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.

 

Anjali Mudra ~ Prayer Mudra

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.

 

 

Eye Mudra

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).

 

Body Mudra

The yogis have long found that the ulti­mate body posi­tion for the energy to flow and the mind to focus, is to have the body relaxed in the posi­tion of a tri­an­gle. In the sit­ting pos­ture, the knees part for the base of the tri­an­gle while the head serves as the apex for the tri­an­gle. There­fore, the lotus pos­ture and all other sit­ting pos­tures are the cho­sen body posi­tion for meditation.

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.