|The Sanskrit word mudra can be translated as “to seal, close, or lock up” or “gesture, symbol, expression of”. Mudras in yoga are the combination of subtle physical movements which alter mood, attitude and perception, and which deepen awareness and concentration. When we think of prana as being the electricity of the body, we can also think of the mudras as creating a “short-circuit” in the flow of that energy within the body. Mudras manipulate prana in much the same way that a mirror or a cliff face diverts the energy in the form of light or sound waves. The nadis and charkas constantly radiate prana that normally escapes from the body and dissipates into the external world. By creating barriers within the body through the practice of mudra, the energy is redirected within.|
In scientific terms, mudras provide a means to access and influence the unconscious reflexes and primal, instinctive habit patterns that originate in the primitive areas of the brain around the brain stem. They establish a subtle, non-intellectual connection with these areas. Each mudra sets up a different link and has a correspondingly different effect on the body, mind and prana. The aim is to create fixed, repetitive postures and gestures which can snap the practitioner out of instinctive habit patterns and establish a more refined consciousness.
Hasta mudras or “hand gestures” are psychic, emotional, devotional or aesthetic hand position that apply pressure on the different areas of the hands and fingers, and they have been used for many centuries throughout the entire world.
Hasta mudras are the most common and numerous of the categories of yogic mudras. The human hand contains about 100,000 nerves and each fingertip has about 3,000 (!) nerve receptors, just under the surface of the skin. In the brain the hand takes up a very large proportion of the brain's cortex, and each area of the hand is linked to a different part of the brain. When we apply pressure to the fingers and hands, we stimulate related brain areas. So we use hasta mudras to activate pressure points, give messages to the body-mind energy system and change brain patterns.
The following hasta mudras are taught in the HYFC:
Jnana (wisdom) mudra and chin (consciousness) mudra
There are two ways to perform it. In passive position we touch the tips of the thumb and the index finger, while in active variation, we fold the index finger under the thumb so that the fingernail is on the second joint of the thumb. The other three fingers are straightened in a relaxed way. We do this with each hand, placing them on the knees with palms of both hand facing upwards for jnana mudra or palms facing downwards for chin mudra .
Namaskara (salutation) mudra
|Nasika (nose) mudra|
Nasika mudra is only used while performing Nadi Shodhana
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