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MUDRAS - HEALING HAND YOGA

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Mudras
A Mudra (Sanskrit word meaning sign or seal) is a gesture or position, usually of the hands, that locks and guides energy flow and reflexes to the brain. By curling, crossing, stretching and touching the fingers and hands, we can "talk" to the body and mind as each area of the hand corresponds to a certain part of the mind or body.
From the little finger to the thumb: each finger represents earth, metal, fire, wood, and water, respectively. The entire universe  lies within your ten fingers and it is also said that there is an infinite number of Mudras even though we only have 10 fingers. Mudras can be used both for meditation and/or healing.
How to do a Mudra
Mudras are easy to do and when used with Reiki you can usually feel the energy flow strongly. Start each Mudra session by "washing" your hands (rub your hands against each other about 10 times, hold hands before your Navel Chakra) this will help energy to flow in your hands. If you have Reiki II you can draw the Power symbol and the Mental/Emotional symbol over your hands (or any other symbol that you prefer). Sit with your back straight, either with legs crossed or on a straight backed chair. Put your fingers together as described in the Mudras below. In each Mudra, exert enough pressure to feel the flow of energy but not enough to whiten fingertips.

The Om Mudra
The Om MudraThis is probably one of the most well known Mudras and is very easy to do.
How to do it:Start by "washing" your hands as explained above, add symbols if wanted. Sit with a straight back. Create the sacred OM mudra by connecting the index finger with the thumb on the same hand (both hands). The thumb is the gateway to Divine Will (represented by the Crown Chakra) and the index finger is the Ego (represented by the Navel Chakra). As you do this Mudra you can do an affirmation or just chant OM (pronounced AUM). If doing the affirmation say to yourself when you breathe in: "I am one with the Universe" and as you breathe out "The Universe and I are one". This mudra is very good when your life is in need of peace and tranquility.
Finger position for Smiling Buddha Mudra
Hands and arm positions for Smiling Buddha Mudra
The Smiling Buddha MudraThis is one of my favorites and you might have seen this mudra also in paintings and statues. This is a gesture and exercise of happiness as it opens the flow of energy to the heart.
How to do it:Sit comfortably either with crossed legs or on a straight backed chair. Bend ring and little fingers, pressing them down with the thumbs, keeping index and middle fingers straight (be comfortable do not force the fingers straight), palms forward. Elbows in towards the body (as far as it feels comfortable for you) and keep a 30 degree angle between the upper arms and forearms, keep the forearms parallel to each other.

Concentrate on your Third Eye and mentally chant (at the Third Eye) Sa Ta Na Ma ("Sa" - Infinity, "Ta" - Life, Existence, "Na" - Death, "Ma" - Rebirth, Light). Can be done without the chant but try to at least concentrate on your Third Eye.

Keep elbows in towards your body and your chest out (straight back). Continue for about 10 minutes, then inhale deeply, exhale, open and close the fists several times, and relax. Enjoy the experience!
Squeze the inside and outside of the finger corresponding to the problem
Acupuncture points on hand
click here to read more how it works
Fight worry, depression, impatience, anger, fear and other emotions
I don't know if this can be called a Mudra as it is a Qi Gong exercise that I learnt a long time ago. The effects and technique are certainly similar. This Mudra can be done anywhere as there is no preparation needed and it can be done discreetly.
As mentioned above your fingers corresponds to the five elements but they also correspond to emotions and the major organs. On the outside and inside (not top and bottom!) of your fingers run the meridians and there are several acupuncture points located here. These are represented by the black dots on the first picture.
By pressing or squeezing the sides of the fingers, according to your needs, you can affect both the emotion and the corresponding organ. This is how the fingers work:
  • The thumb represents the element earth, the stomach and worry.
  • The index finger represents the element metal, the lungs, the large intestine and the emotionsdepression, sadness and grief.
  • The middle finger is the element fire, the heart, small intestine, circulatory and respiratory systems, the emotions are impatience and hastiness.
  • The ring finger is the element wood and is connected to the liver, gall bladder, nervous system and corresponds to anger.
  • The little finger corresponds to water, the kidneys and fear.
So if you are overwhelmed by an emotion, just squeeze the corresponding finger a few times and you will feel better. It works!
Mudras are easy to perform at anytime, although sitting in the lotus position and focusing on the healing can be an advantage.

Theory behind mudra practice

Mudras attract cosmic energy into the microcosm and arouse the etheric body's latent energy into awakened activity. These awakened energies manifest as magnetic and electrical force, depending on their form. Like the physical body, the etheric body has its own "nervous system,” or channels, conveying prana (life force) and other energies of etheric origin. In yoga teachings, these channels are called nadis. Every mudra clears some of these nadis from impurities and psychic toxins.

Benefits of mudra practice

Mudras benefit the mind, body, psyche and bio-magnetic fields in a variety of ways:
• Health: The power of mudras clears the subtle channels and psychic centers in the etheric body, allowing life force to flow unhampered to the organs and all parts of the body.
• I.Q. improvement: As the physical cleansing process takes place, clarity of mind is attained, and the mental faculties are considerably enhanced, making it possible for the innate soul-intelligence to express itself with greater intensity.
• Enhancing and expanding the aura: The magnetism produced by the mudras cleanses the bio-magnetic field of the body, empowers it with greater vitality and forms a protective shield against negative forces.
• Expansion of consciousness: As a result of the cleansing process and the activation of shakti (feminine creative principle) in the form of kundalini energy, one's consciousness is transformed, transcending ordinary awareness.
• Acquisition of siddhis/powers/attainments: The Gherand Sanhita and the Vajrayana Tantra (ancient hatha yoga and Buddhist texts) advise that the practice of mudras can bestow great powers and psychic abilities, called siddhis, on their practitioners.
• Transformation and regeneration: The overall effect of the constant practice of mudras is the complete transformation and regeneration of the mind-body principle and a spiritual expansion of the consciousness.
Science behind mudras

The human body is made up of five elements, and each finger represents one of the five elements:
• Thumb (fire): The thumb is the symbol of divine energy, energy that flows through our bodies unconditioned by our subconscious patterning or karmic complexities. The thumb is the symbol of will power, the power that can be drawn upon by our willing (not willfulness) consciousness.
• Index finger (air): The index finger is known as the Jupiter finger and is the symbol of our ego personality. It symbolizes energies controlled by subconscious mind patternings, and these energies produce expansion.
• Middle finger (ether/sky): The middle finger, symbolizing the Saturn force, is the most karmic or the most conditioned energies. This finger is utilized only in those mudras that require heavy, stabilizing forces.
• Ring finger (earth): The ring finger symbolizes the Sun’s energies. These energies relate to the strength of an individual.
• Little finger (water): The little finger is known as the Mercury finger. It emanates energies that are important in the unfolding of the intellect and of business. When combined in different ways, forming different mudras, they balance the ratio and proportion of that element in the body. When pressed at the tip, the element is increased. When pressed under thumb, the element is neutralized. When pressed at the base of the finger, the element is decreased.
Duration
Mudras can be practiced for a minimum of 30 seconds up to 45 minutes daily. The practice can be spread out over three times a day for convenience or depending on your capacity. Let your intuition function here. It will tell you when you are ready to stop or continue with a succeeding mudra, if required.
Although mudras can be used for healing certain ailments, regular practise of mudras will contribute to your overall good health and can be used as a preventive measure.
Continuous practice of the mudras will create minute changes in your body using pulse centres on parts of your hands, which trigger certain healing processes within the corresponding body part.
  • Mudras are to be performed with both hands at the same time, unless otherwise specified.
  • Fingers should remain comfortable during the procedure and not held stiffly or tight
The science of Mudra Vigyan is deeply mysterious and amazing. It is not difficult to harmonize the undercurrents of the mind. Through this science it is also not difficult to achieve concentration of mind. Mudra Vigyan is most important aspect of the meditation of the supreme self. Here, Yog Mudras (gestures)are being presented as miraculous remedies, which affect some illness like an injection. Mudras can cure almost any ailment from a simple ear ache to heart attack.
Ear ache can be cured in just a few minutes, by the Shunya Mudra. Similarly, many urinary infections will be cured by the Apan Mudra. In the case of severe heart attack, Mritsanjiveni Mudra provides instant relief within a few seconds.

Hastamudra

Our body is composed of five elements - earth, water, air, fire and ether (space). These five elements also form our cosmos. These five elements have assigned functions in our body to keep it healthy.
After intensive research, Indian sages have found that Hastamudras (hand gestures) are very important, for keeping a balance in the energy the flow among the five elements. All five fingers regulate the five elements of body.
These are as follows–
(a) Thumb
(b) Index finger
(c) Middle finger
(d) Ring finger
(e) Little finger
Fire element
Air element
Space or ether element
Earth element
Water element
Thus, hastamudras are helpful in maintaining good healt hand getting relief from diseases also. Joining the tips of the fingers or pressing by thumb, regulate and balance respective elements in the body. Its daily practice can keep oneself healthy for life. It has tremendous healing power and if practiced properly, all major diseases can be cured. It also offers happiness and spiritual attainments.

Now, we would learn various hastamudras as follows–

Gyan mudra:

Sit down comfortably with your back and neck straight. Join tips of index fingers and thumb and keep three fingers straight. Keep your hand at your folded knee, remember to keep palm facing up. Put a little pressure on joined tips and rest of the hand would be in relaxed position. Practice it for 20-30 minutes every day.
It is beneficial for improving memory and concentration and nervous system.It also prevents headache, loss of sleep, tension, anxiety, depression and fears. It helps in spiritual attainments.

Vayu mudra:

keep your index fingers at the root of your thumbs and press it with thumb. In this gesture, index finger is in touch with middle finger. Then keep both your hands at folded knee so that palm is facing up. Put a little pressure in your palm and rest of the hand would be in relax position. Practice it for 20-30 minutes every day.
This hastamudra is helpful for health problems like Gastro problems, joint pains, backache, sciatica and arthritis.

Akash mudra:

Join tips of middle fingers and thumb and keep other three fingers straight. Keep your hand on your folded knee, remember to keep palm facing upwards. Put a little pressure on joined tips and keep the rest of the hand relaxed. Practice it for 20-30 minutes every day.
It is beneficial for removing all ear problems, vomiting and vertigo.

Shunya mudra:

Keep your middle fingers at the root of your thumbs and press it with thumb. Then keep both your hands on folded knees so that the palms face upwards. Put a little pressure on your palm and rest of the hand would be relaxed. Practice it for 20-30 minutes every day.
This hastamudra is helpful for health problems like deafness, vomiting, vertigo and thyroid problems.

Prithvi mudra:

Join tips of ring fingers and thumb and keep other three fingers straight. Keep your hands on your folded knees, remember to keep palms facing up. Put a little pressure on joined tips and rest of the hand would be relaxed. Practice it for 20-30 minutes every day.
It is beneficial for removing all digestive problems and helps to gain weight.

Agni mudra:

keep your ring fingers at the root of your thumbs and press with thumb. Then keep both your hands on folded knees so that palms are facing up. Put a little pressure in your palm and rest of the hand would be in relaxed position. Practice it for 20-30 minutes every day.
This hastamudra is helpful for health problems like diabetes, liver problems, reduces cholesterol levels and strengthens the body.

Varun mudra:

Join tips of little fingers and thumb and keep other three fingers straight. Keep your hand on your folded knees, remember to keep palms facing up. Put a little pressure on joined tips and rest of the hand relaxed. Practice it for 20-30 minutes every day.
It is beneficial for removing all blood related problems, skin as well as urinary problems.

Apan-vayu mudra:

Join tips of ring fingers, middle fingers and thumb and keep your index fingers at the root of your thumbs keeping your little fingers straight. Keep your hands on your folded knees, remember to keep palms facing up. Put a little pressure on joined tips and rest of the hand relaxed. Practice it for 20-30 minutes every day.
It is beneficial for removing acidity, reducing high blood pressure, curing Asthma and all cardiac problems. It gives instant relief in heart attack.


Rudra Mudra
DescriptionPlace tips of  index finger and ring finger together on top of the tip of thumb, with other fingers extended comfortably. (BOTH HANDS)
Uses include: 
Dizziness
Improves blood circulation
Brings clarity in thought.
Low blood pressure
Improves eyesight
Improves breathing
Controls eating habits
Blocked Veins
Improves concentration 
Shankha Mudra
Description: The left thumb should be held in the right fist and then the left index finger should touch the right thumb.   Put light pressure with the remaining fingers of the left hand onto the closed fist fo the right hand.  Swap over sides.
Uses include:
Thyroid Glands.
Throat
Blood Vessels
Muscular System
Digestion
Good for actors and singers for voice enhancement



Apan mudra:

Join tips of ring fingers, middle fingers and thumb and keep the other two fingers straight. Keep your hands on your folded knees, remember to keep palms facing up. Put a little pressure on joined tips and rest of the hand relaxed. Practice it for 20-30 minutes every day.
It is beneficial for removing kidney stones, kidney problems, piles and helps in removing all toxins from the body.

Pran mudra:

Join tips of ring fingers, little fingers and thumb and keep the other two fingers straight. Keep your hands on your folded knees, remember to keep palms facing up. Put a little pressure on joined tips and rest of the hand relaxed. Practice it for 20-30 minutes every day.
It is beneficial for removing eye and nerves related problems. It energises the body and balances vitamins in the body.

Vyan mudra:

Join tips of index fingers, middle fingers and thumb and keep other two fingers straight. Keep your hand at your folded knees, remember to keep palms facing up. Put a little pressure on joined tips and rest of the hand relaxed. Practice it only for 15 to 20 minutes every day.
It removes stress and cures high blood pressure problem.

Shivlinga mudra:

Clasp all fingers of both hands together keeping your right thumb erect. Put a little pressure and sit relaxed. Practice it for 20-30 minutes every day.
It is beneficial for removing cough, curing common cold, asthma, esinophelia, sinus and low blood pressure problem. You must take enough liquids like fruit juice, milk or water after doing this mudra.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE

For immediate result hastmudras must be practiced daily with light neurobics to restore healthy vibrations in the body for minimum 30 minutes. All these hastmudras except Akash and Shunya mudra can bepracticed while walking and in lying position also. However if Hastmudras are practiced in a comfortable sitting position, it gives better and quicker results.

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