Image credit Joyce Huntington
Mudras, also known as “Yoga for the hands” and “finger power points”, are symbolic hand gestures. They are subtle physical gestures representing spiritual concepts. In the yogic tradition, they act as a barrier to redirect prana and prevent it from escaping, thus inducing deeper states of awareness and concentration.
They have been in use in the East for thousands of years, particularly in Buddhism. Buddha statues often have the hands in certain hand positions. There are hundreds of different mudras used for specific healing purposes and meditation. The most well know mudras are probably the ones performed during prayers and meditations. The Christian crossing of the fingers for prayer is a mudra, and so is the “Namaste” Indian greeting gesture (that is also used while praying), where the hands are held in front of the chest, the palms touching.
Those symbolic hand gestures are also used in reiki, tai chi, aikido, religious or spiritual rituals, Indian classical dance and oriental dances. They have been used as a spiritual practice (and still are), as a way on the path to enlightenment and wellbeing.
Mudras have an influence on body energies and moods. By positioning the fingers in various mudras, we can regulate the flow of the vital elements in the body, promoting health and mind-body balance. They can help you open your chakras and they are also used to alleviate physical ailments. They each have several and different benefits, so you will have to investigate which mudra can help you accomplish your goal.
The mudras help us bring our attention within. They are more efficient if you bring consciousness to their meaning, accompany them with a positive affirmation and/or a visualization.
It is best to practice 2 or 3 times a day, for a few minutes, ideally for 15 minutes. You can also make it part of a meditation. Some of the mudras can be performed in your pocket!
Hold the finger-positions with both hands, at the same time. This will have a more powerful effect than doing a mudra with just one hand.
Examples of mudras
There are over 500 mudras so we cannot look at them all here but below are some mudras to help you open your chakras and a quick exercise to balance your body energies for healing and transformation. I practise them quite often and I find that they also help me focus and develop clear-thinking.
Mudras for your chakras
As you perform the following mudras, take a deep breath, focus, and set your intention to open the desired chakra. You can also use positive affirmations at the same time.
Mudra for opening your root chakra
Bring your index finger to the thumb, in a circle.
Mudra for opening your sacral chakra
Rest your right hand on top of your left hand, thumbs are touching.
Mudra for opening your solar plexus
Bring your fingertips together, thumbs against each other, forming a triangle.
Mudra for opening your heart chakra
Curl your index finger towards the base of the thumb. Bring your middle and ring fingers together with the thumb.
Mudra for opening your throat chakra
Interlace your fingers on the inside of your hands, thumbs are touching.
Mudra for opening your third-eye chakra
Curl your fingers together except the middle fingers. Bring your thumbs together.
Mudra for opening your crown chakra
Interlace your fingers except the pinky fingers.
Mudras for transformation
You can do this exercise anywhere at anytime! While walking, lying down, sitting, while stuck in traffic, on a bus… It will help you feel calm, relaxed and more focused instantly. It will also support your body in balancing energy.
The following is a sequence to balance your energy. It is recommended to hold each mudra for a few seconds, setting an intention simultaneously. Practising with both hands at the same time will increase the benefits. Feel free to do a few rounds for a few minutes.
The thumb touches tip index finger: brings energy to the legs and lower part of the body, helping you feel more grounded.
The thumb touches tip of middle finger: develops patience.
Thumb touching tip of ring finger: enhances stability, self-confidence and can be used as protection against negative energies
Thumb touching tip of pinky finger: excellent to help you connect to your heart centre and develop intuition
Mudras: Yoga in Your Hands by Gertrud Hirschi.
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