Yoga Mudras are simply rituals that are used in both Hindu and Buddhist traditions which describes some symbolic gestures. Mudras are also a form of yoga which is done while practicing pranayama and it is a kind of medication that allows the direct flow of energy into our body. These mudras in yoga are performed with hands, known as the ‘yoga hand mudra’, but there are few mudras that can be performed with the whole body.
Practicing these yoga mudras mediates our mind and helps us to heal emotionally. Mudra uses techniques that stimulate the different parts of our brain promoting relaxation and calmness. Mudras are used to express and emphasize the intentions of our minds. You can notice these similar mudras used in different classical dance forms. These mudras, when used in dance forms, symbolize different thoughts through the mudras! There are many types of mudras in yoga and each of them has different benefits. These are some of the popular or common hand mudras in yoga to help you understand easily with pictures.
According to Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist iconography, every god or goddess adopts a particular mudra which signifies weapons or objects held by the deity. It also symbolizes particular energy or quality by the different forms of a mudra yoga pose. Even in India, every god and goddess holds different hand mudras which symbolize particular energy. Each finger used in doing these mudras represents an element that is used to symbolize different gestures.
Fingers And Their 5 Elements:
Hand Yoga Mudras Meanings And Their Benefits:
The following are the best yoga mudras that are popular and well-known from ancient times in India. Here are some of the performing steps and health benefits of yoga mudras and their meaning.
1. Chin Mudra Yoga – Gesture Of Conscience:
Steps for Chin Mudra:
- Simply join the tip of the thumb and the forefinger to form a circle.
- Leave the other fingers joined and extended outwards, with the middle finger remains unfolded on the forefinger.
- This yoga mudra asana should be performed with both hands and the palms facing upwards.
- Chin mudra should be done for a long time duration as compared to other mudras that are about 10-15 minutes.
Chin Mudra Benefits:
- This yoga mudra chin represents the union between men and the divine.
- This mudra increases our grasping power and sharpens our memory.
- It relieves insomnia and excessive sleep both.
- This mudra yoga also gives us relaxation from tensions and anger.
This same mudra, when performed with the palm facing downward, is known as Gyan Mudra (Gesture of Knowledge).
2. Abhaya Mudra – Gesture Of Fearlessness:
Steps for Abhaya Mudra:
- For doing Abhaya mudra yoga, first, raise your right hand till your shoulder height,
- Then slowly bend your arm and leave the open palm facing outward with the fingers together in a vertical position.
- Let your other hand rest on your palm wide open.
Abhaya Mudra Benefits:
- This mudra represents security, kind, helpful, peace and victory over fear.
- Abhaya mudra is found in many Buddhist idols which show the gesture of peace world-wide common to many cultures.
3. Adi Mudra – First Gesture:
Steps for ADI Mudra:
- First, create a fist by joining close your four fingers on the thumb.
- Place your thumb inside of the palm of the hand touching the base of the little finger allowing the palms to face downwards.
- While doing this yoga mudra, inhale and exhale long and deep.
According to Hindu mythology,Adi means first. It is believed that Adi Mudra is the first position adopted by the newborns. ADI has many yoga mudra asana benefits for elders as well as kids.
ADI Mudra Benefits:
- Lungs capacity increases and vital organs function effectively with the help of this mudra.
- Adi mudra quietens and calms the nervous system.
- The flow of oxygen is increased in areas like the head and throat.
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4. Dhyana Mudra – Gesture Of Meditation:
Steps for Dhyana Mudra:
- This mudra in yoga should be executed while sitting in a comfortable position (in Sukhasana).
- Keep both the hands resting on the legs and the right hand over the left.
- The palms should be facing upwards and fingers extended.
This mudra is found in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain iconography as it represents the illumination above the illusion.
Dhyana Mudra Benefits:
- It helps in improving and building abilities like concentration and calmness.
- It also benefits in deep thinking.
- It also relieves stress and mental pressures.
5. Apana Mudra Pose- Gesture Of The Vital Air Apana (Also Called Mudra Of Digestion):
Steps for Apana Yoga:
- The tip of the thumb should be joined first with the tip of the middle and ring fingers keeping the other fingers straight.
- This yoga mudra should be executed with both hands.
Apana Mudra Benefits:
- Apana means air that runs in our bodies.
- This mudra energizes and helps in governing all forms of elimination and reproduction of our bodies.
6. Agni Mudra (Also Called Surya Mudra) – Gesture Of The Fire:
Steps for Agni Mudra:
- First, bend your ring finger so that you can touch the base of the thumb and press it with the thumb on the second phalanx keeping the other fingers straight.
- This mudra should be performed with both hands and palms facing in an upward direction.
Yoga Agni Mudra Benefits:
- This mudra symbolizes our inner fire which works great in preventing and curing many digestive disorders.
- This is an effective yoga mudra for weight loss. It also helps to reduce excess body fat and lowers our laziness quotient.
- It is beneficial for diabetics and people with cholesterol too.
See More: Dahn Yoga Meditation
7. Vayu Mudra – Gesture Of The Air:
Steps for Vayu Mudra:
- First, bend your index finger at the base of the thumb and press with your thumb on the second phalanx, keeping the other fingers straight.
- This mudra should be performed with both hands and the palms facing in an upward direction.
Vayu Mudra Benefits:
- This mudra balances the air element within the body.
- It helps in the release of extra gas and treats imbalance of air disease.
8. Akash Mudra – Gesture Of The Space:
Steps for Akash Mudra:
- First, join the tip of the thumb and the middle finger to form a circle, keeping the other fingers straight.
- It has to be executed with both hands and the palms facing upward.
Akash Yoga Mudra Benefits:
- This mudra balances our space element in the body.
- It helps our body in achieving the other energies inside our body.
9. Prithvi Mudra Pose – Gesture Of The Earth:
Steps for Prithvi Mudra:
- Just join the tip of the thumb and the ring finger as to form a circle, keeping the other fingers straight.
- It is the same as Agni mudra but the only difference here is to form the circle.
- This yoga hand mudra or hasta mudra yoga should be executed with both hands and the palms facing upward.
Prithvi Mudra Benefits:
- This Mudra helps in balancing the Earth element within the body.
- It also re-charges the root chakra aligning it with the earth energies.
- This mudra creates immense energy in our body.
- It centralizes our soul energy which makes us more powerful.
- People losing energy data faster rate or the person who feels dizzy all the time should practice this mudra daily for five minutes.
10. Jal Mudra Yoga – Gesture Of The Water:
Steps for Jal Mudra:
- First, join the tip of the thumb and little finger as to form a circle keeping the other fingers straight.
- It has to be executed with both hands and the palms facing upward.
Jal Mudra Benefits:
- Jal mudra balances the water element in our body.
- It restores the fluid balance treating the dryness (dry skin, dry mouth, and dry eyes) and other disorders of kidneys and bladder.
11. Apana Vayu Mudra – Gesture Of The Heart:
Steps for Apana Vayu Mudra:
- The tip of the thumb, ring,and middle finger should be joined first while making the forefinger touching the base of the thumb and the little finger straight.
- This mudra should be executed with both hands and the palms facing upward.
Apana Vayu Mudra Benefits:
- This mudra is also called ‘gesture of the heart’ for its influence upon the heart and blood pressure.
- It reduces the gas content of our body.
See More: Yoga Poses for Beginners
12. Prana Mudra – Gesture Of The Vital Air:
Steps for Prana Mudra:
- This yoga mudra should be executed while sitting in a comfortable position (in Sukhasana) focusing mainly on the breathing system.
- Allow the tips of the little finger and ring finger to touch the tip of the thumb and leave the other fingers straight.
- Keep both hands and palms facing upward direction.
Prana Mudra Benefits:
- This yoga mudra symbolizes the life force.
- By doing this mudra the dormant energetic power of life is awakened.
- It also develops health and activity in the body.
- It enhances the immunity power, strengthens and rejuvenates the body.
13. Matangi Yoga Mudra – Gesture Of The Goddess Matangi:
Steps for Mitangi Yoga Mudra:
- Join the hands first at stomach height, palms touching each other and fingers facing in an upward direction.
- Entwine your right-hand fingers with those of the left except the middle fingers that remain straight and joined.
Matangi Mudra Benefits:
- This Matangi mudra helps in energizing the body and soul developing our harmony.
- There are other mudras which are performed with the body.
14. Bhramara Mudra Yoga (Gesture Of The Bee):
Steps for Bhramara Mudra:
- In order to perform this mudra, one will have to sit up straight first and keep their eye closed at all times.
- You can keep a smile on your face but this won’t generally assist you with the performance of the posture.
- Now, you will have to place the index finger on your ears.
- To be more precise, you will have to place your ear in the portion of your cheek and the ear.
There is small cartilage there and you will have to put your index finger on that cartilage. Now, you are approaching the real stage of this posture. It is about time and you should take proper and full breaths. Gently place your finger on the cartilage and put some pressure there. Keep the pressure on that portion. This posture will assist you with calming your mind.
Bhramara Mudra Benefits:
- This is one of the most effective yoga mudras which is suitable for both men and women. There are some yoga mudra practitioners, who like to make a low pitch sound while performing this posture. Keep breathing and practice it for quite some time for getting effective results.
- This will relieve you from tension and also deal with anger. It is one of the best anger-management techniques that can be practiced at home for free of cost.
- People suffering from hypertension issues are recommended to perform this technique.
15. Surya Chandra Mudra Or Brahma Mudra:
Steps for Surya Chandra Mudra:
- First, you will sit on the floor and take some full and heavy breaths.
- Then, you will have to bring your arms in a punching position and join the two hands, so that the closed fingers face the ceiling.
- This is extremely useful for young as well as elderly people.
- Now, you will have to take some heavy breaths and close your eyes.
- This will assist in focusing while performing this technique.
Surya Chandra Mudra Benefits:
- This is also called as a gesture of the sun and the moon or Brahma gesture.
- This is one of the best ways to enter the peace and calm vibe of meditation. Some of the best benefits of this posture are, it can be done at home and you won’t need to spend anything extra on it.
- It will reduce stress and calm you down.
- People suffering from nausea or stomach problems, and from sleepiness as well are advised to practice this yoga.
16. Matsya Mudra (Gesture Of The Fish):
Steps for Matsya Mudra:
- First, you will have to sit on a mat or on the floor and make yourself feel comfortable. Making yourself feel comfortable and relaxed is one of the basic steps of this yoga and it should be definitely be done.
- Also, don’t keep any tension on the shoulder blades. Keep them relaxed as well. This will assist you in completing the posture.
- You will have to fingers (including the thumb finger) and place them together like the above picture.
- The next step demands you to stack the right hand together and extend the thumbs.
- Now, slowly hold your hands in front of your abdomen.
- And this can be said to be one of the prime postures which will assist you in recovering from tension and calming your mind as well.
Matsya Mudra Benefits:
- If you want a yoga mudra for good health, then this might be the right one for you.
- The fish hand pose has been termed as one of the best hand yoga mudras ever.
- It has tons of benefits and this is how you’re going to do it.
- A person who is dealing with tension and joint problems will find this posture extremely beneficial.
- This yoga hand mudra is extremely simple to do.
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17. Bhujangini Mudra Yoga (Gesture Of The Serpent Or Cobra):
Steps for Bhujangini Mudra:
- Sit in a pleasant pose and ready for a breathing exercise.
- Extend your neck a little forward and raise face upward to the sky then take air through the mouth like drinking water and air should go to the abdominal area but lips should be like the shape of crow beak.
- Now keep your trunk back like straight then release air.
- Keep practice this yoga mudra for 5 to 10 minutes for better results.
Bhujangini Yoga Mudra Benefits:
- It is very helpful if have any stomach problems and digestion problem. Don’t do this during winters.
18. Simha Mudra Benefits (Gesture Of The Lion):
Looking for yoga mudras? This one might be the perfect one for you.
Steps for Simha Mudra:
- In this posture, the in hands are placed on the thighs as a person sits like the subject in the picture.
- It is known to be really helpful for calming the body and providing all-around relaxation.
Simha Mudra Benefits:
- This posture is performed with the body and it is good for an all-around the healthy body.
- It is also known as the roaring lion posture.
- It is considered to be really good for concentration as well.
19. Kaki Mudra Yoga (Gesture Of The Crow):
Steps for Kaki Mudra:
- Firstly, you will have to close your nose (the nostrils) with the help of the thumb fingers.
- But do leave the eye open.
- Now inhale and exhale slowly.
- This can be said to be one of the prime steps of kaki mudra.
- It needs the assistance of both the fingers and the nose.
- Now, when your lungs are full due to breathing, you will have to close the mouth and store the breath inside you.
Kaki Mudra Benefits:
- It is good for the face.
- This is one of those yoga mudras for health, which needs the assistance of the body to make it a successful one.
- This relaxes the boy effectively and calms the mind as well.
- People who have breathing problems will find difficulty doing this, but with daily practice, this can cure your breathing issue.
- Now bend the head in such a manner, so that your chin makes contact with the throat and hold that position for quite some time.
- Here is where the magic happens. There are some essential benefits of this posture such as increasing the strength of the muscles and make your limbs feel comfortable.
20. Khechari Mudra Techniques (Gesture Of The Movement In Space):
Steps for Khechari Mudra:
- This mudra is also known as the tongue lock technique.
- Generally, people who perform this mudra, roll the tongue to touch the soft palate.
- Sometimes the hand is placed on the palms and this can assist with the movement as well.
Khechari Mudra Benefits:
If you want to know about the benefits of this yoga mudra (this particular one), then you should keep in mind that it increases the nasal activity and assists with breathing as well. There are many other benefits of this posture as well which will be discussed later. Khechari means moving in space. This is well known as one of the most effective yoga mudras which are done with the help of the hands and another part of the body.
21. Jalandhara Bandha Mudra (High Contraction):
Steps for Jalandhara Bandha Mudra:
- Sit in a sukhasana yoga should keep your knees touch the ground and put palms on knees.
- Breath in slowly and deeply then keep hold and move the chin towards the chest and touch it.
- Now it is time to lock the arms by pressing knees with palms, don’t exhale.
- Keep staying in this position as long as you hold you.
- After you can release the arms lock and raise the hands and breath out.
Jalandhara Bandha Mudra Benefits:
The high contraction technique is considered to be extremely effective for both men and women and this can remove a number of body aches and pains as well.
It can regulate your metabolism.
22. Uddiyana Bandha Pose Mudra In Yoga:
It is also known as an upward abdominal lock. In Sanskrit, uddiyana means upward or rise up or fly up and bandha means to lock or binding. You have to practice this mudra with only an empty stomach. It can give strength to abdominal muscles, develops digestion and stimulates the circulation of the blood in the abdomen and brain.
Steps for Uddiyana Bandha:
- Standing upright, spine straight and neck aligned to the spine as your arms rest on your side.
- You should maintain the Padma asana with your legs crossed if you are sitting. Prior to the abdominal lock, you should opt for the chin lock or the Jalandhara Bandha.
- Now slowly inhale and exhale, curve your shoulders inwards, as you tilt forward a bit rest your arms on your thighs.
- In case you are sitting, rest your palms on your thighs or knees.
- The exhale should be deep and simultaneously you should contract your abdominal muscles and push them upward by tensing the lower muscles.
- Hold and lock the position for a minute before starting the steps back to square one.
Uddiyana Bandha Benefits:
- The abdominal muscles get stronger with this yoga mudra.
- This yoga mudra pose also helps women with irregular menstrual cycles.
- It is also beneficial for people with diabetes as it helps improve the pancreas and liver function.
23. Mula Bandha Mudra Yoga Pose And Its Help:
It is also called a low contraction. In Sanskrit language Mula means root, Bandha means a lock. It is very useful for controlling and balance the source of energy to the body. It can cure arthritis, asthma, and bronchitis.
Steps for Mula Bandha Mudra:
- Place hands on your knees, tilt the upper body slightly forward and raise the shoulders.
- Inhale deeply and hold your breath.
- Firmly contract the anal muscles and concentrate on the Mula Dhara Chakra.
- Hold the muscular contraction and the breath as long as possible and comfortable.
- With a long exhale return back to the starting position.
- Breathe normally and remain in this position for some time.
Mula Dhara Mudra Benefits:
- Strengthens the pelvic floor,
- It relieves congestion and hemorrhoids in the pelvic area.
- Calms the nervous system and relaxes the mind.
- Mula Bandha activates the Mula Dhara Chakra.
- It awakens the Kundalini Shakti.
24. Maha Bandha Yoga (Great Contraction) And Its Benefits:
This maha bandha is a combination of all the three bandha which are Jalandhara Bandha, uddiyana bandha, and Mula Bandha. It has a lot of health benefits. This is one of the greatest yoga mudras for living healthy.
Steps for Maha Bandha Mudra:
- Sit in Padma asana pose and keep the spine erect.
- Breathe and relax the whole body.
- Close your eyes and keep your hand on knees. Take a deep breath and exhale fully.
- Now perform Jalandhara bandha, uddiyana bandha, and Mula bandha simultaneously in the order.
- Now to release go in a reverse mode that is first released Mula Bandha, uddiyana bandha and then Jalandhara bandha.
- This is known as one round of maha bandha, now you can repeat it as per your comfortability.
Maha Bandha Mudra Benefits:
- This yoga mudra gives the benefit of all the three bandhas as you perform it.
- It helps in the anti-aging mechanism as it rejuvenates the cells in the whole body.
- Before starting the meditation the yogis perform this mudra to attain peace.
- This yoga mudra poses pulls the prana energy upwards.
- Take your time to practice yoga as with age your bones and muscles become less flexible.
- Do not force yourself to do yoga steps as a starter, because you may not be able to balance yourself, use some props in the starting then with practice without them.
- Never compete yourself with others as doing that may stretch your body more than requirements and cause injury.
- While mensuration avoids the asana that strongly stretches your abdomen or is interfering with the blood natural flow.
- If you are a high blood pressure patient, consult your doctor as to which asanas are good for you and which ones are to be avoided.
This article contains some of the best yoga mudras, other different types of mudras along with their benefits. All the yoga mudras are determined to provide relief. These can calm the body and make one feel good from the core. The yoga mudras with pictures will assist you in doing them efficiently. These yoga mudras help you in your physical and mental wellbeing. And these mudras also create a spiritual connection in you. I hope this article was helpful to you and helped you in getting the information you wanted.