Who doesn’t need a little Zen in life? In this fast paced, always needing more, over-stimulated world who wouldn’t benefit from some meditation moments. This may just be that balance you need. In yoga, Mudras are hand gestures, and there are two kinds. One is touching the tips of various fingers with the thumb or lightly pressing down on the joint closest to the tip of a finger with the thumb. These touches are intended to affect different parts of the body, depending on which finger is touched.
If you want more details about mudras-hand-gestures, then click the link. You can believe in the power of Mudras, knowing that acupressure and acupuncture have a solid base in medical treatments for most. Or, if you don’t believe that, just look at them as a way to add beauty, elegance, and grace to your yoga routine and think of it this way, when you feel beautiful, you feel physically good. Here are the eight hand positions used in yoga.
The air is the first of the five elements of the body. It governs the creative process, mental health, and the intellect. It is also associated with Anahata, the fourth Chakra. This Mudra increases the element of air in your body. This gesture is like making an okay sign, you touch the tip of your thumb to the tip of your index finger and leave the rest of your hand open with fingers extended. It enhances your memory and cognitive processing. It also helps you stay focused and alert while boosting creativity enthusiasm, and forward thinking. You can do it any time.
This gesture helps you be calm. It looks like a squished okay sign. You bend your index finger down toward the base of your thumb and then lay your thumb over the top joint of your index finger. It helps balance your nervous system and any over-activity with your hormones. It is also good when you are feeling anxious or troubled. Where the Gyan mudra increases air in your body, the Vaayu decreases air. It also can be used at any time.
This represents the second element – space (or ether). It is a more subtle element and makes it possible for a person to resonate with the cosmos or universe. Space is associated with the fifth Chakra (Visuddha). The hand movement is to touch the tip of the middle finger to the tip of the thumb with the rest of the hand open. Its purpose is to increase the element of space inside the body, and assists detoxification of metabolic waste. The Aakash eases your thoughts from negative emotions such as fear, sorrow, and anger. It also is claimed to help those who suffer from congestive issues after a meal – in the ears, chest, head or sinuses. It can be done anytime, but is best when performed between 2-6 am/pm, and should not be done for more than 30 minutes a day, especially if you are an of agile-athletic build.
This decreases the space element in the body. To perform this Mudras, bend the middle finger down toward the base of the thumb and let the thumb press lightly down on the first joint. It is used to relieve ear problems such as pain of the inner ear, tinnitus, and impaired hearing. It also helps if you have nausea or travel sickness – both often related to the inner ear fluids. If you are feeling extreme numbness in the head or chest areas, this is the Mudras to use for relief. It can be used anytime, but should only be used when dealing with the problems mentioned here.
With this gesture, you start dealing with the element of earth. The earth element works with bones, tissues, and the functions of the nose, primarily your ability to smell. This gesture also deals with the element of fire, which controls metabolism, growth, glands, and the temperature of the body. The hand gesture is made by touching the tip of the ring finger to the tip of the thumb. This mudra is for strength. It increases the earth element (1st Chakra – Muladhara) while decreasing the fire element (3rd Chakra – Manipura). This gesture boosts the healing process with new tissue growth and building muscle. It also helps when you are tired, have brittle bones, hair, nails, and dry skin by improving vitality, endurance, and strength. So this is excellent if you have an overactive thyroid and have trouble maintaining weight. You can do it anytime.
This one increases the fire element and decreases the earth element. The hand gesture is made by bending the ring finger toward the palm and pressing down lightly with the tip of the thumb on top of the first joint of the finger. This helps if your regular body temperature is low, or if you are cold enough that you are shivering. Surya is helpful if you have an underactive thyroid, gain weight easily, have constipation, indigestion or reduced appetite. It also helps your body start to sweat and if you have vision problems. You can do it anytime, but keep it to less than 30 minutes at a stretch, or your body may start to overheat.
The fifth and final element of the body is water and is represented in the 7th and 8th Mudras. The water element impacts joints, tissues, skin, tongue, and taste. Water makes up 70% of the human body, so these are important gestures. Water is the 2nd Chakra – Swadhisthana. This hand gesture is done by touching the tip of the little finger to the tip of the thumb. Varun increases the water element in the body and is useful when you have painful joints, arthritis, and problems tasting things. If you have muscle cramps from dehydration or hormones, this is the one to use. It is also helpful for dry hair, eyes, skin, eczema, and problems with the digestive system, including indigestion, constipation, mouth and throat issues. You can practice it anytime but if you have water retention issues, don’t use it.
The final gesture is for stability. This decreases the water element in your body. The hand gesture is made by bending the pinkie finger toward the palm and pressing down lightly with the tip of the thumb covering the top of the first joint of the finger. The rest of the hand is open with the fingers extended. It is helpful if you have sweaty palms, runny nose, watering eyes, or excessive salivation. It also helps ease edema (swelling) and water retention. You can use it anytime.
Meditation is not one of the Mudras, but combined with the hand gestures can help you find peace and clarity. It also can lead you to answers you’ve been seeking and better self-awareness. There are seven different yoga positions for meditation. These are Lotus pose, Half Lotus pose, Accomplished/Perfect pose, Thunderbolt pose, Ankle Lock pose, Easy pose, and Burmese pose. But if you don’t want a particular pose, get comfortable, wear non-binding clothing, then sit with your arms to the side and legs slightly open. Now close your eyes, breathe deep and let you mind be free. Don’t try to force your thoughts in any direction. If you have trouble with that, chant inside your head as you do what you chant – “breathe in … breathe out … breathe in … breathe out.” Keep chanting it until your mind lets go of everything you have been stressing about or planning and just let it take you wherever it goes.
There you have it, simple and easy information about Mudras and meditation. Try these for a few weeks and decide for yourself how much good it can do for you.