If you attend my yoga class you will frequently hear me refer to mudra. In this article I will tell you a few words about the mechanism and benefits of mudra practice.
“Mudra is a specific body position which channelizes energy produced by asana and pranayama into the various centers, and arouses particular states of mind”
Mudra is a Sanskrit word used to describe various gestures or expressions. It literary means: to draw forth pleasure or energy (mud = pleasure/energy + dru = to draw forth). Mudras are seals or circular bypasses of energy that help to reuse, channel and liberate the subtitle energy produced by the body. Like acupressure, they use precise and accurate pressure points. The aim of using mudras is creating an energetic balance in the Nadis (energetic channels) and Chakras (energetic centers).
Mudras can be used by every yoga practitioner; however it will take some time to develop awareness of the energy flow and actually feeling the effect the mudra is having on human body. Like everything in yoga, mudra practice requires consistency and patience. Do not be discouraged. Try to focus and feel the energy flow as much as you can. It’s totally worth it.
Trivia and guidelines:
The origins of mudras are unknown. It’s believed they have been used already 5000 years ago. First records have been found in Hindu scriptures: Mantra Shastra (the book of incarnations), Upasana Shastra (the book of worship and prayers) and Nritya Shastra (the book of classical dances)
There are hundreds of mudras (729 to be exact, from which only around 30 are known and used today), some for health and some for wellbeing. For different aspects of life there are different mudras.
Mudras are used (naturally and instinctual) in many different cultures and religions.
There are 3 types of mudras: body mudras (kaya mudra), hand mudras (hasta mudra) and mind mudras (mana mudra).
Mudras can be practiced anywhere, any way, any time and by anybody. The best effect is achieved by practicing with proper meditation posture and breathing (pranayama), however they can also be practice while watching a movie or waiting for a bus.
Different mudras can be practiced with different body parts at the same time.
Prevention purpose: to stay healthy and balanced practice every day 15-20 min.
Therapeutic purpose: as a part of a personal mudra therapy practice every day 30-50 min.