Brahmadvaaramukhe suptaam mudraabhyaasam samaacharet.
Therefore, the goddess sleeping at the entrance of Brahma's door should be constantly aroused with all effort, by performing mudra thoroughly.
Hasta mudras are hand gestures which are used in Yoga to balance the flow of our prana (life force) within our body. Etymologically, mudra comes from the Sanskrit root word ‘mud’ meaning ‘delight’ and ‘dru’ meaning ‘to bring forth’. In his book Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha, Swami Satyananda Saraswati writes about the importance of the practice of mudras in Yoga. When performed with the right attitude and postures, mudras create a link between our annamaya kosha (physical body), manomaya kosha (mental body) and pranamaya kosha (energy body). This connection helps us be aware of the flow of prana within our body. And ultimately, allows us to redirect it within the nadis (energy channels) of our body preventing it from dissipating into the outside world and establishing pranic balance within the body.
It is possible that in our everyday, busy lives some of us might find it challenging to find a harmonious balance between our body and mind. When our body and mind are imbalanced it can impact our sleep, our digestive system, our state of mind, our mood and overall wellbeing. To bring balance and stability to our body and mind might seem like a daunting task. However, simple lifestyle changes can take us one step closer to our goals. One such change is the daily practice of hasta (hand) mudras. While hasta mudras can be performed in combination with asanas or pranayama, they can also be practiced individually. Here are some hasta mudras which can aid your journey towards physical and mental balance, and wellbeing.
Dvimukha Mudra: In a seated posture, hold your hands out in front of your abdomen with your palms facing upwards, almost like you are holding a bowl in your hands. Now gently bring together the tips of the little and ring fingers of both your hands. Hold this mudra for 5 to 15 minutes a day, or as needed. Traditionally, The Dvimukha mudra is one of the 32 Gayatri mudras which are practiced with the ritual recitation of the Gayatri mantra. However, it can be practiced individually as well. It balances the Earth and Water elements within your body, aligning the fluidity of Water with the solid quality of Earth.
Impact: It is believed to calm your mind and aid restful sleep. This mudra also helps in the process of waste elimination from the body.
Dvimukha mudra is believed to calm your mind and aid restful sleep.
Gada Mudra: This is a mudra of strength and stability. Sit comfortably without tension in any part of your body. Hold out your hands in front of you with the palms facing each other but not touching each other. Now interlace the little and ring fingers of both your hands, folding at your knuckles. Touch the tips of the middle fingers of both your hands and extend them upwards. Now create two interlocked rings by touching the tip of the index fingers with the tip of the thumbs of both your hands. Hold this mudra in this comfortable position for 5 to 15 minutes a day, breathing in and out naturally.
Impact: This mudra is known to open the flow of energy in the spine, making us feel more grounded. It also aids digestion and improves elimination of waste from the body.
Ganesha Mudra: Dedicated to Lord Ganesha this mudra is believed to help remove and deal with obstacles in life. It is one of the mudras which can be practiced while standing, sitting or walking. Sit in any comfortable posture. Raise your left arm and bring your hand at chest level with your left palm facing outward. Raise your right arm and hold your right palm in front of your chest, facing inward towards the left palm. Curl the fingers of both hands into each other and then gently pull, creating tension. Hold that state of tension and practice this mudra for 5 to 20 minutes.
Impact: This mudra facilitates deep breathing and creates space for emotions of confidence and stability to set in.
Facilitate deep breathing with Ganesha mudra.
Chinmaya Mudra: Known as the gesture of awareness, Chinmaya mudra brings balance to our physical and mental body. To practice this mudra you can sit in any comfortable position, lie down or sit in Padmasana. Place your hands with the palms facing upwards on your thighs or knees or by your side if you are lying down. Press the tip of your index finger with the tip of your thumb. Curl your ring, middle and little finger toward your palm. Practice this simultaneously for both hands. Sit in this position for 10-12 minutes for three times a day or for a full 35 minutes daily.
Impact: This mudra impacts blood circulation and makes you feel more rejuvenated. It helps relieve stress and balances your prana.
Chinmaya mudra is also known as the gesture of awareness.
Adi Mudra: The name Adi comes from the Sanskrit word meaning ‘primal’ or ‘first’. This mudra has been accorded this name due to its similarity with the hands of a foetus within the womb. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine erect. Place your hands on your knees or thighs with the palm facing downward. Now, fold your thumbs inside your palm and close the rest of your fingers around it. Do this simultaneously for both hands. Now focus on your breathing while you hold this mudra for 30 minutes daily or for 10 minutes three times a day. This mudra calms the nervous system enhancing your cognitive abilities.
Impact: Adi mudra facilitates the flow of oxygen within the body, making us feel more active. It can also help achieve physical balance especially during asana practice.
Adi mudra can help achieve physical balance especiallyduring asana practice.
Practicing these Yoga hand mudras on a daily basis and in the correct manner can impact our body and mind. By invoking feelings of stability and making us feel more grounded these mudras can help us navigate through day-to-day stress and ease us into a more comfortable life.