When learning a new practice its important to actually learn it. Understanding goes a long way with practicing yoga. Since starting something that has mystified me were the different hand postures, or Hasta Mudras. Why on one pose were we making this posture and in the next a different? So I decided to do some research.
This diagram shows the most common postures that I have seen, and below are descriptions of each one. Hopefully knowing these will help you deepen your practice and atune you to watching even the smallest of details, including your hands!
Gyan Mudra (Knowledge): The most commonly seen Mudra, used to dispel psychological barriers such as stress and anxiety. This posture exercises memory and concentration. This Mudra is very powerful in channeling the positive energy and focus into a pose.
Vayu Mudra (Air): This Mudra dispels excess air from your body alleviating pain in the chest and rheumatic pains.
Prana Mudra (Life): This posture activates energy within your body, said to reduce fatigue and tiredness, and helps improve the immune system
Prithvi (Earth): we are all a part of earth, our food and living is dependent of it so this symbol represents all aspects of our bodies from our tissue to our hair. This posture elicits vitality, strength, and endurance.
Shunya (Emptiness): This Mudra helps to close space within our bodies and heals ailments affected by space, including earaches and feelings of numbness anywhere in your body.
Varuna (Water): We are mostly water and hydration should always be a priority. This Mudra encourages water metabolism to rehydrate throughout your body, and encourages healthy digestion through saliva and mucus production.
Surya (Sun): Representing the fire within us, this posture helps maintain body temp and metabolism and sharp vision.
This is just a basic understanding of these particular hand postures. All of these inter-relate and play off of the others depending on your bodies need. There are 32 Mudras in total to learn and all have very specific design so further reading is beneficial, especially if you practice yoga/meditation for healing purposes!
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