Image credit: Ksenia Makagonova on Unsplash
I re-discovered hand mudras the other day. Mudras are hand gestures that enable the flow of energy, which can positively affect your mind, body, and spirit. They’ve been used as a component of yoga and meditation for thousands of years.
I say re-discovered because I was introduced to them a few years back at a holistic fair, when I was handed a post card by a practitioner from www.kindyoga.com that depicts 12 images of hand gestures on it. I had used the postcard as a book mark, and found it as I was purging my reading material. Ahh, purging. The one activity I constantly put off, but it always feels so good when I finally get around to it.
Back to mudras. Our hands are nerve centers of our body and therefore contain numerous acupuncture meridians. Placing our fingers and hands in special positions can impact energy flow and stimulate certain parts of our brain that can help us in many positive ways. I think mudras are a perfect complement to a mindful meditation.
For example, one mudra helps with focus and concentration and can reduce insomnia. Another mudra can relieve discomfort from arthritis while preventing colds and flu. Others can improve digestion, promote weight loss, control blood pressure, relieve tension, give you more energy, help you relax and promote a whole host of other health benefits.
According to material I found easily on the internet, there are over 1,000 mudras but most practitioners only use a small subset, a group of 8-12 common ones. Mudras are simple to do and don’t have to be practiced for long to get the benefits. One source suggests that practicing a mudra for only 5-10 breaths, twice a day can be hugely beneficial.
So, for the last week, I’ve been incorporating mudras into my daily mindfulness practice, and I’ve found, like mindfulness, mudras can be practiced almost anywhere or anytime. You don’t have to hold your hands up in air either. You can rest them in your lap or on a table, or place them next to your body. For example, I practiced a mudra the other day, while walking in my neighborhood, my hands down by my sides. Another day, I practiced one while sitting in a kayak floating along a creek, while my hands floated along in the current. I just did one now for a few breaths, in between typing these words.
So, if you get a moment, familiarize yourself with some common mudras; they’re another fun way of tapping into your body’s inherent ability to heal.
Sources: The following sources were used in this blog post. I encourage you to check them out to learn more about the wonder of mudras.