From ancient times, there have been references to mudra both in literary and visionary form. Nearly lost, the yoga art and science of mudra has only recently re-emerged. One can dive deeply into mudra vidya with over 1000 Devi Mudras that have come forth, as did the original yoga, from kriyavati, or kundalini-inspired hatha yoga. From simple to complex, flowing one into the next or sustained, hasta mudras facilitate healing and meditation. These mystical hand gestures directly influence the flow of prana for health, mental focus, and deeper spiritual awareness. Before language developed, hand gestures were a main form of communication. Later, as spoken language arose, the hands assisted in this process. Just as outer gestures assisit in communication with others, hasta mudras are for inner communication. Categories of mudra include with one hand only; both hands engaged in a symmetrical mudra; or each hand in a different mudra. Benefits evolve from developing supple and strong fingers, to improving health, to the sacred geometry of the hands expressed through hasta mudra, allowing one to communicate with the divine.
Mudra is a Sanskrit word for “sealing in the energy.” When we seal the energy, we are focusing the energy. Focused energy has unlimited power. We can learn to access our unlimited power through the right application of mudra.
Mudra is transforming because of the effect that the various mudras have on the body, mind and consciousness. The mudras balance the flow of energy as well as channel the energy to specific energy points. Mudras use the hands, eyes, and full body to activate the energy. Naturally, all mudras engage the mind, the ultimate focus.
Hasta (Hand) Mudra
Mudras have been practiced throughout history. Before language, feelings formed into finger gestures to express, to communicate. As evolution continued, the hand gestures joined with words, sentences, language.
The hand has been a symbol for prayer and for the Higher Power. Around 1500 B.C. the Egyptian’s powerful deity Ra, was shown as a sunburst with each ray terminated in an open hand. Mudras are an important part in the religious practices of Buddhist and Hindu rituals. The Prayer Mudra, with hands together at the heart, symbolizes prayer, worship for the Christians. Hand gestures have been practiced by different spiritual, religious, and philosophical groups around the world.
The hand mudras are also incorporated into the various yogic practices such as the TriYoga Flows, and, pranayama, concentration, prayers, worship, meditation, dance, and various other expressions.
The hands express our inner self. This is why it is said that the hand mudras are the way we communicate with DEVI, the cosmic energy.
Hand mudras can be done with one hand or both hands at the same time. The right hand represents the outer self and the left hand represents the inner self. Each finger has a specific meaning. The type of mudra will be determined by various aspects, such as where the fingers are touching, if the hands are touching, where the hands are located, and the placement of the mudra in sequence.
When the hand mudras flow one into the next, it is like a hand dance. The hands flow into various mudras like the postures flow one into the next.
The hands are used to express ourselves, to work, and to share with others. They are invaluable, and powerful. Our hands are like a conduit for energy; as they direct energy and focus the mind. So, the right application of the hand mudras can magnify the incredible role that hands play in life. Studies have shown that when people make gestures with their hands and arms, it helps the thinking process.
With a master yogi, the mudras, when performed spontaneously, can transmit energy. There are many pictures showing saints with their hands in a gesture of giving blessing or one of prayer and meditation.
Place hands together at the center of the chest. When placed at the heart center (center of chest), anjali mudra creates a devotional feeling, balances the physical and mental energies and calms the mind.
Lakshmi Devi Mudra
Place hands in Anjali Mudra (prayer position). Part the fourth fingers. Place the second fingers behind the fourth fingers. Bring the finger tips of the second fingers toward the tips of the thumbs. Touch if possible. Cross the fifth fingers. The first fingers face outward, beside one another.
Mudras are used as a way to practice pratyahara, withdrawal of the mind from the sense objects.
More information comes in through our eyes than any other sense organ. It is said that approximately 60% of the information that is taken in while listening to someone, comes from what we see. Through observation, the eyes take in most of the knowledge from the senses. Therefore, to withdraw the mind from the sense-objects, the eyes need to be focused in such a way that this is achieved. There are eye mudras for when the eyes are closed and for when they are open.
The two eyes represent duality. In the outer world, the pair of opposites exist. The battle of good and bad. Light and darkness. When the inner eye opens, one experiences control over the pair of opposites. Higher knowledge dawns and guides.
To open the inner eye, the eye mudras can greatly assist. Eye mudras channel the energy upward to the inner eye. The energy focuses at a specific point due to mental control and the physical application of the eye mudra.
In meditation, one can experience the spontaneous movement of the eyes into a mudra. The eyes close and naturally lift slightly in and up toward the inner eye as the energy moves upward. In this way, mudras can be taught from outside-in (applying the mudra ) or inside-out (spontaneous mudra).
Depending on the task, the body will take a specific posture that will serve the purpose best. All sports have a specific posture. People vary their posture according to the need. Of course, there are times when people just take the one master pose they have for sure, the slouch pose. When one sits in the slouch pose for an extended period, they will feel lethargic. When sitting in a posture with the spine lengthened even for a short time, one will feel more energy. One should choose the posture that best fits the need of what they are doing.
By maintaining relaxation in action, the body becomes a mudra. The TriYoga Flows move the whole body into a graceful mudra. The body feels focused, energized to fulfill one’s destiny.