The elephant-headed Ganesha is the Indian god who helps overcome all obstacles. What better way to start the New Year that with this mighty deity at your side? Ganesha is beloved in India, where he is also calledVighnaharta, the “Lord and Destroyer of Obstacles.” When people seek success in work or school, they turn to this jolly elephant god. I keep a little bronze statue of a supine Ganesha on my computer.
Mudra is a type of yoga you do with your hands. It is also called “finger power points.” This is a portable yoga that you can do anywhere—on the bus, on the place, at your desk, even walking down the street. This is a marvelous way to calm yourself and handle stress. Buddha statues are usually shown with the hands in amudra.
The very easy Ganesha mudra begins by holding your left hand in front of your chest with the palm facing outward, away from your body. Bend your fingers. Grasp your left fingers with your right finders bent, toward your body. Move the hands to the level of your heart, right in front of your chest. Exhale vigorously and gently try to pull your hands apart without releasing the grip. This will create tensions in your upper arms and chest area, exercising those muscles.
Now relax those muscles while inhaling. Repeat these steps six times, then place both your hands on your sternum in the Ganesha clasping position. Note the energy and heat you feel in your body. Now repeat six times with your hands facing in the reversed positions.
The Ganesha mudra opens the fourth chakra and vies us “heart”—courage, confidence, and good feelings toward others. It opens us up to new encounters and new, positive experiences. Performed once a day, this is a marvelous way to strengthen your upper body. It is also believed to open the bronchial tubes and stimulate that area.
Use the rituals in this chapter to become one with yourself and find peace within. May you use this learned tranquility to better participate in other rituals that focus on important aspects of your life.