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Mudras in Yoga

Mudras in Yoga (“seal”) is a symbolic or ritual gesture in religions. While some mudras involve the entire body, you can perform most of these mudras with the hands and fingers. Mudras in Yoga is a spiritual gesture and an energetic seal of authenticity employed in the iconography and spiritual practice of Indian religions and traditions of Taoism.

Mudra Posture depicted in Buddha Statue
Indian Buddha Shakyamuni statue making the bhūmisparśa or “earth witness” mudra, c 850

Basics of Mudras in Yoga

Five elements namely Fire, Earth, Air, Water, Ether(Space) constitutes the physical body. Imbalance of these elements disrupts the immunity system and causes disease. We can compensate deficiencies in any of these elements by connecting one part of the body with another in a particular manner through Mudras.

Mudras are positions of the body that have some kind of influence on the energies of the body, or your mood. You can do this mudras by keeping the the hands and fingers n some position, but the whole body may be part of the mudra as well.

The five fingers of the hand are regarded as representative symbols of these vital elements in the body.

Five Fingers for Five Elements are as follows 1. Thumb : Fire 2. Index : Air 3. Middle : Aakash 4. Ring : Earth 5. Little : Water

Mudras in Yoga and in other Traditional Dances

108 mudras are used in regular Tantric rituals. Mudras are also used in Indian Classical Dance. There are over 200 mudras in bharatanatyam and over 250 in mohiniattam. In Christian art Jesus, John the Baptist and Virgin Mary are shown in various Mudras. Even today, the sign used by the priests of Catholic Churches while blessing the devotees.

A 10th century Chola dynasty bronze sculpture of the Hindu god Nataraja posing various mudras

Mudras in Yoga and Traditional Dances
Mudras in Yoga and Traditional Dances

When a finger representing an element is brought into contact with the thumb, that element is brought into balance. Therefore the disease caused by the imbalance is cured.

How Mudras in Yoga Work in our Body?

Mudras in Yoga work on the nerves. 10 types of Vayus (Winds) circulate through the 10 important nerves of the human body. We can control these with Mudras in Yoga.

10 important nerves used by Mudras in our body

There are about 700 important different nerves in the human body. out of those 10 of them are very crucial to the body and act as channels to direct various forms of energy into the body.

Below are the 10 different nerves (Nadis), that play a very important role in channeling the energy into our body.

1. Pingala Nadi

This nerve is present on the right side of the nose, This is also called the Surya Nadi as solar energy flows through it.

2. Ida Nadi

This nerve is present on the left side of the nose and extends to the middle of the nose. This is also called the Moon Nadi (Chandra Nadi). The lunar energy flows through this nerve.

3. Gandhari Nadi

This nerve is located in the right eye. This nerve regulates the function of sight.

4. Astini Nadi

This nerve is located on the tongue and regulates speach.

5. Pushaa Nadi

This nerve is present on the right ear. Regulates the function of hearing.

6. Payaswini Nadi

This nerve is located on the left ear and extends to the right big toe.

7. Alambusha nadi

This nerve connects the mouth with the Anus, It is responsible for consumption and elimination of food and is also responsible for coming up with ideas and thoughts.

8. Lakuha nadi

This nerve is located near the anus as well, and is responsible for ejaculation.

9. Sugamna Nadi

This nerve is located on the middle of the nose.

10. Sankini nadi

This nerve is located on the eye and ends at the genitals.

Types of Mudras and their Benefits

  1. Gyan Mudra
  2. Shunya Mudra
  3. Apana Mudra
  4. Prana Mudra
  5. Vayu Mudra
  6. Prithvi Mudra
  7. Varuna Mudra
  8. Surya Mudra
  9. Ling Mudra

Many research papers published in the National Academy of Sciences demonstrates that hand gestures stimulate certain regions of the brain (ref

10 நாடிகள்

  1. இடைகலை – (இடப்பக்க நரம்பு)
  2. பிங்கலை – (வலப்பக்க நரம்பு)
  3. சுமுழுனை – (நடுநரம்பு)
  4. சிகுவை – (உள்நாக்கு நரம்பு)
  5. புருடன் – (வலக்கண் நரம்பு)
  6. காந்தாரி – (இடக்கண் நரம்பு)
  7. அத்தி – ( வலச்செவி நரம்பு)
  8. அலம்புடை – (இடச்செவி நரம்பு)
  9. சங்கினி – (கருவாய் நரம்பு)
  10. குகு – (மலவாய் நரம்பு)

10 வாயுக்கள்(10 important air paths or passages used by Mudras in our body)

  1. பிராணன் – உயிர்க்காற்று
  2. அபாணன் – மலக் காற்று
  3. வியானன் – தொழிற்காற்று
  4. உதானன் – ஒலிக்காற்று
  5. சமானன் – நிரவுக்காற்று
  6. நாகன் – விழிக்காற்று
  7. கூர்மன் – இமைக்காற்று
  8. கிருகரன் – தும்மற் காற்று
  9. தேவதத்தன் – கொட்டாவிக் காற்று
  10. தனஞ்செயன் – வீங்கல் காற்று

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