Mudra are various hand postures that help channelize the energy flow in the body. Mudra are use in conjuncture with asanas and prnayamas. They affect the flow of prana in the body and in turn help stimulate the body. Ancient yogic practices link these mudras to the spiritual and mental being of a person. Yoga Mudra is also known as hand yoga, it involves different hand poses as described in the Vedas.
Yoga mudras have a close relationship with the five asic elements of the body. They can balance these five elements which are air, earth, water and fire which is essential because an imbalance of any of these five elements can cause an imbalance in the body and mind. The thumb symbolises fire, middle finger is for ether, ring finger is for earth and the little finger is water.
Mudras when combined with asanas benefit us in a lot of ways. They shield the body from negative energies and purify it. They allow the prana (life force) to flow freely in the body. The motive of mudra is to transform the body and bring regenerative expansion of consciousness. However, these must be practiced under guidance.
Here are a few mudras:
- Vayu mudra: vayu means wind,the vayu mudra helps in regulating the air inside the body.
- Gyan mudra: also known as chin mudra. Gyan means knowledge in Sanskrit. Practicing the gayn mudra instils spiritual enlightenment and is commonly used in pranayamas.
- Prana mudra: prana is the life force flowing in the body also known as Chi. The prana mudra helps invoking the dormant energy within us.
- Prithvi mudra: prithvi means the element earth. The Prithvi mudra activates the root chakra which strengthens the body and mind by releasing vital energy.
- Apan mudra is the purification mudra, it helps to get rid of toxins in the body, useful when dealing with flatulence and constipation. Apan mudra also helps in child birth for those who have delayed delivery.
- Surya mudra helps regulate body temperature and increases metabolism, hence it is effective for weight loss. It is also used for treating common colds.
- Linga mudra strenghtes the immune system of the body as it focuses on the element fire within the body. It is thus useful for treating cold and combating infections. It alsohelps in weight loss.
- Ganesha mudra is named after Lord Ganesha, the one who removes obstacles. The mudra is aptly named as it inculcates positivity and brings inner calm. This mudra is directly related to the cardiac, chest and arm muscles so it help relieve tensions and stress.
- Kundalini mudra awakens the sexual force within and unites the masculine and feminine forces.
- Yoni mudra bring about calmness and helps you to focus.
- Surahi mudra helps in cold and respiratory aliments and also sharpens the intellect.