Mudras are gestures performed with hands and other body parts that are said to have a stimulating effect on different body functions. They are first described in the ancient yoga scriptures of India and are connected with the process of awakening the Kundalini energy. Various of the hand gestures are frequently used in many Indian classical dances.
In the scripture Hatha Yoga Pradipika in Chapter 3, Shloka 5, it is said that Mudras awake the Kundalini energy in the body and opens the Brahmadwar, the ‘great door’ which is a symbol for liberation from the cycle of birth and rebirth. The scripture further describes ten different Mudras which will reduce limiting effects of the ageing process.
These ten Mudras of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika are:
Another yoga scripture in which Mudras are explained is the Gheranda Samhita. In Chapter 3, Shlokas 1-3, there are 25 different Mudras. Additionally to the ones mentioned in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika these fifteen are listed:
Panchadharana (five Mudras for five Elements)
Each of these Mudras you will find explained below with a detailed explanation on their physical as well as mental and emotional benefits. Additionally you will find more popular Mudras for the fingers such as the Vishnu Mudra or the Anjali Mudra.
Include Mudras into your yoga practice to explore their benefits for you.