8 Common Yoga Mudras - How-to & Benefits

8 Common Yoga Mudras - How-to & Benefits

A knowledge of how to do certain yoga mudras will help you with a practice of pranayamas, asanas, and bandhas. Yoga mudras are for the most part known as certain gestures or positions of hands and fingers. The truth is that the term is also used to describe other body part movements like tongue, back or eyes. Nonetheless, there is one thing that all these gestures or positions have in common.

Yoga mudras are considered to be as an effective way how to concentrate our attention on certain parts of our body. These in some cases very subtle physical changes have effects on our mental and traditionally spiritual being.

Gain the benefits of yoga mudras

In yoga theory, yoga mudras clean and enlighten energy channels – nadis and manage prana wherever it’s needed.  But it’s not necessary to accept this explanation. Anyone can just practice yoga mudras in order to gain mental benefits such as improved mood, more peace of mind, improved memory. Try one of the following popular mudras yourself and feel the effect on your body and mind.

 

Jnana mudra

How to practice jnana mudra:

Sit in sukhasana, sidhasana, padmasana (any comfortable cross-legged seated position) or vajrasana (a kneeling pose). Place your forearm on the upper thighs and then wrists on your knees. The palms face downward. Bring the tips of the thumbs and index fingers together and form a circle. Middle finger, ring finger and little finger are extended but relaxed. Keep the eyes closed and breathe through the nose.

Jnana mudra is also known as a pose of intuitive knowledge. Index finger expresses individual awareness and a thumb universal awareness. Their bond symbolizes eternal craving for their union.

Chin mudra

How to practice chin mudra:

Do the same as with jnana mudra. Sit in sukhasana, sidhasana, padmasana (any comfortable cross-legged seated position) or vajrasana (a kneeling pose). Place your forearm on the upper thighs and then wrists on your knees. But the palms face upward. Bring the tips of the thumbs and index fingers together and form a circle. Middle finger, ring finger and little finger are extended but relaxed. Keep the eyes closed and breathe through the nose.

Chin mudra expresses awakening of consciousness. It’s best-known hand mudra.

Chinmaya mudra

How to practice chinmaya mudra:

Do the same as with chin mudra. Sit in sukhasana, sidhasana, padmasana (any comfortable cross-legged seated position) or vajrasana (a kneeling pose). Place your forearm on the upper thighs and then wrists on your knees. The palms face upward. Curl the remaining fingers into your palms. Bring the tips of the thumbs and index fingers together and form a circle. Middle finger, ring finger and little finger are extended but relaxed. Keep the eyes closed and breathe through the nose.

Curled fingers symbolize the impermanence of the world as we know it.

Khechari mudra

How to practice khechari mudra:

Place the tip of your tongue on the soft palate, the back of the roof of the mouth. According to tradition, that is a point connected to energy center responsible for amrita creation. Amrita is a name for “nectar of immortality”.

Shambhavi mudra

(In Ashtanga terminology Bhrumadhye drishti)

How to practice shambhavi mudra:

Sit in one of the meditative postures. Choose chin or jnana mudra for your hands. Then focus your gaze at one point in front of you. After a while focus your gaze at the point between your eyebrows. Hold the position until your eyes start to blink. Then close your eyes to relax. Repeat the exercise seven times.

Shambhavi mudra trains eye muscles and helps to release the stress. It empowers activity in Ajna chakra, known as the third eye.

Agochari mudra

(In Ashtanga terminology Nasagra drishti)

How to practice agochari mudra:

Do the same as with shambhavi: Sit in one of the meditative postures. Choose chin or jnana mudra for your hands. Then focus your gaze at one point in front of you. After a while focus your gaze on the tip of your nose. Hold the position until your eyes start to blink. You can hold your breath after inhaling or exhaling. Then close your eyes to relax. Repeat the exercise seven times.

According to tradition, Agochari mudra empowers activity in Muladhara chakra.

Nasagra Mudra

Nasagra mudra is related to nadhi shodhana, alternate nostril pranayama technique.

How to practice nasagra mudra:

Place your elbow in front of your chest. Fold your arm and put index finger and middle finger in the center of your forehead. The place your thumb on the right nostril and your ring and little finger on your left nostril.

Nasagra mudra helps to harmonize the left and the right hemisphere.

Buchari mudra

Similarly to Agochari and Shambavi mudra, we alter the focus of our gaze. First, we pick up the arm and place the thumb under the nose. Fingers stay folded except for the little finger upon which we focus our gaze. After a short while, we put the arm down. However, our gaze doesn’t move so we keep on looking at the point in empty space.

Buchari mudra improves memory and builds a stronger connection between levels of consciousness.