Makara is a Sanskrit word for a mythological sea creature that is often translated as “crocodile.” Makara Mudra symbolises the quick strength and energy that crocodiles possess.
Makara Mudra is a yoga hand gesture designed to release our deepest energy reserves and relieve tension in the body. It is also thought to control our mood swings by releasing negative energy and has a calming effect on the mind.
As a Samyukta Hasta, both hands are required to practice this gesture. One hand is placed on top of the other, with both palms facing up. Typically, women would place the left hand on top of the right and men would place the left palm on top of the left to symbolise their dominant energy. The thumb of the lower hand then threads through the pinky and ring fingers of the upper hand, while the upper thumb and ring fingers come touch.
As with most Mudras it is typically used during meditation, but may also be integrated into a moving asana practice. When used in combination with a regular meditation practice, it can help to treat depression or stress-related anxiety and improves our mental focus. It is recommended to practice Makara Mudra three times per day, between four to ten minutes at a time.
Illustration © estudio mosa 2018