Mudras are hand positions which lock and guide the energy flow, creating a circuit. In yogic tradition, each of the fingers relate to a different planetary energy. The positioning of the fingers can draw a specific energy into the body, project it out from the body, or combine it with the energies of the other fingers to create a desired effect.
Each area of the hand represents parts of the body or brain, and also emotions and behaviours. Mudras give clear messages to the mind/body energy system.
Hand positions using the thumb with each of the four fingers
Gyan Mudra: The tip of the index finger (Jupiter) presses against the tip of the thumb. This hand position stimulates knowledge and wisdom. It also brings receptivity and calmness.
Shuni Mudra: The tip of the middle finger (Saturn) presses against the tip of the thumb. This hand position helps to develop patience and self-discipline.
Surya Mudra: The tip of the ring finger (Uranus) presses against the tip of the thumb. Practising this mudra gives revitalising energy, strength to the nervous system and good health. This hand position draws sun energy to “earth” (the thumb).
Buddhi Mudra: The tip of the little finger (Mercury) presses against the tip of the thumb. Practising this develops one’s capacity to communicate clearly and intuitively.
Two other commonly used mudras:
Venus Lock: Interlace the fingers so that they are all alternate. Women should have the right little finger at the bottom and the right thumb on the webbing between the thumb and index of the left hand, pressing this ‘Venus mound.’ The position should be reversed for men. This mudra assists with focus, and it promotes glandular balance.
Prayer Pose: Hands are held at the centre of the chest with the palms and fingers gently pressed together, and thumbs gently pressed into the sternum. This position helps to balance the energies of the brain and body. We begin and end with this posture in class to centre ourselves and promote a neutral and heart-centred attitude.