Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Meditation Mudras

These hand gestures are easily combined with yoga postures and are often used during breath work and meditation. Some hasta mudras are symbolic, representing a certain deity or quality. These often tie in with our understanding of the chakra system, Indian ayurvedic thought, Chinese acupuncture meridians, and even astrology. In general, mudras are considered to work through the reflex zones, by which each part of the hand is associated with a part of the body and brain.


Anjali Mudra – Prayer Seal

This mudra is often seen in India, where people use it to greet, thank, and express respect. Anjali is Sanskrit term which means, “to offer” or “to salutate”, and the term mudra means “seal”. So basically, it symbolizes that we are “honoring and celebrating this moment”. Anjali mudra sign has many meanings.


“This gesture signifies the potential for an intention to progress to greatest spiritual awakening. When done properly the palms are not flat against each other; the knuckles at the base of the fingers are bent a little, creating space between the palms and fingers of the two hands resembling a flower yet to open, symbolizing the opening of our hearts.” - Krishnamacharya

We can apply this gesture to many asanas instead of keeping our hands separate; it can be a reminder for us to keep an inner attitude of peace during our practice. Also, once we truly understand what it means and we embrace this meaning it can help us ensure the position is based on humility rather than an ego expression to achieve perfection on a physical level. Anjali mudra it is known also as Pranam Mudra, Namaste Mudra and Pray position and most of the time we perform it with our hands in the center of our heart chakra, this represents the balance and harmony between the right and left side reunited on our center. This balance can be not only physical but also mental and emotional, and the idea is to bring us to the center to prepare ourselves for meditation and contemplation.

Dhyani Mudra

In this mudra, the back of the right hand rests on the palm of the other in such a way that the tips of the thumbs lightly touch one another. The hands rest in the lap. The right hand, resting on top, symbolizes the state of enlightenment; the other hand, resting below, the world of appearance. This gesture expresses overcoming the world of appearance through enlightenment, as well as the enlightened state of mind for which samsara and nirvana are one. In a special form of this mudra, the middle, ring, and little fingers of both hands lie on top one another and the thumbs and index finger of each hand, touching each other, form a circle, which here also symbolizes the world of appearance and the true nature of reality.


Bhairava Mudra

Bhairava is one of the forms of Shiva, said to be fearsome and formidable. The consort of Shiva in this case is called Bhairavi (Shakti) that is, the power that manifests this particular aspect of existence.There is a distinct sect of tantra who worship this aspect of Shiva and Shakti. They are called bhairavis. There is also a well-known tantric text called the Bhairava Tantra. For the purpose of meditative practice, this is a particularly comfortable mudra. It is a mudra that people do almost automatically.


Sanmukhi Mudra – Closing of the Six Gates


This mudra allows our sensory organs to rest in deep silence as we let go of outer distraction and turn our gaze inward. As the “seal of the inner source”, it is also known as Yoni mudra. 
Sit in a meditative position. Press on the little flap in front of your ears with your thumbs to block sound from your ears. Cover your eyes with your index fingers, touch the sides of your nostrils with your middle fingers, and place the ring and little fingers above and below your lips to symbolically cover the mouth. Keeping the elbows raised, breath steadily in Sanmukhi Mudra and enjoy this deep silence. When you feel tired, lower the arms and sit in quite stillness for mediation or contemplation. If you wish, apply a light, equal pressure to both nostrils while still allowing space for an even flow of air.


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