Find Your Lotus
After organizing an insane amount of books in my basement by author last name, I have been sitting against my basement wall listening to Deva Premal (beautiful mantra singer, great for yoga playlists) and drinking a surprisingly good gluten free beer. I started thinking about my yoga class that I taught today and our closing the practice with the lotus flower mudra (Padma-Mudra) before bowing in gratitude with namaste. I have not done a lot of mudra practice up to this point, but after being inspired by my most recent training in Portland, OR, I decided to include more parts of yoga that many are not exposed to, especially in a gym setting like this particular class. I explained to my participants about the lotus flower, once in the mudra, the little bit I knew.
You see the lotus flower everywhere; it's part of almost every yoga studio out there, be it in the name or the logo. And for myself, I just sort of accepted that the lotus flower was the commercial symbol of yoga. Well, while I was in Portland, I wanted to know why... Why is this flower EVERYWHERE yoga wise, yet never actually growing anywhere that I've seen. So I got a brief overview of the lotus and its deep spiritual meaning and symbolism.
So I told my students today: "This is the lotus flower mudra. You see the lotus flower in yoga all the time. Why? What's the reason?" I quickly went through how the flower grows up through the murkiest of bogs, marshes and sits beautifully on water, working its way through darkness and obstacles, reaching its own very form of enlightenment. Enlightenment that manifests itself in a bloom that is reborn everyday. Our practice is a journey, just like that of the lotus flower. We work through our mental, emotional, and physical barriers to reach a heightened level of being. And whatever that "being" means to you, is for you to know and to nurture. Also, when your hands come together, both sides of the brain are working. All mudras are a bit of a brain teaser, obviously the more intricate ones work the brain more.
That's all I really had time to explain; it's hard to get very deep in a standard, 1 hour vinyasa class.
Well that's just the surface of the meaning and journey of the lotus flower. Not only does it grow through murkey, dark water, but it submerges itself back down into the water every night and re-emerges every morning and blooms once again. Talk about a daily practice. Check out this great little article by Town and Country about this floating beauty.
The lotus flower mudra is a very pretty one and can be a nice touch for your class and your practice. Try it out in tree pose or just meditate with the mudra before closing. Your students will appreciate these little treats that you can provide as an instructor to enhance their knowledge and appreciation of the yoga practice.