MUDRA

A mudra is a symbolic, ritualistic gesture used in yoga, Buddhism and Hinduism. The word is Sanskrit meaning “gesture,” “mark” or “seal.” Mudra is commonly known as hand positions in yoga and meditation, which are believed to affect the flow of energy in the body and unblock chakras.

There are 28 root mudras in Bharatanatyam, 24 in Kathakali and 20 in Odissi. These root mudras are combined in different ways, like one hand, two hands, arm movements, body and facial expressions. Each type is thought to have a specific effect on the body and mind by clearing the psychic centers and energy channels. Although hand (hasta) mudras are the most common in yoga, there are also body (kaya) and consciousness (citta) mudras.

Typically, mudras are performed alongside pranayama, in seated poses such as padmasana (lotus pose), vajrasana (thunderbolt pose) or sukhasana (easy pose).

Many types of hand mudras, some are as follows:

  • Prana mudra: The middle and index fingers remain extended while the little finger, ring finger and thumb touch. This mudra is believed to increase vitality and activate the root chakra (muladhara).
  • Gyan mudra: Also known as chin mudra, this is one of the most recognized of the mudras. The tip of the thumb and index finger touch with the palms facing upward. It is believed to reduce stress and relax the mind for meditation.
  • Jnana mudra: With the palms facing up, the hands rest on the knees in the seated position. This mudra is believed to uplift the body and mind.
  • Linga mudra: Both hands are clasped in front of your body so the left thumb points upward and is encircled by the thumb and index finger of the right hand. This mudra is believed to generate heat in the body, thereby boosting the immune system.
  • Anjali mudra: The palms of both hands are placed in front of the chest in a prayer-like position. It is often employed at the beginning and end of yoga class as a salutation.
IN DETAILS OF MUDRAS:

When these five elements are not in balance, we can experience disease in the body. Mudras are one way of creating a balance between all of these elements within us. Read on and attune yourself with some of these common mudras.

1. Gyana Mudra

This is perhaps the most used mudra in yoga and is also known as the chin mudra. To do this, bring the tips of the thumb and index finger together, and keep the other three fingers together, lightly stretched. This symbolizes the unity of fire and air as well as the unity of universal and individual consciousness. The Gyana mudra increases concentration, creativity, and is a gesture of knowledge. Keep your palms facing upwards when feeling receptive or rest your palm on your leg when you wish to feel more grounded.

2. Shuni Mudra

Bring the tip of the middle finger and thumb together, uniting the elements of fire and connection. This mudra symbolizes patience and discipline, and helps us generate a feeling of stability. Use this mudra when you feel you need additional strength to follow through with tasks.

3. Surya Ravi Mudra

Unite the tip of the ring finger and the thumb, and you bring together the elements of fire and earth. This mudra represents energy and health, and it provides us with a feeling of balance. It can also help with bringing positive changes into our lives.

4. Buddhi Mudra

By touching the tips of the little finger and thumb together, you are enhancing intuitive communication. The elements of fire and water are brought together, and this symbolizes communication and openness. It can also help strengthen your intuitive knowledge.

5. Prana Mudra

The Prana mudra activates the dormant energy within the body. To do this, place the tips of your thumb, ring finger, and little finger together. This mudra symbolizes the vital energy of prana, and will encourage the flow of this energy, making you feel energized and strong.

6. Dhyana Mudra

This mudra provides calming energy for meditation and is used for deep contemplation and reflection. To do this, place your hands on your lap, left palm under, palms facing up, and the tips of the thumbs touching.

7. Anjali Mudra

Bringing the palms together in front of the heart space symbolizes honour and respect toward yourself and toward the universe. This mudra expresses love and gratitude. Namaste.

Use these mudras while meditating or practicing pranayama. Pick one that you feel mostly connected to each time, or based on the feeling you would like to generate.

Involve both hands, keep a slow and steady breath, and hold each mudra for at least 2 to 3 minutes, or even 10 minutes if you wish.