Yoga Mudrasana is the symbol of yoga aka “Union Pose”. The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “union” or “to unite”. This refers, of course, to the union between the body and the mind which is the essence of yoga. Yoga Mudrasana is a deep forward bend that’s been credited with benefits such as anti-aging and preventing disease and it is one the finishing postures in the Prana Vashya™ Primary Series.
How to get into the position
Yoga Mudrasana is classified as a yoga asana or ‘position’, despite the name suggesting that it is a mudra (which is a type of hand posture). To get into the position you must start in Padmasna or “lotus pose” and reach your arm around your back (grasping hold of the lower foot first). Then reach your other hand around your back and grasp hold of the upper foot to complete the bind. To complete the position: inhale and straighten your spine before you exhale and bend forward; chin to floor (keeping your buttocks firmly on the ground).
Variations to the full posture
Yoga Mudrasana is normally difficult for beginners. With this is mind there are few variations to the pose that you can do to build up to the full position. The most basic variation is sitting cross-legged and folding your forehead to the floor by your right knee and hold for five full breaths; extending the spine on each inhalation and trying to move the chin the floor by the knee on each exhalation. This should then be repeated on the other (left hand) side for a full five breaths. Once you can do this with ease, try the same again but with your legs folded in half lotus. This way you can build yourself up to full lotus.
If you are able to cross your legs in (full) lotus pose but you are struggling to bind your arms from behind your back, then, as a modification to the full posture, try holding your elbows from behind. In time, your shoulders will open and you will be able to achieve the full position. Do not force anything; forget about the end result and be patient.
Yoga Mudrasana tones the spine, lower back and the abdomen and improves flexibility to the back and the hips. This asana was practiced by the ancient sages in India and has the power to awaken the inner Self.
Do not attempt this position if you have any type of serious abdominal ailment. In addition, proceed cautiously if you have any problem with your knees or hips.