Mudra, Yoga in Your Hands

Mudra, Yoga in Your Hands

  • Posted by Kaleigh
  • On February 23, 2018
  • Comments

Updates in The Shala

Our dear Bonnie Russell will be in Australia until April 11th. Jeff Silverstein will be subbing her Monday classes, and Brian Forman and Sarah Jane will be subbing the Wednesday classes.

Also, we're planning for our summer Yoga Teacher Training, which we are thinking will be a 300-hour training! Stay tuned for details.

Jñāna Mudra

The hands have an intimate connection with the brain, thus, the way we hold our hands can influence the way we hold our minds. Mudras are gestures or bodily positions used to affect the flow of prana in the body. Mudra can be translated as "seal," as in sealing your energy in a certain way.

Jñāna means wisdom or knowledge. In jñāna mudra, the thumb symbolizes supreme reality or the universal consciousness, and the index finger symbolizes individual reality. So, the joining of the two fingers represents the union of the inner self with the universal reality. The other 3 fingers represent the 3 gunas, or qualities of nature: sattva: balance, rajas: action, and tamas; inaction.

This mudra can be held when practicing meditation anytime, anywhere. We could also do it to bring us back to the reality of connection to the universe when encountering a stressful situation or even when we are feeling happy and satiated. We hold jñāna mudra at the close of our Ashtanga practice when we sit in lotus posture (padmasana) and take 10 deep breaths. The effect of a mudra can be immensely intensified by focusing the mind and by using the breath. Reflecting on the meaning of this mudra can be a deep practice that brings us back to the present so that we can live our lives as our true selves.