Why Prayer Hands
I’m religious, but that doesn’t explain why I like coming to prayer position at the end of a barre workout.
Barre borrows much from Yoga practice, but I’d like to talk about specifically “prayer hands,” the Anjali Mudra (pronounced UHN-juh-lee muhd-RAAH). At the conclusion of class, we bring the palms of the hands together then place them heart center.
In Sanskrit, the ancient language of India, mudra means “a sign” or “seal,” referring to hand gestures and body positions that bring about a certain inner state and have symbolic meaning. Anjali comes from “anj” in Sanskrit and means “to honor or celebrate”.
When the hands and fingers are placed in a particular pattern, the energy within the body can be redirected and changed. “Anjali Mudra” opens the heart; calms and balances the mind; and reduces anxiety.
By bringing our hands together heart center, we are connecting to both the right and left sides of the brain. It is said that the right hand represents our divine self and the left hand represents our worldly nature.
Anjali Mudra acknowledges the energetic heart and directs it to open to the light.
During barre, our energetic heart takes over. We are thankful to our bodies for working so hard. We feel calm and less anxiety after the workout. We take the final moments of class to honor our hard work with this celebratory sign of mind-body balance.