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What is a mudra?

May 25, 2017

One of the goals of yoga is to cultivate awareness in the entire body by guiding energy, prana, blood, and information to all parts of the body. To achieve this, postures, kriyas, dristhi (the gaze) and also mudras are used.

However What is a mudra?

The word mudra (मुद्रा), translates from Sanskrit as « closure » or « seal ». Mudra is a gesture It has the power to alter mood, attitude and perception. The mudras stimulate certain areas of our brain or our energy body and exert a influence. They are mainly executed with the hands and fingers, and can be recognized in many of the iconic images of Hinduism and Buddhism. They are used especially in Hatha-Yoga, but also in other types of meditation.

Each finger its meaning

It is said that in the hands, as in the feet, all our body points are reflected:
  • Thumb finger: represents the element of fire and its energetic task is to balance the energies of the body. Also in it resides our divine consciousness.
  • Index finger: represents the element of air and its mission is to provide us with the ability to create and think. In him our different moods. He is assigned the fourth chakra.
  • Middle finger: represents the ether element and its mission is to provide us with the necessary energy to act and live in harmony with the spiritual world that you have at your fingertips. He is assigned the fifth chakra.
  • Ring finger: represents the earth element and its mission is to provide us with the necessary strength to defend ourselves and fight for what is ours, as well as the inner balance to face any situation. He is assigned the first chakra.
  • Little finger: represents the element of water and its mission is to provide us with the possibility of interacting with other human beings in society. He's the one who lets us relate to each other correctly. It takes care of working our emotions. He is assigned the second chakra.

What does science say?

Yogis have always used specific finger and hand positions as an important part of their yoga movements and postures. Now science has confirmed that finger and hand positions and finger movement have a powerful effect on the brain. Different studies indicate that the repetition of this physical task expands brain capacity, increasing the connections between neurons and forging new neural access pathways, concluding that finger exercise promotes brain plasticity and the brain's ability to renew itself, mainly in the motor cortex of the brain, which controls physical movement. The power of finger movements to enhance the brain may come from the anatomical fact that control over hands and fingers requires the use of large brain areas, through abundant neurological connections. The area of ​​the cortex that controls the most widely mobile and at the same time finer and more precise muscles, such as those of the face, mouth, hands, thumb, and tongue, is much larger than that of the trunk, thigh, and legs. In our next post, we will be interested in one of the most well-known mudras, Jnana Mudra or gesture of consciousness.

Good week and good practice!

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