Hand Seals for Breathing Practices
Gyan Mudra - Chin Mudra
The word Gyan means wisdom in Sanskrit. Thus, practicing the Gyan Mudra is believed to help instill wisdom and spiritual enlightenment. This is why the Gyan Mudra is widely used in many yogic meditation poses such as Pranayama. The Gyan Mudra is also known as the Chin Mudra. Yogis also state that this mudra is the gesture of knowledge.
One of the main benefits of the Gyan Mudra is its ability to relax the body and focus the mind to the task of meditation. It also helps to relieve stress and transcend worldly problems.
This mudra helps gain control of the lower parts of the lungs in adham pranayama. Join the tips of the thumbs and index fingers in as perfect a circle as possible. The other three fingers should be kept parallel to one another. Place the mudra facing downwards on the upper thighs and breathe deeply.
This mudra helps us to breathe better into the middle sections of the lungs in madhyam pranayama. Join the tips of the index fingers and thumbs as in chin mudra and then curl the other three fingers into the palms. Place the mudra on the upper thighs and breathe deeply.
The upper regions of the lungs are especially utilized when we breathe in the adhyam pranayama with the adhi mudra. Close all the four fingers in a fist over the thumb. Place the mudra facing downwards on the thighs and breathe deeply.
This mudra is used in the performance of complete yogic breathing (mahat yoga pranayama), in which we consciously breathe into each of the different lung sections, in succession. Make both hands into a fist with the thumbs inside the fists (as in adhi mudra). Turn the fists under so that the backs of the hands are facing downwards. Bring the hands together, with the opposing knuckles touching each other, hold them in front of the navel and breathe deeply.