In my post How to Meditate, I briefly mentioned hand mudras during meditation, which I cover in this post.
You are probably familiar seeing statues of Buddha’s with different hand gestures, or seeing someone meditating or doing yoga, positioning their hands a certain way.
The most common mudra you may see is the Anjali Mudra (Namaste), where hands are in prayer position in front of the heart. The mudra itself can be used as a greeting, showing respect to another, as “Namaste”, translates to “I bow to you”. Most yoga classes begin with this mudra to invoke intention for the practice, and also at the end of class.
Like mantra (sound), mudras activate regions of your brain, and when used during meditation and/or yoga practice, you are directing energy to flow through your body. By pressing your fingers together, curling, touching or pointing, you are stimulating reflexes from your hand to the brain.
The physical body is made up of five elements: Fire, Air, Aether, Earth and Water.
These elements are represented in our fingers, and radiates a different type of energy connected to a specific part of your body; including emotions and behaviors. So the way you hold your hands, influence the way you hold your mind.
If you find you are suffering from an illness, or feel imbalanced, connecting a finger with your thumb, will bring balance to that element.
Thumb – represents Fire, the planet Mars and the Ego
Corresponds to your stomach, spleen and mouth
Connects to your intellect, and its energy influences your clarity
Index finger – represents Air and the planet Jupiter
Corresponds to your liver, gall bladder and eyes
Connects to your ethereal soul, and its energy influences your sensitivity
Middle finger – represents the Sky (Aether) and the planet Saturn
Corresponds to our heart, small intestine and tongue
Connects to your aggregate soul and its energy influences your creativity
Ring finger – represents the Earth and the planet Venus
Corresponds to your lungs, large intestine and nose
Connects to your corporeal soul and its energy influences your intuition
Little finger – represents Water and the planet Mercury
Corresponds to your kidney, bladder and ears
Connects to your Will and its energy influences your spontaneity
How to Meditate with Mudras
Select a mudra you feel most connected to, or based on a feeling you would like to generate.
Use both hands, keep a slow and steady breath, and if you are starting out, hold each mudra for at least 5 minutes, and work your way up.
Mudras can be practiced sitting, lying, standing, walking or talking.
If you are following a certain practice of yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Chakra Meditation or Guided Meditation, you will be instructed on the mudra to use during meditation, but the objective is to hold the mudra in the same position throughout your meditation, allowing the energy to flow through and within you.
Try a different mudra each time you meditate on your own, this will allow you to adapt to a gesture that works for your specific needs or imbalances you are facing, as you may feel different, or heightened effects of energy to your body and mind.
Types of Mudras
Here are some basic mudras to get you started.
Depending on your practice you will be introduced to many different mudras, with different meanings…