102: Mudras for Dummies

We have all crossed our fingers wishing for good luck, but did you know that finger puppetry ( mudra) can have amazing benefits from clear mind to clear skin? Mudra, also known as hand yoga, means seal. When we practice mudra we ‘seal’ together our hands or different finger combinations. The fingers in the hand represent five elements that make up the human body: air, wind, fire, earth, and water.   There are many mind, body and spirit benefits from practicing. Mudras aslo  seal energy in our body by creating a circuit that allows energy or prana to flow within us.

gyan mudraGyan/Chin Mudra: Gayan mean Wisdom in Sanskrit.

How: Lightly touch the thumb and index finger together.

Use: Useful for meditation and pranayama practice as it has a very grounding effect.

Benefits: To improve concentration, increase memory power, to relieve anger or depression. If held for at least ten minutes at bed time it can alleviate insomina. If you feel uneasy, nervous, or flighty this mudra will stimulate the root Chakra, having a grounding effect and improving concentration

anjali mudraAnjali/prayer Mudra: Anjali means offering in Sanskrit, derived from the word anj which means to honour or celebrate

This mudra can be performed with the thumbs at the heart of the eyebrow centre. Usually the head is slightly bowed. When performed the knuckles press but the hand is slightly open like a flower about to bloom.

How: Press the palms together in a prayer position.

Use: Often performed at the beginning or end of a class but can be used in many yoga poses as a reminder of humility.

Benefits: Centres and calms the practitioner, useful for stress or anxiety. It also connects the right and left hemisphere of our brain which has a balancing effect. Improves your complexion by making your skin glow.

shuni mudraShuni Mudra:

How: Bring thumb and tip of middle finger together.

Use: Useful during meditation to create patience but also the courage to fulfill and complete one’s responsibilies.

Benefits: Helps bring you into the present moment. Useful if you feel distracted and pulled in different directions.

Promotes patience, discernment, focus and discipline.

mudra 4thSurya/ Ravi Prithvi Mudra:

How: The ring finger and thumb lightly touch.

Use:  If you feel unsure of yourself or unstable. If you are lacking confidence this will increase your feeling of surety

Benefits: Strengthens the body and alleviates fatigue. Opens the mind and helps free it from irrational beliefs. Helps develop self-confidence. Improves blood circulation throughout the body. Corrects indigestion.

Practice for today: Sit quietly for ten minutes with a mudra. If you practice yoga asana try using the different mudras during your practice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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