A Mudra for Love: Abhaya Hridaya

I haven’t been writing much recently. Primarily because I’ve been weighed down by the collective pain and sadness of living in this time of Covid, systemic racism and injustice, and a struggling economy. I’ve simply grown weary. My natural reaction is to run away, to hide, to escape, but I’m making the conscious decision to sit with the pain, the trauma and the fear.

As I sit, I am reminded by the words of a fellow yoga teacher, wise beyond her years, to “love for love’s sake.” And so today, I sit, I use my tools, and I choose to love for love’s sake. Here I will share one of my favorite mudras, the shape of it is stunning, but even more importantly, it is a mudra for a fearless heart and a mudra for love in all its forms.

If you’re just beginning a mudra practice, make sure to check out all the mudras on my website (there are tons). The Chopra website also has a great roundup of beginner mudras.

mudra for love, abhaya hridaya, mudra for fearless love

What Does Abhaya Hridaya Mudra Mean?

  • Abhaya: without fear
  • Hridaya: spiritual heart
  • Mudra: seal

If you look at the roots of hridaya, the meaning goes even deeper. Hri “to give”, da “to take”, ya “balance” and can be translated as “that which gives and takes in perfect balance”. A perfect balance of giving and receiving, of mutual balance, respect, and reciprocity. Have we forgotten how to love through the uncomfortable and the ugly. Let’s relearn love and put love into action.

How to Practice Abhaya Hridaya, A Mudra for Love

With your wrists crossed, bring the backs of your hands to touch in front of your heart space. Interlace your pinky, ring and middle fingers. Then bring the tips of your index finger and thumb to touch and create a circle shape.

Benefits of Abhaya Hridaya Mudra

This mudra helps work with the third and fourth chakras, Manipura and Anahata, respectively. The list of benefits of this mudra goes on and on. It helps us

  • release stress
  • love fearlessly through the uncomfortable and messy
  • cultivate the courage to stand up for what is right
  • heal from past trauma and balance strong emotions, so we can see clearly
  • embrace our inner truth
  • bring clarity to our values
  • invite love into all parts of our being
  • see the unity and interconnection of all beings
hand mudra for fearless love, love mudra, abhaya hridaya mudra

A Meditation to Practice With This Mudra For Love

I would like to share a meditation based on a meditation practice from my book, The Little Book of Mudra Meditations. I simply call it the Fearless Love Meditation. It is loosely based on Metta meditation or loving-kindness meditation.

To begin, find a comfortable space to sit quietly. Make sure that it is a space you feel safe and supported in, whether that’s your patio, your bedroom, or perhaps your bathroom. I like to practice this meditation in an upright seat, but feel free to practice it lying down or in any other posture that feels nurturing (and non-distracting).

Once you find your meditation posture, soften your gaze or close down your eyes and take a few cleansing, clearing breaths by breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. With each exhale breath, see if you can let go of any worry or stress from your day.

Bring your hands into Abhaya Hridaya Mudra. If at any point your shoulders, arms or hands feel fatigued, release the mudra and come back into it when you feel ready.

Opening to love

Now, “imagine someone who radiates love, who loves you unconditionally, sitting right in front of you. This person could be a parent, friend, child, pet, teacher, or guru” or god/deity. “Now imagine a bright white light flowing from their heart to your heart. This radiant light fills your heart with unconditional love. Your heart is filled with love that knows no bounds. Release any resistance to receiving this love. You are worthy of love.”

“Feel a weight lifted off your shoulders.” Feel unconditional love pour into every cell of your being. Feel tension release from your face — your brows, your jaw, your tongue. Now bring your awareness to the luminous cavern of your heart space and feel your heart soften as it is bathed in luminous, radiant love.

We cannot pour from an empty cup, fearless love begins with loving yourself first and the inner knowing that you are worthy of love, so again release any resistance you may be holding on to.

Abundant love for all

With your eyes still closed, hold the vision of another in front of you, this person again could be a loved one, a person who challenges you, a group of people, there is no limit. Hold their image steady in your awareness.

Now see the luminous light of fearless love flowing from your heart space right into theirs. As the cavern of their heart space fills with this radiant white light, witness stress, worry and fear release from their face, their neck, their shoulders. See their shoulders soften as the weight of sorrow, anger, and fear is lifted. Witness the space of their heart soften. Listen quietly as peace fills every fiber of their being. Witness them soften into love.

Hold the images of these light, love-filled beings in your heart space. Practice for as long as you would like. When you’re ready, open your eyes and begin the mindful transition out of your meditation practice.

This post meditative space is fertile ground for journaling and putting love into action.

abhaya hridaya mudra for fearless love
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Autumn Adams

Owner, Founder, & Retreat Leader at Ambuja Yoga
Autumn founded Ambuja Yoga in 2014 to share her love of adventure, yoga, and travel with her fellow yogis. Ambuja Yoga has morphed into more than she could have ever dreamed and she is thrilled to have a "job" she loves. She is forever grateful for the opportunity to facilitate personal growth and self love through yoga while taking yogis to off-the-beaten-path destinations worldwide. Follow Autumn on Instagram @autumnadamsyoga.
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