Anjali means "offering," and in India this mudra is often accompanied by the word "namaste". This is the consummate Indian greeting, like a sacred hello. Namaste can be translated as "The divine (or light) in me bows to the divine (or light) in you." This salutation is at the essence of the yogic practice of seeing the Divine within all of creation, leading to that popular yogic quote "the person in front of you is you". Hence, this gesture is offered equally to temple deities, teachers, family, friends, strangers, and before sacred rivers and trees.
Anjali mudra is used as a posture of composure, of returning to one's heart, whether you are greeting someone or saying goodbye, initiating or completing an action. As you bring your hands together at your centre, you are literally connecting the right and left hemispheres of your brain. This is the yogic process of unification, the bringing together of our active and receptive natures. In the yogic view of the body, the energetic or spiritual heart is visualized as a lotus at the centre of the chest. Anjali mudra nourishes this lotus heart with awareness, gently encouraging it to open as water and light do a flower.
Experiment with the feeling that Anjali mudra beings about by trying this simple exercise:
Begin by coming into a comfortable sitting position, lengthening your spine all the way up to the crown of your head. Now, with open palms, slowly draw your hands together at the centre of your chest as if to gather all of your resources into your heart. Repeat that movement several times, contemplating your own metaphors for bringing the right and left side of yourself—masculine and feminine, logic and intuition, strength and tenderness—into wholeness.
Now, to feel how potent the placement of your hands at your heart can be, try shifting your hands to one side or the other of your midline and pause there for a moment. Don't you feel slightly off kilter? Now shift back to centre and notice how satisfying the centre line is, like a magnet pulling you into your core. Gently touch your thumbs into your sternum (the bony plate at the centre of the rib cage) as if you were ringing the bell to open the door to your heart. Broaden your shoulder blades to spread your chest open from the inside. Feel space under your armpits as you bring your elbows into alignment with your wrists. Stay here for some time and take in your experience.
With gratitude, from Yoga Journal.com