Unlike most seated poses, I REALLY like the maha mudra. Because it’s a place where I can actually feel the asana move my extra girth and make space for the stretch. After an hour practice, my hips and hamstrings are open and I can stretch over my leg with relative ease and move myself into a deep stretch.
I can feel my abdomen toning, my bandas lifting and locking and my hamstrings extending. This pose is also a great weekly check in because week by week I can do more, add a twist, hold my foot, and get deep into the fold.
In Light on Yoga, Iyengar quotes the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, which states:
The Mahamudra destroys death and many other pains. There is nothing that one cannot eat or has to avoid (if one has practised it). All food regardless of taste and even when deadly poisonous is digested. He who practises Mahamudra, overcomes consumption, leprosy, piles, enlargement of the spleen, indigestion, and other complaints of long duration.
Not bad for a forward fold. To Maha Mudra!