It’s all in the hands

I remember this from when I was in Grade 9, sitting in a classroom in Delhi listening to my teacher talk about behaviours and body language. She determined conduct from how a person’s hand was in their resting or casual state. Those wanting to remain mentally closed walked or rested with a slightly clenched fist, whereas those who were open and accepting always had open palms. Of course, there were different phases within and this body language could differ depending on mood.

I considered myself an open palm person, linking this gesture to my outgoing personality. Being scientifically observant by nature, I looked at other people’s fists as they walked just to try to determine what kind of person they may be. After a while it didn’t matter anymore as all my theories were inconclusive. Life went on, jobs changed, and I remained my usual outgoing self…or so I thought.

This happened a few months ago on my walk to work. Stress levels were high, I was running late, and there was even some rage. When I got to my desk I realized that I had been digging my nails in to my palms the whole way to work, clenching both my fists as if ready to fight. That is when the Grade 9 memory came back and I started to question my current attitude towards life. It was a realization that in the midst of focusing on everyone else’s fists, I had forgotten about myself and how much things had changed for me in the past few years.

During the second module of my yoga teacher training we were introduced to mudras…and it all started making sense. Our hands hold incredible power, which we can harness through different gestures and seals, all with different abilities. An open palm mudra helps us receive, many times calming the mind, bring us peace and serenity. There are many mudras that require the hands to close, however, there are different gestures involved, each with a different result.

Ushas Mudra - "Break of Day - Origin of all things good"
Ushas Mudra – “Break of Day – Origin of all things good”

The new question emerged: Was my work stress causing the clenching or was it the other way around? This became my new experiment. For weeks I observed how my hands were during different parts of the day. Any time my mood shifted or stress emerged I looked down to see my closed fists. At happy times I observed open palms, taking in the energy.

Next step was to take control of the changes. On my walks to work I consciously started opening my palms, walking upright with my hands beside me. It was odd for the first week, felt like a tingling sensation running through my fingers, but at the same time I experienced higher energy levels and elated moods. Soon after I was applying this simple change to other parts of the day, sitting with open palms and feeling the energy.

It’s surprising to see how a simple change can have such profound results. Imagine how much more we could achieve by making other small shifts. I invite all of you to see what you can change to bring about a shift in your energy.

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