The word ‘mudra’ literally means, ‘gesture’ or ‘to seal.’
Mudras are a combination of subtle physical movements which alter mood, attitude and perception. They are used to heighten awareness and deepen concentration.
When one brings the fingers together in various ways, specific energetic circuits are created. These circuits then channel energy along particular pathways to affect the mind and body. Although their effects may be subtle, the changes they produce can be profound.
A mudra may involve the whole body in a combination of asana, pranayama, bandha and visualization techniques, or it may be a simple hand position.
There are dozens of mudras, each representing certain qualities. Often people unconsciously apply gestures in response to particular feelings. For example; it is common for one who is angry to make fists with their hands. When the hands are clenched together the attitude of power and strength is evoked. By observing these instinctual mudras and their effects, one can consciously change the bodies position, thus, alter the emotional and mental state.
Through the practice of mudra we can develop control over the involuntary responses, snap out of habitual patterns and establish a more refined consciousness.
Hand mudras (Hasta)
* Knowledge gesture (Jnana mudra)
* Consciousness gesture (Chin mudra)
* Heart gesture (Hridaya mudra)
* Attitude of the womb (Yoni mudra)
* Fierce gesture (Bhairava mudra)
* Nosetip position (Nasagra mudra)
Head mudras (Mana)
* Eyebrow centre gazing (Shambhavi mudra)
* Nosetip gazing (Nasikagra drishti)
* Tongue lock (Khechari mudra)