Mudras are those subtle hand movements which are often attributed to Indian dances. More than an aesthetic gesture, each of them has a special meaning and is practiced as an art. Here are some examples of mudras to practice which will invite more wisdom into your daily life:
Origins of the Mudras
The term Mudra has several meanings in Sanskrit, one of which is: sign or seal, whereas according to the Tantric school, it comes from the decomposition of the word with the syllable mu- which means happiness and dru-, signifying to emphasize. Mudras are then a set of postures which generate a sense of fulfillment.
Originally, it comes from the successors of the Veda, one of the oldest cultural traditions in the world. Brought to India by the Aryans more than 3,500 years ago and considered by Hindus as the source of all knowledge, Vedic teachings transmitted orally have always revered mudras as genuine sacred gestures.
Mudras have since been introduced in yoga and meditation not only to promote mental stability, but also to stimulate energy curing points.
The specific positioning of fingers, hands and the entire body, create a powerful energetic field. In yoga, it is called assana. Therefore, these movements are a link between our body and the precise vibration that they are producing.
Each of our five fingers is related to an element. The thumb is associated with fire; Agni, index to air; vayu, middle finger to the ether; akasha, ring finger to earth; prithvi and auricular to water; jala. By making associations with our fingers, we allow the elements to collaborate and thus release their energies into our body, bringing harmony and balance as well as promoting the vital breath; the Prana.
The mudras, point by point
- Atmanjali Atmanjali mudra
The right hand represents the sun, the left hand, the moon. By joining them, you allow the connection between the spiritual and material world. The Atmanjali is the mudra of prayer: of demand but also of gratitude.
Join them at your chest, on the chakra of the heart, in order to fully feel peace and love.
- The Lotus
There are two types of positions for this mudra, like a lotus flower that could close and open to infinity. It is advisable to visualize it during the time of your practice, to allow an opening to the nature as well as the divine that resides in you.
It is the mudra of compassion, it helps to accept others as they are. Practice it in front of your face to increase its effects.
- The Jnana mudra
Here, fire and air combine to allow energy to enter but not to exit. It is the connection between the individual, represented by the index finger, and the universe represented by the thumb.
It is the mudra of knowledge and concentration when the palm is presented to the sky. The palm down is called Chin mudra, which brings a better understanding of oneself.
- The Shunya mudra
Joining fire and ether, this mudra allows a better approach of the space that surrounds us. He invites us to listen, he calms the mind and purifies us.
It is the mudra of the ear. Our eardrums being the basis of our balance; it is in this sense that it allows us to better situate ourselves in space.
- Prana mudra
Here three forces are associated, those of fire, earth and water. It increases the vital energy, prana. Practiced regularly, it brings a dynamism and a great physical force.
It is the mudra of the eyes, it promotes better sleep and a clearer vision of things.
- The Surya mudra
The thumb comes to rest on the ring finger, like the fire that would warm the earth. It activates solar energy and brings physical strength.
It is a mudra that is practiced by concentrating the mind on the solar plexus, it is effective when trying to lose weight.
- The Dhyani mudra
The two thumbs meet and represent the universal soul. The space created; invites meditation on the void. It is often associated with Buddha who is regularly represented when practicing this mudra.
It is the mudra that allows the dissolution of illusions.
- The Yoni mudra
Yoni in Sanskrit means uterus and as such, it symbolizes the origin of life and femininity. Her practice is particularly effective in case of painful menstruation, or for preparation for childbirth.
This mudra circulates the energy of the chakra from the base upwards.
- The Ganesha mudra
Place your last phalanges juxtaposed and then fold your hands. Place them at the level of your chest and then pull without too much force in the opposite directions. This action will open the heart chakra.
It is the mudra that allows one to give and receive love, it also participates in the proper functioning of the heart.