Working with these three “Magic Mudras” can start you on a path of exploration, unleashing a deep sense of inner well-being. With a little patience and persistence, you will have a powerful tool in your back pocket that you can pull out and use anytime and anyplace. While the magic unfolds in its own time, with practice, you’ll learn to cultivate feelings of health and happiness using Mudras to support your journey. Ready to give it a try?
Body language has a way of speaking all on its own
Your body language says a lot. Whether it’s a facial expression, posture, body movement, or gesture, as much as 55% of your message is communicated non-verbally. More often than not, body language is an unconscious reflection of what you are thinking and feeling ~ notice how you frown when you hear something unpleasant or cross your arms over your chest when you disagree, for example.
Other times, we invoke a gesture on purpose to punctuate or add feeling to what we want to say. Think of the feeling and energy communicated by the index and middle fingers extended in a V-shape (peace sign) or the middle finger extended with the rest of the fingers curled in towards the palm (the finger).
There is an intersection between the outer world and our inner world
The communication channel of body language is a two-way street, sending signals to the outside world while simultaneously impacting your inner landscape. Internally, we feel differently when we sit slouched or slumped versus upright and tall. At the same time, the world around us responds differently. When gestures of the hands, face, or body are used to consciously elicit a particular feeling or energy, they are called mudras.
For example, the ‘peace sign’ and ‘the finger’ mentioned above are examples of hand mudras. On a practical level, working with these mudras supports the health and function of the hands themselves. Touching fingers and hands together promote cross-lateralization and sensorimotor integration, benefitting the brain.
Mudras can also be used to change the way you feel physically by directing the breath to particular areas of your body. They support optimal breathing, which can affect your overall energy levels. On a deeper level, mudras evoke moods or feelings and can be used to cultivate a wide range of personal and emotional qualities and characteristics.
The magic of mudras is in their ability to facilitate your own health and healing
I’ll be honest here. Even though mudras are believed to be centuries old (both the Buddha and Christ are often depicted using hand gestures) and the likelihood that anything with that kind of endurance must have some validity, I was highly skeptical when I first encountered them. How could the way you hold your hands affect your digestion? Or reduce the frenetic energy of a stressful day?
Luckily for me, my training as a Yoga Therapist required me to work with mudras for 30 days, reflect on my own personal experience with them, and report back to my mentor. During this experiment, I came to appreciate the subtle but powerful impact of mudras. Now I incorporate them as a regular part of my practice when working with clients. Because who doesn’t love an effective tool that is always with you and costs you nothing but a few minutes of your time?
Don’t just take my word for it; experiment and discover mudras for yourself
Following are three mudras to get you started. Before you begin, sit quietly for a few moments to notice your body’s sensations, your natural breathing (breathing that you are not interfering with), and your state of mind. Incorporate the mudra and hold it for 5-10 breath cycles, observing what you feel.
Release the gesture, still watching the body, breath, and mind for any shifts or changes. Be sure to give yourself time to tap into the mudra’s subtle energy and experience its benefits. Finally, keep in mind that everyone responds differently. If you experience pain or a negative reaction to a particular mudra, discontinue it immediately and try again at another time.
If, at first, you don’t feel much of anything while working with these mudras, don’t get discouraged. It can take days or even weeks of continued practice to tap into the subtle energy of mudras. Once you do, you will have tapped into a magic trick for promoting personal health and happiness.
Hakini Mudra ~ Gesture of Integration
Use this gesture to instill a sense of wholeness and integration and support overall health and healing. You may experience your breath and awareness directed throughout the entire body, balancing and integrating all body systems. Simultaneously, this mudra can help promote greater body awareness.
Hold the hands facing each other in front of the solar plexus. Gently touch the tips of all the fingers and thumbs to the same fingers on the opposite hand. Hold the hands open and rounded as if holding a globe or ball. Bring the forearms parallel to the earth or let them rest comfortably on your lap.
Hansi Mudra ~ Gesture of the Inner Smile
Try this gesture to cultivate positive emotions, including contentment, lightness, and joy. Hansi Mudra directs breath into the upper chest, neck, and head, naturally releasing tension from these areas. By promoting increased circulation to the thymus gland, this gesture can also enhance immunity.
Touch the tips of the index, middle, and ring fingers to the tips of the thumbs of the same hand. Extend the little fingers straight out. Hold the hands out to the sides of the body with the little fingers pointing skyward. Alternately, rest the backs of the hands-on the thighs or knees.
Angushtha Mudra ~ Gesture for Inner Listening
This gesture helps receive inner guidance and express it clearly in the world. It directs breath and awareness to the throat and neck, helping to release tension from this area for enhanced speaking and singing. It also supports the health of the thyroid.
Hold the palms in front of the solar plexus. Gently press the tips of the thumbs together, allowing the other fingers to curl inward. Relax the shoulders downward with the elbows held slightly away from the body, the forearms parallel to the earth, and the spine naturally aligned.
Let us know in the comments – Did one of the Mudras call to you? Did you feel an emotional connection? Are there other mudras you’d like to learn about? Find out your Wisdom Profile – there is a mudra that will be perfect for you. Check it out.