Mudras, or hand positions, work with the natural energy vortices located in the palms of the hands and fingers. When we place the fingers together to create certain shapes, we redirect this energy back into the body. Think of it as creating antennae with your hands. Mudras can bring focus and attention to certain areas of the body through breath awareness, they can also have an immediate effect on the emotions. Think of them as a remote control that maintains balance between the elements and directs prana through the nadis and chakras.
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Tips for Practicing Mudras
- Each mudra has an effect on the emotions, breath, body, mind and spirit.
- You can use mudras during meditation, asana, pranayama, restorative poses.
- You can also use mudras while on the phone, on the bus, or during a stressful situation.
- Try each mudra for a few minutes so that you can feel its effects fully, sometimes you will feel a stronger energy change when you release a mudra that has been held for a few minutes.
- Try meditating with the same mudra every day for a week to feel its cumulative effects.
How Mudras Work
If we look at how the five elements are represented by the thumb and fingers, you can make connections between their positions and an increase, decrease or balancing of the elements in the body. The thumb is represented by fire (agni) which controls all the manifestation and transformation of all other elements in the body. Keep these relationships in mind when practicing mudras:
- Balance an element by touching the tip of finger and thumb together
- Decrease an element by touching the finger tip to the base of the thumb
- Increase an element by touching the thumb tip to the base of the finger