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The Ancient Art of Hasta Mudras: Connecting Mind, Body, and Soul

Updated: May 27, 2023

Hand mudras are a powerful practice that has been used for centuries to promote healing, enhance meditation, and balance the mind, body, and spirit. In Sanskrit, the word "mudra" means "seal" or "gesture," and refers to specific hand positions that are believed to have specific effects on the body and mind.

Hasta Mudras


Definition of Hand Mudras

When practising hand mudras, the fingers are held in specific positions that correspond to different energy channels in the body. By manipulating these channels through mudras, we can facilitate healing and promote overall well-being.

In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, each finger is also associated with one of the five elements: earth (thumb), water (pinky finger), fire (ring finger), air (index finger), and ether or space (middle finger). The combination of these elements in different mudras creates a unique effect on our physical, mental, and emotional bodies.


Brief history and cultural significance

The use of hand mudras dates back thousands of years in Hinduism and Buddhism. These practices were developed as a way to enhance meditation practices by creating a connection between the body's energy centres or chakras.

Hand mudras were also widely used by yogis as a tool for healing. The ancient yogis believed that specific hand positions could help activate certain parts of the body and promote health from within.

Today, hand mudra practices can be found in many different cultures around the world as a powerful tool for promoting overall health and well-being. To fully understand how these ancient techniques can benefit us we must explore each type of hand mudra individually; so let us dive into it!


Types of Hand Mudras

Mudra

Picture

Description

Benefits


Hasta Mudra

Index fingertip joins thumb, palm upwards. Rest three fingers extended.

Enhances memory, and concentration. Gives a sense of security, and groundedness.

Apana Mudra


Hasta Mudras

Middle and ring fingertips join thumb. Rest two fingers extended.

Helpful in diabetes and constipation. Strengthens leg joints

Prana Mudra


Hasta Mudra

Ring and little fingertips join thumb. Rest two fingers extended.

Prevents hair fall and Increases lung efficiency.

​Surya Mudra


Hasta Mudra

The thumb presses on the second phalanx of the ring finger and the ring fingertip touches the base of the thumb. Rest three fingers extended.

​Panacea mudra for weight loss maintains metabolism and reduces Cholesterol.

Varun Mudra


Hasta Mudra

The thumb joins the little fingertip. Rest three fingers extended.

Helpful in dehydration, clears blood and glows skin.

Back Mudra


Hasta Mudra

Right hand – Thumb touches middle and ring finger

Left hand – Thumb touches the index finger

Relieves back pain and muscle cramps.

Apana Vayu Mudra


Hasta Mudra

The thumb joins the middle and ring fingertip while the index finger bends to the base of the thumb.

The best mudra for heart problems prevents heart attack and improves digestion.

Shunya Mudra


Hasta Mudra

​Thumb pressing the second phalanx of the middle finger. Rest three fingers extended.

Treat ear-related problems, and cure numbness and motion sickness.

Rudra Mudra


Hasta Mudra

Thumb touching the tip of ring and index fingers. Rest two fingers extended.

Cure of dizziness lowers blood pressure and burns belly fat.

Adi Mudra


Hasta Mudra

Thumb fold inside the curled fingers.

​Increasing oxygen flow in the blood gives mental clarity.

Linga Mudra


Hasta Mudra

​Both hand's fingers are clasped and the left thumb is pointing upwards.

Cures breathing disorders, Prevent hypothermia

Anjali Mudra


Hasta Mudra

Both hands' fingers align in front of each other, tip upward.

​Balance of left and right hemispheres improves focus.

​Akash Mudra


Hasta Mudra

​The thumb touches the tip of the middle finger. Rest three fingers extended.

​Helpful in migraine, hearing loss, and overcoming calcium deficiency.

Padma Mudra


Hasta Mudra

Little finger and thumb touch side-by-side & then spread all fingers in a circular direction.

Brings creativity, calms the anxious mind, and balances the heart chakra.

Ganesha Mudra


Hasta Mudra

Right hand back, left hand forward – interlock fingers at second phalanx from inside.

Increase lung capacity, reduce neck pain and boost self-confidence.

Matangi Mudra


Hasta Mudra

Interlace both hand fingers and then point both middle fingers up.

Evoke self-confidence, help with insomnia and relax jaw muscles.

​Dharmachakra Mudra


Hasta Mudra

​Make gyan mudra with both hands. Now touch right-hand gyan mudra with the left middle fingertip facing outside.

Deepen meditation, gives a grounding sense, and calms the mind.

Brahma Mudra


Hasta Mudra

Fold thumb inside curled fingers and then press fingers at knuckles.

Balance thyroid gland secretion, helpful in the irregular menstrual cycle.

Vajra Mudra


Hasta Mudra

Middle, ring and little fingertips touch the thumb. Index finger extended.

Removes stiffness of muscles, and detoxes the lungs.

Surabhi Mudra


Hasta Mudra

Ring fingertips of both hands touch opposite little fingertips, and in the same manner, middle fingertips touch opposite index fingertips.

​Enhances creativity and helpful in getting wish fulfilment.

Bhumisparsha Mudra


Hasta Mudra

The left hand is on the lap facing upward, and the right-hand points to the ground touching.

Increasing concentration removes negativity and aggression.

​Shankh Mudra


Hasta Mudra

​Encircle left thumb with 4 fingers of the right hand and then extend left hand 4 fingers and right hand up.

​Overcomes fear of speaking, purifies nadis, and improves the functioning of the larynx (voice box).

Hakini Mudra


Hasta Mudra

Join all fingertips and thumbs of both hands with each other and spread your fingers wide.

Best mudra to increase brain power and balance 3 doshas.

​Kubera Mudra


Hasta Mudra

Join the index and middle fingertips to the thumb tips. Then curl the little and ring fingertips to the palm.

Gives good luck, confidence, and peacefulness. Opens blocked nose and ears.

Hold up, hold up! There is more!

​Yoni Mudra


Hasta Mudra

​Join all fingertips to each other, stretch the thumb upwards, then bend the middle, ring, and little finger so that the back of the fingers are touching.

Helpful with fertility problems, and removes all tiredness and stress when practised at night before going to sleep.

Jnana Mudra


Hasta Mudra

​Thumb and index fingertip touching, rest fingers extended.

For beginners – Index fingertip touching inside the root of the thumb. Palm facing up.

It improves concentration and the endocrine system and calms the mind.

Vishnu Mudra


Hasta Mudra

Index and middle finger bend down towards palm.

Reduce anger, purify nadis, and is helpful in heart diseases.

Vayu Mudra


Hasta Mudra

​Thumb pressing second phalanx of the index finger.

Overcome gastric problems and builds immunity.

​Shakti Mudra


Hasta Mudra

​Encircle the thumb inside the index and middle fingers, touch them at the back, raise the ring and little fingertips – extend them up.

Helpful in sleeplessness, rectifies the painful urination problem and menstruation discomfort.

Abhaya Mudra



Hasta Mudra


Lift your right hand to chest level and keep your palm open facing the front.

Helps in conquering fear and settling emotions.

​Dhyana Mudra


Hasta Mudra

Place the right hand over the left hand (For women - left on right hand) so the fingers are aligned. Now touch both thumb tips.

Deepen the levels of meditation and activate the left and right sides of the brain.

​Chinmaya Mudra


Hasta Mudra

Curl the middle, ring and little finger to palm and touch the index fingertip with the thumb.

Prevent memory loss and cure insomnia.

​Prithvi Mudra


Hasta Mudra

Ring fingertip touching thumb. Rest three fingers extended.

Helps with weight gain and healing body tissues.

Karana Mudra


Hasta Mudra

​Middle fingertip touching thumb, ring finger curl parallel to the middle, and rest two fingers extended.

Fill the mind with positivity and drives energy forces inwards.

Bhramara Mudra


Hasta Mudra

The index finger curl down to the base of the thumb, the thumb touching the outside of the middle finger, and rest two fingers extended.

Beneficial to get rid of allergies and treats the common cold, runny nose, and tonsillitis.

​Pushan Mudra


Hasta Mudra

Right hand – touch index and middle fingertip to thumb tip.

Left hand – touch ring and middle fingertip to thumb tip. Rest two fingers extended.

Best mudra for digestion and eliminating blockage and toxins. Also, cures nausea, flatulence and constipation.

​Mushti Mudra


Hasta Mudra

Make a fist with the thumb placed over the ring finger.

Relieve negative emotions and lower blood pressure.

​Garuda Mudra


Hasta Mudra

Hold onto your thumbs. Place the right hand on the apex of the left hand.

It inculcates fearlessness and it helps in getting rid of lethargy and fatigue.

Vitraka Mudra


Hasta Mudra

​Join the tips of the thumb and the index fingers together, palm facing forward at the heart level.

​Encourages wisdom, uplifts energy, and develops a sense of clarity.

Merudanda Mudra



Hasta Mudra

​Extend the thumbs of each hand upward, and curl the other fingers into the palm.

​Strengthens the spine and eliminates restlessness from the mind.

​Varada Mudra


Hasta Mudra

​Right hand held out, with palm uppermost and the fingers pointing downwards.

Make seeker humble, cultivate forgiveness quality.

​Bhairava Mudra


Hasta Mudra

Place your right hand on the cup of your left hand. Tips of the fingers of both hands facing opposite directions.

Instant relief from anxiety, stress, and mood swings.

​Asthma Mudra


Hasta Mudra

​Bend and press the middle fingers of both hands at the fingernails. Palms should press together gently with the other fingers remaining straight.

​Improves breathing, and removes the blockage and toxins from the lungs.

​Uttarabodhi Mudra


Hasta Mudra

Interlock both hand fingers. Now extend index fingers up, touching tip together and thumb downwards.

​Boosts confidence, promotes optimism and inculcates fearlessness.

Ushas Mudra


Hasta Mudra

Clasp hand together with fingers interlaced.

It regulates irregular menses and helps with the proper hormonal flow.

​Mahasirs Mudra


Hasta Mudra

Touch the index and middle fingertip with a thumb tip, curl the ring finger to the base of the thumb, and extend the little finger.

Cures sinus issues, relieve eye strain and improves concentration.

Kalesvara Mudra


Hasta Mudra

​Join the first and second phalanx of both hand fingers, extend the middle and little fingers upward and join them. Join the thumb below in a heart shape.

Helpful to get rid of the habit of procrastination, brings serenity, and develops adaptability.


Benefits of practising the Hasta Mudra

Physical Benefits: Improved Blood Circulation and Flexibility

One of the most significant benefits of practising hand mudras is improved blood circulation throughout the body. The hand gestures stimulate specific pressure points that help to increase blood flow.

As a result, it helps in better oxygenation of cells and nourishment to the organs, which leads to improved overall health. Additionally, practising hand mudras can also increase flexibility in your fingers, hands, and wrists.

When you hold your hands in different positions for some time, it helps to stretch muscles and tendons. Over time this can lead to increased dexterity and greater mobility in these parts of your body.


Mental Benefits: Reduced Stress and Increased Focus

Hand mudras are an effective tool for reducing stress levels as they help release tension from the body. By holding certain hand positions while focusing on deep breathing techniques, you can reduce cortisol levels (the stress hormone) in your system. This can significantly reduce feelings of anxiety or depression.

Moreover, practising hand mudras also helps improve mental focus by directing attention away from external distractions towards internal awareness. The practice encourages concentration which leads to a clearer mind allowing you to achieve more productive results while enhancing creativity and decision-making skills.


Spiritual Benefits: Enhanced Meditation Practice

Hand Mudra practice is not just beneficial for physical or mental well-being but also enhances spiritual practices such as meditation. Practising various mudras during meditation sessions has been shown to promote deeper relaxation within the mind-body connection leading towards self-awareness. Incorporating these hand movements into meditation practice encourages heightened spirituality by improving communication between different energy channels like chakras within our bodies that are not visible yet equally important for overall health benefits including harmony between mind-body-soul connection.

Overall, incorporating Hand Mudra practice into your daily routine can bring numerous benefits to your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. By taking a few minutes each day to hold specific hand positions, you can relieve stress, and improve circulation and flexibility while enhancing meditation practice leading towards a balanced and healthy lifestyle.


How to Practice Hand Mudras

Hand mudras have been used for centuries in meditation and yoga practices. They are simple to perform, but performing them with proper hand positioning and alignment is crucial to harness their benefits. In this section, we will look at the correct way of practising hand mudras.


Proper hand positioning and alignment

To practice a hand mudra, first, it is essential to sit in a comfortable position with your back straight. Then bring your hands up into a comfortable position like you are holding something invisible.

Ensure that your fingers do not touch each other and are slightly curved inward. Furthermore, different hand mudras require specific finger placements and the direction of energy flow.

For example, Gyan Mudra requires touching the tip of the thumb with the index finger while other fingers remain extended outwards. In contrast, Varun Mudra requires touching the tip of the thumb with the little finger while keeping all other fingers extended outwards.


Recommended duration and frequency

The recommended duration for practising hand mudras varies from 5 minutes up to 45 minutes per day. Beginners should start with shorter durations before gradually increasing their practice time.

One may choose to practice one type of mudra or a combination of different mudras depending on their desired results. Practising consistently every day can help achieve better results.


Best times to practice

There is no specific time when one should practice hand mudras as they can be practised anytime during the day or night. However, some people prefer practising early morning as it helps set an intention for the day ahead while others find it relaxing before bedtime.

It is important to remember that one should not force their body into discomfort while performing these poses as it may cause injury or strain on muscles leading t pain later on. So give yourself plenty of time when beginning and gradually increase the time you spend practising as you become more comfortable with each mudra.


The Power of Hand Mudras

Hand mudras are a powerful practice that has been used for centuries to promote health, well-being, and spiritual growth. By using hand mudras in our daily lives, we can tap into the power of our bodies and minds to achieve balance and harmony. Regular practice can lead to increased focus, reduced stress levels, improved physical health, and a deeper sense of connection with ourselves and the world around us.


Incorporating Hand Mudras into Daily Life

If you're interested in incorporating hand mudras into your daily routine, start by choosing one or two that resonate with you. Find a quiet space where you won't be disturbed and sit comfortably with your eyes closed.

Focus on your breath and visualize the energy flowing through your body as you hold the mudra for several minutes at a time. With regular practice, you'll begin to notice the benefits of hand mudras in all areas of your life.

You may find yourself more centred during stressful situations or more focused during meditation sessions. Whatever your goals may be, hand mudras offer a simple yet powerful way to achieve them.


The Future of Hand Mudras

As more people become interested in alternative forms of healing and self-care, hand mudras will likely continue to grow in popularity. Whether used alone or in combination with other practices like yoga or meditation, hand mudras offer an accessible way for people from all walks of life to improve their physical and mental well-being. So why not give it a try?

Spend some time exploring different hand mudra practices and see how they can benefit you. With regular practice and an open mind, you may be surprised at just how transformative these simple gestures can be!


FAQs

Which mudra is more powerful?

Behold the magnificent Surabhi mudra, an incredibly potent and efficacious hand gesture! This mudra possesses the remarkable ability to assist dedicated practitioners (sadhanas) in surmounting any obstacles they encounter while approaching the pinnacle of meditation, known as samadhi.


Which mudra to do first?

The Jnana Mudra (the Enlightened gesture of Knowledge), is a fundamental yoga mudra renowned for enhancing concentration and wisdom.


Which mudra is best in the morning?

Prithvi mudra, also known as the Earth mudra, is ideally practised in the morning. However, feel free to engage in this mudra at any hour of the day. To perform it, assume the comfortable seated position of padmasana, placing the palms of your hands on your knees with your elbows straight. Employ this mudra whenever you find yourself overwhelmed with stress and depleted of energy, rejuvenating your vitality in the process.


How many days do mudras take to work?

Certain yoga mudras possess the incredible power to harmonize the elements within your body in a speedy 45 minutes or less! However, keep in mind that the effects of other mudras may require a little more patience before unveiling their full potential.



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