Mudra is from the Sanskrit vocabulary which withholds yogic values in words. It means closure, or the seal. Referring to hand postures and other physical gestures which have an effect on the energy flow of the body, yoga mudras are indispensable in systematic practice of yoga. However, it is a lesser known and a more subtle branch of yoga. A healing modality, yoga mudras can be infused in the practice in combination with yoga breathing exercises to intensify the flow of prana or life force in target parts of the body.
These hand postures are known to promote positivity in the biomagnetic fields of being—the psyche, the physical body, and the sphere of mental activity. Clearing the psychic centers and the subtle channels in the body, mudras allow the pranic life force to flow free. As it could be observed, most of the mudra hand postures are in the form of a shield. This fortification is built against the negative energies of the outside world.
The canonical foundational text of Mudra understanding is Yog Tatva Mudra Vigyan.
Let us find out about the benefits of this modality in the mechanism of 5 basic yoga mudras:
The Chin mudra, also known as the ‘consciousness seal’ is meant to connect us to our higher self. The posture invigorates us from within, lifting a dull spirit, and creates a more receptive state of consciousness. Calm to the mind, and overall mood brightening is part of this parcel. The Chin Mudra is performed in meditation, pranayama, and asana.
- Bring together the thumb and the index finger lightly together. Extend the other fingers in a fan.
- Don’t exert pressure on the convergence of the fingers.
- Straighten the remaining fingers lightly
- Placing the mudra hands on the thighs as you sit is a yoga posture in appropriate. The hands must face upwards
- Observe the breath flow as you perform this mudra
This is another simple hand gesture. Operative in improving the flow of energy in the body, chinmaya mudra is often coupled with restorative yoga postures. The subtleties of this mudra are also beneficial for stimulating digestion.
- Join the thumb and forefinger, much in the fashion of the chin mudra. Form a ring with this joining of the fingers. Now, fan out the remaining first, and then curl them up in the palm of the hands.
- Place them on the thighs. Do this as the palms face upwards. Start breathing in the Ujjayi pranayama style to facilitate more effective digestion.
- Be present in the moment as you observe and reflect on the flow of the breath and its effects.
This mudra of the hands is subconsciously connected to nervous system and its stability. Providing thorough relaxation of the nervous system, this gesture helps reducing snoring too. An enhanced level of oxygenation, flow of clean blood to the head and increased lung capacity is associated with this gesture.
- Place the thumb at the base of your small finger.
- Curl the remaining fingers over the thumb. Thus, form a light fist.
- Facing upward, place the palm on the thighs as you do a seated yoga posture, and repeat the pranayamic
This mudra is often recommended to boost energy levels and improve focus at work. The brahma mudra, also known as the purna mudra is an uncomplicated hand gesture that will help deflect energy trapped in the body, directing sharp reflexes and flow to the brain.
- Form both hands in Adi Mudra.
- Rub together the knuckles of both hands.
- Place them with the palms facing upwards on your thighs as you sit in padmasana. Alternatively, you can place them at your navel at a lying yogic position.
- Thus positioned, observe your breath flow.
Metaphorically, the apaan mudra is performed to increase balance of elements and space and earth within the body. Useful in curing constipation and flatulence, piles, anuria and such other diseases, apan mudra is incorporated in yoga postures to improve digestion.
- Bring your hand in an open position with the palm facing turned outside
- Place the tips of the middle and the ring finger together with the thumb
- Keep the touch light and relaxed
Now give your yoga practice a different level of enhancement with the mudras recommended above.