Yoga isn’t just a physical exercise. And have you wondered about yoga Mudras meaning? It isn’t all about twisting your body in a variety of shapes. While, yes, Yoga does help you gain physical flexibility, it’s mostly about enhancing the elasticity of your mind and purging your spiritual energy clean. As such ‘mudras’ are an important aspect of Yogic positions. Yoga Mudras meaning ‘Closure’ or ‘Seal’, is a Sanskrit word, and comprises specific hand gestures which helps direct the flow of energy in your body.
The mudras are often used as a means of balancing the five vital elements of the body — water, earth, ether, air and fire. Each finger is associated with one of these elements, and any imbalance in them can cause bodily discomfort or harm. As such, the mudras are used to guide those elements in harmony, bringing about a total regeneration of the body and mind, and helping you expand the very reaches of your consciousness. It even helps clean the psychic channels in your body, which facilitates the flow of energy. Every mudra has a very specific function and method of adoption.
10 Yoga Mudras Meaning and Benefits
Here’s a list of 10 of the really powerful yoga mudras meaning, how to adopt them and how they benefit you.
#1. Gyan Mudra
The “Mudra of Knowledge”, this is ideal for early morning meditations, when your mind is as yet completely fresh. You need to connect the tip of your index finger with that of your thumb. The other fingers can be left loose.
Practicing this during meditations helps sharpen your brain, cures insomnia, increases concentration and memory and helps heal you of any mental disorders such as anger, anxiety or stress.
#2. Vayu Mudra
This mudra can be practiced in any position, standing, sitting or even lying down. This gesture involves you folding your index finger back, and using your thumb to press down on the second phalanx bone, the one closer to the base. The remaining fingers should remain firmly extended.
There are no restrictions on when this can be practiced, you can do it any time of the day, on empty or full stomach. “Vaayu” refers to the air, and as such this gesture helps regulate internal wind, relieving excess gas and reducing chest pains. However, you should stop exercising this once the purpose has been achieved as it can lead to further imbalance.
#3. Agni Mudra
This is the Mudra of Fire, and can be practiced by folding your middle finger and using the base of the thumb to press down on it’s second phalanx bone, while the remaining fingers remain straight. This needs to be practiced for 15 minutes, early morning on an empty stomach.
As it regulates the fire element, it helps reduce stress and tension, strengthens the body, helps in quick digestion and brings high cholesterol level into control. However, it needs to be avoided if you’re facing Indigestion.
#4. Prithvi Mudra
This is the mudra of Earth, and it can be practiced by connecting the tips of your ring finger and thumb. While it can be performed at any time, it would be ideal to do so during Padmasana, with your arms stretched straight and placed over your knees.
It helps in blood circulation, and relieving stress. This is also great for glowing skin, and helps waken the mind and reduce weakness.
#5. Varun Mudra
This is the Mudra of Water and helps preserve outer beauty by helping the skin become radiant. This can simply be performed by lightly connecting the tips of your little finger and the thumb. While there are no restrictions on when or how to perform this, it’s ideal to do so while cross-legged.
However, don’t press down on the nail as this would instead cause dehydration. Since this helps maintain the water flow in the body, it is beneficial for achieving a natural glow on the face, and cure skin diseases, infections and dryness. It can even help avoid pimples.
#6. Shunya Mudra
Shunya means zero, emptiness or sky in Sanskrit. It is supposed to work on the element of ether that pervades all space. This can be practiced by pressing down on the first index finger phalanx with your thumb.
Practicing this with deep concentration can immediately cure earache and can help those who are either deaf or even mentally challenged. It can also help you overcome travel sickness or dizziness.
#7. Surya Mudra
Surya is the Sanskrit word for the Sun. This mudra of the sun increases the element of fire in the body. This is practiced by pressing the ring finger against the thumb.
This helps reduce cholesterol levels, helps lose weight, reduces anxiety and also used to treat common colds.
#8. Prana Mudra
This is the Mudra of Life, and is beneficial in enhancing the life-giving energies in your body. This needs to be done in the accompaniment of Padmasana, by connecting the tips of both the ring and the little finger against the tip of the thumb.
There are no restrictions upon when and how to perform this, and it greatly helps enhance the immune system, get rid of eye diseases and reduce fatigue.
#9. Linga Mudra
This one helps maintain the heat in the body. it can be performed either standing or seated. You need to bring both your hands before you, intertwine the fingers of both hands, left thumb sticking up, and encircled by the thumb and index finger of the right hand.
This helps combat cold, and other infections. It also helps with weight loss.
#10. Apaan Mudra
This is the purification Mudra and helps balance space and earth within the body. This is done by connecting the middle and ring finger tips with those of the thumb. Practicing this can help detoxify and purify your body and helps deal with flatulence and constipation.
Now when you do Yoga, you can also be aware of Yoga Mudras meaning in order to perform the right exercises as decided by you.