Vajrapradama mudra has been resonating with me deeply. Each time I practice vajrapradama a whole bunch of emotions well up from within. I’m currently in a bit of a life and business transition and there are many unknowns. It’s sometimes hard for me to admit that I don’t know what the next step is or that I don’t know if I’m doing things right. I’m not going to lie… I’ve been experiencing a lot of fear recently and my self-confidence has been lagging. I don’t consider myself to be that fearful when it comes to big leaps of faith or pushing up to my edges, but unfortunately I’ve also built a wall around my heart; a wall that I’ve been mindfully dismantling piece by piece. And it’s not always pretty!
I practice the mudra for unshakeable trust in my heart meditations, in my asana classes and even when I have something important and/or heartfelt to say. Sometimes vajrapradama feels like the only thing tethering my mind to my heart and right now I need it. Vajrapradama mudra builds unshakeable trust, courage, and self confidence… we can always use more of these three qualities.
In Sanskrit vajra means diamond and thunderbolt. The diamond represents indestructibility and the thunderbolt represents unstoppable force. When you have unshakeable trust in your True Self (the one that is aligned with the divine) you become a force to be reckoned with and obstacles are overcome with ease.
I’ve also found Ganesha mudra helpful lately. Ganesha mudra is the hand mudra for confidence, courage, compassion and openness. Are you noticing a theme here?
How to Practice Vajrapradama Mudra
Practicing vajrapradama, the mudra for trust, is very simple: interlace your fingers, keep your palms open and rest your hands on your heart. Close your eyes and feel your breath and your heartbeat beneath your hands. You can use this mudra as often as you would like. Like I said, I’m currently using it all the time.
Positive Affirmations for Vajrapradama Mudra
I recommend using a positive affirmation that resonates with you. Here are some examples:
I am open to receiving divine guidance. I trust that I am exactly where I need to be right now.
“I open my heart to the Universe. I trust the wisdom of a power greater than my own and accept its healing.” From SpiritVoyage.com
“I am a creation of the greatest omnipotence, whose strength and power lovingly support me at all times.” From Gertrud Hirschi’s Mudras Yoga in Your Hands.
“I am confident because I trust in myself. I am fully supported.” From Anita Goa.
There are many, many different types of meditation practices. When you google “types of meditation” the results can be pretty overwhelming, especially when you’re not sure what you’re looking for or what you like. This is a paired down list of popular meditation types. The most popular type of meditation in recent history is mindfulness meditation with it’s many health benefits.
Nine Meditation Types For Beginners
Since mindfulness meditation is the most popular meditation practice today I’ve put it in the number one spot. You’ve probably heard of it before, but may not know what it is or how it is different from other meditation practices. Mindfulness meditation is simply paying attention to the present moment and being aware of all the sensations, thoughts, etc. that arise without judgement or attachment. Here is a cool video from Jon Kabat Zinn about how a mindfulness meditation practice lights up different parts of the brain and here is a link to get you started with a mindfulness practice.
2. Transcendental Meditation
Transcendental meditation doesn’t seem to be as popular today as it was in the past, but there is still a substantial community worldwide. Transcendental meditation was made popular by the Beatles who learned the technique from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Transcendental meditation (TM) has it’s roots in religion and involves mantra (sound) repetition for 15-20 minutes twice daily. Transcendental meditation teachers are required to undergo a certified training before they can teach and share the practice and students are initiated into the practice.
Much research has been done on the technique, but the research has been poorly conducted and unfortunately is of little scientific value. But honestly, any form of meditation is likely to create positive changes in your life, so why not try TM.
3. Mantra & Japa
Similar to Transcendental Meditation, mantra and japa meditation involve the repetition of a mantra, sound or divine name. This type of meditation practice is often practiced with a mala. A mala is a necklace, similar to a rosary, with 108 beads on it. The mantra is repeated 108 times either softly spoken or internally repeated. This type of ancient meditation practice is used in many different religious traditions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.
A handmade green sandalwood meditation mala.
4. Guided Meditation: Chakras, Third Eye, Breath, Journey & More
Guided meditations are wonderful for those who need a bit more guidance and whose minds tend to wander off. Guided meditations can focus on visuals, energetics, sounds, the breath, emotional states and much more. There are many apps you can use on your phone or ipad. Choose your length of practice, the teacher, the focus and get started.
5. Trataka Meditation (also spelled tratak)
Trataka is a form of meditation where one focuses the eyes on one point. Very commonly trataka is performed while gazing at a candle flame. Eventually you may want to close the eyes. When the eyes are closed envision the candle flame in all of it’s detail. Hold this vision of the flame as long as you can and when it dissipates you may end your meditation practice. Slowly open your eyes. Don’t look directly at the flame again right after your meditation. You may need eye drops if the eyes feel dry or strained.
6. Focused Attention- Zazen, Breath, Mantra, etc.
In focused attention meditation the mind is focused on one thing; that one thing could be the breath, sensation in the body, a mantra, an object, etc. The attention is held on this one thing. As thoughts come up, and they will, the mind’s focus is guided back to it’s original point of focus.
7. Metta- Loving Kindness
Metta, or loving kindness, meditation is a practice of sending love to oneself, a good friend, a neutral person, a difficult person, all four of them equally and then eventually to the entire universe. This exercise is excellent for cultivating compassion. Here is a Loving Kindness Meditation with Jack Kornfield.
Loving kindness meditation is kind of like a hug for the soul.
Vipassana often begins with awareness on the breath and then moves to a practice that includes noting external stimuli without becoming attached to the source of the stimuli. An example could be if you hear a motorcycle drive by label it “hearing”, not motorcycle or if you notice a sour taste in your mouth instead of labeling it sour note it as “taste”. Noting the sense that recognized the external stimuli. It is very common to attend vipassana retreats where one has the opportunity to delve deep into a meditation practice.
9. Yoga Nidra
I hesitate to include yoga nidra on this list because I don’t necessarily consider it a meditation practice. Yoga nidra is “yogic sleep” and it is a way to access the unconscious and subconscious mind. It is a guided practice, similar to that of a guided meditation. Yoga nidra induces a state of deep relaxation and yoga nidra has a multitude of benefits. Here are 8 Benefits of Yoga Nidra.
Not sure where to start? Google your local community and see what’s available. You might be surprised to find local meditation groups and meditation teachers that would be more than happy to take you under their wing. Another option is to go on a yoga and meditation retreat. On retreat you’ll often go over the basics of meditation and gradually increase time throughout the week and you’ll have an opportunity to talk to others and share experiences.
Good luck on your meditation practice. Feel free to shoot me a private message if you have any questions via our contact form.
Here’s another vinyasa yoga playlist for all of you yogis and yoga instructors. This yoga playlist is a bit worldly, a bit sexy, and a bit chill. It’s easy to lose yourself in the flow. The Spotify link is below.
It is cold and flu season in Bali and I unfortunately picked it up. I’m nearing the end of the first week of my cold and I’ve finally started to pull out the big guns. I’ve realized that my normal routine is not quite going to cut it. In addition to ginger, echinacea, and Panadol I’ve been focusing on using neti, mudras and restorative yoga. This week I have been incorporating Varuna Mudra into my practice to clear up the congestion in my sinuses and chest.
I’m typically one to go-go-go, so I have difficulty slowing down. I’ve been practicing more yang style yoga and have gotten myself a bit out of balance, so I’m not surprised that I got the “Bali flu”. It is often when I find myself out of balance or when I stop paying attention that I get ill (which luckily isn’t very often). Usually I catch myself before I get sick and step back, slow down, and take a breather, but not this time. I love teaching restorative yoga because I know how beneficial it is, but I’ve been struggling with my own restorative practice. This week I’ve been trying to dial it back in and refocus on my own wellbeing and self-care.
Well, this article is supposed to be about mudras, so lets bring it back to Varuna Mudra.
To practice Varuna Mudra take the pinky finger of your right hand and bring it to the pad of your right thumb. Then wrap your right thumb over the top of your little finger. Take your left hand and wrap it gently around the right hand and bring your left thumb over the top of the right thumb. Hold this mudra for 30-40 minutes.
Benefits of Varuna Mudra
Varuna mudra is used to combat congestion… physically, emotionally and psychologically. Congestion and excess mucus in the sinus, stomach and lungs is often caused by some type of irritant. I feel like it’s probably safe to say that emotional or psychological congestion can be caused by an irritant too… According to Gertrud Hirschi congestion may also be related to “overstimulated nerves, inner tensions and unrest, triggered by overstraining, being pressed by time, being aggravated or experiencing fear.” Living a perpetually stressed out life makes us more susceptible to colds and mucus congestion.
I also use jala neti when suffering from congestion as well…. once again bringing in that water element of Varuna to fight the build-up of mucus and flush it out! Fighting water with water!
Yogis I have been getting a lot of requests for this vinyasa yoga playlist, so I thought I would share it here with you. Yoga instructors feel free to use this playlist in your classes too. It has a nice peak and then drops back down and chills before savasana.
Anyone else have a favorite workout or yoga playlist? Feel free to share it below. I’m always looking for new inspiration. I love a good, fun energizing playlist, but I’m also drawn to more acoustic, folk music for my gentler yoga classes. I just love music and a good flow!