Thursday, May 15, 2014

The thumb and you.. in yoga

In yoga,the thumb is the controlling element in the mudras. You can suppress or spike an element (which correspond to Ayurveda) with the thumb, which represents fire element.
Everybody in India knows the story of Ekalavya -- the unfortunate student of Dronacharya who had to sacrifice his thumb as guru dakshina (fee) for having learnt archery (by hiding and following the instructions from afar) so that the teacher's favorite student Arjuna has no equal. It is a powerfully gripping story and many of us, as kids, who were not the teacher's favorite (or just the underprivileged have-nots in a class of have-it-alls) , aligned and empathized with Ekalavya's condition. But admired his ready willingness to give up what was clearly his most prized possession. So, there it is, this thumb..

In the homunculous the thumb finds a large representation,as you can see in this image. However neuroscientists have found that depending on how you use the fingers, some will develop large areas of representation in the cortex/brain. For instance,those who used the index finger for Braille reading developed larger than normal representation for this finger,over the others.

So,does this mean that those who practice mudras (bharatanatyam, for instance) and yogic ones more than others will develop larger areas of representation for these fingers. It is interesting to think about this, no? If you do pranayama for 20 minutes or so with a well-held mudra (yogic hand gesture) ,there is clearly something happening to your brain. Oh wow!!
Louise L. Hay, best-seller and healer, has this to say about your thumb: That it represents intellect and worry.. And you may fight any problem with this finger by this affirmation: My mind is at peace.
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