Later in this course you will start practicing the asanas (or postures). It is important that you become familiar with Mudras and what some of the Mudras look like, before you start this practice as you will find that many of the postures throughout this course reference certain Mudras.

“Mudra” is a Sanskrit word that denotes a seal, mark, or gesture. A mudra can also reflect an internal attitude or stance towards life as evidenced as a specific physical gesture. Most mudras are comprised of hand or finger gestures, although some mudras may involve a gesture of the entire body or the face. As your textbook “THE ART OF VINYASA” states, a mudra can also be an internal pattern that occurs within the body when a bandha is practiced flawlessly. Your book discusses some of the internal mudras so here we will discuss more of the external gesture mudras.

Many of the most commonly practiced Yoga mudras are detailed in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. This ancient Yogic text explains various mudras and their benefits in detail. By practicing various hand gestures or seals, a Yogi or Yogini is able to direct this flow of energy into different areas of the body which can profoundly affect one’s internal attitude, as well as positively impact the functioning of the mind. The gesture itself a tool used to guide your and your students, but remember, the symbolism behind the mudra is more important than the physical gesture itself.

Mudra practice is often overlooked in Yoga Teacher Training today, however, incorporating specific hand gestures into your practice will help you to substantially magnify the energetic and balancing effects of your Yoga practice. Mudras are often practiced in conjunction with breathing exercises (like pranayama), in order to direct the flow of prana, or life force energy. They can also be practiced during meditation meditation or mantra repetition. The mantra repetition can be verbal or silent. More advanced Yoga students may wish to integrate mudras into their asana practice. For instance, there are specific hand gestures that correlate with each movement of the Sun Salutation. By learning the art and science of mudras and weaving this practice into your Yoga sessions, you will substantially enhance the energetic impact of your practice.

Common Hand Mudras

GUYAN MUDRA: Touch the tip of the thumb to the tip of the index finger. The index finger is symbolized by Jupiter and represents the ego or individual consciousness. The thumb represents the Self (Brahman) or Pure Consciousness. This mudra stimulates knowledge and wisdom, increasing our mental strength which helps maintain focus and direct energy.

ACTIVE GUYAN MUDRA: Bend the first joint of the index finger under the first joint of the thumb. This mudra imparts active knowledge.

SHUNI MUDRA: Touch the tip of middle finger to the tip of the thumb. This middle finger is symbolized by Saturn and the thumb represents the Self (Brahman) or Pure Consciousness. This mudra imparts patience.

SURYA or RAVI MUDRA: Touch the tip of the ring finger to the tip of the thumb. The ring finger is symbolized by Uranus or the Sun and the thumb represents the Self (Brahman) or Pure Consciousness. This mudra imparts energy, health, and intuition.

BUDDHI MUDRA: Touch the tip of little (or pinkie) finger to the tip of thumb. The little (or pinkie) finger is symbolized by Mercury and the thumb represents the Self (Brahman) or Pure Consciousness. This mudra is for clear and intuitive communication.

VENUS LOCK: Men should interlace their fingers so that the left little (pinkie) finger is on the bottom and the right index finger is on the top. Women shoulder do the reverse, with their fingers interlaced so that the right little (pinkie) finger is on the bottom and the left index finger is on top. Then press together the Venus mounds at the base of the thumbs. This mudra helps with focus and concentration and channels sensuality, sexuality, and glandular balance.

JUPITER MUDRA: Calms your hands together with point your two index fingers. With the two index fingers together for this mudra, you activate the power of Jupiter, or good luck and expansion, which focuses your energy to break through barriers.

PRAYER MUDRA: Press your palms together for this mudra. This has a neutralizing and balancing effect on yin and yang and is good for centering yourself.

BEAR GRIP: Face your left palm away from your body with your thumb down and face your right palm toward the body with your thumb up. Hook and curl your fingers together. This mudra stimulates the heart and intensify concentration.

BUDDHA MUDRA: Men should rest their right-hand rest on their left hand. Women should do the opposite where they rest their left hand on their right hand. Make sure your palms are face up with the tips of the thumbs touching each other.

Mudras in Practice – Health Benefits





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