Anyone who genuinely and consistently looks for something with both hands, will find it. - Rumi
Our hands are precious tools. They give us the ability to nourish ourselves. They help further our connection with other humans. They can be used to communicate displeasure or even cause harm. Our hands can help us express love.
Take a moment to think about how much you make use of your hands in your daily life. From the moment you wake up and turn off the alarm clock, prepare breakfast, drive to work or hold your child’s hands, your hands are constantly being used. It’s astounding to realize just how much we rely on our hands.
I use the strength and dexterity of my hands extensively in my work. To keep my hands pliable and strong I have developed an approach that encompasses meaningful gestures, mindfulness and repair. This practice is inspired by Gioia Irwin’s Tensegrity Hand Repair Series and by traditional yoga hand mudras. In mudra practice the hands and fingers are used to create symbolic seals or marks.
Mudras keep my hands and wrists healthy and happy, but they also steady my mind and regulate my breath. As I sit and play with hand geometry I am engaged in mindful gratitude and a steady flow of consciousness ensues. Inspired by tradition, I give myself permission to explore different shapes and I cultivate an intuitive approach that welcomes self expression and creativity.
Mudras can be expressed by other parts of the body but more often are done with fingers and hands. They provide similar benefits to yoga postures such as enhancing the flow of energy in the body, steadying the mind and are believed to help maintain overall good health. Each finger of the hand represents one if the great five elements (pancha mahabhutas). Thumb is Fire. Index finger is Air. Middle finger is Space or Ether. Ring finger is Earth. And little finger is Water.
Mindfulness Practice of the Hands
Take a comfortable seated position.
Begin by taking a few moments to look at your hands. Look at the tops of your hands, the palms, the fingers. Notice if any images, thoughts or words come to mind.
Then begin by connecting all 10 fingers together and create a dome like shape so there is a space between the two palms.
Imagine the elements coming together.
Then, begin to shift the shapes you make with your hands. Give yourself permission to feel and explore without judgement. Join different fingers together. Place the palms together. Hold the thumb of one hand with the 5 fingers of the other. Switch. And continue on.
Play, work and stretch your hands by connecting with them with curiosity and attention. Keep going until you feel like you are complete with the exploration.
Rest your hands on your lap for a moment, in stillness. Feel your breath and your body.
You can complete this practice by placing your two hands over the part of your body where you feel gratitude and conclude by saying to yourself: “My ability to create, to take in and give out blank to myself and others lies in my hands. I am grateful for blank. I am grateful for my hands. I am grateful for this gift. ”
Over time, this mindfulness practice can become an opportunity to practice ease and fluidity in movement and create space for deeper listening.
Coco Finaldi is a passionate and disciplined holistic wellness practitioner & movement/yoga educator. Coco discovered yoga in 2001; the gateway to her rich scope of practice which encompasses bodywork therapy, wellness and life coaching and education, AIM School of Yoga and Holistic Self Care Mentoring. Her unique skills, experience and flavour make her offerings authentic. She generously shares her love and commitment to the greatest wealth - one’s health - and does so earnestly. She practices what she preaches and offers herself as a support and anchor to her client’s desire for growth, change and positive movement forward. Visit www.cocofinaldi.com for more information. (Holistic Life Coach, Naturotherapist, Thai Massage Therapist & ERYT since 2003)