middle and ring fingers in to touch the tip of the thumb. Now, fold your pointer fingers in to touch the base of the thumb. Keep your little fingers lengthened outward. Sit restfully with this mudra while inhaling and exhaling deeply. Apan Vayu mudra is said to prevent heart attacks. It’s been used for thousands of years to promote heart health.

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