Have you ever heard of mudras?
I was in the middle of my Mastery of Self-Love Certification a few years ago and the trainer, Janet Attwood, started speaking about mudras. While I really love to learn, I was a bit hesitant to actually put them to the test. Before I do something, I want to know what it means and whether it is in alignment with my principles and my faith.
A simple Google search for “Jesus mudra” showed me that it was safe for me to give mudras a try. I’ve really loved them ever since.
What is the meaning of mudra?
The word mudrā (muːˈdra) comes from the Sanskrit word “mudr” (joyous, glad), and it means seal, gesture, or mark. Mudras are symbolic and ritual ways to align, stretch, curl, and cross our fingers.
These finger gestures have been used for thousands of years, and although their origins seem to be unknown, they can be found in several religions and traditions such as Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Taoism, as well as in Egyptian hieroglyphics, Tantric rituals, Asian martial arts, Roman art, and Indian classical dance.
Many depictions of ancient religious leaders portray mudras, although some believe that Jesus Christ’s hand gestures in Christian iconography may come from a Greek code of language used by orators and rhetoricians of the era.
What is a mudra?
A mudra is a symbolic gesture formed with the joining of the tip of a finger with the tip of the thumb of the same hand or by touching the base of a finger with the tip of another.
What are mudras used for?
According to ancient Vedic wisdom, which is considered to be the world’s oldest holistic healing system, our health is in our hands. This is because our fingers represent the five elements, referred to as “Panchamahabhutas.” the Pancha Tattvas (The five Cosmic Principles). These are also called Panchamahabhutas.
- Thumb for Fire (Agni);
- Index finger for Air (Vayu);
- Middle finger for Aakash (Ether or Space);
- Ring finger for Earth (Prithvi);
- Little finger for Water (Jala)
The imbalance of these building blocks can cause physical disease and emotional dysfunction, so when a finger representing an element is brought into contact with the thumb, that element is brought into balance.
Through Mudras, or “yoga of the hands,” fingers act as electrical circuits that trigger specific energy points within the body to guide the flow of energy and reflexes to the brain, which helps us heal physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
How to use mudras
To make the most of the mudra, you apply gentle pressure with one finger (or simply make a contact) and keep the rest of your fingers as straight as possible with ease. This doesn’t require much effort, flexibility, or a special skill.
Mudras are usually performed while being seated comfortably in a quiet and calm place and with your back straight, however, anyone can perform them at any time, practically anywhere, and in any posture, whenever necessary, with your eyes either open or closed.
It is recommended that you start your mudra session by rubbing your hands against each other about 10 times to stimulate circulation, activate all the nerve endings, and allow energy to flow into your hands.
When to use mudras
Allow 10-15 minutes per day for maximum benefit from your mudra practice, if you can, but keeping the finger posture even a couple of minutes the effects will be greatly beneficial.
You can easily and seamlessly incorporate the practice of mudras into your daily life. Many people recommend stopping your mudra performance after 30-45 minutes. The best recommendation is to stop if you feel any pain or added stress during the mudra session.
You can accompany these mudras with prayer, meditation, yoga, music, breathing, aromatherapy, visualization, affirmations, gratitude, and other spiritual practices that promote positive growth in all areas of your life.
Which mudra is best?
Each mudra has its own unique purpose. Mudras can work together in synergy to create balance and holistic health.
How many mudras are there?
There are hundreds of different mudras, maybe thousands. Here is a list of the mudras I have learned of, in alphabetical order:
Mudras with the Letter A
Agni mudra, Akasha mudra, Ajna mudra Anjali pushpaputa mudra Apana mudra Abhaya mudra
Mudras with the Letter B
Mudras with the Letter C
Mudras with the Letter G
Guru mudra, Garuda mudra, Ganesha mudra
Mudras with the Letter H
Hakini mudra Hridaya mudra
Mudras with the Letter J
Jalodar nashak mudra
Mudras with the Letter K
Kali mudra, Kamajayi mudra, Kaleshwara mudra, Karana mudra, Kilaka mudra, Kubera mudra, Kurma mudra, Kshepana mudra
Mudras with the Letter L
Mudras with the Letter M
Mandala mudra, Manipura mudra, Muladhara mudra, Makara mudra, Matangi mudra, Mushti mudra, Matsya mudra Mahatrika mudra, Maha shirsha mudra
Mudras with the Letter N
Nirvana mudra, Namaskar mudra, Nivedana mudra
Mudras with the Letter P
Padma mudra, Prana mudra, Palm chakra mudra, Pitta pacifying mudra, Prithivi mudra
Mudras with the Letter S
Samasti mudra, Shunya mudra, Surabhi mudra, Shankha mudra, Swadhistana mudra, Shakti mudra
Mudras with the Letter U
Mudras with the Letter V
Varada mudra, Varuna mudra, Vayu mudra, Vishnu mudra, Vishuddha mudra, Vajroli mudra
Mudras with the Letter Y
I’ll continue to update this list, so if you see that I’m missing one you know, please comment below and I’ll be sure to add it.
Do hand mudras really work?
I have been practicing hand mudras for a while now and they have really worked for me. I have also seen them work for people I know. Because of these real-life experiences, I think mudras are worth a try!
I believe that your mudra session will help you become more mindful, increase your awareness, and help you experience Emotional Wholeness.
Harness the Power of Mudras
Now that you know the most common mudras, I invite you to harness the power of mudras in your daily life.
I’ve compiled some of the mudras I’ve mentioned here in a coloring book. This mudra coloring book can help you learn about these simple, powerful, and effective healing tools to bring all things to balance and prevent imbalance.
In my book, you will learn their name and benefits, as well as receive basic instructions on how to fold or touch your fingers to create these healing patterns.
As you color mudra illustrations (hand-drawn by my daughter, Elisha), you will also enjoy the therapeutic power of coloring to soothe and nurture your inner child.
The hands are believed to be closely connected to the brain, especially through neural activation, so you can experience deep learning in a simple way.
By combining the power of sacred mudras with the benefits of coloring, you will unlock greater wellbeing and tap into deeper transformation in your life. This is exciting!
Do you have a mudra practice or are you willing to try one? Share your thoughts with us below and let me know if you’ve got your coloring book!
© Elayna Fernández ~ The Positive MOM
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