Mudras And Their Meanings:
A mudra is a hand position that balances energy in the mind and body.
The Sanskrit word “mudra” is translated as a mark, seal, or gesture.
Mudras were created by ancient yogis to restore physical health, calm the mind, and optimize energy.
”When the five fingers are touched and pressed in a peculiar way to form a Mudra, it affects the levels of the five elements in our body, thus balancing those elements and inducing good health,” wrote Advait in ”Mudras for Beginners.”
Mudras have been an integral part of many Buddhist and Hindu rituals.
They are used extensively in meditation and yoga.
Every mudra moves the energy in a specific way throughout the body to create emotional, mental, and physical changes.
List Of 11 Powerful Mudras And Their Meanings:
#1 Shuni – Seal of Patience
The name of this mudra comes from the Sanskrit word ”shunya,” meaning “openness,” “emptiness,” or “spaciousness.”
The Shuni mudra helps turn negative emotions into positive ones. Also, it encourages purity, wisdom, compassion, and understanding towards others, and patience to fulfill one’s duties and responsibilities.
According to Ayurvedic medicine, Shuni mudra is effective for those with a dominant vata, which is the dosha (governing energy) linked with waste elimination and the nervous system.
How to do it – touch the tip of the middle finger to the thumb tip while keeping the other 3 fingers straight and relaxed.
The thumb symbolizes divine nature and fire. The middle finger symbolizes the courage to hold responsibility and duty.
When both fingers are placed together, it is meant to signify and encourage discernment, focus, patience, and discipline.
Dhyana mudra, also known as samadhi mudra or yoga mudra, is thought to have been used by Shakyamuni Buddha throughout his life — most notably during the moment of his enlightenment under the Bodhi tree.
In addition, Dhyana mudra is believed to invoke a sense of calm – perfect for sitting in meditation or silent contemplation.
How to do it – put the left hand on the palm of the right hand, both of the thumbs are on the opposite each other, and the palm of the right hand is toward the sky. Furthermore, the top of the thumbnails touches together.
Prana mudra is designed to increase vitality and activate the Muladhara chakra.
This energizes the physical body and awakens all the organs.
Other benefits of prana mudra include increased energy levels, improved digestion, reduced stress levels, and enhanced mental clarity.
How to do it – the tips of the ring finger and little finger touch the tip of the thumb. The middle finger and index finger remain erect.
The Prithvi Mudra is so-called due to the fact that it helps to equalize the element of Prithvi (earth) within the physical body.
The practice of this mudra generates confidence, stability, and strength. It also strengthens the bones.
It is believed that this mudra helps to channel energy into the root chakra, which is associated with feelings of security and safety. As a result, prithvi mudra can be a helpful tool for those who wish to achieve a greater sense of calm and peace.
How to do it – the tips of the ring fingers are pressed to the tips of the thumbs on each hand. The other fingers are kept straight.
Important note – pregnant women must avoid doing Prithvi Mudra.
The practice of this mudra is said to bring awareness to the physical body, which helps in keeping the mind and body in excellent health.
This mudra is effective in balancing the air elements in the body.
Chinmaya Mudra is a simple hand gesture using the index finger and the thumb.
How to do it – bring the tips of the forefinger and thumb together and form a circle. After, curl the remaining fingers into the palms, and place the palms on your upper thighs.
#6 Buddhi – Seal Of Mental Clarity
Buddhi means intellect, hence the Buddhi mudra enhances mental clarity.
Buddhi mudra balances the water element of the body. It also helps with gaining a higher understanding.
In traditional yogic practices, it is thought that Buddhi mudra helps us to increase concentration.
How to do it – the tip of the thumb and the tip of the little finger touch with light pressure while the rest of the fingers remain extended.
Practicing Prasanna mudra makes the hair healthy and lustrous. Also, it prevents hair loss and reduces graying.
Other benefits are:
- treats dry and silky hair;
- improves hair thickness;
- strengthens hair;
- stimulates hair regrowth;
- prevents split hair.
How to do it – bring the hands near the chest and rub the nails of the 4 fingers with each other.
Vayu mudra decreases the air element in the body. The air component of the body becomes decently equilibrated with the practice of Vayu mudra.
The air element represents the ability to move freely, effortlessly, and lightly, and is embodied in the breath, putting us in touch with the flow of energy (prana).
How to do it – place the tip of the index finger inside the base of the thumb. Then, the base of the thumb is slowly pressed into the tip of the finger, and the rest of the three fingers keep extend as much as possible.
Note – the rest of the fingers should all remain straight. Furthermore, this mudra should be done with both hands simultaneously.
#9 Gyan – Seal of Knowledge
It is a powerful mudra that is practiced for thousands of years by yogis. It brings calm, peace, and spiritual progress.
Also, the mudra empowers the mind, sharpens the brain, and improves the working of the endocrine system, nervous system, and pituitary gland.
Moreover, a regular practice of Gyan mudra brings spiritual openness and ease in meditation as well as expands our field of possibilities and releases us from mental limitations.
How to do it – bring the tips of the index and thumb fingers together and form a circle. Keep the remaining fingers stretched and the palm facing upward.
READ MORE: An Overview of Yoga
The Apana mudra is a powerful mudra for energizing the body.
It is also very effective in eliminating toxins and wastes from the internal organs of the body.
How to do it – bend the ring finger, the middle finger, and the thumb so that the tips of these fingers are touching.
Note – the little finger and index finger remain straight.
READ MORE: Yoga Poses For Knee Pain
Surya means ”sun” in Sanskrit, and Surya mudra is known to increase the fire element (works like a catalyzer which boosts willpower against the yoga practices) in the physical body. In addition, Surya mudra decreases the earth element within the body.
It is thought that by practicing Surya mudra daily, you will be able to enjoy a healthy weight without hassle.
How to do it – bend both ring fingers and place their tips on the bases of the thumbs.
Note – Surya mudra can be done in any position you are comfortable with. Perform this Surya mudra every day for 30 minutes for better benefits.
Images credit – Shutterstock & Getty Images
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References http://www.isca.in/rjrs/archive/v6/i2/3.ISCA-RJRS-2017-008.php https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5934951/
Sunday 3rd of October 2021
thank you for showing how to do the Mudras but pleaase tell me for how long do we do each one ....Also I had an accident at home and lost the top of my second finger left hand so no nail there and also my little finger on left hand is bent crooked so can't be straight ...will this make a difference or is Intent enough
Insight State's Editorial
Sunday 3rd of October 2021
Intent is not enough, but you are okay.
Saturday 6th of March 2021
Gratefull and its would be usefull for beginner to learn yoga
Sunday 15th of November 2020
Very nice and informative article .A query is that can one practise all these mudras even if he or she doesn't know which chakra or element in their body needs to be increased or decreased?
Wednesday 23rd of December 2020
Yes. Mudra will never harm you in anyway. Each mudra can be practiced for 5mins safely
Thursday 22nd of October 2020
Only comment I have is that each mudra has to be done for a certain period of time it would be useful for beginners if this information could be added I would have found it useful thanks xx
Wednesday 14th of October 2020
Thanks. It would be great help