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Unlocking Kali Mudra

yoga yoga instruction Mar 21, 2022

“Interlace your fingers, release your index fingers, thumbs crossed." 

You’ve heard these words more times than you can count if you’ve had any kind of regular yoga practice. But, other than this being an effective way to grip your hands in a deep Crescent Lunge, or a super wobbly Warrior III, this mudra, or hand gesture, has a history, meaning, and reason for being in your practice.

Let’s start at the beginning, so you and I are on the same page.

In Sanskrit, Mudra translates to “gesture, seal, or mark.” Mudras are symbolic gestures used in yoga and meditation performed with the hands and fingers. They are said to affect the flow of energy in the body, as each hand position acts as a “lock” to guide the energy flows and reflexes to the brain. Cool, right?

And, the symbolism of Kali Mudra is fascinating.

Kali is the goddess of time, change, and destruction. She expresses the dual nature of destruction before new beginnings, and of the strength of the female power which can sometimes do what man cannot. (Get it, ladies!)

To make it as simple as possible, Kali is all about destroying dark and evil to let in the light.

When you see a depiction of her, she has bright blue or black skin, ten arms, and is sticking her tongue out (a Bengali symbol of modesty, but also said to symbolize bloodlust). Kali is holding multiple weapons, as well as, a severed head and a bowl to catch the blood coming from said head. She also wears a garland of severed heads and a skirt of severed arms, and is known for carrying a trident and a sword.

Though all of this sounds terrifying, there is a softer side to Kali, often referred to as, “Kali Ma.” This is when she is seen as Mother Nature, or a symbol of motherly love.

When using Kali Mudra you are said to be cutting away negativity and illusions.

This hand gesture is meant to release tensions, and remove negative energy from an attitude, argument, or relationship. It also helps you cut through fatigue. So, ditch that sixth cup of coffee and see if this can help you tune into your natural energy. 

Next time you feel a little weary of beginning your practice for the day, or just need to find some strength and energy for your next task, sit in a cross-legged position with Kali Mudra at your heart center, or opt for this hand position in your Salute to the God’s & Goddesses, Crescent Lunge, Lunge Warrior, or Warrior III and see if it helps. 

This mudra is said to give you fierce goddess energy, helping you to make necessary changes and release baggage you’ve been carrying for too long.

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