A few months ago my personal interest in Mudras grew and I decided to explore a different one each week through my social media channels. Over time however, I thought I should extend these weekly explorations to the blog. So below is a brief introduction to Yoga Mudras, especially for those of you who have been wondering what all the strange hand gestures you've been made to do in your yoga classes are all about.
In traditional yoga and some forms of Eastern medicine it is thought that the physical body is made up of five elements: Air, Water, Fire, Earth and Sky. Hasta Mudras (meaning mudras that are performed with the hands) are gestures or ways of positioning the hands that are intended to direct energy flow and connect parts of the body to the brain as Prana (life force energy) flows through the body. Certain yoga mudras are believed to instigate particular energy flows and stimulate different emotions, spiritual reactions and reactions in the body. By pressing together, curling, touching or pointing different fingers or parts of the hands in different ways, yogis aim to enhance the flow of energy around the subtle body and facilitate our journey within.
In Mudra therapy, the five fingers each correspond to one of the five basic elements mentioned previously: the thumb represents fire (referred to as Agni), the index finger is air (Vayu), the middle finger signifies the ether (Aakasha), the ring finger stands in for the earth (Prithvi) and the pinky finger for water (Jala).
In upcoming weeks I'll be writing about specific mudras, how and when to use them, their spiritual and physical benefits and more. Read all subsequent Mudra Monday blogs here.
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