Mudras are symbolic hand gestures often thought of as yoga for the hands.
They can be used in yoga or meditation practices, as well as any time you are seeking connection to a specific energy.
These hand gestures are used to focus energy on intentions such as grounding, connection, healing, or peace.
According to ancient Vedic beliefs, the universe is made up of five pillars: fire, air, space, earth, and water, and these elements can be sensed within the human hand. Each element is associated with a finger: thumb (space), pointer finger (air), middle finger (fire), ring finger (water), little finger (earth).
It is believed that we experience poor health and spiritual issues when these pillars are lacking balance. Since each one of our fingers is associated with an element, moving our fingers in certain positions will help us to find more balance with these elements within us.
In mudras, a finger, or multiple fingers come in contact with the thumb which boosts the flow of the electromagnetic current throughout the hand. Fingers have nerve pathways that when touched in a certain way can redirect our energy flow.
Focusing this movement on areas associated with specific elements will help to bring about balance within that area.
Connects space & air.
Try it on: Bring the tip of your thumb and pointer finger to touch so that you form an “O” while keeping the other three fingers extended.
Probably the mudra most well known, Gyan Mudra is thought to elevate the element of air and help the heart to feel open and the mind calm.
This mudra also helps to bring clarity and improves memory.
It is useful during meditation or savasana at the end of a yoga practice.
Connects fire, earth, and water.
Try it on: Bring the tip of your thumb, ring, and pinky finger to touch while keeping the pointer and middle fingers extended.
Because the prana mudra wakes up stagnant energy within the body, it can help to create movement and opening in the same way a deep breath does after you have felt closed off for a while.
This mudra helps you to feel strong and energized.
It can be used during a meditation practice or incorporated into an empowering yoga pose such as crescent lunge.
Connects all the elements while bringing together the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
Try it on: Bring the palms to touch at heart center.
“Anjali” is Sanskrit which translates to “offering”.
This mudra is frequently used in yoga and meditation classes as an offering of respect and gratitude to the teacher and student within all of us.
It can also be used in a personal practice to help you reconnect with your heart and bring you to a place of gratitude.
Mudras are simple ways to help us to reconnect with ourselves and the universal energy of which we are apart.
They are easy to do, can be done at any time, and can invite more intention into your life.