Amidst a 30 day Yoga challenge with Adrienne via YouTube, I felt inspired to further my research into the benefits of yoga, meditation and mindfulness, which lead me to the fascinating world of Mudras.
Mudras by definition are a ““seal”, “mark”, or “gesture”; a symbolic or ritual gesture in Hinduism and Buddhism. While some mudras involve the entire body, most are performed with the hands and fingers. A mudrā is a spiritual gesture and an energetic seal of authenticity in which there are 108 mudras used in regular Tantric rituals. In yoga, mudras are used in conjunction with pranayama (yogic breathing exercises), generally while seated in Padmasana, Sukhasana or Vajrasana pose, to stimulate different parts of the body involved with breathing and to affect the flow of prana (cosmic energy) in the body.” — Wikipedia & Chopra Centre
I have already begun incorporating some of these Mudras into my daily meditations which have benefited me enormously, and I felt the need to introduce you to them in the hope that it will too deepen your connection to Source. They are also a great practice whilst en route to riding yourself from stress, depression, anxiety and fear.
Below are the top 5 Mudras that have benefited me the most, how to do them with pictures and their meaning.
Specific Hand Mudras
In ancient times, Sages or teachers established that the fingers possessed the five elements; Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Our hands are believed to hold specific energy points, wherein specific movements could manipulate a particular element.
- Thumb: Space
- Index Finger: Air
- Middle Finger: Fire
- Ring Finger: Water
- Pinky Finger: Earth
The first-hand position I use most often is called Buddhi; I keep a dream diary as It helps me release any fears or worries in my subconscious that I am not consciously aware of which allows me to understand their message and this hand position allows me more clarity on their meaning. Buddhi is a Vedic Sanskrit word that means the intellectual faculty and the power to “form and retain concepts, reason, discern, judge, comprehend, understand”. In laymen’s terms, Buddhi allows us to distance ourselves from the ego so that we can become connected to our true, inner wisdom; not only does this improve our communication internally but also externally in our daily lives.
How To: Palm facing upwards, bend the pinky finger and place the thumb over the pinky whilst keeping the index finger, middle finger and ring finger straight.
Connecting Elements: Space and Earth.
Prana is believed to be the energy source in all living things and keeps nature in balance, it is also, arguably the most important mudra. For those that practice Yoga, you will already be familiar with this and reaping the benefits. Prana awakens our dormant energy within the body and activates our Root Chakra. It is a brilliant way of reducing nervousness, increasing self-confidence, regulating blood flow, reducing stress, anger and allows us to become more patient among many other benefits. 30-45 minutes is the suggested time spent in meditation using the Prana mudra, to feel the full effects. Personally, this has eradicated my exhaustion from Anxiety attacks in the past.
How To: Connect your ring and pinky fingers to the tip of the thumb, keeping your index and middle fingers straight.
Connecting Elements: Water, Earth and Space.
The Ganesha mudra derives its name from the Hindu god Ganesh, who is considered the remover of obstacles. Practising this mudra position gives you the courage to overcome anything that is holding one back and as a result, strengthens the heart; the storyline for the lion in the Wizard of Oz brings about a whole new meaning, right? Ganesha mudra is believed to stimulate our metabolism and digestion and also connected to the Heart Chakra as is considered a heart-opening practice, meaning you are awakening the courage and strength within your heart to help you through troubling times. In particular, if you are currently suffering from depression, heartbreak or sadness, Ganesha mudra can relieve symptoms which have become part of my daily meditative practice.
How To: Place your left hand in front of your chest, palm facing away from you. Take your left hand and position it in a claw shape or as if you were gripping a handle; fingers bent whilst your thumb lays straight over the side of your index finger. Repeat for the right hand in its mirror image; palm facing towards the chest. Connect both hands as pictured.
Connecting Elements: All of the five elements.
Rudra mudra (try saying that five times fast), is associated with our Solar Plexus; our personal energy centre and the controversial Hindu God Shiva who possesses contradictory qualities being both the protector and the destroyer, therefore, Rudra mudra is about transforming our internal transformative abilities. In Sanskrit, Rudra means ‘Lord’ which is rather fitting given that Rudra allows us to access our own energy centre or our higher, infinite energy source, mostly used to define God. This mudra is used when we want to achieve our highest potential and reach our goals; most often, carrying tension in the body, feeling exhausted can prevent us from doing so, therefore meditating in Rudra mudra allows us to clear these symptoms so we can move forward to success.
How To: With your palms spread out facing you, bend your index finger and ring finger towards you, to meet your thumb, leaving your middle finger and pinky straight.
Connecting Elements: Space, Air and Water.
The last mudra I use often is Kubera; the Hindu god of wealth. This mudra heightens our inner desires which can often be blocked and encourages the flow of monetary energy. Daily practice will also heighten your confidence, greatly needed in order to align your wishes with your actions so that you can increase and regulate your flow of wealth. With the adjoining energies of Fire, Air and Space, your desires and wishes will come true. It is recommended that you do this for at least 2-3 minutes a day whilst thinking about what you want to receive or achieve and as often as you can throughout your day.
How To: Palms facing towards you, bend your Index finger and middle finger towards your thumb. Straighten your thumb and connect it to your Index and middle finger. Now bend your ring and pinky finger into the creases of your palm.
Connecting Elements: Fire, Air and Space.
There are hundreds of Mudras so if you would like me to make this into a blog series where we can discover the benefits of other mudras then let me know on social media or in the comments section below.
Have you tried any Mudra before? I have found the above integral to my spiritual growth and aid with changing my life.
Sending you all love and light.