Hasta Mudras

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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

 
The index finger represents individual consciousness (microcosm/ Atman), while the thumb is symbolic of higher consciousness (macrocosm/ Brahman), therefore this mudra expresses the ultimate goal of yoga - the union of one’s little self with the cosmic supreme self.


 

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 .


Jnana and chin mudras are most widely used mudras in yoga. They clear the mind and give receptivity and calmness, release mental tension and promote concentration. On the physical level they can be used for insomnia, depression, and high blood pressure.

 

 

Namaskara (salutation) mudra

Place your hands together in front of your chest. Touch your sternum with your thumbs and keep your elbows released down to relax the shoulders and open the chest.


It supports and harmonizes coordination of the right and left hemispheres of the brain. It brings energy to the heart and creates balance, harmony and peace inside. It expresses sincere greeting, respect and gratitude.

 

 

 

 

Nasika (nose) mudra

Nasika mudra is only used while performing Nadi Shodhana
  

 

 

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