Words and Illustration by Katie Furler
The word mudra means "seal"; it is used to describe a physical gesture of the body or hands. In this article we will be looking specifically at hand mudras and 5 ways these ancient practices can help us to live more positive lives.
Hand mudras have been used in the Eastern World for thousands of years. Their purpose is to channel and redirect energy with the body to achieve optimal health and vitality.
It is said in Yoga philosophy that we have subtle energy pathways running though our bodies. Some of these pathways end in our fingertips and this is why hand mudras are so useful to us.
When we join our fingers and thumbs together in varying positions we are creating a new circuit of energy. This has been explored in extreme depths by devoted holy people. Today, we are so blessed to have access to such wisdom.
The amazing thing about hand mudras is their accessibility. They are safe to learn on your own and can be practiced with ease throughout your day. You may choose to investigate hand mudras whilst sitting quietly in contemplation or you may choose to explore whilst walking, waiting for the bus or even watching television.
5 Benefits of Practicing Hand Mudras Regularly:
Encourages the flow of subtle energy in your body to help overall health and wellbeing.
Boosts energy levels and concentration.
Helps to process difficult emotions including anger, jealousy and grief.
Purges the mind of negativity.
Develops a sense of inner peace and contentment.
Each month I will introduce a different mudra for you to explore. The information I have used is mainly from a wonderful book called "Mudras for Modern Life" by Swami Saradananda. I cannot recommend it enough!
This month I will introduce a well-known mudra called Chin mudra.
To practice allow your palms to face upwards, join your index finger and thumb together to form a circle. Allow your other fingers to relax and if in a seated position bring the backs of your hands to rest on your thighs.
Chin Mudra is traditionally used for meditation in yoga, Chin is a Sanskrit word for "unrestricted consciousness." It invites calmness to the mind and helps you to return to the present moment. By joining the thumb and index finger together a desire for inner peace is generated.
To feel the greatest effects of this mudra and indeed all of the mudras, one should bring awareness into what they are doing. Bring your attention gently to your hands and how they feel. Ask yourself what effect is this having on me? It is beneficial to question this over a period of time as the effects can be subtle. Be patient and practice regularly to help establish and strengthen this new energy circuit in your body.
I have integrated mudras into my daily life and have begun to feel some profound changes to my mood and energy levels. I am able to stay focused and calm in seated meditation and feel empowered to transform difficult emotions that arise throughout the day. I feel honoured to be sharing this information with you and hope that it can help guide you towards health and happiness.
Learn how to use mudras to deal with common moods and emotional states including:
Katie has been exploring the human condition for about ten years, She especially finds strength and inspiration in regular yoga and meditation practice. Her aim is to help others through open communication and guidance from a place of love and respect. Alongside training to be a yoga teacher she is also an illustrator, her creativity allows her to enquire into the unknown in a visual way. You can see her artwork at her sparkly new Etsy Shop, Roots Wings and Things, on Pintrest, and on Instagram
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