Continuing my exploration of mudras I wanted to share Prithivi mudra with you today. If you participated in our free Wednesday meditation session last week you would have experienced this mudra and the beautiful grounding meditation that links perfectly with it.
Prithivi mudra is the gesture of the Earth. Its core quality is embodiment and it is the mudra that represents the Annamaya Kosha. We have 5 Koshas, or layers/sheaths, the first being our physical body known in Sanskrit as Annamaya. Annamaya translates as sheath of food, the food-body, or the matter-body. Basically it is our physical layer which is sustained through the food we eat.
Prithivi translates as Earth, so you can see the grounding qualities that it poses.
What are the benefits of Prithivi mudra?
It directs awareness, breath and energy into our base, cultivating feelings of being grounded, safe and stable. It helps us to feel supported, strong and confident, enhancing our posture and skeletal system. It lowers blood pressure and reduces stress, and is great for improving our eliminatory functioning. Through combining grounding and embodiment we have a strong foundation from which to confidently move forward in life. This also allows us to explore the more subtle dimensions of our existence and creates the grounding and solid base to delve into the other four koshas (sheaths) of our being.
How do I do it?
With your palms facing upwards, touch the tips of your thumbs to the tip of your ring fingers. Keep the remaining fingers as straight as you can. Rest your hands, palms facing upwards in your lap, or on your thighs if you are seated. Or by your sides if you are laying down. If you are seated try to keep your shoulders relaxed and your back and spine straight. This way you create space to allow the body to breathe properly.
What should I focus on while holding this mudra?
You can hold the mudra and focus on your breathing. Becoming aware of where in your body your breath is being directed. By following the breath on each inhale and exhale you take the focus away from the busy thinking mind.
As you start breath awareness notice what feelings this mudra is creating within you. Allow each exhalation to deepen and lengthen, bringing forth feelings of relaxation and tranquility.
If you want to deepen the experience further bring awareness to your toes, feet and ankles, notice their shape and contours. Notice their volume and density. Continue to breathe deeply into this area until you really feel connected to your toes, feet and ankles.
Continue this same method as you move through your body – focusing on your thighs, hips, pelvis, buttocks. Then moving to your tummy, waist and lower back. Your solar plexus and middle back. Your chest, ribs and upper back. Shoulders, arms, hands, fingers. Throat, neck, head and face. Focusing on each area. Breathing deeply into each area. Cultivating feelings of complete embodiment.
Now bring awareness to your whole physical being and allow yourself to feel totally “at home” and “as one” with your physical self.
Repeat the following mantra 3 times: “Fully present in my physical being, I experience complete ease and harmony” (1).
When you are ready you can release the mudra and slowly open your eyes.
Enjoy the week ahead.
Om Shanti ~ Om Peace
PS. Hatha yoga classes start this week. Seaford on Tuesday mornings, and Online on Thursday mornings. Click here for more info.
Free Meditation with mudra – every Wednesday lunchtime. Here’s the link.
- Joseph & Lilian Le Page, (2014). Mudras for Healing and Transformation. Second Edition.