These simple yet effective hand mudras for meditation have something for everyone, and getting the hang of them is believed to have amazing potential to harness and recharge our body’s energy so we can manifest certain realities and get into certain mindsets.
But where do you start?
In our article we’ll take you through 11 simple hand mudras you can try today, as well as take a closer look at their benefits.
What Are Mudras?
Mudra is a Sanskrit word meaning to ‘mark’ or to ‘gesture.’ It is also often translated as ‘seal’ meaning to ‘seal something in.’ This gives us a better idea of what mudras are made for.
The idea of mudras is that they ‘seal in’ our important energies, as well as redirect our important energy. This is known as ‘prana,’ meaning ‘life forces.’
The belief is that inside all of us we have the ability to create and sustain all the crucial energy we need to achieve peace and happiness.
Life is constantly throwing us obstacles and challenges that cause us to lose balance or focus, and for our important energy to slip through our fingertips.
Mudras are the solution to this loss of energy, as they secure or ‘seal’ these life forces in. Different mudras also help to secure different kinds of energy.
So how do mudras help to seal in this energy? While our prana energy is released through our fingers, if we bend them into specific shapes (or mudras) we can establish ‘energetic circuits’ that work to return this energy to our bodies.
It is a myth that mudras only concern your hands. This is actually not the case! While a lot of mudras are performed with the fingers, hands, and wrists, there are mudras that use the entire body.
Therefore, hand mudras are a subcategory of mudras that are referred to specifically as hasta mudras.
Why Are Hand Mudras Good For Meditation?
Although mudras began as ritualistic poses in religions like Buddhism and Hinduism, hand mudras now are often practiced in meditation because of their powerful healing properties on our spiritual health.
But what are the specific benefits of hand mudras in meditation?
Well, meditation is the practice of transforming your mind and getting a deeper knowledge of yourself. In this way, meditation describes the variety of techniques that allow us to improve our focus, and achieve self-awareness, emotional balance, and clarity.
Mudras are the ideal complementary practice to achieve your meditative goals.
In an effort to identify and reflect on our energy imbalances so we can find the mudra that’s right for us, meditation mudras are a great way to achieve a deeper knowledge about ourselves.
As a symbolic, visual representation of what we would like to manifest in our medication practice, hand mudras can help us find that focus.
Meditation also helps us develop a mindful balance of breath, body, mind, and motivations and hand mudras can aid in this too.
11 Best Meditation Mudras
Now we’ve learned what hand mudras are and how beneficial they are, let’s take a closer look at how to perform some hand mudras.
Translation: Mudra of Knowledge.
Also referred to as chin mudra, Gyan is the Sanskrit word for wisdom and knowledge. It has the effect of improving your mental focus and dexterity, and reflexive capabilities.
To do a Gyan mudra you need to place the tip of the thumb to the tip of your index finger while holding your other three fingers together.
Translation: Mudra of Giving and Forgiveness. Varada can also be translated into ‘favorable’ or ‘mercy.’
Varada mudra is believed to encourage feelings of charity, compassion, and forgiveness, teaching you that someone who gives will be forgiven, and those who forgive will be deeply blessed.
You need to sit comfortably when performing Varada mudra. Then, rest both hands carefully on your knee.
Turn your left palm face up before turning your hand over so that your left fingers point towards the ground.
Shuni (Or Shoonya) Mudra
Translation: Heaven Mudra.
Derived from the Sanskrit word ‘shunya,’ the word actually has a couple of translations in English, such as openness, spaciousness, sky, or heaven.
Shuni Mudra is thought to give us access to a ‘heavenly mindset.’ In other words, a mindset of peace, calmness, and positivity.
It’s also believed to relieve imbalance and is even thought to help with hearing problems like vertigo.
Performing shuni mudra involves gently pressing the tip of your middle finger to your thumb, and relaxing your other three fingers while keeping them comfortably straight.
Translation: Sun Mudra or Fire Mudra.
Surya is the Sanskrit word for sun, and this mudra is also referred to as ‘agni vardhak mudra.’ Meanwhile, agni is the Sanskrit word for ‘fire.’
People love Surya mudra because of its physical health properties, such as increasing your metabolism and body temperature, improving your vision and getting over illnesses like the fly.
To perform Surya mudra, bend your ring finger over your palm so your fingertip is pressed against the bottom of your thumb.
Then, fold your thumb over your ring finger and press gently. Your other fingers should be relaxed but straight.
Translation: Life Force Mudra.
Translated into English as breath, life force, or vital energy, Prana mudra is also referred to as kapha karak mudra, pitta-nashak mudra, and pran mudra.
In Ayurvedic healing and yogic philosophy, a prana that is imbalanced is believed to be responsible for illness.
Practicing Prana mudra is believed to restore this balance, while helping with insomnia, fatigue, and even your self-confidence.
Prana mudra involves bringing the tips of your ring and pinky fingers to the tip of your thumb, while keeping your other two fingers straight and comfortable.
Translation: Mudra of Transformation.
Sanskrit for terror or howler, Rudra is one of the names of Shiva – according to Hinduism, the creator and transformer of the universe.
Rudra is also a Vedic god referred to as the divine healer and archer, who shoots arrows of death while having the knowledge of a thousand remedies.
Rudra mudra is believed to broaden our capacity for self-transformation by making our personal will stronger, getting rid of obstacles, and boosting our self-confidence. It’s also believed to have powerful healing and energizing effects.
Rudra mudra involves placing your thumb to your index and ring fingers while your two fingers remain as straight as possible.
Translation: Mudra of Total Balance.
Dhyana literally translates into meditation, but if we split the word up, ‘dhi’ means the mind, while ‘yana’ means moving forward.
This symbolizes how our minds are advanced through meditation.
Dhyana mudra is believed to improve concentration and focus, while also helping those who practice it move towards inner tranquility and peace.
People often sit while practicing Dhyana mudra, with the back of your right hand resting on top of your left palm, with both palms facing up and open.
You then slightly cup your hands with your thumbs slightly lifted so the tips meet.
Translation: Mudra of Mental Clarity.
The name of this mudra comes from the Sanskrit word ‘buddhi’ which means perception, insight, or intellect in English.
Buddhi mudra is thought to help develop intuitive faculties, as well as provide relief from ailments caused by dehydration, such as headaches, eczema, or digestive issues.
When practicing Buddhi mudra, place your hand with the tip of your thumb and the tip of your pinky gently pressing together, while your other three fingers are straight and resting together.
Translation: Mudra of Fearlessness
This mudra is often performed by statues of the Buddha in Thailand and Burma, and looks a lot like a relaxed hand with the palm facing up.
In fact, it almost looks like you’re waving ‘hello’ or doing the ‘stop’ signal.
This modern interpretation of the mudra actually matches up with the mudra’s original meaning to protect you from evil.
It is also known for vanquishing fear and other negative forces, while at the same time bringing you a sense of reassurance and peace.
It helps you feel balanced, calm, and secure so you can overcome fear.
To perform the Abhaya mudra bring your right hand up to your shoulder with your palm facing out in front of you.
Touch your thumb to the outer corner of your hand and let your fingers relax as you ‘stop’ fear and ‘greet’ courage.
Translation: Downward moving force
The Apana Mudra is all about detoxification, and as the name would suggest, this mudra is connected to flushing out toxins via the digestive process.
This mudra is believed to make your heart stronger, balance out your doshas, and enhance the flow of stool, sweat, and urine.
With your right hand and left hand, bend your middle finger and ring finger while your index fingers point up.
Then, bend the tip of your thumb so it touches your middle and ring fingertips.
Translation: Mudra of Holding the Jewel
This prayer-like position leaves the palms open in the center as if you were holding something precious like a jewel.
Depictions of the Buddha often feature this mudra, and it’s believed to symbolize wishes being fulfilled and the depths of the Buddha’s compassion.
To perform the Manidhara Mudra, bring your right hand and left hand to your chest, keeping the hands arched so there is a gap between your fingers and palms.
Meditation is a practice that revolves around finding peace in an anxious, stressful world that demands a lot of your intention.
But incorporating hand mudras into your meditation practice allows you to take said practice to the next level.
When mudras are being practiced correctly and over a decent period of time, they make your meditations even greater, filling them with serenity and heightened mindfulness.
This then improves your mental stamina, which makes handling your busy life much easier!
We hope our article has illuminated you on the different types of hand mudras and how you can incorporate them into your meditative practice.