There are many facets to this meditation technique. What makes it unique is the way we move our hands through various mudras (energetic seals) in sync with breath and mantra. Choose a mantra to work with. On our 200 hour yoga teacher training immersion intensive in Costa Rica, Tuscany & Verona, Italy and South of France we use the mantra, “Om Namah Shivaya” (salutations, respect and union with the all-pervading pure consciousness), “Aham Prema” (I am loving awareness), or a personal mantra. Through the magick of the mantra and our focused awareness, we infuse our hands and fingers with the essence of the mantra. One or two full mantras are repeated on the inhale, and the same number of mantras on the exhale. Set the rhythm of your breath first and match the mantra to that.
We move our fingers with the breath. Start with your pointer finger tip touching the tip of your thumb. Inhale as you slide the tip of your thumb down to the base of the index finger, exhale as you slide the thumb back up. Inhale as you slide your index fingertip to the base of the thumb and on the exhale, slide the fingertip back up the thumb to the tip. Two breaths with the index finger and thumb. Thumb down (inhale), thumb up (exhale); pointer down (inhale), pointer up (exhale).
Move on to the thumb and middle finger. Tips of each joined to make a ring. Inhale as you slide the tip of your thumb down to the base of the middle finger, exhale as you slide the thumb back up. Inhale as you slide your middle fingertip to the base of the thumb and on the exhale, slide the fingertip back up the thumb to the tip. Two breaths with the middle finger and thumb. Thumb down (inhale), thumb up (exhale); middle down (inhale), middle up (exhale).
Repeat this with each consecutive finger. Repeat the pinky twice and move from finger to finger in the opposite direction back to where you began (you do each finger twice). This is one round.
Set a timer for this one, 5-30 minutes repeating the mantra with the breath as you move your fingers. If you realize you have forgotten which finger you were on or which direction you were going, don’t worry about it. Keep going. Once your timer goes off and you finish the technique, rest for 1-5 minutes with eyes closed and hands open.
This technique is directly from the lineage of Shri Krishnamacharya, considered by many to be the father of modern Yoga, as taught at the school his son TKV Desikachar founded, the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandarim (KYM).
If you do not have access to mala beads, stick with this technique for the next couple of days.
About Dr. Liz Lindh:
I am Dr. Liz Lindh, Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, holistic skincare and natural beauty expert, Yoga Teacher and Yoga Teacher Trainer. I am the Director of The Sanctuary at Two Rivers in Costa Rica and Founder of Lakshmi Rising School for Yoga & Wellness.