Mudras : the yoga of the fingers
Mudras, also called Mudra Yoga or “finger yoga”. The origins of these products are to be found in the Vedic culture dating back more than 3000 years. It is about gestures, attitudes or postures which aim to “seal” the energy current that circulates in us. Mudras are an integral part of the practice of yogathey are a way to reconnect to oneself to reconnect with oneself, and to enter more deeply into one’s practice.
In this article, you will discover the meaning, practice and benefits of the most used and popular mudras!
The term Mudra means ” seal “It is a “symbol”, but it has many meanings! When performed during Indian sacred dances, it represents a given mood or situation. But if we look at the etymology of this word, we observe that it is composed of “mu” which means happiness and “dru” which means “highlighting”It is therefore a practice that aims to improve the overall health of man to improve the global health of the man, and allows to be in a positive state of mind.
Mudras are mentioned in the sacred Hindu texts (Vedas), dating back over 3000 years agoIt was originally a spiritual practice to invoke a deity. Although they were developed in Indiathe mudras were gradually spread in the Far East, Central Asia and Tibet.
They can represent finger positions, gestures or postures, most often done with the hands. Mudras as we know them today are inspired by traditional Indian dances and are intended to create a certain energy that is physically and mentally beneficial.
The most common mudras are the Hasta Mudras, which are movements performed with the hands, called “finger yoga”. He works on the meridians, and his practice is very similar to reflexology.
In the Vedic tradition, each finger of the hand is connected to a constituent:
- The thumb is related to fire: agni
- The index finger is connected to the air: vayu
- The middle finger is connected to the ether: akasha
- The ring finger is connected to the earth: prithvi
- The little finger is connected to the water: jala
The term “Jnana” means wisdom in Sanskrit. It is the seal of wisdomit allows us to to become aware of our submission to the sources of suffering that are constantly plaguing us in order to move away from them, thanks to an important work on oneself.
To practice this mudra, place the tip of your index finger on the phalanx of your thumb and turn the palm of your hand towards the sky .
Jnana Mudra completes and reinforces the action of the yoga posturesit allows to reach a state of mental calmIt allows the yogi to keep a stable and relaxed posture during his session.
The term “Prana” means vital energy in Sanskrit, so it is of the seal of the vital force. It is used to activate the energy that lies dormant in our subtle bodywhile balancing the earth, water and fire in our physical body.
For this mudra, you need to join the little and ring fingers and place them on the thumb, while the index and middle fingers remain extended.
This Mudra increases our life force, and self-confidence. It also regulates blood pressure by reducing the narrowing of blood vessels, stimulates our immune system and reduces vitamin deficiency and fatigue.
The term “Surya“means sun in Sanskrit, it is the seal of the healing. It is often practiced to body and mind, it increases the fire, thus causing an increase in body temperature.
To perform mudra, bend your ring finger at the base of your thumb, leaving the other fingers extended.
It has the effect ofkeep colds away, reduce body fat, improve digestion, boost metabolism. It also calms anxious and agitated minds.
The term “Gyan“means knowledge in Sanskrit. The Gyan Mudra, also called Chin Mudrais therefore the seal of knowledge, it is used to direct and channel direct and channel energy and maintain concentration.
Place your index finger on the tip of your thumb, and keep the other fingers straight. It can be used in sitting meditation postures, but also in standing asanas such as utthita parsvakonasana.
This mudra allows toimprove concentration and sharpen memoryThis is a mudra to use if you want to develop your knowledge. This is one of the most popular mudra, it is often used during meditation sessions.
Space and Air
The term “Buddhi“means ” intellect” or “perception “in Sanskrit. The Buddhi Mudra is the seal of the clairvoyanceIt is used to balance the fluid but also to improve mental clarity.
Join your thumb to your little finger, and stretch out your other fingers.
This mudra will significantly improve your internal and external communicationIt allows you to cure or relieve diseases resulting from a lack of water : digestive problems (constipation, indigestion), skin disorders (psoriasis, eczema), anemia…
The term “Shuni” means “emptiness”, “opening”. It is the seal of intuition, it aims to decrease Akasha, the Ether constituent within our body, and to reduce the heaviness of mind.
Join the tip of your middle finger with the tip of your thumb and leave the other fingers extended.
This mudra has different benefits: itimproves intuition, alertness and sensory powers. It purifies our emotions and thoughts, and promotes our ability to be patient, stable and disciplined. It gets rid of motion sickness and dizziness and has a beneficial effect on our hearing.
Element: Space and Fire
The term “Ganesha” refers to the Hindu elephant god Ganesh, this mudra brings self-confidence, courage to overcome all obstacles.
Place your left hand in front of your chest, your palm should be facing out, then grasp your left hand with your right hand. Lock your fingers together, holding them in a half-bent position.
This mudra helps you find positivity and courage when you are going through difficult times, it removes fear and lifts your spirits. It gives the strength and will to persevere when you feel down.
The term “Vayu” means “air”, which is why it is often called “air gesture”, because it regulates the air.
To do this, bend your index finger past the first phalanx and place it against the palm of your hand with your thumb. The other fingers should remain extended.
This gesture is very effective against diseases related to air imbalance: gas, flatulence, abdominal discomfort and joint pain. It calms the uncontrollable tremors suffered by people with Parkinson’s disease and relieves the pain of polio patients.
Element : Space and Air
The term “Apana” designates one of the 5 vital breaths of yoga: the breath of excretion. This mudra aims to detoxify and purify the body, but also to balance space and earth.
To perform this mudra, bend your middle finger, ring finger and thumb so that the tips of the three touch. The two remaining fingers: the index and the little finger must remain straight.
It helps digestion,eliminates waste, chemicals and toxins in the body, helps prevent certain diseases, promotes balance and harmony, and generates energy in the liver and gallbladder.
The term Rudra means “howler” or “terror”.this mudra is associated with the goddess Shiva, because she acts on the internal transformation capacities. It gives strength, courage and especially of the will thanks to its link with the chakra Manipura.
To practice this mudra, join your thumb, index and ring fingers and leave your other fingers straight.
This mudra activates the solar plexus chakra (Manipura), it has many benefits: it improves mental clarity, help with the concentrationrelieves tensionimproves breathing, improves vision, reduces feelings of dizziness and exhaustion, energizes the body in general, it is beneficial for theautonomy.
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