Behind every ritual should be meditation. Below one can read a short excerpt from the article My Studies With Sri Krishnamacharya by Srivatsa Ramaswami which originally appeared in NAMARUPA magazine. It is a description of the care his teacher showed, both externally and within, in folding his palms to offer prayer (anjali-mudra). Sri Krishnamacharya, (1888-1989), taught many of the key figures in modern-day yoga, including B.K.S. Iyengar (founder of Iyengar Yoga), the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (the founder of Ashtanga Yoga), the late Indra Devi, T.K.V. Desikachar (his son), as well as the article’s author Srivatsa Ramaswami. One can read the entire article here.
“There would always be a Purva-shanti (beginning peace invocation), and following tradition, class would always end with a peace chant called Uttara-shanti, normally the surrender shloka to Lord Narayana found in Vishnu-sahasranama, and the forgiveness or ksamapana-stotra, if it was Vedic chanting class. The way my guru maintained anjali-mudra while saying the prayer was a point of study. He said that in this mudra the palms should be slightly cupped while keeping the hands together. There should be a hollow between the palms sufficient to hold an imaginary lotus or your heart in a gesture of loving offering to the dhyeya, the object of your meditation. The arms should be close to the body but not touching the body, and the folded hands, inclined by about thirty degrees, should be held in front of the heart or the sternum. With a straight back and head slightly bowed, Sri Krishnamacharya would be a dignified picture of peace and devotion.”
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