Mudra Monday: Shiva Linga Mudra


Shiva is the Hindu god of destruction and transformation. Linga is derived from li, meaning "to dissolve," and gam, meaning "to move on"; and mudra meaning "energetic seal" or "gesture." It is also known in English as 'upright mudra.'

Shiva Linga mudra symbolises the merging of the energies of Shiva and Shakti, the Hindu goddess. The right hand with the upright thumb is a symbol of Shiva's masculine force, whereas the left hand represents Shakti's feminine energy.

Although Shiva is known as the 'destroyer,' his destruction is simply creating the preconditions for something new to grow in its place. As a result, this mudra is particularly useful when we are experiencing exhaustion, dissatisfaction and/or depression. It is thought to energise the body by strengthening our prana, which relieves tension and stress in both the body and mind. The power of Shiva Linga mudra to address physical or mental fatigue is supreme and a regular practice is believed to help keep us healthy and energised.

Shiva linga mudra is a Sanskrit term for a hand gesture that is a representation of the form of Shiva lingam worshiped in Hindu temples. To practice this mudra, keep the left hand at abdomen level and in the shape of a bowl. Let the fingers of the left hand stay together. Making a fist, place the right palm over the left with the thumb of the right hand extending upwards. Hold this mudra for 15 minutes during your meditation practice.

Elements: Fire.

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 2018

Mudra Monday: Shakti Mudra


In Sanskrit, Shakti means 'power' or 'empowerment'

Shakti Mudra is thought to be capable of curing insomnia by calming and relaxing those who practice it. In addition, it is thought that this hand gesture relaxes the pelvic area, offering relief to those dealing with intestinal or menstrual discomfort.

Shakti Mudra influences the Svadisthana chakra (located above the pubic bone and below the navel; it encompasses the genital region and the hypogastric plexus), which is the seat of our creative energy. Shakti is often considered a sensual or “feminine” Mudra due to its effect on the pelvic area and, because of its relation to the Hindu goddess Shakti, who is the personification of the divine feminine creative power, sometimes also referred to as “The Great Divine Mother” in Hinduism.

During asana practice this Mudra can be combined with pelvic-opening postures like malasana (garland pose) or utkata konasana (goddess pose) to deepen its effects. As Shakti Mudra brings a sense of calm to the nervous system, it can be practiced anywhere at any time when seeking relief. However, it is recommended to practice this gesture in a quiet setting, while focusing on the breath, if possible, for no more than 10-15 minutes three times a day as over-use of this Mudra is thought to cause lethargy. In order to perform this Mudra, the ring and little fingers of both hands are pressed together, while the other fingers curl into a fist-like position, with the thumbs tucked against the palms.

Elements: Water.

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 2018