The meaning of hasta (hand) mudras

chin-mudra

23 Sep The meaning of hasta (hand) mudras

Hasta mudras mean hand gestures adopted during asana, pranayama and meditation that directs flow of energy into our body. According to the Tantras these mudra yoga techniques stimulate different areas of the brain.

“(Sanskrit: , lit. “seal”) is a symbolic or ritual gesture in Hinduism and Buddhism. While some mudra involve the entire body, most are performed with the hands and fingers. Mudra (Sanskrit) is “spiritual gesture” and energetic “seal of authenticity” employed in the iconography and spiritual practice of Indian religions and Taoism. (Wikipedia).

According to the yogic science, the human body comprises of five basic elements – the Pancha Tattvas. The five fingers of the hand are connected to these vital elements in the body.

The five Tattvas (elements)

Chin mudra

This is a very commonly used mudra in meditations. Touch the tip of your index finger with the tip of your thumb. The other three fingers, you may keep them straight or free. It doesn’t matter even if they are slightly bent.

Benefits:

  • Redirects the “Prana” or the flow of energy within our body
  • Improves and increases concentration
  • Stimulates of the energies based at the Mooladhara Chakra

chin_mudra_1

Jnana mudra (BSY)

Fold the index fingers inside root of the thumbs. Straighten fingers of each hand so that they are relaxed and slightly apart.

Benefits:

  • Redirects the energy inwards
  • Internalizes the mind
  • Calms the mind.
  • Reduces the distractions arising in the mind.

PS:  Chin mudra  as taught by BSY:  Same as Jnana except that the palms are facing upwards.

Jnana-mudra1

Vishnu Mudra (hand gesture of Lord Vishnu)

This is one of the hand gestures used to alternate the breath through the nostrils during Nadi Shodana. Index and middle finger rest on the palm. The thumb and fingers rest lightly just above the nostrils so very little movement is needed to close each side during practice.

Benefits:

  • Used for  nadi shodhana pranayama

vishnumudra

Bhairava and Bhairavi Mudra 

Bhairava: the right hand on top, we are invoking the Shiva.
Bhairavi: left is on top it is, we are invoking the energy of Shakti.

Benefits:

  • Harmonizes c the right and left hemispheres of the brain
  • Unites all opposites.
  • Used for meditation as it brings a sense of inner balance

Anjali Mudra

Anjali Mudra is, in effect, positioning the hands in the attitude of prayer but instead of pressing the hands together completely, the fingers need to form a shape a little more like a bud. Leaving this small space is a symbol of opening our heart to greater understanding.

Benefits:

  • Connects the right and left hemispheres of the brain.
  • Connects the practitioner with spirituality.
  • Promotes respect for oneself and others.

anjali-mudra

Akash mudra

The tip of the middle finger touches to the top of thumb. Remaining fingers are to be kept straight but at ease.

Benefits:

  • Develops intuition and extra sensory powers,
  • Detoxifies the body by the elimination of metabolic wastes.
  • Activates throat Chakra.
  • Purifies and emotions and thoughts.
  • Increases intuition power and alertness.
  • Beneficial for heart disease.

mudras

Prithvi mudra

The tip of the ring finger touches the thumb. Remaining fingers are to be kept straight but at ease.

Benefits:

  • Balances the different elements inside of the body.
  • Strengthens the body and alleviates fatigue.
  • Opens the mind
  • Fosters self-confidence and belief in the self.
  • Helps those who are seeking spirituality.

Prithvi mudra

Vanura mudra

Perform Varuna Mudra by touching the tip of little finger and the tip of thumb, with the other three fingers stretched out

Benefits:

  • Digestion
  • Constipation
  • Good for people with dry skin.
  • Very helpful for gastroenteritis, diarrhea and dehydration.
  • Improves the deteriorated quality of the blood
  • Unconscious people get consciousness.

p

Prana mudra (assimilation)

Join thumb with little and ring fingers

Benefits:

  • Strengthen the immune system.
  • Restores our energy reserves.
  • Improves breathing.
  • Good for the eyes.
  • Improves concentration power.
  • Controls our eating habits.

prana_mudra

Apana mudra (elimination)

Place the thumb, middle finger, and ring finger together and the other fingers extended.

Benefits:

  • Eliminates toxins from the body.
  • Create a sense of calm.
  • Strengthens and cleans parts of the body.
  • Purifies the entire body,
  • Cures vomiting.

Apana_mudra

Hridaya mudra (heart gesture)

Join the middle and ring fingers to the thumb. Put the index at the base of the thumb.

Benefits:

  • Diverts the flow of prana from the hands to the heart center,
  • Strengthens and improving the vitality of the physical heart.
  • Good l for any heart problems,
  • Helps emotional imbalance
  • Releases tensions and burdens from the heart energy center.

hridaya

Ganesh mudra (remover of obstacles)

Interlace all fingers in front of the chest. Extend the middle fingers and wrap the index fingers around behind them. Place the thumbs together at the base of the middle fingers.

Benefits:

  • Beneficial for the heart, depression, lack of confidence
  • Opens the bronchial tubes,
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Helps in opening up the heart chakra
  • Opens to love, compassion, courage

Ganesha_mudra

Padma mudra

Begin in Anjali mudra. Keep the tips of the little fingers and thumbs together, as well as the base of the palms. The ring, middle and index fingers are wide apart to form the shape of the lotus opening its petals. Sense the light energy rising upward from within the lotus.

Benefits:

  • Calms the body and mind.
  • Helps with digestive function and hemorrhoids.
  • Helps to dispel depression.

Padma_mudra

Yoni mudra (womb)

Claps fingers inside palms. Press index fingers together. Press thumbs together.

Benefits:

  • Nourishes female reproductive system.
  • seal of inner source 
  • silence arises and all sensory organs sensitized.

yoni

Kali mudra 

Interlace all the fingers and the thumbs together in front of the chest. Extend the index fingers and press the pads gently against each other pointing upward.

Benefits:

  • Kali represents purification and transformation.
  • Directs digestive fire.
  • Directs energy to the upper charkas for awakening purification

 

kali maa

 

Bibliography:

Gertrud Hirschi, Mudras: yoga in your hands(2000)

Swami Satyananda Saraswati. Asana, Pranayama Mudra Bandha