Shiva

Mudra Monday: Shiva Linga Mudra

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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: Rudra Mudra

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Rudra is another name for Lord Shiva, who is the destroyer, clearing the path so we can reach our highest potential

Rudra Mudra is a hand gesture used in yoga practice that is believed to have powerful healing and energising qualities. Rudra is a Sanskrit word that means “howler” or “terror.” It is also the name of a Rigvedic deity and is associated with the Hindu god Shiva.

This Mudra is thought to activate the solar plexus (Manipura) chakra, which is associated with personal transforming power. As a result, this Mudra has a wide range of physical and mental benefits, including: 

  • Improves mental clarity and concentration
  • Eases tension
  • Improves circulation and respiration
  • Reduces feelings of dizziness and exhaustion
  • Energises the body
  • Promotes a sense of empowerment
  • Therapeutic for low blood pressure

To perform Rudra Mudra, take a comfortable seated position, then touch the tips of the ring and index fingers to the top of the thumb, while the middle and little fingers extend comfortably. It is a particularly useful Mudra to use while setting an intention at the beginning of our physical asana practice as it can help focus our mind on reaching our full potential and achieving our goals.

Elements: Earth.

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