Anjali: The Mudra of Offering

When we bring our hands together at the level of the heart, we are making a gesture known in yoga as “anjali mudra”. Anjali is often translated as “offering”, and in The Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy, John Grimes uses “handful” to explain the Sankskrit term, as in “a handful of flowers”.

I was taught to leave a little space, a little pocket between my palms, creating a place to hold my unseen offering. With hands together at my heart, I can take a moment to contemplate offering kindness, a happy wish, some imaginary flowers, or even just the gesture itself.  Whatever the offering, or gift, it can be given outward or to oneself.

Try stopping in the middle of a busy day and quietly bringing your hands together in anjali mudra. Hold them there in the center, close your eyes, and take a deep breath. Let that breath out fully, and go on with your day– perhaps a little more peacefully.