Mudra is an ancient yogic practice that came to humanity from sacred Hindu texts. Mudras are not just symbolic positions of the fingers, and not just gymnastics for fingers. This is yoga for the fingers, where each position of the hands carries its own meaning. Each person can benefit from it if he learns how to use this knowledge correctly. Proper use of mudras can affect the physical, emotional, and spiritual state by affecting one or another energy channel.
There are about 180 different fingers positions. In this regard, there is even a separate teaching called yoga mudra. Of course, it is unnecessary to know all of them; even a dozen major ones will be enough. Mudras are used to correctly redirect energy in the body, to control prana, to change the psycho-emotional state. Also, with their help you can affect pain points and eliminate problems in the body and in consciousness. Many yoga asanas include mudras.
Six major energy channels associated with the heart, lungs, brain, liver, spleen, vascular system, the large and small intestines, pass through the hands and fingers of a person. That is why the hand has such tremendous healing power. By connecting your fingers in certain combinations, you can activate the meridians and restore the flow of energy and, eventually eliminate “breakdowns” in diseased organs.
Each finger corresponds to certain energy:
- The index finger is associated with knowledge, wisdom, and self-confidence.
- The long finger is responsible for patience and ability to control feelings.
- The ring finger is responsible for health and vitality.
- The little finger is a creative component of the personality, ability to see the beauty.
- The thumb is our ego, will, and logic.
The most well-known and effective mudras:
1. Gyan, Jnana mudra or mudra of knowledge
Gyan or Jnana mudra (mudra of knowledge) helps to eliminate stress, sadness, and grief. It gives hope and confidence in the future. In addition, Jnana mudra improves concentration and helps those who need to process large amounts of information, to better memorize it.
It is traditionally believed that the practice of Gyan mudra on the subtle plane activates the Sahasrara chakra, and on the physical one – harmonizes the biological rhythm, normalizes blood pressure; eliminates anxiety and tension; helps to cope with depression and prostration; improves memory, stimulates mental function, awakens human reserve capabilities.
It is very useful while meditating on an object or intention. Connect the thumb and index fingers, and keep the rest straight.
2. Dhyana or Samadhi mudra
Dhyana mudra or mudra of concentration is one of the most popular in Buddhism. If noticed, most of the images of the meditating Buddha represent him with the hands folded exactly in Samadhi Mudra. In ashtanga yoga, it is considered to be the seventh step – meditation, preceding the eighth step – enlightenment (Samadhi).
Dhyana Mudra calms the thoughts and helps to reach the state that is of particular importance for meditation – peace of feelings and mind and full concentration of attention. This mudra is used not only for meditation, but also to attract success, well-being, and longevity.
Put both hands on the knees in the form of a bowl: the right one is in the left, the thumbs are touching. Hands form a closed energy circle, which also corresponds to the position of the legs (if you sit in the classical pose for meditation). Both hands, which form the bowl, symbolically inform that you are free inside, clean and empty, and ready to accept all that you need.
3. Vajra Mudra
In Indian mythology, Vajra – the “thunderbolt” is the weapon of the god Indra, a special mystical power, concentrated energy that personifies the world and the power of the Spirit. Practicing this mudra helps to concentrate the healing energy of the channels and directs it to normalize vascular disorders. Therefore, as a preventive measure, this mudra is useful in case of hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and circulatory disorders.
Fold your palms by connecting your thumbs with the side surfaces. Straighten index fingers and also connect them. Cross the rest of your fingers together.
4. Aakaash mudra
Mudra of Ether or Heaven increases the element of ether in the body. It brings a sense of peace, kindness, love, and helps to feel stability. Aakaash Mudra also enhances the positivity of thinking and eliminates destructive programs in the subconscious. It effectively works during meditations.
Use this mudra when you feel that you need additional strength to cope with all matters. On the physical level, Akasha mudra improves hearing and thyroid function.
Put your hands on your knees, palms up. Connect the tips of the big and middle fingers on both hands and straighten the other fingers.
5. Anjali Mudra
Anjali mudra or mudra of gratitude which we also know as a welcome gesture while saying “Namaste”, contributes to the harmonization and alignment of the energy flows in our body, activates and balances the work of the right and left hemispheres of the brain. It helps to focus and maintain inner balance. It also gives you the opportunity to be in contact with your higher consciousness and intuition.
The position of the hands in front of the chest contributes to inner composure, creates a feeling of harmony, peace, and tranquility. Use this mudra while meditating or reciting a mantra, to strengthen the inner attitudes to problem solving.
Put your palms together and place them in front of your heart. Tilt your head slightly forward. Focus on your feelings; try to unite the mind or consciousness, heart and body in this gesture. When you managed to concentrate, move your palms to your forehead and also concentrate on your feelings, then return them to your heart.
6. Abhaya Mudra
We can often see Abhaya-Mudra on images of ancient Indian deities. This mudra of protection not only demonstrates the power of the deity, but also promises protection to people — protection from the fear they experience.
Fear is the one of the most powerful negative emotions that causes most problems, unhappiness, and illness. On the physical level, fear causes tension, muscle spasms, which impede the normal circulation of vital energy, resulting in the formation of so-called energy blocks.
Therefore, an indispensable condition for spiritual and physical healing is overcoming fear. Abhaya Mudra, the mudra of fearlessness provides a great help for this. Fear has a negative effect on all organs and systems of the body, but primarily on the kidneys and adrenal glands, disrupting their work. Regular practice of the mudra has a healing effect on the kidneys.
Abhaya Mudra helps to cope with a sense of fear and insecurity. It improves and harmonizes relationships with other people.
Raise your right hand to the level of your chest facing outward. Place your left hand on your left thigh, knee, or heart area.
7. Agni Mudra
Agni is a Lord of Fire. And this mudra balances the element of fire in the body. Regular practice helps to burn fat, improves the functioning of liver. It helps in the treatment of diabetes. Agni or as it is also called Surya mudra improves vision, strengthen immune system, the digestive system, and also prevents the formation of various tumors. It strengthens the Manipura chakra, which is located below the navel.
Take a comfortable meditative position. Place your hands on your knees with your palms up. Press the ring finger to the palm with the first phalanx of the thumb. Perform mudra up to 20 minutes a day. Imagine a bright golden light emanating from above. Concentrate your attention on the solar plexus, from where this light spreads throughout your body, burning diseases, and negative emotions.
8. Adi Mudra
Adi Mudra improves the work of upper respiratory organs. It is recommended to use this mudra while practicing pranayama for greater effect.
Benefits of Adi Mudra: relaxes the body, reduces snoring, increases the flow of oxygen to the head and throughout the body.
Take a comfortable meditative sitting posture. Put your thumb in the palm. Slowly clasp your thumb with the other bent fingers. Put your hands on your knees and focus on breathing on the upper part of the lungs.
9. Apan Vayu Mudra
Apan Vayu Mudra or as it is also called Life-Saving Mudra is used for heart attack or its symptoms, pain in the heart. Relief comes immediately, almost like nitroglycerin. This is the first aid for heart attack. The practice of mudra regulates and stabilizes the work of the heart muscle, soothes and relieves anxiety caused by symptoms and pains in the chest.
The ability to perform this mudra can save a person’s life, so take it into account. Most of the pain and heart problems are associated with negative thoughts. Apan Vayu Mudra practice has to be necessarily accompanied by a love for yourself and your deeds, so it will bring the maximum effect.
It is better to proceed to perform this mudra with both hands at the same time. The index finger is bent so that it touches the base of the thumb. At the same time the tips of the middle, ring finger and thumb touch. The little finger remains straight. Hold hands without tension.
10. Apana Mudra
Apana Mudra is associated with the descending energy of apana-vayu, which is responsible for the excretion system. This mudra helps to flush out toxins and poisons from the human body through the skin and kidneys. Regular practice eliminates inflammation in the liver, pancreas, stomach, small and large intestines. It cures problems with the urinary system. Apana Mudra can have a painkilling effect. It also affects person’s character, balances emotions, which is significantly associated with the functioning of the liver, and its detoxication.
Join tips of middle, ring, and thumb fingers together, the remaining fingers are straight. Perform this mudra with both hands at the same time. Hold hands without tension.
It is better to practice it in the morning: it will improve your skin, speed up digestion, give energy and confidence for the whole day.
11. Atmanjali Mudra
Atman is the Hindu divine essence of the Universe; this is what is called God in our culture. This mudra is used by almost all cultures for prayer rituals and worship services. In practice, mudra contributes to the harmonization of the internal energy of the body.
Atmanjali prayer mudra helps to balance the work of the right and left hemispheres of the brain, it eliminates irritability and gives clarity to the mind, gives spiritual strength.
Performing this prayer gesture, you can enhance the effect of meditation. On the spiritual level, mudra will help to calm the mind and give the state of balance and harmony. Mudra Atmanjali is especially useful to those people who suffer from a depression and irritation. It helps to get rid of depression, unwillingness and physical fatigue, strengthens immune system of the body.
Put your palms at the level of solar plexus. The tips of the fingers of both hands should be touching and pointing upwards. Keep the palms of the right and left hand at a short distance from each other. Breathing is smooth and calm. Imagine a place where you feel great, a place which nourishes you with positive energy. Imagine that you are there, feel how the life energy fills you. Surround yourself with silence, ask questions and be grateful for all thoughts that come.
12. Ahamkara Mudra
Ahamkara is an approximate model of our True Self, a principle that generates egoism and egocentrism, the center of the mental, emotional, and physical functioning of a person.
Performing Ahamkara mudra will help to restore and increase self-confidence, to resists shyness and fear. This mudra is useful for chronic low self-esteem.
Take a comfortable posture to perform mudra. Place the upper phalanx of the thumb on the middle phalanx of the index finger, closer to the first phalanx. The remaining fingers are straight and relaxed. Do it with both hands, hold hands without tension.When doing mudra, focus on the solar plexus area and imagine that with each exhalation your fears and self-doubt leave you.
13. Bhramara Mudra
Bhramara mudra is also called Bee mudra, because Bhramara translated from Sanskrit means a big bee. Same like a bee collects pollen; this mudra eliminates various allergic diseases. As you know, the presence of allergies is a kind of the immune system failure. Practicing mudra will help to get rid of allergy symptoms and holistically strengthen the immune system.
On a psychological level, allergic reactions are a manifestation of uncertainty in one’s actions, a denial of the strength and a failure to accept reality. Mudra helps to eliminate fears and worries, to increase self-confidence.
Place the tip of the index finger into the hole at the base of the thumb. Connect the tip of the thumb with the tip of the middle finger. Ring finger and little finger remain straight.
14. Bhudi Mudra
Bhudi mudra harmonizes the “water” element and, accordingly, helps to restore the fluids balance in the body.
You can guess what diseases of which organs can be cured with the help of bhudi mudra. This is primarily the kidneys, mucous glands, and bladder. Many people believe that water carries some information that can be useful or harmful – it depends on the way that water molecules passed. When practicing bhudi-mudra, we harmonize the informational component of water which composes 80% of our body with our own personality.
This Mudra can be used for dry mouth, eyes, dysfunctions of the kidneys and bladder. It also improves the sense of taste.
Connect the tips of your little finger and thumb. Let other fingers open naturally. Do it with both hands.
15. Bhutadamar mudra
Bhutadamar mudra protects against the influence of destructive forces, neutralizes destructive programs. It clears intuition from fantasy images, helps to set realistic goals and achieve them.
Cross wrists in front of the chest. At the same time, the right hand should be closer to the chest, and the left one – further; the right hand is above the left. Bend your ring fingers; you can press them with your thumbs to the palm.
You can slightly bend middle fingers. The palms are turned to the sides. Relax and do this mudra for 5 minutes.
16. Ganesha Mudra
In Indian mythology, Sri Ganesh was a deity personifying wisdom, joy, wealth and well-being. His father was God Vishnu himself. When Ganesh was young, his father cut off his head for disobedience, which was then lost. As Vishnu did not find the head of his son, he had to sew the head of an elephant. So the image of Sri Ganesh has a human body and the head of an elephant. For Hindus, this deity is considered the most beloved and worshiped.
Ganesha mudra helps to strengthen the heart, it stabilizes its work. Practicing mudra, you stimulate the muscular structure of the heart, the work of the cardiovascular system.On a spiritual level, mudra helps to gain self-confidence. It strengthens the fourth chakra, giving courage, and helping to open ourselves to the new relationship and to restore the openness with the people we love. Heart mudra is especially useful for those who have heart problems, low self-esteem, and communication problems.
Your left hand is in front of the chest; the inside of the palm is turned out. Bend your fingers. Now connect the left hand with the right, so that the back of the right hand is directed outwards. Move your hands to the heart level. While exhaling, pull both hands in different directions, but do not disengage them. At the same time, you will feel tension in the muscles of the upper arm and the chest. While inhaling, relax your muscles. Repeat six times, and then put both hands on the chest. Then change the position of the arms and perform the exercise six times more.
17. Kubera mudra
Kubera mudra is very powerful. It is aimed at the fulfillment of desires, gives confidence, and helps to find harmony. Its effectiveness depends on how you practice it.
It is advisable to use visualization while performing Kubera mudra, to clearly imagine what you want. With its correct practice, you can achieve the desired in a relatively short time. It is noteworthy that functionally this mudra does not possess any magical properties, and if a person performs it regularly, the desired object will not suddenly appear on his desk one day. However, it helps a person to retrain mind and, therefore, to see clearly what actions should be taken to achieve the desired.
Connect the tips of the thumb, index and middle fingers. Put the remaining two in the middle of your palm. Breathe deeply. Keep focus on your hands and intention.
This mudra is recommended for people having problems with nose breathing, frontal sinus congestion, uncertainty, lack of purpose in life.
18. Ksepana Mudra
Ksepana mudra is a gesture symbolizing ambrosia pouring. It was the drink of the Gods in Hindu mythology. The drink gives immortality and youth.
Ksepana mudra helps to cleanse the body of negative and damaged energy, get rid of irritability and restore emotional stability. On the physical level, the practice of mudra cleans large intestine and stimulates perspiration.
Place your hands in front of the chest, palms facing each other. Clutch all fingers except index. Index fingers remain straight with connected tips. The tip of the upper thumb should be in the hole between the thumb and index finger of the other hand. There is a small space between the palms. At the end, relax completely both hands and place them along the hips. Perform 7–15 cycles of breathing with concentration of attention on the exhale.