Mudras are sacred ritual gestures or hand positions. When used in religious dance they become an elaborate hand language. The Sanskrit word Mudra means seal. In the most antiquated times mudra was used with mantra and sealed the pattern of energy. The earliest mudra was the Sanskrit symbol. From this primordial system of mudra grew a secret language that became as diverse as the country it was practiced in. Mudra is likewise used for the purpose of prayer.
Mudra is a pattered movement mainly of the fingers that carries an idea or emotion. Mudras are a gesture language capable of expressing ideas and suggesting symbols. Mudras create an energy field and can be used in healing. The ultimate goal of mudra is a higher state of consciousness.
In yoga these sacred hand positions relate to the energy flow of a particular meditation. They enhance the asana (posture) and sound current (mantra). Mudras in yoga are symbolic of mantras and send signals to the glands and to a specific part of the brain depending on the purpose of the meditation or yoga set.
1. Name of Mudra: Gyan Mudra
Gyan mudra is the most commonly used mudra in yoga meditations and meditations in general.There are two kinds of Gyan Mudras:
- Passive Gyan Mudra
Join the tip of the thumb and index fingers and keep the other 3 fingers stretched and joined. Let the hand rest on the knees.
Enables one to communicate clearly. Passive Gyana Mudra invites meditation, invites calmness and helps tune in to new awareness, knowledge and abilities.
- Receptive Gyan Mudra
Receptive Gyana Mudra invites the teacher and the teachings and is excellent for powerful exercises and breathwork.
2. Name of Mudra: Tranquility Mudra
Buddha gave it his disciples for control of the mind. Sit in easy Pose with a straight spine and with the elbows bent, bring the hands up and in until they meet in front of the body at the level of the heart.
The elbows should be held up almost to the level of the hands. Bend the index fingers of each hand in towards the palm. Join them with each other so they press together along the second joint. The middle fingers are extended and meet at the fingertips.
The other fingers are curled into the hand. The thumbs meet at the fingertips. Note that the extended fingers point away from the body.
Hold the mudra about 4 in. from the body with the extended fingers pointing away from the body.
- Focus on the tip of your Nose.
- Inhale completely and hold the breath
- Repeat the mantra of your choice 11 to 21 times.
- Exhale hold the breath out.
- Repeat the mantra an equal number of times
- Practice for three minutes
Benefits: This meditation will tranquilize the mind within three minutes.
3. Name of Mudra: Namaste Mudra/ Prayer Pose
Join the hands and tuck the knuckles of the thumbs into the notch in the center of the chest where the ribs come together. Exhale and inhale deeply.
This mudra meditation will bring the knowledge of all the past present and future teachers to you. It is an opportunity to experience mudra, mantra and breath as a meditation.
Prayer mudra neutralizes the positive (right or male) and negative (left or female side of the body. It stimulates the mind nerve, which is the only nerve that comes out of the mind.
Prayer or Namaste Mudra is often used when blessing food, beginning prayer or tuning in before doing a yoga or meditation. It is the mudra to neutralize the nadis (subtle energy channels that link the charkas including Sushumna, Ida and Pingala Nadis).
4. Name of Mudra: Surya mudra
Put the tip of ring finger at the base of thumb, with thumb gently pressing on it
Reduces body weight.
5. Name of Mudra: Prana mudra
Helps in pumping the life force into your body. Beneficial for all types of diseases. Imparts special power to the eyes.
Join the tip of the thumb with tip of little and ring finger. Keeping other two fingers straight.