What’s in a Mudra?

Using a mudra brings another dimension to the yoga practice by facilitating the flow of energy in the subtle body.

Yoga mudras are symbolic gestures often practiced with the hands and fingers in yoga and meditation. Using a mudra brings another dimension to the yoga practice by facilitating the flow of energy in the subtle body.

There are many types of Mudras designed to bring different benefits, depending on what we specifically need. Each finger represents a different element, they are:

  • Thumb –  fire and universal consciousness.

  • Index finger – air and individual consciousness.

  • Middle finger – space and connection.

  • Ring finger –  earth and the body.

  • Little finger –  water and the emotions.

Mudras are one way of creating balance between all of these elements within us.

One of my favourite mudras and a crowd favourite is Gyana mudra, done by bringing the tips of the thumb and index finger together and keeping the other three fingers lightly stretched. This symbolizes the unity of fire and air as well as the unity of universal and individual consciousness. This mudra increases concentration, creativity, and is a gesture of knowledge. Keep the palms facing up for deeper internal insight or facing down to feel more grounded.

Gyana mudra is connected to the root chakra and is used to reduce tension by calming the energetic body. Many yogis use it in meditation to focus and seek more internal guidance.

If you haven’t used mudras in your practice why not give it a try, if nothing else it will lift your sense of extension and grace.

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Barbara Courtille