Your hands harness energy. From sign language to cultural hand gestures, your hands convey messages and every day you are talking to someone with your hands: waving, motioning, cursing, and emphasizing a point. Usually communication is referred as something you put into the external world, but what about communicating with yourself? How do your own gestures affect you?
Mudras, seal or gesture, are ways to move or hold the body to influence your energy and benefit your health. Although mudras can be whole body expressions, they are most commonly hand gestures. You will find mudras (not always by this name) in every culture and depicted in many different religious iconography.
All of us are made up of the five different natural elements and mudras will activate the different elements to aid the emotional, physical, and mental body. For example, when you combine the elements of air and fire you get a different reaction than when you combine the elements of fire and earth. This is the same in your body. Your entire body is govern by the elements and each finger corresponds to one of those elements and as you use the fingers who are manipulating the energy throughout your body.
How to Do Mudras
The beauty about mudras, is they can be done at any time. Some are best held when seated in meditation but most can be performed anytime and anywhere. However, mudras are most effective when you are holding them with pure intention. Whether you are in a seated meditation, in warrior yoga pose, at your desk, or in line for coffee, when you hold a mudra turn your attention inward. Make each inhale and exhale deliberate and intentional. The energy of mudra is magnified with intention, visualization, and affirmation.
MEANING OF YOUR FINGERS
Your thumb represents the fire element, universal consciousness, self-assertion, and connected to the lung meridian. Fire is a vital element in the alchemical agent of transformation and as such the energy of your thumb affects energy in the fingers. On a spiritual level, your inner fire is the ability to understand who your life’s purpose and unapologetically direct your energy towards your path. Your thumb is the will, strength, and inner conviction to oppose your limiting beliefs that want to keep you playing small. Your thumb is the fire in your belly and the cleansing properties of your breath to keep you in a state of balance.
GARUDA MUDRA (Mudra for the mythic deity, Garuda): Hook your thumbs together with your right hand on top of your left and your palms facing your body. Spread your fingers. Place your hands on your lower abdomen for 10 counts, then on your solar plexus for 10 breaths, and at your chest for 10 breaths.
Garuda is the vehicle for the Hindu god of preservation, Vishnu. Garuda become so big he covers the suns or so small he can fly through the smallest crack. This mudra provides internal balance to handle any obstacle with equanimity and clear sight. Garuda mudra is said to help improve your circulation, invigorate your organs, relieves respiratory difficulties, and menstrual cramps.
Your index finger represents the element of air, your individual consciousness, and is connected to a deep meridian in the stomach. The element air in your body aids in movement and elimination. It is vital for your body and health to have good elimination. Too much air in your body and you feel bloated, gassy, and uncomfortable. Not enough air in your body and you are constipated and lethargic. Often stress and anxiety increase inflammation in your gastrointestinal systems. Your thoughts, an air element, color your perception and dictate your actions. Begin to notice and change your thoughts and change your life. Proper balance of the air element is vital for optimal alignment of your mind, body, and spirit.
SUCHI MUDRA: Place both hands into fists at your chest. Inhale and reach our both your arms out to form a T shape with your index fingers extended and pointing upward. Imagine energy drawing in from your feet and spiraling at your chest. Exhale and visualize air moving from your chest, through your arms, and out your fingers. Repeat and hold for 6 breaths.
Your middle finger is associated with the element of ether, the endless space around you. With neither boundaries nor limits, ether is the space of potential and of absence. For example, it is light because there is no dark. You grow spiritually, mentally, emotionally when inertia is absent. As you grow into who you are and proceed on your path, you expand into the ether as do your deeds, thoughts, and actions also magnify.
PRAN MUDRA (Life Mudra): To perform Pran Mudra, place your thumb at your ring and little finger. Keep your index and middle finger extended.
Pran Mudra activates the root chakra and increases energy, reduces nervousness, and improves vision. By activating the root chakra we find a deeper connection to our stability and centeredness limiting distraction and allowing clear vision. When you have clear vision, you can see all obstacles and options with an observers mind and create choices from the insight of your higher self.
Your ring finger is associated with the earth element, governs bodily temperature, and immune function. The earth element governs your physical and material wealth. It is the element of manifestation — creating your reality from thought and action.
Prithivi Mudra (Earth Mudra): Extend your fingers palm up. Bring the tip of your thumb and ring finger to touch. This mudra can be done at any time.
This mudra activates the earth element in your body and enhances your feelings of security and stability. When you have a strong and balanced earth element, you have a good sense of self and trust in what the universe will provide, trust in your own ability, and sense to know when to release attachments. This mudra is said to strengthen your nail, skin, hair, and bones.
The “pinky” or little finger is associated with water, the element of flow, transitions, and fluidity of emotions. As water moves and shapeshifts, this element aids us to learn to flow with change in order to remain with joy. The element of water is associated with healing, psychic communication, love, communication, and friendship.
BHUDI MUDRA (Fluid Mudra): Place the tip of your thumb on the tip of your pinky finger. Extend your other fingers. Keep your breath even and relaxed and imagine riding smooth waves. This mudra helps to restore balance when you have dry eyes or mouth, helps to transition through emotional storms, and find equilibrium in the ebb and flow of energy.
Mudras are available for you to use at any time. There is a lot of information on mudras, but the greatest teacher about how a mudra affects you is the mudras themselves. Play with mudras and learn from them. We all have our own personal mudras whether we are conscious of it or not. Notice the way you hold your hands when you speak from your heart or you need strength. Let this be the beginning of a fantastic journey to the magic of your hands!