Click on the video below to learn more
The Sanskrit word Mudra is translated as “gesture” or “attitude”. We use these hand gestures mostly in meditation or pranayama practice to direct the flow of energy within the body by using the hands. Watch this tutorial to understand a bit more about them and how to use them in your practice.
When we place our hands in mudras, we stimulate different areas of the brain and create a specific energy circuit in the body. By doing this, we help generate a specific state of mind.
Mudra’s are used to link individual energy with universal energy and to deepen awareness and concentration.
In scientific terms, mudras provide a means to access and influence the unconscious reflexes and primal, instinctive habits. Each mudra sets up a different link and has a correspondingly different effect on the body, mind, and energy.
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.
I thought Yoga was just about stretching. What's all the other stuff about?
Why do we use mudra?
Yoga is about so much more than just stretching. The physical practice or asana practice is just one element of all the different practices of Yoga. Some people only practice the asana whilst some, like Mother Theresa, practice Karma Yoga, or like Krishna Das, practice Bhakti Yoga. In the West, the physical practice is generally the first introduction to Yoga. The teachings of Yoga have been around for thousands of years and there is a vast amount of information out there about the practices. It’s the student’s job to explore the practices and find elements that suit them. Different styles and types of Yoga will appeal to different people.
We use mudra to complete energetic circuits on the body and induce a certain state of mind. Mudra is also used to bring awareness to the hands so they can be used as yet another tool to stay in the present moment. If your hands are floppy or not engaged, there is a potential that you are not conscious in that part of your body.
What is Pranayama?
Pranayama is known as breathing techniques in the West but it is a lot more in-depth than that. Prana means life force energy. It is the energy that propels us forward in life. Yama means to restrict and Ayama means to expand. So, Pranayama means the expansion and restriction of our life force energy. It is the practice of using the breath to control and direct the life force energy within. There are many different types of Pranayama, some that increase your energy and warm you up and some that suppress your energy and cool you down.
Why is meditation important?
Many of the practices of Yoga are done to prepare the body and the mind for meditation. Have you ever had the experience of taking a step back and watching your thoughts? If you can observe something or watch something you cannot be that thing, right? So, you are not your thoughts. In fact, your thoughts are so clever they convince you that you are them and they have complete control over you. The thing about your thoughts is, they don’t always tell you the truth. Meditation teaches you this and so much more. Like how to take that step back and decide what thoughts YOU want to allow into your mind. Remember your thoughts are energy and they dictate your words, your actions and your reality. So, yes, meditation is very important if you wish to live a conscious life of your choosing.