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  • Barbara Newman

Ganesha: Remover of Obstacles


An event may happen that brings life to a pause, and it is necessary to stop and reset. After overcoming the initial realization that change has occurred, a fork in the road is reached. There is the choice to take the positive path or choose a nose dive in a direction that doesn’t serve. Taking time for reflection to determine if any good has resulted is useful. Perhaps becoming involved in a new activity, meeting someone who leads to different thinking, reading and guiding oneself to higher levels of understanding, or meditating might be an unexpected outcome. Giving yourself permission to take time for self-care and love, to meet and greet the situation, be in the present moment, and then release what interfered are ways to deal with change. Moving forward is beneficial and often leads to growth. The gift is using this strength to manage other challenges life presents.

One way to practice self-care is to do the Ganesha Mudra, a hand gesture. Ganesha, described as the playful protector with a round body and elephant head, is the overcomer of obstacles in Hindu tradition as depicted above. (Ganesha wall hanging, 1900s India, Denver Art Museum, Neusteter Textile Collection.) The Ganesha Mudra is a way to remove stumbling blocks in life, regain a positive attitude and strength to deal with difficult times. By practicing this mudra, you bring attention and energy to the heart center by opening the heart and lungs to peacefulness.


How to Do Ganesha Mudra

Place the left hand in front of the chest with the palm facing outward and the left thumb down.

Place the right hand in front of the left with the right palm facing toward you and the left palm.

Lock your fingers together, holding them in a half-bent position like a claw.

Inhale deeply as you hold your hands in this gesture.

Exhale and pull outward on your hands without unlocking your fingers.

Repeat this movement 3 to 6 times.

Reverse the gesture

Put the right hand in front of the chest with the palm facing outward and the right thumb down.

Put the left hand in front of the right with the left palm facing toward you and the right palm.

Lock your fingers together, holding them in a half-bent position like a claw.

Inhale deeply as you hold your hands in this gesture.

Exhale and pull outward on your hands without unlocking your fingers.

Repeat this movement 3 to 6 times.

Do this mudra the same number of times in each direction to promote balance.


The Ganesha Mudra has physical, mental and spiritual benefits for the heart chakra. The pulling action strengthens the chest muscles and may reduce tension in this area. Mental and spiritual well-being might be experienced as compassion and love fill your heart.


Barbara Newman 7/31/2020

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