Mudras (Part 2):

The meaning of mudras:

We have already touched this topic on my previous article, here we’re going deeper.

Mudras are related to the five elements, which animate the human body through the physical, psychological and spiritual dimensions. 

Within our body, there are energy channels called “nadi” that end at the fingertips (Chinese medicine calls them meridians, but they are always energy channels that really exist within the body).
Each finger therefore represents a connection point with a specific element. By touching the point, we enter into connection with that element. With the practice of mudras, in which the hands are positioned sometimes touching one point, sometimes another, these energies are asked to flow within us and to free us from the blocks that pain and fears create. By changing the position of the fingers, we increase or decrease a certain element in our body and the relationship we establish with it.

Here are the various meanings:

Thumb: represents the sun, energy, fire
Index: represents the air and everything that needs to stay in motion
Medium: represents space, openness and expansion
Ring finger: represents the earth, the roots, the rooting
Little finger: represents water, the characteristic of knowing how to adapt and mobility.

Mudras and concentration

In mudra practice, you have three options;
A) First of all, you can focus on your hands and fingers, feeling the slight pressure where they touch (creates inner balance and builds strength);
B) Then, as you inhale, you can increase the pressure between your fingertips and then decrease it when you exhale (it strengthens the will and has a regenerating effect);
C) Or, you can apply more pressure when you exhale and decrease it when you inhale (calm and relax, it’s great for fighting stress). 

In classic Hatha yoga there are 25 mudras and they include positions of the hands, eyes, body (asana) and closures (bandhas).
In kundalini yoga, hand mudras are often used to intensify the effects of asanas.

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