This human image is known as the sensory homunculus. It represents the portion of the brain dedicated to the sensory input receive from the different parts of the body. Notice the hands are huge! This is why hand placement, known as nyasa in yoga, is such an effective practice to help restore balance.
Nyasa is a very simple practice of placing your hands on your body and directing your awareness to where your hands are resting. The hands have a strong connection to the brain, as you can see in the image above, and offer additional sensory input which can help you reconnect with your body. The more connected we are to our body, the better we feel and the calmer our mind becomes.
How do you practice nyasa? Start by placing your hands anywhere on your body, maybe an area where you have a lot of sensation or that you feel disconnected from. While your hands are resting there notice the sensations you feel. Tune into the sensations a little more with each breath. On inhale feel into where your hands are resting and on exhale radiate out from the palm of the hands into that area and to the rest of the body.
Here are some hand placements you may find particularly useful:
Calm the Mind: One hand on the forehead and at the base of the skull.
Deepen the Breath: One hand above the navel and one hand below.
Soften the Heart: Both hands resting on the center of the chest.
Want to learn which hand placement would be best for you? Schedule a yoga therapy session to restore balance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.