There is an easy way to get more out of your yoga and meditation practice, and this method is commonly overlooked. Mudras, or hand gestures, can be used to help heal specific issues, gain powerful insight, or direct the flow of energy throughout your chakras. These hand gestures vary depending on your intended use, and some are more simple than others. But overall, they are effortless to try and can help you gain so much more from your practice.
First, let’s understand what mudras are and how we can use them.
As we mentioned above, mudras are symbolic hand gestures with specific purposes. Think of your hands and fingers as powerful conductors — certain pressure points emphasize targeted benefits that work in tandem with pranayama (breath work), meditation, and yoga postures. These sacred gestures have been around a long time, first incorporated by ancient yogis thousands of years ago. As far as we know, mudras first appeared in 15th century Sanskrit texts, but they may have been used long before that and kept secret. The actual origin of these gestures is still unknown.
The possibilities for mudras are endless, and there are hundreds to choose from. For instance, in Bharatanatyam, there are 59 mudras and 32 of them are for just one hand. But if you are just getting started with these powerful gestures, you can easily get acquainted with the simplest ones and go from there. It’s best to approach each mudra with mindfulness and curiosity, taking care to notice how you feel and any changes within your body and/or energy field.
When you are practicing with mudras, keep in mind that each finger of your hand represents an element. Mudra hand sign will help you understand how each mudra works to direct energy within your being, and how you can utilize mudras for specific goals. Mudras can perform simple tasks, like improving your mood, clearing your mind, sharpening your focus, or deepening your practice. As mentioned above, they can also direct energy throughout your chakras, offer healing, longevity, and a multitude of other uses.
Each one of your fingers represent the following:
Thumb - Fire
Index finger - Air
Middle finger - Space/Ether
Ring finger - Earth
Pinky finger - Water
Even though ancient yogis may have kept mudras hidden from less accomplished practitioners, that is no longer the case in modern times. We now have access to a wealth of information about these sacred gestures, and anyone can use them. Even if you’re a beginner, you can start incorporating mudras into your practice to level up your energy, emotional health, and spirituality.
If you’re not sure where to begin, you can approach mudras with a specific goal in mind, or simply an open, experimental attitude. Below, we’ve provided a road map to a selection of mudras that are easy to perform and impart meaningful benefits that are useful to anyone who is just starting out. Like many other yogic traditions, regular practice of these mudras is key to realizing long term gains.
Try one or several of the mudras below to get started deepening your yogic journey. You can use any of these mudras in conjunction with your yoga, meditation or pranayama practice. If you’re not sure how to approach a mudra, simply sit in Easy or Lotus pose for 30-45 minutes while performing the task. Following are the list of mudras with pictures :
Ashwini Mudra is a yogic technique that involves contracting and relaxing the anal sphincter muscles. This practice is considered to be an important aspect of Hatha Yoga, as it helps in controlling and regulating the energy flow within the body.
Ashwini Mudra is believed to stimulate the Muladhara, or the root chakra, which is responsible for grounding and stability. The contracting and relaxing of the anal sphincter muscles during the practice of Ashwini Mudra is said to help release stored tension and increase blood flow to the area, promoting physical and mental well-being. Additionally, this mudra is believed to improve digestion, regulate elimination, and increase the overall strength of the pelvic floor muscles. As with any form of yoga, it is important to practice Ashwini Mudra under the guidance of a qualified instructor to ensure proper form and avoid injury.
Prithvi Mudra aids the healing process by spiritually balancing the earth element within your body. Along with meditation and pranayama, you can use this mudra while performing some yoga postures — particularly those that require careful balance to help ground and support your body.
Touch your thumbs to the tips of your ring fingers on the same hand, with your remaining three fingers extended straight — connecting the earth element with fire.
Chances are you’ve been practicing this mudra all along without realizing it. Anjali Mudra is the prayer position students make with their hands at the beginning or end of a yoga session. It activates your third eye chakra, improves focus, self-awareness, and stability.
Simply press both palms together in a prayer position at the center of your chest, or directly in front of your heart. Your fingertips should be pointed toward the ceiling, taking care to press the entire surface of your palms completely together.
If this mudra looks familiar, you may have seen it on display with buddhist statues, or in a meditation class. The purpose of Dhyana Mudra is to act as a seal — promoting stillness, concentration, and balance.
While sitting in Easy or Lotus pose, rest your hands in the center of your lap with your right hand on top of your left, palms facing up. Touch your right and left thumbs together to create the “seal.”
This is another commonly used mudra that you may have already incorporated into your meditation practice. It’s the mudra you turn to in order to promote mental clarity and gain access to your higher wisdom.
Touch the tip of your index finger to the tip of your thumb, with your remaining three fingers extended straight. Rest each hand in this mudra on your knees while sitting in Easy or Lotus pose.
Like Gyan and Prithvi Mudra, this gesture also involves connecting your thumb (fire) with another element. By activating your space (or ether) element with fire, you can increase your level of positivity, patience, and self discipline. Use this mudra whenever you feel the need to empower your sense of duty and self-control.
Press the tip of your middle finger together with the tip of your thumb. You can use this mudra while meditating or performing a pranayama technique — like Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril) breathing. You can also turn to this mudra anytime you need a little help with patience.
Are you looking to power up your chakras and awaken your kundalini energy? Prana Mudra is intended for that purpose, as the mudra for removing blockages in your chakras and energizing your vital life force.
Touch both your ring and pinky fingers with your thumb, uniting earth and water with fire. Keep your middle and index finger straight. Perform this mudra while sitting in a meditative posture, or while practicing specific kundalini postures.
If you’ve attended a rock concert, you might have seen this mudra on display without realizing it. Little known to fellow concert goers, this hand position actually utilizes space and earth elements to improve digestion and release stress.
To practice Apana Mudra, you can meet the tips of your middle and ring fingers with the tip of your thumb. Alternatively, you can hold the tips of your middle and ring fingers behind your thumb. For best cleansing results, perform this mudra while practicing Breath of Fire.
In this mudra, we are connecting air and earth elements with fire for greater concentration, increased energy, improving your blood circulation, and decreasing stress. Rudra Mudra can also help to balance your emotions and relieve dizziness or vertigo.
Press the tip of your index and ring fingers to the tip of your thumb, while keeping your remaining fingers extended. You may find it difficult to keep your middle and pinky fingers straight — just do the best you can.
Kali Mudra, also known as the "thumb mudra," is a hand gesture commonly used in yoga and meditation practices. This mudra is formed by touching the tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger, while keeping the other fingers extended. The thumb represents the individual consciousness, while the little finger symbolizes the supreme consciousness. When the two are joined in Kali Mudra, it is believed to symbolize the union of the individual and universal consciousness. This mudra is said to bring balance and peace to the mind, helping practitioners to focus and deepen their meditation practice. Additionally,
Kali Mudra is believed to enhance the flow of energy in the body, promoting physical and mental well-being. It is typically performed while sitting in a comfortable and upright position, with the back straight and the eyes closed. Kali Mudra is a simple yet powerful tool for enhancing one's spiritual practice and achieving a greater sense of inner peace and harmony.
Meditation Mudras are hand gestures used in various spiritual practices to help direct energy flow and focus the mind. Each mudra is associated with specific chakras, or energy centers, within the body and is believed to help activate and balance these centers. In this article, we will explore the various types of meditation mudras for the chakras and their significance.
Root chakra is associated with the feeling of safety, stability, and grounding. To activate the root chakra, the Vajra Mudra can be used. This mudra involves touching the thumb and index finger together, creating a circle.
Sacral chakra is associated with emotions, creativity, and sexuality. To activate the sacral chakra, the Varuna Mudra can be used. This mudra involves touching the thumb and the little finger together, while keeping the other fingers extended.
Solar chakra is associated with personal power, self-esteem, and self-confidence. To activate the solar plexus chakra, the Ganesha Mudra can be used. This mudra involves touching the thumb and the middle finger together, while keeping the other fingers extended.
Heart chakra is associated with love, compassion, and forgiveness. To activate the heart chakra, the Anjali Mudra can be used. This mudra involves bringing the palms together in front of the heart, as if in prayer.
Throat chakra is associated with communication, self-expression, and creativity. To activate the throat chakra, the Shuni Mudra can be used. This mudra involves touching the thumb and the index finger together, while keeping the other fingers extended.
Third Eye chakra is associated with intuition, imagination, and inner vision. To activate the third eye chakra, the Shambhavi Mudra can be used. This mudra involves looking at the space between the eyebrows, with the eyes slightly closed.
Crown chakra is associated with spirituality, wisdom, and enlightenment. To activate the crown chakra, the Sahasrara Mudra can be used. This mudra involves touching the tips of the index and middle finger to the thumb, while keeping the other fingers extended.
In conclusion, meditation mudras are an important tool in helping to activate and balance the chakras, promoting physical and mental well-being. By using these hand gestures in meditation and spiritual practices, one can cultivate a greater sense of inner peace and harmony, and achieve a deeper connection with the divine
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