The Yoga journey is really enriching. Majority of us start this journey in-order to discover the physical benefits of Yoga. Little do we realize at that point of time, that Yoga is so vast and enormous. It has so much to offer to the person who draws towards this journey.As the practice dawns, the practitioner can see its subtle effect on mind, body.
Similar thing is happening with me. I am not only learning about the various asanas but other multiple things. It can be the Ayurvedic tips or simple knowledge of Pranayama. Recently I have come across the subject of Yoga Mudra, which is my topic for today.
What is Yoga Mudra?
Mudras are simple gesture in Yoga practice.They are considered to be an important part of Yoga just like asana (Pose).
In asana, the senses are considered to be primary and pranas (life-breath) to be secondary. In Mudra, senses are considered to be secondary and pranas are the primary.
We can see the importance of Mudras, from how they were described in scriptures. It is said that no other action on this earth gives the same results as of mudra.
Various classification of Mudra
Mudras are generally described in two categories:
- Hand Mudra
- Mudras that help in awakening the kundalis or the energy chakras.
Hand Yoga Mudra
It is said that the universe including our body is made up of 5 different elements (Fire, Air,Earth,Water,Space). Our five fingers represent the five different elements.
- Little Finger: The little finger represents Water
- Ring Finger: The ring finger represents Earth
- Middle Finger: The middle finger represents Space
- Index Finger: The index finger represents Air
- Thumb: Thumb represents the Fire
Our health is primary determined by the balance of these five elements. A healthy body denotes, that all the five elements are in balance. Any disturbance in these five elements gives an indication of disease or ill health.
We can control the internal glands or body parts by using the coordinated action of these five elements.
The best advantage of Hand Mudra is that it can become effective immediately. We can perform any type of Hand Mudra anywhere or in any pose(sitting, walking, standing).
To have more effective benefits of Hand Mudra, it is recommended to perform them while sitting in Vajrasana or Padmasama (Lotus Pose).
Time duration to perform Hand Mudra
For a beginner, it is advised to practice any Hand Mudra for 10 minutes and can increase the duration to 30-45 minutes.
Practicing a Mudra for longer duration will provide complete benefit.
In case, you are not able to complete it in one go, you can perform the Mudras in 2-3 parts.
Another important point to remember while performing any Mudra is that the fingers which are not used are kept straight.
Types of Hand Yoga Mudra
- Gyan or Dhyana Mudra (Gyan means Knowlege, Dhyana means Meditation)
- Vayu Mudra ( Vayu means Air)
- Prithvi Mudra ( Prithvi means Earth)
- Prana Mudra (Prana means Life)
- Apana Mudra (Mudra of Digestion)
- Sunya Mudra (Space Mudra)
How to practice the Hand Yoga Mudras
Gyan or Dhyana Mudra
- Touch the tip of the thumb with the tip of the index finger. You have to keep the rest of the fingers not used for Mudra as straight.
- Here also both index finger and thumb are used. You have to join the index finger with the root of the thumb.Try to put slight pressure from the thumb on the index finger.
- Keep rest of the unused fingers as straight.
- Middle finger represents the space element.Here the middle finger should touch at the root of the thumb and light pressure applied with the thumb.
- Join the tips of the ring finger and thumb and keep the remaining three fingers straight.
- Touch the tips of the little finger, the ring finger and the thumb. The remaining two fingers should be kept straight.
- Touch the tips of the thumb, the ring finger and the middle finger and keep the remaining finger straight.
There is so much to learn about various Mudras and their benefits. Will to covering the same in the next series of Mudras.
Till then try to practice any of the Mudra while commuting or simply watching television for 10-15 minutes. Let us share how it feels like and what changes it makes.