What Are Mudras and Why Is It Important In Yoga?

What Are Mudras

Yoga and Ayurveda mention Mudras as an important key to diving deep into spirituality. Not only in Hinduism but we have also seen several Buddha idols doing mudras in their meditative state. We also see the Hindu God ‘Shiva’, also known as ‘Mahadeva’ performing various types of Mudras with his hand gestures. 

Many young people who try to adopt meditation in their lives also mimic the mudras. But as they are not aware of its importance and the right way of performing it, they don’t get the best results of mudras. 

What are Yoga Mudras? Is there only one mudra that we often see the most? Why is it so important? Is this just blind or there is a solid base for it? In this blog, I am going to discuss the Mudras, their importance, and the basic mudras that you can perform without anyone’s help. So be with me and read the blog completely.  

What are Yoga Mudras?

Mudra plays a very important part in Yoga and Ayurveda both. The literal meaning of Mudra is ‘Seal’, ‘Mark’, or ‘Gesture’. The phonetic Of Mudra is ‘Mu:dra’. It is a gesture of spiritual authenticity, the seal of energetic representation of what’s inside a human being. 

Different mudra is for channelling the different energies inside your body. Ancient Ayurveda says that our body consists of millions of circuits that carry information and energy. By performing several mudras, we can channel these circuitries to perform effectively and direct our energy in the direction which we want. 

Along with Mudra, Yoga mentions breathing exercises that work in a particular way that improves our organ health, brain health, and self-awareness. In ancient Indian philosophy, both of these are keys to opening up the doors of spiritual consciousness. 

Origins of Mudras:

To be true, no one knows the exact origins of Mudras. We find many ancient civilizations using them while they meditate or worship. These are ancient Egypt, China, Christianity, Greek, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Hieroglyphics, and Tantric rules. However, Hinduism has the broadest concept of Mudras along with the breathing exercises Pranayama. 

These mudras are used for different purposes in different cultures. A practitioner can use it for increasing focus, transmitting teaching through symbols, channelizing healing forces, etc. Some cultures also attribute it to drawing magical abilities. 

Overall we can say that Mudras are a way to communicate the inner state with external expressions. Also, it is to channel your body’s energy in a specific direction. 

Three Basic Mudras:

Although we see mudras in several cultures of the world, Sanatan Dharma, or ancient Hinduism is the one that has the broadest concept and application. It teaches us hundreds of Mudras or hand gestures. Some of them are easier than others. A tough mudra would involve your elbow, hand, eyes, and tongue. The easiest one will only ask you to use your fingers while sitting in ‘Sukhasana’ or ‘Padmasana’ or ‘Virasana’. Natrajasna is an intermediate-level asana that uses mudra. 

1. Gyana Mudra:

Gyana Mudra represents the wisdom or knowledge of a person. Its motive is to channel our energy in such a way that will connect our consciousness to the greater consciousness of the universe. The great consciousness is also called the higher self. 

How to Perform:

  • Sit in the Sukhasana position. 
  • Keep your hands on your thighs. 
  • Keep your palms facing upward. 
  • Touch the tip of the index finger and the tip of the thumb finger by making a circle. 
  • Keep the rest three fingers straight and slightly at distance. 

As per the beliefs of Sanatan, our index finger represents the individual consciousness and our thumb represents higher consciousness. By touching the tip of these two, we complete the circuit. This way the energy does not leak by the open end of the fingertips but travels in a complete circuit only. This is called Pranic Circuit

2. Chin Mudra:

The Chin Mudra is quite similar to the Gyana Mudra but it works differently. This mudra enhances your focus and attention toward your inner self. It has a grounding effect. This introspective mudra helps you to concentrate. 

How to Perform:

  • Sit in the Sukhasana position. 
  • Keep your hands on your things. 
  • Keep your palms facing downward. 
  • Touch the tip of your thumb and index similar to Gyana Mudra. 
  • Keep the rest three fingers straight and slightly at distance. 

3. Anjali or Atmanjali Mudra:

Anjali or Atmanjali mudra is very well used in the Indian continent. Indian-origin people use it as Namaste. The word Anjali comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Anj’ which means honor or celebrate. This mudra shows the divine offering or a gesture of reverence to others. This is an integral part of yoga classes that practitioners do at the start & end. Also, different types of yoga classes teach this mudra in several asanas such as Tadasana, Vrksasana, and the whole set of Surya Namaskar. 

How to perform:

  • Bring the palms together. 
  • Press the thumb lightly on the sternum. Keep your finger pointing upward. 
  • Bow your chin towards the thumb. 
  • Don’t bend your neck completely. Try to lift the sternum up towards the chin. 

In ancient Sanatan dharma, the two hands represent the two hemispheres of the brain. The conjunction of the two palms shows the unification of the two brain parts. It also symbolizes our connection with ourselves and others. 

The Namaste means ‘The light in me bows to the light in you. It shows the compassion and union between two hearts. 

Importance of Mudras in Yoga:

 Indian civilization believes that our body is a conjunction of five elements. These are fire, earth, water, air, and space. And with fingers, we can direct our energy in such a way that it will make these elements powerful. 

As per the Isha Yoga, our hands are an instrument to open the ways of the miracle in our lives. By performing mudras, we can pinpoint our energy even to a single cell anywhere in our body. All your actions will result in some way you never expect. 

The mudras are key to channelling the Pranic energy of our body. Our body has millions of circuits through which the Prana energy travels in our body. You can stimulate this Prana-Shakti by performing the mudras. These mudras also help in quieting your mind. 

The five fingers represent the five elements of the body. Ayurveda believes that disease comes to our body as a result of an imbalance in these five elements. By performing the mudras with meditation, yoga, and pranayama, you can balance these elements and heal your body.  

  1. The thumb- Fire Element
  2. The index- Wind element
  3. The Middle Finger- Space Element
  4. The Ring Finger- Earth element
  5. The Little Finger- Water Element

It is quite surprising how our ancestors developed such very accurate predictions of the structure of our body system. Many people of modern science don’t believe in this and call it by the name Pseudo-Science. However, the practitioners have detailed inscriptions about the tiny details of the procedures, their effects, and their precautions. 

Above in this blog, I have discussed the mudras, the importance of Mudras, and the three mudras that you can perform in your home without any professional help. Start practicing them and tell us your experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.  How Should We Perform Yoga Mudra? 

Yoga mudras are a powerful technique that helps to calm your body & mind and channel your energy into different activities of your body. Here is the right way of performing it. 

– Sit in a quiet place either on a cushion or mat or chair. 

– Focus on your breathing. 

– Make your desired mudras with the help of your fingers. 

– Hold the position or mudra for 5-10 minutes. 

– Perform it regularly to get the best effects. 

2.  How Long Do Mudras Take to Start Affecting? 

There is no fixed time to witness the effects of yoga mudras. It can depend on several factors such as the mental & physical state of the practitioner and your environment. However, it is suggested that you must hold a mudra for 5-10 minutes for a few weeks to see noticeable changes. 

3.  How Many Mudras Should We Perform on a Daily Basis? 

There are no limits to performing Yoga mudras in a day. You can perform as many as you like. But take care of your body and mind before you push yourself into it. You must listen to your body conditions for better results. 

4.  What is the Right Time to Perform Yoga Mudras? 

Mudras can be performed anytime throughout the day. It calms your mind and rejuvenates your body with energy. As per your preferences, you can choose these times. 

– Morning time: Set a positive peaceful mood for your whole day.  

– Night time: Calm your mind & enhance relaxation. 

– During Meditation: Improve the quality of meditation. 

5.  How Long Should We Perform Mudras? 

You can go as long as you prefer. If you are at a beginner’s level, try to keep hold for 5-10 minutes at first. Gradually increase the time with practice. 

6.  Can We Perform Mudras After Having Food? 

Yes, you can. In fact, Yoga mudras after lunch or dinner can help in better digestion and have a soothing effect on your body & mind. However, you must wait for 30 minutes after your lunch or dinner to start practising Yoga mudras. 

7.  Should Women Perform Mudras During Menstruation? 

It is totally an experience and each woman is free to choose whether they want to do it or not. If practising mudras increases your cramps & discomfort, you can stop it. On the other hand, some women have reported that it has benefitted their menstruation cycle. It depends on you only to go for it or not.

Read Also-Three Yoga Postures To Boost Confidence While Pursuing Your Unique Purpose

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