Mudra Monday: Gyan Mudra

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Often referred to as the Seal of Knowledge, our focus this week is on Gyan Mudra

Most commonly used during meditation practice, Gyan Mudra is said to connect us to our higher Self, calm the mind and create a more receptive mental state amongst other things. It stimulates the root chakra and relates to the planet Jupiter. Artistic depictions of great spiritual masters such as Guru Nanak, Christ, Buddha and Mahavir are all shown regularly with this hand position, while it continues to be in frequent use today. 

In this Mudra there is a yin and yang quality to the relationship between the thumb and the index finger - the index finger represents individual consciousness, whereas the thumb represents universal consciousness; the index finger represents the limit of the Self and the thumb is the expanded perspective of the Self. When the two join, the limited self is connected to the spacious, universal Self.

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My personal preference is to use this Mudra during my meditation practice with the palms turned down, which gives me a sense of grounding.

To perform this Mudra, connect the thumb and the forefinger (tip to tip, not tip to nail, which is another “active” variation of Gyan Mudra). The other fingers are straight but relaxed. Pressure between the thumb and forefinger should be light. Variations of this mudra include Abhay Gyan Mudra, where both hands are placed in Gyan Mudra and the arms up are raised, palms facing in front of you (as if you were taking an oath). In this particular position, the mudra inspires fearlessness. In another variation, known as Dhyan Gyan Mudra, the hands are kept in Gyan Mudra and brought to rest on the lap, with the extended fingers facing each other.

Elements: Space and Air.

If you'd like to know more about Hasta Mudras you can read my introduction to the topic here and find all previous Mudra Monday blogs here.

Illustration © estudio mosa 2017