The meaning of ‘mudra’, which is a Sanskrit word, is ‘closure’ or ‘seal’. Mudra hand positions are physical gestures that have an effect on the energy flow of the body. The ancient practice of yoga links the hand mudras to the changing spiritual and mental aspects of a person. The mudras are usually finger positions like in the Anjali Mudra, where the hands are kept at the center of the heart.
Practicing the different types of mudras for health is considered good as it provides physical, mental, as well as spiritual benefits. Mudras, also known as hand yoga, typically involves placing the hands and fingers in certain positions as described in the Vedas.
Types of mudras
The various types of mudras are as follows.
The gyan mudra raises the level of the element vayu or air in the body. This mudra is done by joining together the tip of the thumb and the index finger.
Prana mudra: The pran mudra helps in increasing vitality and in the activation of the root chakra. To perform this mudra, you should keep the tips of your little finger, ring finger and thumb together. The middle and index finger should remain extended.
Vayu mudra: The meaning of vayu is ‘wind’, and this mudra is aimed specifically at getting rid of flatulence. It is said to produce immediate results. However, once the problem is relieved you should stop doing the pose.
Prithvi mudra: This mudra helps in activating the root chakra. The root chakra holds the elemental force of vital energy. Some of the benefits of the prithvi mudra are increased energy, inner stability, and strengthening of the mind and body.
Chin mudra: The chin mudra is used in breathing exercises like Ujjayi Pranayama or in seated meditation. This mudra is effective for lower back pain, reducing stress, and for headaches.
Apaan mudra: The apaan mudra is a very useful and important mudra that detoxifies the body and then energizes it. Some of the benefits of apaan mudra are for constipation, anuria, and delayed child delivery.
Surya mudra: The surya mudra helps decrease the earth element and increase the fire element in the body. It is effective in regulating the metabolism and body temperature.
Shunya mudra: To perform this mudra, you should keep the thumb on the middle finger, while the remaining fingers are kept straight. The benefits of this mudra include dealing with numbness in the body, vertigo, deafness, and earache.
Linga mudra: The linga mudra strengthens the immune system of the body and loosens the collected mucous in the body. This mudra is also effective for weight loss because of the generation of heat.
Ganesha mudra: The ganesha mudra symbolizes strength when faced with troubles. You should practice this mudra daily. It helps stimulate the metabolism and digestion.
Mandala mudra: The mandala mudra is practiced to symbolize the offering of the whole physical universe to the enlightened teachers and Buddha. Although this pose is not created by the deities, it is employed extensively in the practice of ritual visualization called ‘mandala offering’.
Shankh mudra: You can find this mudra in Hindu temples as symbols. This mudra is very effective for throat problems. The clasping positioning of the fingers in this mudra simulates a conch shell.
Rudra mudra: To perform this mudra, you should keep the tips of the ring finger and index finger on top of the thumbs tip. The other fingers should be comfortably extended.
Apan vayu mudra: This mudra is used in heart attacks as first aid. Regular practice of this mudra can help strengthen the heart.
Surahi mudra: To perform this mudra, you should join the little fingers of both hands together. The middle finger and forefinger should also be joined together. Keep the thumbs free.
Surabhi mudra: You can perform this mudra thrice a day for 15 minutes. This mudra is effective in dealing with rheumatic inflammation and helps increase intellect.
Hakini mudra: This mudra helps improve coordination between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. You can practice this mudra at anytime and anyplace.
asthma mudra: These mudras are effective for respiratory conditions. You can practice them for a few minutes consecutively, till the breathing calms down.
Back mudra: This mudra is very effective for dealing with backache. You can practice this mudra with both hands.
Kundalini mudra: This mudra helps awaken the sexual force and unifies the feminine and masculine. You can practice this mudra thrice a day for 15 minutes.
Khechari mudra: Practicing this mudra enables the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine. This helps bring about a state of well being and calmness.
Yoni mudra: This mudra is used to bring isolation to your senses and keep you from distractions. This can help you look inward with a calm and relaxed mind.
Jnana mudra: In this mudra, the hands with the palms facing up are kept on the knees in the seated position. This