Mudra means "seal" or "mark" and is a symbolic or ritualistic gesture. Most are performed with the hands and fingers, although some involve the entire body. They are used in meditation, martial arts, yoga or pranayama in order to direct energy flow within the body.
Mudras can help us to come back to intentions within our practice. They stimulate different areas of our brains and bodies. They can even produce specific energies and states of mind.
MUDRAS CAN HELP US TO COME BACK TO INTENTIONS WITHIN OUR PRACTICE.
When practicing mudras, our fingers each represent a specific universal element:
- Our thumb represents the fire element.
- Our index finger represents the air element.
- Our middle finger represents the space element.
- Our ring finger represents earth element.
- Our pinky finger represents water element.
Mudras can help us to create a balance of the elements within ourselves.
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Want to gain a better understanding of the mudras you're touching upon in your yoga practice and incorporate them more consciously? We're going to be breaking down mudras weekly in our #MudraMonday series.
Gyan is Sanskrit for "knowledge". It is arguably the most recognized mudra, and you might have even been guided to move into it in a yoga or meditation practice. It is intended to improve concentration and memory. It is powerful to practice when seeking knowledge or even projecting knowledge to others.
The Gyan Mudra has an expanding effect and activates the air element within our bodies - when paired with pranayama (breath work), it stimulates the brain and nervous system. Throughout the rest of your body, the Gyan Mudra is associated with easing tension, anxiety and depression; healing joint pains and stimulating the pituitary gland, nervous system and endocrine systems.
TRY GYAN MUDRA
Sit in a comfortable position with hips to heels or legs crossed, feel open in your heart space. Draw the tips of your thumb and index finger together. Keep your other three fingers together and lightly stretch them outward. Place your palms upward (back of your hands on your thighs) if you are craving receiving energy & wisdom, palms downward if you're seeking grounding, or stretched outward if you are intending to project wisdom to someone else.
The Gyan mudra is powerful to practice when seeking knowledge.
After you sit with the Gyan Mudra quietly and begin to feel the calming and clarifying effects that it stirs, try incorporating it into your various asanas in your yoga practice and within your intentions.
Jenny is a mama, DJ, yoga teacher and beach-obsessed boss babe at TheKaiLife.com. You can find her with a huge smile on her face adventuring with her husband, son Kai and fur babies Koa & Snorkel; spinning music and dancing with you late night; on her yoga mat or under a palm tree.
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