Mudras are gestures or postures that are performed with the hands, face, or other key areas of the body. My explorations primarily focus on hand mudras. In Sanskrit, mudra means gesture or seal, referring to ‘locking in’ a specific feeling, mind state, or energy to create a particular experience. Mudras are a bridge for awakening the body as a sacred temple of the divine, and the hands are the key to unlock the door to this temple. Each mudra has a specific function for the systems of the body to bring that system back into health and balance. For example, Jala Water Mudra helps all the water systems of the body revitalize such as kidney, bladder, and as an aid to any digestive difficulty.
Mudras can be used as a meditation practice on the cushion or yoga mat, and also as a potent tool to shift our energy within the activity of our daily life back to a more steady and sane place. They are a practical tool, and it is much easier and more feasible at most times during our busy day to practice a mudra, than a yoga posture, yet mudras can shift the breath, open energy channels, and bring us into a very meditative state. It is always in your back pocket and as close as your own two hands! This makes mudras an easy and accessible way to come back into balance presence again. Like a ‘time-out’ that helps you breath and feel poise again.
See below for Mudra Flows you can practice.
My knowledge of mudras originally came from my teachers Joseph and Lilian LePage, founders of Integrative Yoga Therapy. I am greatly indebted to them for their years and hours of exploration, practice and research on mudras, as well as their generosity to share their findings. They are the authors of the forthcoming Mudras for Healing and Transformation.
How mudras work
- Each finger is related to one of the five elements according to yoga and Ayurveda. The various combinations of finger positions allow us to access and affect the five elements within ourselves to bring balance and health directly.
- Fingers have an extensive network of sensory and motor nerve endings as well as energy channels; thus mudras are a powerful vehicle for communicating and transferring information to the brain and energy centers.
- The fingers act as antennae for attuning to channels of universal energy such as abundance, love, and peace. We can connect to these frequencies with mudras and thus harmonize them within ourselves.
- Mudras are powerful vehicles for awakening every level of being: physical, energetic, mental-emotional, and spiritual (the five koshas).
- Mudras have been passed down through tradition and reflect the experiences of great spiritual masters, revealed in deep states of practice.
Radiant heart Mudra Flow
|MUDRAS||NAME||LOCATION||ELEMENT||STATEMENT||QUALITIES & EFFECTS||BENEFICIAL FOR|
Offering of Flowers
|Navel, Solar, and Heart Chakras.||Water, Fire, and Air Elements.||“I receive each moment of life as a gift and blessing.”|
Envision releasing the flowers of life into the stream to experience their full fragrance and beauty.
|Cultivates three-part breathing to improve overall respiration. Balances upward and downward currents of energy for energetic balance and health. Calms and opens heart while cultivating serenity in the mind. Enlivens qualities of giving, sharing, offering and surrender.||Those who suffer from attachment to beliefs, objects, or people and want to learn how to release. Experiencing all aspects of life as a gift. If we feel we need to grasp for everything, Pushpanjali helps us to trust that all is provided for us.|
|Heart Anahata Chakra.||Air Element.||“I rest in the garden of serenity in the center of my heart.”|
Envision the dove of peace resting within your heart.
|Enhances full deep breathing by bringing breath to front and back of chest. Gently activates pranavayu upward flow of energy. Awakens self-acceptance and inner peace within one’s heart and whole being. Opens one to feeling whole. Allows natural expression of joy to permeate entire being.||Breathing and respiratory challenges. Self-judging and self-depreciating beliefs. Releases feelings of defectiveness, guilt and resentment.|
|Heart Anahata Chakra.||Air Element.||“I am filled with the radiant light of self-compassion.”|
Envision your hearts inner nectar of bliss filling your whole being with the essence of unconditional love.
|Brings breath to the front of the chest which invigorates circulation to the thymus gland, supporting immune system. Balances heart chakra, center of unconditional love.||Unresolved and constricting emotions are able to surface and integrate into one’s whole being. Awakening the heart creates openness to feel gratitude, self-love, and generosity.|