Over the years, I've be instructed to place my hands in certain ways during practice. The most notable is Anjali Mudra (Salutation Seal, sometimes called Prayer Position) or namaste position. Yet, other, less popular, so to speak, hand yoga poses exist.
During this week's practice, I was reminded of another fairly common yoga hand pose. Placing the thumb and pointer/index finger together, the hands form what is similar to an a-OKAY sign except the two finger pads are pressing together (rather than the nail and thumb pad) and the palms are facing up.
It got me thinking more about what hand yoga is all about and thus, went searching for more...
Mudras, is actual term used for hand yoga. I've heard the term many times before but never connected it to the hand positions.
"Mudra (hand gesture) is a method of citta-bhavana, or cultivating a specific state of mind. There are dozens of mudras, and each represents a certain quality, such as compassion, courage, or wisdom. It is believed that, by practicing mudra, you awaken the seeds of these states within you."
The specific mudra I stated above is called Gyana Mudra and it is believed to be the psychic gesture of knowledge.
I find when I practice this position, I feel an opening or a rush of energy (or air flow) from my straight fingers up my forearms. Weird? Maybe. But more intriguing to me than any thing else.
According to one source, Gyan Mudra stimulates the root chakra and eases tension and depression. It also allows for expansion and knowledge whereby it calms and brings spiritual openness and ease in meditation.
Interestingly, the feeling I get with this mudra may just relate to the air element. Based on Ayurveda, this mudra boosts the air element and stimulates the brain, empowering the mind, nervous system and pituitary gland. Who knows if this is the case, but a logical explanation!
With so many mudras ( and not just with the hands), I have many to explore and many to research for future posts!
More and more interesting parts of yoga keep unfolding,
Aspiring Yoga Teacher
I've practiced yoga since I was a pre-teen and have always found it to keep me centered. I will be a teacher one day and this is my journey to discover teaching and practice.