Expressing gratitude is one of the most powerful ways to transform our life. Research has shown that gratitude can actually improve physical, emotional, and social well-being by strengthening the immune system and reducing stress, anxiety and depression. There are many ways to cultivate gratitude, including keeping a special gratitude journal or practicing gratitude meditation.
Anjali mudra can serve as a physical reminder of gratitude and is one of the most common mudras used during yoga classes. It is often referred to as a gesture of prayer (or "hands in prayer") and helps to facilitate balance, inward focus and peace. It can be easily incorporated into a sequence of yoga poses, helping to create a devotional quality to the physical practice of yoga. Placing our hands in anjali mudra reminds us to express gratitude, appreciation and reverence. In many cultures it is considered a gesture of respect.
With hands facing one another, place the palms and fingers of both hands together. Leave a tiny bit of space between the hands so that there is relaxed and gentle quality to the gesture. Keeping the whole body relaxed, allow the mudra to rest in front of the heart resting the thumbs at the sternum and fingers pointing upward..
You can rest the mudra at the space between the eyebrows to bring awareness and offer gratitude to your inner wisdom and intuition. During surya namaskar (sun salutations) or other yoga poses, you can lift the gesture of prayer all the way up towards the heavens. In some yoga poses, you even can place the mudra behind your back.
Anjali mudra balances the right and left hemispheres of the brain. Holding your hands in this way promotes clarity by bringing a sense of calm to the mind. It can help us to move into a meditative state by reducing anxiety and stressful thoughts. This mudra promotes our connection to the Divine.