Yoga for the Hands: A Loving Practice
By Sarah Manwaring-Jones • September 21st, 2012 • 8910 Views
‘In loving someone you give them the freedom to change.’
Begin by pausing. Notice the ease that rests in the palms of your hands. Soften the blanket of skin that rests over the 27 bones in your hands. Breathe. Look at your hands and love the stories you see in the lines of these well-used body parts. Let the cool autumn air travel between your fingers, and feel it like a soft breeze traveling through the branches and leaves of the trees in the forest.
Ground down into your feet. Barefoot is ideal. Take a moment to wiggle each finger, individually, one hand at a time. Notice how some fingers don’t like to move by themselves. Feel the texture and hear the sounds of simple movements in the hands. In traditional Chinese medicine meridians, each fingertip correlates with an organ in the body. The thumb connects to the lung. The index finger connects to the large intestine. The middle finger connects to the pericardium. The ring finger links to the triple warmer meridian and the pinky finger relates to the heart.
Can you wiggle your fingers without adding tension to your palms? Notice the subtleties of tension, which exist chronically in your hands. The hands contain one quarter of all the bones in our bodies. Can you soften the tissues in the hands so much that you can feel the bones? There are 14 phalanges (bones of the fingers), 5 metacarpals (bones of the palm) and 8 carpal bones (bones of the wrist). Can you feel them all?
Experiment with how softly you can open and close your palm, without locking any of the joints of your fingers. Think about extending energy through to the tips of your fingers, as if you are palming a basketball without gripping it. Transfer this soft opening of the palms to the way you hold your palms in standing postures, the way you hold your big toes. Really notice if you are holding on for dear life or can you receive the world with your hands.
In beginning to receive the world with your hands, you will start to feel the center of the palm come alive, like a dome or an arch; this is hasta bandha as described in many ancient yogic texts. When the center of the palm becomes buoyant and light, weight-bearing on the hands will distribute its forces through all the bones...
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