Articles

24 Historical Yoga Mudras and Their Significance to Health

By  | 

Yoga Mudras are simply rituals which 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 which allows direct flow of energy into our body. These mudras in yoga are performed with hands, the yoga hand mudra, but there are few mudras also which can be performed with whole body.

Practicing these yoga mudras mediates our mind and helps us to heal emotionally. Mudra uses techniques which stimulate the different parts of our brain promoting relaxation and calmness. Mudras are used to express and emphasize the intentions of our mind. 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.

24 Historical Yoga Mudras and Their Significance to Health

These yoga mudras with pictures will guide you the right way to do it.

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 different formation of mudra yoga. Even in India, every god and goddess holds different hand mudras which symbolize a particular energy. Each finger used in doing these mudras represents an element which is used to symbolize different gestures.

Fingers and Their 5 Elements:

Yoga Mudra Types and Benefits

Yoga Mudra Types, Meanings And Benefits:

Following are the best yoga mudras which are popular and well-known from ancient times in India. Here we have given yoga mudras and their meanings along with performing steps and health benefits as well.

1. Chin Mudra Yoga – Gesture of Conscience:

Yoga Mudras Chin Mudra

Steps:

  • 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 pose should be performed with both hands and the palms facing upwards.
  • Chin mudra should be done for long time duration as compared to other mudras that is 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:

Yoga Mudras Abhaya Mudra

Steps:

  • For doing abhaya mudra yoga first raise your right hand towards your to shoulder height,
  • Then slowly bend your arm and leave the palm open facing outward with the fingers together in a vertical position.
  • Let your other hand with open palm rest on your lap.

Abhaya Mudra for Health:

  • 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:

Yoga Mudras Adi mudra

How to Perform Mudra “ADI”:

  • 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 the Hindu mythology Adi means first. It is believed that Adi Mudra is the first position adopted by the newborns.

See More: Office Yoga Exercises

4. Dhyana Mudra – Gesture Of Meditation:

Yoga Mudras Dhyana Mudra

Mudra Steps:

  • 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.

5. Apana Mudra Pose- Gesture of The Vital Air Apana (Also Called Mudra Of Digestion):

Yoga Mudras Apana Mudra

How to Do 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.

Health Benefits of Mudra Apana:

  • Apana means air that runs in our body.
  • This mudra energizes and helps in governing all forms of elimination and reproduction of our body.

6. Agni Mudra (Also Called Surya Mudra) – Gesture of The Fire:

Yoga Mudras Agni Mudra

How to Present Mudra Pose:

  • 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:

Yoga Mudras Vayu Mudra

How to Do It:

  • 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 for Body:

  • This mudra balances the air element within the body.

8. Akash Mudra – Gesture Of The Space:

Yoga Mudras Akash Mudra

How to Do It:

  • 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.

Benefits of Akash Yoga Mudra:

  • 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:

Yoga Mudras Prithvi mudra

How to Do It:

  • Just join the tip of the thumb and the ring finger as to form a circle, keeping the other fingers straight.
  • It is 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 an immense energy in our body.
  • It centralizes our soul energy which makes us more powerful.
  • People losing energy in an 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:

Yoga Mudras Jal Mudra

Steps to Perform:

  • 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 for Health:

  • 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:

Yoga Mudras Apana Vayu Mudra

Steps:

  • The tip of 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 of 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:

Yoga Mudras Prana Mudra 

Steps To Perform:

  • 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 for Good Health:

  • 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:

Yoga Mudras Matangi mudra

Steps to Perform:

  • 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):

Bhramari Mudra

Steps to Do:

  • 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 a 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.

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:

Brahma Mudra

Steps:

  • 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.

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):

Matsya Mudra

Steps for Practice:

  • 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 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 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 is 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.

17. Bhujangini Mudra Yoga (Gesture of The Serpent or Cobra):

Steps for Beginners :

  • 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):

Simha Mudra

Looking for yoga mudras? This one might be the perfect one for you.

Performing Steps:

  • 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-round relaxation.

Mudra for Entire Health:

  • 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):

Kaki Mudra

Steps to Do for Good Health:

  • 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.

Good Health 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):

How It is Done:

  • 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.

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):

Jalandhara Bandha

Jalandhara Bandha Steps:

  • 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 stay in this position as long as hold you.
  • After you can release the arms lock and raise the hands and breath out.

Jalandhara Bandha Mudra for Health:

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:

Yoga Mudras And Their Benefits uddiyana bandha

It is also known as an upward abdominal lock. In Sanskrit, uddiyana means upward or rise up or fly up and bandha means 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 abdomen and brain.

23. Mula Bandha Mudra Yoga Pose and Its Helps:

Yoga Mudras And Their Benefits Mula Bandha
It is also called as 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.

24. Maha Bandha Yoga (Great Contraction) and Its Benefits:

Yoga Mudras And Their Benefits maha bandha

This maha bandha is combination of all the three bandha which are Jalandhara bandha, uddiyana bandha and mula bandha. It has lot of health benefits. This is one of the greatest yoga mudras for living healthy.

See More: Maha Hot Yoga

This article contains some of the best yoga hand mudras many 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.


1 Comment

  1. neha

    July 24, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Excellent. I want more mudras and its benefits.