Are you suffering from insomnia? Do you frequently wake up at night and have trouble getting back to sleep? Do you wake up feeling tired, no matter how much you slept the night before? Mudras are powerful tools to assist meditation and introspection, and they can be used to help control our mind — our thoughts, feelings, and desires. In this article, we will discuss some essential mudras that will balance your body and mind and relieve your anxiety and stress.
What are Mudras?
Mudras are hand gestures that activate a certain element or energy in the body. The five fingers represent the five elements. The energy activation point lies on the fingertips. When the fingertips are connected, the subtle energy in your body gets activated. The thumb represents the fire element. This element represents agni within the body, and it serves to activate all the other elements.
The index finger represents air, middle finger ether, ring finger earth and the little finger represents the water element.
When different hand formations, or mudras, are formed, the combination of subtle elements has a powerful effect on the mind and body.
How Can Mudras Heal?
There is a spiritual force that mediates our mind-body connection. Ayurveda says that when the elements in our body are balanced, our bodies and minds are healthy. Whenever imbalance arises, we can attain balance by activating specific elements using various mudras. Acupuncture is another method that involves activating specific points in the body and improving the flow of energy. Mudras act in a similar way. The tips of our fingers act like electrical potential points, and when the mudras are formed, they create an electrical circuit that circulates energy throughout the body. As this energy circulates, we feel a healing effect. The most astonishing fact is that our brain uses about 60% of its surface area to process the movements and sensations of the hands.
RECOMMENDED: For a complete guide to the many mudras and their benefits, check out Healing Mudras: Yoga of the Hands by Yogi Nataraj.
#1: Jnana Mudra
The Jnana mudra activates the air element within the body. Touch the tips of the thumb and the index finger together, and gradually adjust until you can feel your pulse in your fingertips. Be aware of the outflow and inflow of energy going from and to the heart. Practice this mudra for about 15-20 minutes.
When Should I Perform the Jnana Mudra?
The Jnana mudra is useful for:
- Improving concentration
- Meditation practices
- Calming the mind
- Treating depression and lack of enthusiasm
- Finding clarity in your thoughts
- Overcoming addiction
- Treating insomnia
- Enhancing the endocrine system
- Strengthening the muscular system
Remember that it is very important to feel your pulse while performing this mudra. The Jnana mudra can be used in all sitting meditative poses, or even while practicing walking meditation. Other names for the Jnana mudra include Abhay Jnana mudra, Vayu Vardhak mudra, Purna Jnana mudra, Dhyan mudra.
The next mudra we will cover is the Shanmukhi Mudra.
#2: Shanmukhi Mudra
Shanmukhi mudra means to have a bright face. Shanmukhi mudra is meant to relieve all stress and tension and relax all the facial muscles.
Place the fingers in the following order:
- Two thumbs on the two openings of the ears so that you can close the ears when mudra is performed.
- The index finger on the eyes
- The middle fingers on either side of the nose
- The ring and little fingers on the upper and lower lips.
Practice this mudra for about 15-20 minutes.
When Should I Perform the Shanmukhi Mudra?
The Shanmukhi mudra is useful for the following:
- Relaxing the face and brain
- Relieving headaches
- Reducing depression
- Alleviating stress and tension
Remember that it is very important to feel your pulse while performing this mudra. The Shanmukhi mudra relaxes all the facial muscles. Take a deep breath in, relax and breathe out. After fully breathing out close all the openings with the fingers — the ears, eyes, mouth and finally the nostrils. So we are holding the breath after breathing out. Bend your neck forward. Hold as long as you can comfortably. Lifting your neck, relax all the fingers and breathe in, after fully breathing in , slowly breathe out and repeat the same procedure. Practice this 21 times.
The next mudra we will cover is the Hakini Mudra.
#3: The Hakini Mudra
To perform the Hakini Mudra, simply place all the tips of the fingers together, including the thumbs. This will activate all the elements, the third eye, memory, and intuition. Practice this mudra for 15- 20 minutes.
When Should I Perform the Hakini Mudra?
The Hakini mudra is useful for the following:
- Improving the memory
- Focusing and calming the mind
- Connecting the two hemispheres of the brain
- Processing heavy emotions and thoughts
The next mudra we will cover is known as the Dhyana Mudra:
#4: The Dhyana Mudra
Sit comfortably , place your left hand on the right as shown and touch the tips of the thumbs. Feel the pulse. Relax your breath. As you feel the pulse feel the touch of the palms, experience silence. By experiencing silence we get rid of all disturbances in the mind and body. Practice the Dhyana Mudra for 10-15 minutes.
When Should I Perform the Dhyana Mudra?
The Samana mudra is useful for the following:
- Relaxing the mind
- Giving a sense of peace and well-being
- Accelerating healing
- Relieving stress
Remember that it is very important to feel your pulse while performing this mudra. The Dhyana Mudra is especially effective when sitting. It can be performed after a long journey or a long commute to recenter and ground yourself.
Suggested Mudra Sequence
You can perform each of these mudras one by one in a sequence, or you can do them separately. Be sure to give each of each mudras at least 10 minutes of your time. You can also play some music like that of flute or some natural healing sounds to help attain a calm, meditative state.