The Power of Breath and Hand Yoga: Pranayama and Mudras for Health and Wellbeing is the latest offering from Christine Burke, who also wrote The Yoga Healer, Remedies for the Body, Mind, and Spirit. Burke is the co-owner with her husband, Gary McCleery, of Liberation Yoga in Los Angeles, open since 2004.
Yoga for the Hands
To begin, you will want to read this book from cover to cover, and then to keep it handy as it is an excellent reference guide. Christine’s artistry as a yoga teacher is evident on every page. She takes us on a journey using creative language to describe breath practices and mudras (“Yoga for the Hands”).
She’ll convince you that learning how to breathe effectively and incorporating mudras in your practice can help you experience support for coping with and addressing illnesses, health concerns, and even life’s stresses. I am reticent to admit that before reading this, I was not aware of the numerous ways to access pranayama and mudra. I appreciate how
Christine, through this book, created a safe space for me to be a student again. Each of the practices contain clear illustrations and thoughtful instructions, allowing you to easily follow along. The book will revitalize your practice offering you a new series of tools and techniques.
Vitality, Prana, and the Hands
I was particularly drawn to the “Vitality” chapter, which shares a story honoring one of the author’s mentors named Frank. Through him she learned that vitality is more than a physical energy. Vitality needs prana (or life-force) that is supported by and moved through breath and mudra. Through that knowledge, she has given us a gift of her experience.
Christine’s voice, enthusiasm, and knowledge here is contagious. When reading these pages, you’ll feel as though you are practicing with her. It will be a fun, uplifting, healing, and even powerful practice with Christine as your guide.
Kathleen Ross-Allee, C-IAYT is Managing Director for the LMU Yoga Therapy Rx Program. Kathleen has developed yoga therapy programs to support cancer treatment and she teaches a weekly gentle yoga therapy class for people with Parkinson’s Disease, which she offers free at Liberation Yoga in LA: leenbodies.com.