Yoga Mudras : an introduction

In Sanskrit, Mudra means sign or seal, mark, gesture or attitude.

A Mudra is a symbolic or ritualistic gesture used to direct or seal in Prana (Life Energy).  Mudras are used in yoga with a specific purpose for physical or mental improvement.  They can change perception and attitude, and deepen concentration.

Yoga Mudras are gestures that lock and guide energy flow. Yoga Mudras affect the body’s energy system and the flow of prana (life energy).

Shiva is said to have started the tradition of using Mudras.  Mudras are in use all over the world in many different religions, cultures and arts.

Mudras are used to manipulate the flow of Prana.

Mudras are grouped in to Five categories:
Hasta (hand), Mana (head), Kaya (posture), Banda (lock) and Adhara (perineum- genital and anal areas).

Hasta are meditative Mudras, they keep Prana flowing back into the body

Mana (an important part of Kundalini yoga) they use the eyes, nose, ears, tongue and lips.

Kaya use postures and breath

Banda energizes the body

Adhara moves prana from the root area of the body to the brain

Each Finger has it’s own meaning and element:

Thumb =  agni (fire), the Universe – Parama-atman, associated with the abdomen and anxiety
Index = vayu (air),  the embodied self –  Jiva-atman, associated with the large intestine and depression
Middle = akash (ether), energy – Rajas, associated with the heart & circulatory system and impatience
Ring =  prithvi (earth), represents inertia – Tamas, associated with the gall bladder & liver, anger & resentment
Pinky =  jal (water), luminosity or benigness – sativa, associated with the kidneys and fear

Read More about MUDRAS here

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