2The Sanskrit word mudra can be translated as “to seal, close, or lock up” or “gesture, symbol, expression of”. Mudras in yoga are the combination of subtle physical movements which alter mood, attitude and perception, and which deepen awareness and concentration. When we think of prana as being the electricity of the body, we can also think of the mudras as creating a “short-circuit” in the flow of that energy within the body. Mudras manipulate prana in much the same way that a mirror or a cliff face diverts the energy in the form of light or sound waves. The nadis and chakas constantly radiate prana that normally escapes from the body and dissipates into the external world. By creating barriers within the body through the practice of mudra, the energy is redirected within.
3More Mudra TheoryIn yogic thinking, our body is made up of five elements – fire, air, ether, earth and water. Each of our five fingers represents one of these elements.The thumb represents fire.The index finger represents air.The middle finger represents ether or space.The ring finger represents earth.The little finger represents water.
4Namaste, Namaskara (salutation), Anjali mudra Place your hands together in front of your chest. Touch your sternum with your thumbs and keep your elbows released down to relax the shoulders and open the chest.It supports and harmonizes coordination of the right and left hemispheres of the brain. It brings energy to the heart and creates balance, harmony and peace inside. It expresses sincere greeting, respect and gratitude.
5Jnana (wisdom) mudra and chin (consciousness) mudra The index finger represents individual consciousness (microcosm/ Atman), while the thumb is symbolic of higher consciousness (macrocosm/ Brahman), therefore this mudra expresses the ultimate goal of yoga - the union of one’s little self with the cosmic supreme self.
6There are two ways to perform it There are two ways to perform it. In passive position we touch the tips of the thumb and the index finger, while in active variation, we fold the index finger under the thumb so that the fingernail is on the second joint of the thumb. The other three fingers are straightened in a relaxed way. We do this with each hand, placing them on the knees with palms of both hand facing upwards for jnana mudra or palms facing downwards for chin mudra .
7Jnana and chin mudras are most widely used mudras in yoga Jnana and chin mudras are most widely used mudras in yoga. They clear the mind and give receptivity and calmness, release mental tension and promote concentration. On the physical level they can be used for insomnia, depression, and high blood pressure.Zoyayoga.com
8Chinmaya Mudra – gesture of manifested consciousness. The four folded fingers represent the finite aspects of the world around us. The closed fist shows that the phenomenal world seems to be severely limited, blind and unconscious. The thumb pointing forwards indicates the consciousness and the transcendental aspect of existence that pervades everything. The material world is linked intimately with consciousness. This is indicated by the contact between the index finger and the thumb.
9Adi MudraActivates the higher lobes of the lungs and udana prana
10Brahma Mudra – gesture of all-pervading consciousness
11Nasika (nose) mudra Nasika mudra is only used while performing nadi shodhana, alternate nostril breathing
12Vishnu mudra – also for alternate nostril breathing
13Bhairava and Bhairavi Mudra When the right hand is placed on top it is the Shiva aspect, Bhairava. When the left is on top it is Bhairavi, the Shakti aspect; consciousness and manifestation.
14Buddhist mudra Dyana Mudra, also known as Samadhi or Yoga Mudra Seen in statues and paintings of the Buddha. Dyana mudra is believed to be the final mudra assumed by the Buddha, and therefore the one he carried into full Samadhi, or enlightenment.