Sacred Practice of Hand Mudras

May 21, 2020

" Kundalini Yoga assumes that every area of the hand forms a reflex zone for an associated part of the body and the brain. In this way, we can consider the hands to be a mirror for our body and our mind." Lothar-Riidiger Ltitge, Kundalini (Freiburg, 1989), p. 72

 

The specific origins of Mudras are a bit of a mystery as Mudras are not only found in Asian countries but all over the world. You can find Mudras in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, early Christian paintings depicting Jesus, Africa, India, China, and a myriad of other cultures. I have combed over the sites virtually, of the Ellora sculptures and Ajanta Caves where many paintings and sculptures depict Mudras being performed. There is said to be around 400 documented Mudras overall. The word Mudra is actually a Sanskrit word meaning; a symbolic hand gesture that has the power of producing joy and happiness. This term applies to the use of various gestures (in this case hand gestures) in yoga, meditation, or dance that transmit a very specific energy flow to specific areas of the brain and body. Yogi's contest that the Mudras link energies between their life force and the force of the cosmos. Mudras are known to promote a link from the brain to the body to soothe pain, stimulate endorphins, and to change emotional states of being. When linking the breath to our Mudra practice it is quite powerful. 

Unknown - Jesus depiction Surya Mudra

Scroll of Mudras - Japan 794-1185

  

Buddha - Abhaya Mudra 

As the Mudras are sacred gestures and practiced similarly to Yoga Asana, they require us to relax our whole being, sync our breath, and become centered before practice. When done correctly, the pressure of the fingers should be light but purposeful with the hand relaxed. If the Mudra hand postures are uncomfortable because of non-flexibility or if the fingers tire easily or are too rigid it is a mirror image of your body and mind state. However, as the flexibility and ease of the hand gestures get easier with time and practice all tension and inflexibility will dissolve from the hands and then as well to the related areas of the body.

I am a certified Thai reflexologist, and in one of my first lessons we learned that there are 5000 nerve endings in the hands that correspond to areas of the body. As a practitioner I can feel what feels like small grains of sand or small lumps in areas of the hands that need work. Once removed the client feels relief to that part of the body which helps in the healing process. This can be anything from allergies to body pain, headaches, or depression. The Mudra practice is like asana for the hands that affect your entire being. When practicing daily the hands stay healthy and these blocks do not occur. Mudras are as preventative as they are healing. 

Reflexology Treatment of Hands

I practice Mudras after Yoga in the morning, but that is not all. I tend to do some mudras on the train, while walking or just before I go to sleep in the evening. I also apply the healing power of Mudras when experiencing headaches, backaches, nervous tension, or even allergies. When practicing a Mudra for a purpose you want to hold the position for up to 45 minutes. However, you can break it down to three 15-minute sessions to gain full benefit. The changes in your body and mind can be profound and are well worth that amount of time. This week I am spending time practicing Power Mudras. I found this short practice on Gaia TV with Faith Hunter and felt a real connection to the gestures she was teaching. Kali Mudra, Ganesh Mudra, and Lotus Mudra. Faith teaches them beautifully and so easy to follow.  

(https://www.gaia.com/video/power-mudras?fullplayer=feature)

Kali Mudra:

 

 Kali is the fiercest of Hindu Goddesses who liberates souls. This mudra allows us to grab inner strength and reminds us that we have the power to remove evil and energy tapping forces from our lives. If you feel obstacles, want to build strength, and want to get rid of what no longer serves you use this Kali Mudra to your benefit. As with all Mudras we want to start with relaxation and in a lotus or half-lotus position concentrating on our breath. And as previously mentioned you can do these anywhere. Try a good mediation cushion or towel mat for optimum comfort. 

1. Bring the hands together and interlace them
2. Extend your Index fingers (Index fingers are the sword cutting through illusion)
3. 15 - 45 minutes per day

  

Ganesha Mudra:

Ganesha is known as the remover of obstacles, he is the patron of arts and sciences and the deva of intellect and wisdom. As the god of beginnings, he is honored at the start of rites and ceremonies. We use this Mudra to relieve stress and tension and lift our spirits. 

1. Bring your palms together in prayer
2. Then swivel your hands so that your fingertips point toward opposite elbows, keep the right palm facing your heart.
3. Bend your fingers and slide your hands across each other until your fingers lock.
4. You can switch hands in this Mudra. I like to do this halfway through my 15 minutes.  

Lotus Mudra or Padma Mudra:

This Mudra meaning Lotus Seal opens the Heart Chakra and is a symbol of purity. Imagine your fingers mimicking the lotus flower! The lotus flower sits on the surface of the pond, open to the sun with its roots deeply embedded into the dark bottom of the water, holding it firm and strong. It is the symbol of light and beauty and emerging from the darkness. 

1. Start with your hands in Prayer 

2. Connect the heels of your palms and sides of your thumbs and pinkies, opening your ring, middle, and index fingers out in the shape of a lotus flower.

With the planet on lockdown it is a great time to experiment with new (to you) technologies to keep you safe and healthy! These 3 power Mudras are a great way to do just that! 

 

 ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ  Sat Nam! 

Soorya Kirti Kaur The Yama Yoga Store

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