“Did you know that your hands hold an innate healing power that have been used for centuries?
Mudra is a Sanskrit word that translates to “seal.”
Mudras are positions of the hands that are said to influence the energy of your physical, emotional and spiritual body. Mudras have been used in the East for thousands of years and were practiced by many spiritual leaders including Buddha. Today, Mudras are still used in Yoga and meditation. Sometimes we may subconsciously place our hands into Mudra positions without even knowing it and other times we can use them to help channel and stimulate healing.
Hasta Mudra (Hand Mudra)
The physical body is made up of five elements namely, Air, Water, Fire, Earth and Sky. A mudra is a gesture or positioning of the hands intended to direct energy flow and to connect parts of the body to the brain as life force energy flows through the body. Certain yoga mudras are believed to instigate particular energy flows and stimulate different emotions, spiritual reactions and reactions in the body. By pressing together, curling, touching or pointing different fingers or parts of the hands in different ways, you can stimulate reflexes from the hand to the brain.
Mudra Therapy: Hand Alignments for Holistic Health
Believe it or not, your health is in your hands! Our hands are particularly blessed with virtues of wellness. The four fingers and the thumb represent the five major building blocks or the ‘Panchamahabhootas’ of which the entire universe is made viz. Sky (Ether), Air, Fire, Water and Earth.
According to natural sciences, disease is nothing but a limitation that emerges in the continuity and balance of these five elements.
Philosophy of Mudra Therapy
The natural sciences of Mudra therapy believe that the five fingers correspond to the five basic elements viz. Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth.
Thumb – The fire (Agni)
Index finger – The air (Vayu)
Middle finger – The ether (Aakasha)
Ring finger – The earth (Prithvi)
Small finger – The water (Jala)
In order to bring back the balance in the five elements, there are some specific methods of touching and aligning the fingers with each other. These are referred to as ‘Hast-Mudras’ and this easy and doable therapy may be practiced anytime as an augmented relief from your malady as well as a handy tool for restoring your wellness
There are hundreds of Mudras but here are some of the most common
- Gyan Mudra or the Mudra of Knowledge
Touch the tip of the thumb and the tip of the index or 1st finger together. The other 3 fingers have to be kept straight.
It helps in meditation and concentration and reduces negativity of the mind
It improves memory and with regular practice students can improve grades and intelligence
It aids in alleviating headache, insomnia and hypertension and reduces anger
- Vayu Mudra or Mudra of Air
In this Mudra, the tip of the index or 1st finger is touched to the base of the thumb and the thumb comes over the finger with a slight pressure of the thumb being exerted. Rest of the fingers remain straight.
By the practice of this mudra, all vayu ,that is, air related affections, like Arthritis, Gout, Sciatica, Knee pain, and Gas are relieved. It especially benefits in neck pain and spinal pain.
- Shoonya Mudra or The Mudra of Emptiness
The tip of the middle finger is put at the base of the thumb and the thumb comes over the finger with slight pressure of the thumb being exerted on the finger. The other 3 fingers are kept straight.
Regular practice of this Mudra helps in reducing ear pain and watering of the ears
If this Mudra is done for 1 hour daily it can benefit in hardness of hearing
The bones become strong and is beneficial in heart disease
It strengthens gums and is helpful in throat problems and thyroid disease
- Prithvi Mudra or the Mudra of Earth
In this Mudra, the tips of the thumb and the ring finger are touched together. The other fingers are kept straight.
Regular practice of this Mudra is helpful in body weakness, thinness and also obesity
It improves the functioning of the digestive system and reduces the deficiency of vitamins
It gives energy and lustre to the body
- Prana Mudra or the Mudra of Life
In this Mudra the tips of the thumb, ring finger and the little finger are touched together while keeping the other 2 fingers straight.
It awakens the dormant power of prana, gives energy, health. It is beneficial in diseases of the eye and improves eyesight, raises body resistance to disease, reduces deficiency of vitamins, removes tiredness
During fasting it reduces hunger pangs and thirst
In insomnia, doing this hand posture, along with Gyan Mudra, helps in bringing on sleep
- Apan Mudra or the Mudra of Digestion
This mudra is made by joining the tips of the thumb, the middle finger and the ring finger keeping the other fingers straight.
Toxins are removed from the body and the body becomes pure. It also relieves constipation, piles, diseases caused by vayu or air, is helpful in diabetes, stoppage of urine, kidney defects and dental problems
It is beneficial in stomach and heart diseases and brings out perspiration
- Apan Vayu Mudra or the Mudra of Heart.
This Mudra is a combination of Vayu Mudra and Apan Mudra. The tips of the thumbs, the middle finger and the ring finger touch each other while the index finger touches the base of the thumb with a slight pressure. The little finger remains straight.
It gives the benefit of Apan Mudra and Vayu Mudra as explained earlier.
It is helpful in Heart and Vayu diseases and gives health. People with a weak heart should do it daily. It is very beneficial for people who have suffered a heart attack in the recent past
It removes gas from the stomach, aids in asthma, headache and high blood pressure
If it is performed 5 to 7 minutes before climbing stairs, it aids in easy climbing
- Surya Mudra or Mudra of the Sun
This Mudra is performed by touching the tip of the ring finger to the base of the thumb and exerting pressure on the finger with the thumb.
It balances the body, reduces body weight and obesity. It increases body heat and helps in digestion
It reduces hypertension and cholesterol and builds strength
It is beneficial in diabetes and liver defects
Weak persons should not perform this hand posture and DO NOT do this hand posture for a long time in hot weather.
- Varun Mudra or Mudra of Water
This Mudra is made by touching the tips of the thumb and the little finger.
It reduces dryness of the skin and improves skin lustre and softness
It is useful in skin diseases, acne and blood defects. It improves facial beauty
Persons suffering from Asthma and respiratory problems should do this Mudra for a short duration only.
- Ling Mudra or the Mudra of Heat
Clasp all fingers of both hands together keeping your right thumb erect. Put a little pressure and sit relaxed. Practice it for 20-30 minutes every day.
This mudra increases heat in the body and can cause sweating even in winter if done for a long time
It helps in cold, coryza, asthma, cough, sinus problems and low blood pressure
It dries phlegm
When doing this Mudra please increase intake of water, fruit, fruit juices, clarified butter (Ghee) and milk.