Easy Yoga Mudras

mudras
Image credits: Shutterstock

Ready to remove toxins from the body? Based on different yogic philosophies and Ayurvedic healing methods, mudras are beneficial hand gestures that can help. They’re the perfect way to bring your body and mind into alignment.

Exploring Yoga Mudras

Maybe you’re new to mudras yoga and questioning what is mudra in yoga. Mudra is taken from the Sanskrit root word for complete or seal while Hasta means hands. As a hand gesture, hasta mudras help guide energy through the face, hands, or body. They can increase our consciousness and expand our breath and energy systems.

It’s worth mentioning that there are hundreds of hand mudras throughout Tibet and India. Here’s a video example of 11 different mudras. Hand mudras are a form of healing modality that involves different fingers and hand positions. Mudras let energy leave from the fingers and travel to the rest of the body. Hence, the fingertips are pressed at different points in the palm. These trigger reflexes in the body and mind.

If you’re a beginner, pay close attention to the subtle techniques that you will use with your fingers as you work on meditation. This will help you to line up your brain and physical body.

Because mudras can affect the unconscious reflexes that exist between the brain and the body, they help bring us into harmony. Your fingers might be crossed, curled up, stretched out or pressed against each other. You may also apply pressure at different points as each finger is connected to the five elements.

Mahabhutas Hand Elements

The elements that connect the human hands include fire, air, water, soil and space. From the Vedic wisdom, the five elements align with the five fingers in the following way:

The thumb is fire (Agni), the index finger is air (Vayu) and the middle finger is space/ether (Aakasha). The ring finger is earth (Prithvi) while the pinky is water (Jala).

Depending on the movements of your fingers and hands with mudras, you can let internal energy flow in the pranas which are the body and mind connections. Hence, training your body and mind to meditate and focus on an internal balance during yoga hand mudras can promote overall healing in the body.

Pran mudra
Pran Mudra (image credits: Shutterstock)

Benefits of Mudras

Mudra yoga can increase your life force. Take Pran Mudra, for example, when you touch the tip of your thumb to your ring and pinky fingers. It builds immunity, can improve circulation and improve your vision. Pushan Mudra is another type of mudra that can improve digestion. It helps the spleen, liver and stomach. You can do this mudra in a seated position, directly after eating, as it aids in digestion.

To begin using mudras, practice with a few and use them as a way to relax and meditate. Work on your mental clarity, increasing energy and for daily reflection. Because mudras use your hands, they can serve as a stimulant. They increase the light that comes into your immune system, while also reducing depressive and anxious thoughts.

Mudras are used in restorative yoga sequences, and practicing the Aakash Mudra has several benefits. Ensure you work on your breathing along with the finger positioning to receive deeper results. Because you are increasing the space element, the other elements can receive room and increase, so the body is better balanced. Increasing space also unblocks the energy and your body can regulate and receive more nourishment.

A chakra activated by the Aakash Mudra is Vishuddhi, which is in the throat and can bring more balance to your hormones. This mudra also detoxifies your body, reduces weaknesses in the bones and can regulate your blood pressure. It can purify your mind and give you a deeper meditative sense of spirituality.

Examples of Mudras

In exploring the different types of mudras, the Apana Mudra is one of the most powerful mudras for increasing energy in the body and alleviating different ailments.

To achieve Apana Mudra, for example, with your fingers stretched out and your palms facing out, you’ll find that this powerful mudra can help to energize your body. It will also rid the body of toxins and waste in the internal organs. Hence, you might want to drink a lot of water after practicing yoga hand mudras. Mudras provide several types of healing benefits.

Aakash Mudra (or Shuni) in Sanskrit means to recognize or view. This combines the thumb and middle finger being pressed together with the remaining fingers outstretched. Because the middle finger is space, it associates with the guru Jupiter and helps improve your teaching abilities.

Precautions with Mudras

When practicing different mudras, there are a few precautions to remember. Take Aakash Mudra, for example. It’s best performed when you’re sitting, not standing. You also don’t want to practice these types of Mudras if you have Vata dosha (a high airy element in the body). It’s also best to only practice this Mudra early in the day and on an empty stomach.

Additional precautions include that women should not perform Mudras in their first two trimesters. For additional information, speak to a doctor that specializes in yoga, an Ayurvedic Vaid, an integrative healthcare practitioner or an energy practitioner.

FAQs

Which mudra is most powerful?

The Apana Mudra is one of the most powerful mudras as it can raise your energy level and rid your body of waste and toxins in the internal organs. Hence, drink plenty of water after this mudra. You can even picture yourself invoking the powerful Lord Savitar!

Do mudras actually work?

Yes, mudra yoga has existed for thousands of years in India and Tibet. While it might take time to explore these different healing modalities, give yourself time and concentrate. If you’re a beginner, pay attention to the subtle finger techniques as you meditate to line up the body and brain.

What is the purpose of a mudra?

A mudra can help energy leave your body from the tips of your fingers while it travels throughout the rest of your body and mind. It’s also a way to alleviate physical body ailments. Hence, the fingertips are like a dashboard or control panel. When pressed at different points in the palm, they create or trigger reflexes in the body and mind.

How long do you hold a mudra?

Ideally, if you’re just starting with yoga mudras, find one to do each day and hold it for 15-minutes, three times every day. You might want to aim for morning, noon and at night. The longer you do it the more effective it becomes. If you combine your mudra with meditation, use finger positions with both hands at once. However, a word of caution. As you build up to 45 minutes for each mudra every day, you might feel finger pain if you’re just starting out.

Can mudras be done after eating?

Similar to other yoga routines and spiritual practices, an empty stomach is better. Hence, you might want to do your mudra an hour or two after you eat or before breakfast, lunch or dinner. When your stomach is full of food, it can make it more difficult to concentrate because your body is going through digestion. The body usually takes about two to three hours to properly digest food. It requires blood during that time. Hence, it’s best to have your stomach void of food so that you can fully tap into and release the energy from your fingers into your body.