Mudras have been a part of the Hindu and Buddhist traditions as also many other cultures from ancient times.
My date with the mudras began only a few years ago, with my foray into the amazing world of meditation. A regular practice of mudras led me to discover that mudras not only serve as an ideal meditative tool, but also as a healing software for our emotional, mental, and physical problems and spiritual enhancement.
Called the yoga of the hands, a mudra [sign or seal], is a specific hand gesture, or position, that helps in releasing the energy locked within our body and directing its flow and reflexes to the brain. Mudras are known to alleviate a host of ailments such as asthma, depression, piles, cough, diabetes, stress, and even a heart attack - to name just a few.
When used over time, mudras can create inner peace and harmony, health and wealth, and balance the left and right sides of the brain — and, promote a sense of wellbeing. They can also change your life considerably, through gradual spiritual regeneration.
Mudra work and healing
The innate healing power of hands and the 10 fingers are explained in the Atharva Veda. This power can be easily fortified by the practice of special gestures formed by varying the position of the fingers through mudras. Mudras heal by activating both the meridians [nadis] as well as the chakras [energy centres] - in more ways than one.
Our physical body is made up of five elements, viz., water, earth, akasha [ether], air, and fire, which are represented by the little finger, the ring finger, the middle finger, the index finger, and the thumb, respectively. Imbalances in these elements upset our immune system and cause various ailments The joining of two or more fingers to form hand mudras, and holding them in a certain fixed pattern, creates balance for the five elements, following which healing ensues.
Imbalances in the chakras are suggested to affect the body's energy circuit. One of the ways to activate and balance chakras is through mudras. As the five fingers are associated with the lower five chakras, the right positioning and holding of the fingers together in a specific pattern brings balance. The body, thus, gets energised, diseases get healed and, gradually, spiritual awakening is experienced.
Key mudra techniques
Of the many known hand mudras, a few of the essential "key mudras" are presented here. Practice them with both the hands in a convenient asana [posture], or sitting in a chair, for about 5-30 minutes a day, or as long as you enjoy doing them.
This is performed by joining the tips of your index finger and thumb, and keeping the other three fingers stretched and joined together. This is very powerful and effective in cases of mental ailments and sleeplessness [insomnia]. It also imparts happiness, develops the intellect, sharpens your memory, and concentration powers.
Join the tip of the thumb with the tips of middle and ring fingers, keeping the other fingers straight. This helps individuals who have difficulty in passing urine, or when there is a possibility of "obstruction." The posture reduces constipation, and purifies the body of harmful substances.
Join the tip of the thumb with tips of your little and ring fingers, and keep the other two fingers straight. This mudra balances the root chakra and infuses pranic energy into your body. It is also beneficial for many diseases; it improves vision and mental clarity.
Press the index finger at the base of the thumb and keep the thumb on the index finger, keeping the other fingers straight. This mudra is useful in ailments such as arthritis, Parkinson's disease, polio, and paralysis. For better results, practice it after prana mudra.
Apaan vaayu mudra
Join the tip of the thumb with the tips of the middle and ring fingers, while the index finger [turned inside] rests on the root of the thumb. Let the little finger remain extended. This posture is said to work like a "fire-fighting aid" in the event of a heart attack.
The middle finger is lowered into the base of the thumb and is covered by the thumb, while the other fingers remain extended. This is good for ear afflictions, listening and speech difficulties.
Interlock the fingers of both hands, and keep one of the thumbs up encircled by the other thumb and index finger. This mudra produces heat in the body, and helps in easing colds and cough.
Mudras endow the practitioner with benefits like improved meditation and calmness of mind. It also addresses a host of health concerns and infuses greater self-reliance and self-discipline. Mudras are easy to practice, because they are free hand body gestures, that gradually lead you to spiritual rejuvenation.
There is, perhaps, nothing better in the world than the practice of mudras for success and wellbeing.
Mudras and Reiki
Combining mudras with Reiki seems to strengthen their healing powers further. Try using Reiki [with, or without symbols] with the mudras and watch your energy levels soar.
To do this, sit in a chair with a straight back, connect to Reiki by intent, draw the symbols mentally on your hands, and join the fingers in "key mudras" relevant to the goal.
In Reiki, the most commonly practiced mudras are the Hakini, the Gassho, the Rin, and the Sha mudras.
When you join the tips of the five fingers of the right hand, with those of the left, it forms the Hakini. This mudra is helpful in balancing the right and left sides of the brain; it also benefits the "third" eye, and the lungs.
This is a prayer position. It is performed by holding hands in namaste position before the chest.
Interlace the fingers and clasp your hands together, keeping the middle fingers joined and extended. This strengthens our mind and physical body. It is useful for good emotional health.
This is obtained by interlacing the fingers and clasping the hands together with the index fingers joined and extended. The mudra is used to direct and focus energy to a particular area in the body to provide the healing effect.
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