Yoga Mudras for Life

on Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mudra is the science of hand and finger postures. It can help to cure bodily ailments in a wonderful manner. It affects the body's energetic sysytem and the flow of prana (life energy) within it. It actually helps in balancing the five elements ( panch-tattvas ) in the human system to their optimal levels.

A mudrā [muːˈdrɑː](Sanskrit: मुद्रा, lit. "seal") is a symbolic or ritual gesture in Hinduism and Buddhism. While some mudrās involve the entire body, most are performed with the hands and fingers. A mudrā is a spiritual gesture and an energetic seal of authenticity employed in the iconography and spiritual practice of Indian religions and traditions of Dharma.

In yoga, mudrās are used in conjunction with pranayama (yogic breathing excercises), generally while seated in Vajrasana pose, to stimulate different parts of the body involved with breathing and to affect the flow of prana in the body.

A brain research paper published in the National Academy of Sciences in November 2009, demonstrated that hand gestures stimulate the same regions of the brain as language.

General Guidelines for Mudra Practicing:
One should practice mudras in sitting postures either in meditation pose or sitting on chair keeping the back straight.

One should not practice Mudra full stomach.

One should discontinue the Mudra in case of uneasiness or pain in any part of the body.

It is important to know the benefits & contraindications of the Mudra before you adopt it.
It is very important to press the right points when taking the hand in Mudra. For e.g. in

Gyan Mudra one should press the thumb with the index finger at the point when pulsation like the heartbeat is felt and in case of Varun Mudra press the triangular tip of the little finger with the triangular tip of the thumb (as shown in fig.). If pressed near the nail it lead to dehydration else it helps in balancing and activating the water element in the body.

For optimum benefits practice Mudra with both hands.

It is important to be regular and consistent in practicing to yield permanent results.

Do not continue practicing the same Mudra after achieving results.

One should practice spiritual & healing mudras for 45 minutes to have victory over the Mudra or one may practice in many times a day prolonging the time period of holding every time.

1.Abhaya Mudra:

How & When:
"Abhay" means "fearless". Abhay Mudra represents protection, courage, and dispelling of fear. It acts like a shield for the practitioner. The Mudra is kept naturally with fingers joint, thumb close to fingers by the side of the head facing forward. One often sees Lord Buddha Meditating in this hand gesture,

1.Raise both your hands to the sides of your head.
2.Touch the forefinger to tip of thumb (just as in Gyan Mudra).
3.Hold the hand vertically straight by the sides.

a) Mind becomes fearless.
b) Gives a feeling of courage and strength.
c) It gives one the will power to take challenges and face them bravely.
d) This Mudra, which initially appears to be a natural gesture, was probably used from prehistoric times as a sign of good intentions - the hand raised and unarmed proposes friendship, or at least peace; since antiquity, it was a plain way of showing that you meant no harm since you did not carry any weapon

2.Gyan Mudra:
"Gyan" means "knowledge". It is the gesture of knowledge. This mudra is considered to bestow intelligence and wisdom. Hence the name.

How & When:
The most important and most known Spiritual Mudra is Gyan Mudra. Even a layman is well versed with this hand gesture adopted by even Gods and Gurus like Buddha, Christ, Guru Nanak Dev ji, and Swami Mahavirji etc. There are many variations of this Mudra as will be discussed later in this part.

To perform this Mudra one joins the tip of the index finger with the tip of the thumb of the same hand, keeping the rest of the three fingers straight. The hand is then kept on the knee facing up with elbows straight and body seated in Sukhasan, Padmasan, and Vajrasan or may be on chair with straight back. One can keep this Mudra for as long as comfortable and possible. One can perform this Mudra as any point of time. There are no diet restrictions for this Mudra.

One should preferably perform this Mudra while meditating to get maximum benefit out of it. Mornings and evenings are supposed to be the best time for it.

1.Bestows intelligence and wisdom.
2.Purifies the mind of the practitioner.
3.Cures many mental ailments.
4.Gives a feeling of joy.
5.Cures intoxication and addictive habits.
6.It helps boosting the cell activity in grey matter of brain.
7.It helps in meditation and naturally calms down the breath.
8.It brings peace within and lets one connect with self.
9.It brings the realization of rising beyond Trigunas.

3. Poorna Gyan Mudra:

This is the mudra of Lord Buddha. It clears the aura in the subtle astral body.

How & When:
The hand position is the same as Gyan Mudra for this Spiritual Mudra, except for the position of hands. The right hand is kept close to the chest with palm facing forward in Gyan Mudra and the left hand which is also in Gyan Mudra is kept on the left knee with palm facing up. The best time for this Mudra is during meditation.

1.Sit cross-legged.
2.Keep both hands in Gyan Mudra Posture.
3.Now keep right hand near chest region.
4.Keep left hand near knee region.

•This mudra improves memory to a great extent.
•It soothes irritable temperaments.
•It causes electrical changes in the electromagnetic activity of the brain leading to increased clarity and understanding.
•It relaxes the nervous system and calms the irritable temperaments
•The Mudra bestows intelligence and wisdom. This Mudra was generally performed by Seers and Yogis as the time of giving blessings to the disciples and students.
•This Mudra also adds to the Aura and Prana of the practitioner.

4. Cup/Chalice Mudra:

How & When:
This is a two hand Mudra. To perform this Mudra keep the right hand in the lap facing up and then keep the left hand over the right hand with the thumbs joined together pointing up(one may also do it alternatively by keeping one set of fingers over the other set of fingers facing up and the thumbs joined pointing up ) to form a cup with the hands. The order is to match the yoga asana. You would place the right hand on top of the left hand if the right leg is on top of the left leg and vice-versa.

a) This Mudra focuses on helping you balance your right-left energies. It promotes balance of the male-female energies.
b) This Mudra immediately lets u connect to self and also activates and balances the Sacral Chakra and Root Chakra.

5. Dhyana Mudra

How & When:

The Dhyana Mudra is generally performed by both hands. According to tradition, this Mudra derives from the one assumed by the Buddha when meditating under the Peepal tree before his Enlightenment The hands are generally held at the level of the stomach or on the thighs or to be more precise in the lap. The right hand is placed above the left, with the palms facing upwards, and the fingers extended.

In some cases the thumbs of the two hands may touch at the tips, thus forming a mystic triangle.

The esoteric sects obviously attribute to this triangle a multitude of meanings, the most important being the identification with the mystic fire that consumes all impurities.
a) The Dhyana Mudra is the Mudra of meditation and of concentration and of the attainment of spiritual perfection.,
b) It is generally prescribed to students to increase focusing ability as concentration exercise. It indicates the perfect balance of thought, rest of the senses, and tranquility.
c) The Dhyana Mudra helps mortals achieve this transformation.

6. Linga Mudra

"Linga" or "Angustha" means "phallus". Thumb is a symbol of masculinity.

1.Join both the palms.
2.Interlace fingers of both hands.
3.Extend one thumb upwards.
4.Encircle extended thumb with the index finger and thumb of the other hand.

•This mudra generates heat in the body and thus, while it "burns" away accumulated phlegm in the chest, it also makes the body more resilient to the cold.
•It helps in increasing dynamism in a person.
•Persons with bilious temperament should practice this mudra under the guidance of able and experienced person.
•Chronic cold is easily cured.
•It burns unwanted calories in the body, thus reducing obesity.

7. Mritasanjeevani Mudra

"Mritasanjeevani" means "Air". This mudra helps balance the air element in the body.

1.Fold the index finger (fore finger) on the pad of thumb.
2.Press the forefinger gently on the pad.
3.Touch the fore part of third (longest) finger and fore part of fourth (ring) finger with the fore part of thumb.

•This mudra strengthens the heart.
•It is very useful in all heart ailments.
•It helps normalize blood pressure.
•This mudra has also been found to increase self-confidence.

8. Prithvi Mudra

"Prithvi" means "Earth". This mudra helps balance the earth element in the body.

1.Place the tip of the ring finger (third finger) on top of the tip of the thumb.
2.Extend all the other fingers.
3.Keep them comfortably straight as possible.

•Normalizes body equilibrium.
•Helps remove physical weakness.
•Increases tolerance and patience.
•Helps all who practice spiritual meditation.

9. Shunya Mudra

"Shunya" means "zero" or "sky". Sky is connected with the highest forces - with the "upper person" - with head.

1.Lower the middle finger and place finger pad on the fleshy mound area of your thumb.
2.Cover it with your thumb.
3.Extend index, ring and little fingers.

This should be practiced for atleast for 45 minutes at a stretch for optimum results.

•This mudra improves impaired hearing.
•It cures earaches in minutes.
•It also helps in nausea, vertigo, and travel sickness.

10. Surya Mudra

"Surya" means "sun". Sun is the source of energy. Virtue of its energy is present in all living beings. Surya mudra attracts energy of the Sun.

1.Touch the third (ring) finger to the pad of thumb.
2.Press the thumb gently over this third (ring) finger.
3.Keep the other fingers aloof.

•This mudra decreases Earth element in body.
•It cures mental heaviness.
•It also reduces body fat.
•The mudra is good for weight loss.

11. Varuna Mudra

"Varuna" means "Water". It balances the water element in the body.

1.Touch the fore part of the smallest finger to the fore part of thumb.

•Regular practice of this mudra balances water element in body.
•This mudra enhances physical beauty.
•It decreases dryness in skin and body.
•It is beneficial in controlling coughs, colds, asthma, paralysis, vibration, sinuses, and low blood pressure.

12. Vaayu Mudra

"Vaayu" means "Air". This mudra helps balance the air element in the body

1.Fold the index finger (fore finger) on the pad of thumb.
2.Press the forefinger gently on the pad.
3.Keep the other fingers aloof.

•Helps in all nervous ailments.
•Helpful in pains and aches.
•Specific mudra for patients of Cerebral Palsy and Parkinson's ailment.


maheshwari said...

these mudras are fantastic. thank you so much for giving these mudras with picture.

Veeresh Hiremath said...

This website is given the nice description details about the Mudras,it is very helpful.


Anonymous said...

Hinduism has so much to offer to society....Thank you sooo much for sharing this ancient vedic knowledge with everyone.

gops said...

Thanks for the information.

Surbhi Sharma said...

Thank you so much for sharing this... U r really doing good job.. Keep sharing something intresting and benificial things..

mahimananda Yepuri said...

Very thankful to you sir for sharing the valuable information. Hope this continues forever.

Thanks & Regards

smart0034 said...

very good explanation.

Ravi Banswal said...

Some of my doubts about Gyan Mudra are cleared. Thanks a lot! PS: The image shown in point 3 - Purna Gyan Mudra appears different from its description. The description is correct but image does not seem to be so.

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