Mudras Mudras [PORTABLE]
A mudra (/muˈdrɑː/ (listen); Sanskrit: मुद्र, IAST: mudrā, "seal", "mark", or "gesture"; Tibetan: .mw-parser-output .uchenfont-family:"Jomolhari","Uchen","Noto Serif Tibetan Medium","Noto Serif Tibetan","BabelStone Tibetan Slim","Yagpo Tibetan Uni","Noto Sans Tibetan","Microsoft Himalaya","Kailash","DDC Uchen","TCRC Youtso Unicode","Tibetan Machine Uni","Qomolangma-Uchen Sarchen","Qomolangma-Uchen Sarchung","Qomolangma-Uchen Suring","Qomolangma-Uchen Sutung","Qomolangma-Title","Qomolangma-Subtitle","DDC Rinzin","Qomolangma-Woodblock","Qomolangma-Dunhuang".mw-parser-output .umefont-family:"Qomolangma-Betsu","Qomolangma-Chuyig","Qomolangma-Drutsa","Qomolangma-Edict","Qomolangma-Tsumachu","Qomolangma-Tsuring","Qomolangma-Tsutong","TibetanSambhotaYigchung","TibetanTsugRing","TibetanYigchung"ཕྱགརྒྱ, THL: chakgya) is a symbolic or ritual gesture or pose in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. While some mudras involve the entire body, most are performed with the hands and fingers.
As well as being spiritual gestures employed in the iconography and spiritual practice of Indian religions, mudras have meaning in many forms of Indian dance, and yoga. The range of mudras used in each field (and religion) differs, but with some overlap. In addition, many of the Buddhist mudras are used outside South Asia, and have developed different local forms elsewhere.
In hatha yoga, mudras are used in conjunction with pranayama (yogic breathing exercises), generally while in a seated posture, to stimulate different parts of the body involved with breathing and to affect the flow of prana. It is also associated with bindu, bodhicitta, amrita, or consciousness in the body. Unlike older tantric mudras, hatha yogic mudras are generally internal actions, involving the pelvic floor, diaphragm, throat, eyes, tongue, anus, genitals, abdomen, and other parts of the body. Examples of this diversity of mudras are Mula Bandha, Mahamudra, Viparita Karani, Khecarī mudrā, and Vajroli mudra. These expanded in number from 3 in the Amritasiddhi, to 25 in the Gheranda Samhita, with a classical set of ten arising in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
Mudra is used in the iconography of Hindu and Buddhist art of the Indian subcontinent and described in the scriptures, such as Nātyaśāstra, which lists 24 asaṁyuta ("separated", meaning "one-hand") and 13 saṁyuta ("joined", meaning "two-hand") mudras. Mudra positions are usually formed by both the hand and the fingers. Along with āsanas ("seated postures"), they are employed statically in the meditation and dynamically in the Nāṭya practice of Hinduism.
A Buddha image can have one of several common mudras, combined with different asanas. The main mudras used represent specific moments in the life of Lord Buddha, and are shorthand depictions of these.
In Indian classical dance and Thai dances, the term "Hasta Mudra" is used. The Natya Shastra describes 24 mudras, while the Abhinaya Darpana of Nandikeshvara gives 28. In all their forms of Indian classical dance, the mudras are similar, though the names and uses vary. There are 28 (or 32) root mudras in Bharatanatyam, 24 in Kathakali and 20 in Odissi. These root mudras are combined in different ways, like one hand, two hands, arm movements, body and facial expressions. In Kathakali, which has the greatest number of combinations, the vocabulary adds up to c. 900. Sanyukta mudras use both hands and asanyukta mudras use one hand. In Thai dances, there are 9 mudras.
The classical sources for the yogic seals are the Gheranda Samhita and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika states the importance of mudras in yoga practice: "Therefore the [Kundalini] goddess sleeping at the entrance of Brahma's door [at the base of the spine] should be constantly aroused with all effort, by performing mudra thoroughly." In the 20th and 21st centuries, the yoga teacher Satyananda Saraswati, founder of the Bihar School of Yoga, continued to emphasize the importance of mudras in his instructional text Asana, Pranayama, Mudrā, Bandha.
Some Asian martial arts forms contain positions (Japanese: in) identical to these mudras. Tendai and Shingon Buddhism derived the supposedly powerful gestures from Mikkyo Buddhism, still to be found in many Ko-ryū ("old") martial arts Ryū (schools) founded before the 17th century. For example the "knife hand" or shuto gesture is subtly concealed in some Koryu kata, and in Buddhist statues, representing the sword of enlightenment.
You may have seen hands and fingers take an interesting shape or form during yoga practice or meditation. The likes of hands in prayer position before Surya Namaskar or connecting the thumb and index fingers of both hands in meditation? Well, these positions of the hands and fingers are sacred gestures called mudras. Like other practices in yoga, they have purpose and significance.
A mudra is a gesture or seal used in yoga. The practice of these gestures and seals channel the flow of prana life force. There are many mudras. They are categorized as hand hasta mudras, body (kaya) and consciousness (citta) mudras. We commonly use hand mudras.
This is one of the most commonly practiced mudras in meditation. It is the mudra for wisdom. It involves connecting the thumb and index finger with the palms on the knees and palms facing up. Imagine holding a sheet of paper in between the fingers to get an idea of the gentle pressure to be applied between the fingers in this mudra.
The Prana mudra is said to be one of the most important mudras due to its ability to activate dormant energy in your body. Prana is the vital life force within all living things. This mudra will help awaken and enliven your personal prana, and put you more in tune with the prana around you.
Explore the energetic power of hand mudras and how they can support you to access harmony and balance in your life in Your Guide to Mudras, a four-part series with Sarah Finger, available now in the Chopra App.
Performing mudras are said to stimulate the flow of prana (life force or energy) throughout the body, to quieten the mind by focusing it on the simple touch of our hands or fingers and to intensify the power of our practice.
This handscroll depicts hand gestures known as mudras in Sanskrit, the Indian language in which many early Esoteric Buddhist texts were written. In Japan the gestures are called insō, the Japanese term for a Chinese word that combines the characters for "seal" and "form."In Esoteric Buddhism mudras are physical enactments of ultimate truths revealed through the Buddhas and other deities. Practitioners of Esoteric Buddhism in Japan form mudras during meditation and rituals and use them to interpret the meaning of painted and sculpted Buddhist images. These scrolls were passed down in the Kyoto temple Shōren-in, a Tendai School temple traditionally administrated by imperial princes who had taken religious vows.
In addition to Hinduism, mudras are also a part of Buddhism and Jainism - two other Indian religions that share Hindu roots. In Buddhism, mudras are often an essential element of meditation, used to direct a person's attention inward. In Jainism, on the other hand, monks and nuns use mudras as part of their ascetic practice.
Mudras are said to be beneficial for both the body and the mind. While mudras are traditionally a part of yoga and meditation, they can be done anywhere and at any time. Mudras can be especially helpful for people experiencing stress or anxiety by promoting feelings of calm and relaxation. By stimulating different brain areas, mudras can help improve cognitive function and memory.
Mudras can also affect the flow of energy in the body, helping to promote relaxation and concentration. Some mudras are helpful for specific health conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or headaches.
Finally, there is no correct amount of time to perform mudras, and they can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. New practitioners may want to start with shorter periods and gradually increase the length of their practice as they become more comfortable with the mudras. Hatha yoga postures affect the internal actions of the body, while more advanced postures paired with mudras concentrate on enlightenment.
There are many different mudras, each with diverse symbolism and meaning. Some mudras are for specific purposes, such as improving concentration or relieving stress, while others are for more general purposes, such as relaxation or balancing the body's energy. New practitioners may want to practice mudras in front of a mirror to check the position of their hands.
In the Vajrayana school, mudras assume an esoteric significance and are usually combined with mantra(recitation) and tantric visualization. In the Zen school of Mahayana Buddhism, which is relatively bare of esoteric rituals, two important positions, the dhyani, or meditation mudra (formed with the hands held in an oval), and the anjali, or greeting mudra (palms held together at chest level), nevertheless remain important elements of daily practice.
Mudra is an ancient Sanskrit term meaning "gesture." We use mudras in yoga to cultivate a greater sense of awareness to certain energetic fields within the subtle body. In other words, we can use them to help us meditate and open up our seven main chakras.
And there are literally hundreds of mudras, each with its own unique symbolism and placement of palms and fingertips. Here are seven lesser-known mudras I've chosen to give your seven chakras a little boost. You can also incorporate the mantra associated with each chakra to help enhance your meditative experience.
When these five elements are not in balance, we can experience disease in the body. Mudras in yoga are one way of creating a balance between all of these elements within us. Read on and attune yourself with some of these common mudras. 041b061a72