I recently taught a yoga class in which I asked the class to be particularly aware of their hands – more specifically the action and purpose of their hands.
I prompted students to consider:
“What are your hands doing in this pose?”
“What is the purpose and the action of your hands in this pose?”
“When do your hands need to become more active and when can your hands become more relaxed?”
“How do you experience the flow of energy in your hands?”
“Can you sense the connection of your hands to your heart and your heart to your hands?”
Lately, I find myself increasingly aware of this direct connection between my hands and my heart. In my restorative practice, as I rest deeply and in stillness, I can sense the flow of energy, prana, that moves outward from my heart to my hands and returns again from my hands to my heart. In my more active yoga practice, I am aware of the energetic action that stems outward from my heart to my hands and the increased heat from my hands back to my heart.
My increased awareness of hands and heart has not only had an influence on my practice on the mat, but off of the yoga mat as well. As I am in relationship with others, it is simply not enough to feel the love I have for another in my heart, I must offer my love with a gesture of my hands. I may embrace with a hug, hold their hand, touch their face and or rest my hand on their shoulder. My hands provide a direct link to my heart and it’s with my hands that I express and offer all the love in my heart.
On the Mat:
Experience what your hands are doing in each pose.
Explore the purpose and action of your hands in each pose.
Honor when your hands need to become more active and when can your hands may become more relaxed.
Notice the flow of energy in your hands.
Sense the connection of your hands to your heart and your heart to your hands.
Off the Mat:
Feel the love you have in your heart and offer a loved one a gesture that exhibits such love.
Start small – a touch on the shoulder, a rub on the back.
Accept any difficulties surrounding offering love with your hands whether it feels uncomfortable or new.
Practice loving yourself – give yourself a hug, an embrace, a self-massage(foot massages are great for this!)