Would you be surprised to find out that shifts in energy, greater health, and self-healing can be found in our own two hands?
Discovering hand mudras empowers us to make greater connections to our health and
wellness through a simple, but profound practice.
Mudra is defined in traditional usage as a seal, gesture, or symbol of the hands, body, or face to expand the breath, consciousness, or energy systems of the user.
There are hundreds of mudras from the spiritual traditions of India and Tibet. Many of these are mudras for the hands, but also include gestures of the eyes, face, and body.
Commonly used in the practice of yoga and meditation as a tool to channel higher energies into the body, mudras are very often paired with pranayama (breath work), asana (physical postures,) and mantras (spoken word.)
Mudras are a remarkably useful way to activate and awaken our physical bodies for self-healing and self-awareness.
Mudras have the added bonus of awakening and balancing the deeper levels of ourselves called the energy body. This deeper level includes the energy system, which is made up of meridians and chakras.
If you have practiced yoga or experienced acupuncture or acupressure, you probably are familiar with these terms. It is not necessary, however, to be an expert in energy medicine or yoga philosophy to use mudras in your daily life and reap the benefits. In fact, mudras are portable, accessible, and easy for everyone to use.
Here are three mudras to incorporate into your life to assist in unique and self-healing ways:
Bhu Mudra—Grounding and Connectedness
How to: Make the fingers into a “v” shape peace sign (extending the middle and index fingers,) and curl the ring and pinky fingers inward with the thumbs holding them. Plug the extended fingers into the ground if you are seated on the floor, or into the thighs if you are in a chair, or the floor is too far away.
Try this: Imagine that the extended fingers have heavy magnets right at the tips. Envision those magnets connecting from the tips of your fingers all the way down to the core of the earth.
Picture a stream of magnetic energy flowing from the earth all the way back up into the tips of the fingers. Feel your whole body now connecting to this vibrant energy of the earth. Allow your breath to flow as this energy flows. Feel yourself grounded and connected to the energy of the earth.
Benefits: Bhu mudra is a great mudra for travelers or anyone who feels ungrounded, anxious, or disconnected. It also reduces the feelings of stress, reduces blood pressure, and is calming for the nervous system.
Tejas Mudra—Energy and Lightheartedness
How to: Align the thumbs side by side. Allow the index fingers to gently curve over the thumbs and touch just above. Let the other fingers soften and gently curl inward. Hold the mudra in front of the heart with the shoulders relaxed down, and the elbows at the waist.
Try this: While holding Tejas mudra, imagine a flickering candle flame within your heart. As you breathe in and out, see the flame growing brighter. Become aware of the flame gently glowing and expanding the energy in your heart and chest. Feel that light now filling your whole body. Become aware of your whole body feeling lighter and filled with energy.
Benefits: Tejas mudra is wonderful for assisting the immune system, lightening up the energy around the heart, and uplifting the spirit. Use this mudra to awaken optimism and devotional love. Use sparingly if you have hypertension issues, as it is very energizing to the heart.
Jnana Mudra—Balance and Connectedness
How to: Bring the thumb tips to touch the tips of the index fingers. Allow the other fingers to softly open with backs of the hands resting on thighs, palms facing upward. Lengthen the spine and relax the shoulders.
Try this: Take a few slow, deep breaths and close the eyes. With eyes closed, sense the edges of your body and sense all of the space that surrounds you. Bring awareness to the space right between the eyebrows and envision energy and light pulsing in that space. Picture the space that surrounds you filling with the stars, the moon, the cosmos.
Sense your edges dissolving now and feel yourself becoming the space that surrounds you. Feel yourself merging into the stars, the moon and the infinite cosmos.
Benefits: Jnana is the classic hand mudra for meditation practice. It is also balancing for the right and left sides of the brain and helps us to feel more connected to divine wisdom and light. Jnana is a wonderful mudra to help create more space in your mind. Use it whenever you want to connect to your higher self.
Author: Alison DeNicola
Image: Brittany White
Editor: Lieselle Davidson
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