Meditation Hands

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In the practice of Yoga, you are encouraged to use your body in many ways, but ultimately with the intention of drawing yourself inward. Mudras are powerful tools for accomplishing this. The term mudra applies to the use of hand gestures during meditation that carries specific goals of channeling your body’s energy flow. There are more than 100 known mudras that have been developed over the centuries. Here are 10 commonly used mudras that have been championed for centuries for their efficiency in providing health and empowerment.

1. Gyan

Method: This mudra is performed by touching your index fingertip to the tip of your thumb while holding your other three fingers straight.

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2. Buddhi

Method: This mudra is performed by touching your thumb to your pinky finger while holding your other three fingers straight.

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3. Shuni (or Shoonya)

Method: This mudra is performed by touching the tip of the middle finger to the thumb tip while keeping the other three fingers straight and relaxed.

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4. Prana

Method: Perform this mudra by touching your ring and pinky fingers to the tip of your thumb, while keeping the other two fingers straight. 

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5. Dhyana

Method: To do the Dhyana mudra, simply sit with your hands facing upward, right hand resting on top of your left palm. The right hand, representing enlightenment and higher spiritual faculties, rests over the left hand, representing the world of Maya, or illusion.

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6. Surya

Method: Perform this mudra by bending your ring finger to the base of your thumb so that your thumb touches the ring finger’s knuckle. Stretch your other three fingers straight without stressing the hand.

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7. Apana

Method: To do this posture, bring your second and third fingers to your thumb. The way you position your fingers may differ depending on the discipline you are learning from. Some say that you should rest the two fingers just slightly behind the tip of the thumb, but in many depictions, this mudra is demonstrated by bringing the middle and ring finger to the tip of the thumb.

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8. Ganesha

Aside from the mental and spiritual benefits on your heart chakra, the pulling motion is also beneficial to your cardiac muscles and good for tension in this area of the body.

Method: Place your left hand in front of your chest with your palm facing outward and left thumb down. Next, place your right hand in front of your left with your right palm facing toward you and your left palm. Lock your fingers together, holding them in a half-bent position like a claw.

During your meditation, inhale deep, holding your hands in this gesture, then pull outwardly on your hands as you exhale without unlocking your fingers. Repeat this motion up to six times, then reverse the gesture (i.e., put your right hand in front of your chest facing outward with the thumb down). Be sure to perform this mudra the same number of times in each direction to maintain the balance of the pulling action.

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9. Vayu

Method: At first glance, this mudra may seem very similar to the Gyan mudra. The difference is the Vayu has you connect the thumb to the knuckle or hump of the index finger, as opposed to the fingertip in Gyan. Press down on the index finger to your level of comfort; this gesture is intended to relax not strain the joint. For optimal results, do your Pranayama exercises while holding this mudra.

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10. Rudra

Method: To do this mudra, connect your thumb to your index and ring fingers while keeping your other two fingers as straight as you can.

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