An image prevalent throughout Eastern culture, the lotus flower or padma as it’s known in Sanakrit, is a symbol of loving kindness, personal growth and purity. Importantly; padma mudra or lotus mudra also implies that even if life starts out in somewhat muddy, murky and challenging circumstances, we all have the potential to grow, bloom and prosper.
Mudras have been used for thousands of years to direct prana or ‘vital energy’ throughout the physical and energetic body. Mudras such as Jnana or Chin mudra are often used in a meditation practice to focus the flow of subtle energy and cultivate a calmer, more meditative state of mind, whilst Kali mudra and Abhya mudra are both used for overcoming fear. The position of the hands combined with the intention of the mind can help positively direct thoughts, give a sense of protection, and serve as an essential reminder of the power we have to create change or overcome challenges.
From The Heart
Lotus mudra is often used to connect to the heart chakra as a way of symbolising the subtle energy of this place. The heart chakra or Anahata is linked to love, kindness, the element of air, the intention of truth and the aspect of being ‘untouched’ or ‘unaffected’ by surrounding darkness or impurity. Upon setting an intention to be truthful in a conversation, to abstain from unhealthy habits for a month, or to adopt the practice of Ahimsa (kindness and un-harming) to yourself in a yoga practice, the Lotus mudra can serve as a visual focus point, deepening a yoga practice beyond the physical postures and allowing it to flow through your whole being.
Practices such as Metta Bhavna or Loving Kindness meditation where love is first directed outward and then back to oneself can be linked with Padma mudra as a way of symbolically opening the heart chakra. At a time in which we’re more technologically ‘connected’ than ever, yet agonisingly lonely and longing for real human interaction, the practice of sending loving thoughts to others is a refreshing change from clicking the ‘like’ button on social media…. The practice of Metta is one of the four Brahma Viharas, the ‘four immeasurables’ or the ‘four faces of love’ found in Buddhist teachings. Together with Karuna(compassion), Mudita(sympathetic joy) and Upeksha(equanimity), they form the four attitudes said to originate from the primary state of love.
A yoga practice can see us through many different periods of life, and throughout the most challenging of times it often seems yoga has some of the answers we need to hear most. Just as the Japanese philosophy of Kintsugi adopts the practice of fixing broken pottery with gold, thus seeing the breakage and repair of an object as part of its beauty and history, the lotus mudra tells us that beauty often emerges from the darkest of places. Practicing lotus mudra can help us reflect upon the challenges and obstacles we may have had to overcome in order to find ourselves where we are right now. Often our greatest strengths or insights are born of things that were once our greatest weaknesses. Our most important life lessons lead the way to greater inner strength, and the ability to make it through the metaphorical mud and murky waters serves to make us stronger, more resilient and wise when we finally emerge and bloom in the world.