Ksepana Mudra is the mudra for letting go and boy did I need it this week. After a frustrating start to my week, I knew I needed a major attitude adjustment. I knew that I needed to shake off this cloud of frustration and overwhelm ASAP, so this morning I welcomed Ksepana Mudra into my meditation and asana practice. This is probably one of my favorite mudras, simply because I experience an energetic shift immediately. It’s so much easier to work through the tough stuff when we have the tools to do so!
The Mudra for Letting Go
In Sanskrit, Ksepana means to throw (away), to let go, pour off or to cast off. Ksepana mudra is the mudra for letting go of waste known as mala in Ayurveda. This waste, or mala, can be literal physical waste, toxic relationships, negative thoughts, or old habits, samskaras, and vasanas that don’t serve your highest self. I like to use this mudra when I’m feeling heavy or down or when I’m holding to tightly to expectations or my desire to be in control. I also like to practice this mudra when I’m feeling grumpy, frustrated, or overwhelmed… it’s like a tonic for the soul! Give it a go and let me know how you feel afterward.
Ksepana Mudra and Apana Vayu
Ksepana Mudra works with apana vayu, which is the down and outward flowing energy (prana) of elimination (defecation and urination), menstruation, and child birth. In addition to elmination through the large intestine, Ksepana mudra helps us remove mala through the surface of our skin via perspiration and through our lungs via expiration (the exhale breath).
Ksepana Mudra: Elements and Chakras
Mudras are often associated with specific elements according to Ayurveda’s five element theory (earth, water, fire, air and ether). Ksepana Mudra is often associated with the air element and therefore the heart chakra. What a beautiful act of self-love to say “no more, this doesn’t serve me, I’m letting it go”. After many years of practicing Ksepana Mudra it often resonates with the second chakra and the water element. I find that the imagery of water helps calm my nervous system and clears out stagnation, stress, etc. The second chakra is also very much associated with the energy of apana vayu and the act of letting go.
Ksepana Mudra Practice:
To practice ksepana mudra interlace the fingers of both hands and then release the index fingers. The index fingers are touching one another. The thumbs are crossed and the thumb pads rest, more or less, in the crook between thumb and index finger. When seated and practicing this mudra the index fingers should point down. The index fingers should point toward your feet when practicing this mudra lying down.
You can also practice this mudra in your asana practice. A flow that I like to do in a seated posture.
- Begin with the mudra at heart center. Index fingers pointing up.
- On an inhale turn the index fingers to point down and slightly away, extending the arms long toward the floor.
- Using the same inhale breath sweeping the arms up overhead.
- Exhale index fingers come to the crown of the head, to the forehead, the nose, then the lips and back to the heart like a waterfall tumbling over smooth stones.
- Each inhale envision vibrant, light energy flowing into your body and on your exhale let go of negativity in any of its forms.
- Practice a total of seven times.
Benefits of Ksepana Mudra:
Ksepana mudra helps us release negativity, frustration and suffering. Practicing the mudra, especially as stated above, creates a palpable difference in our energy. I call this letting go mudra an “attitude adjustment”.
- “I let go of what no longer serves me.”
- “Spent energy in my body, mind, and soul flows away from me, and I thankfully accept all things that refresh me,” from Gertrud Hirsch’s book Mudras: Yoga in Your Hands. Gertrud’s book has been on my bookshelf for years and is literally my go-to book for mudras.
- “I surrender to the flow of the Universe.”
- “I embrace uncertainty with ease.”
If you want to learn more about Mudras and powerful meditation practices that you can combine with these symbolic hand gestures, check out my book, The Little Book of Mudra Meditations. Hope to see you on your mat or cushion soon.
Love and Light,
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