What are mudras?
Chances are, if you’ve ever taken a yoga class taught with a meditation element, or taken a class specifically to learn meditation, you’ve heard of and worked with mudras.
Mudras are powerful tools to accompany a journey of self-growth and conscious expansion. Simple adjustments in hand, facial, or body positions can have incredible effects on various layers of our being ranging from the fine, subtle energetic layer, through the mental and emotional layer, right down to the physical layer.
Mudras can directly impact how energy flows, what organs and systems of the body are stimulated and/or balanced, and even shift nervous system dominance.
One of the most well-known mudras is chin mudra, in which the thumb and index finger lightly touch at the finger tips, and the remaining three fingers on each hand gently relax out straight, with the palms facing up.
It symbolizes consciousness and creates an internal environment in our beings that is very open to receiving energy. It’s helpful for feeling more invigorated and inspired, increasing concentration and focus, and reducing stress and tension.
Alternatively, if you flip the palms so they face downward, this hand position becomes gyan mudra (also known as jnana mudra) with it’s own unique benefits and effects – namely, creating an internal environment that is more calm, balanced, and grounded. It’s particularly useful for steadying frantic energy or mind states, taking back the rein on your thoughts and/or emotions, and connecting both to self and to Mother Nature. Check out a short blog post about the difference between the two mudras as taught by Autumn Adams here.
My very favourite mudra has long been yoni mudra, also known as the gesture of the womb. It became an important foundation for me in my journey of healing my chronic pain and endometriosis.
I continue to use it with female clients who are working towards shifting a variety of symptoms which directly result from an imbalance in our brains, our hearts, and our bodies between our masculine and feminine energies, ranging from lack of libido and passion in life, to chronic pain and reproductive issues.
Yoni mudra is wonderfully powerful for balancing the energies along the left and right sides of the brain, invoking more balanced and bright mental and emotional states. Here’s a quick break down on how to perform yoni mudra.
Curious to know more about various mudras and their benefits? Check out this great article from the Chopra Center that introduces 9 other mudras you can bring into your daily practice!