Mudras

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Mudra (Sanskrit mudrā: "seal", "mark", or "gesture") is a symbolic or ritual gesture. While some mudras involve the entire body, most are performed with the hands and fingers. A mudrā is a spiritual gesture and an energetic seal of authenticity employed in the iconography and spiritual practice of Indian religions, in Hinduism and Buddhism.

In yoga, mudras are used in conjunction with Pranayama, generally while seated in Padmasana, Sukhasana or Vajrasana pose, to stimulate different parts of the body involved with breathing and to affect the flow of prana in the body.

Origin

In India, mudras are an established component of all religious activities. The various mudras and hastas (arm poses) are significant in the depiction of Hindu gods. In addition to body postures and attributes, they also represent the distinguishing characteristics of various deities.
The mudras are just as familiar in Indian dance, where the hands, eyes, and body movements act and/or dance the entire drama without words.

Benefits

  • helps better concentrating on your breathing practices;
  • gives the control of Prana flow in your body;
  • heals the specific health issue;
  • adds either to relaxation or to energizing, depending on the kind of mudra.

How to practice

Form your hands and place the fingers as they are shown in the illustrations. When you do this, the pressure of the fingers should be very light and fine, and your hands should be relaxed.
Mudras can be done in any comfortable position -- while seated, lying down, standing, and walking. Be sure that your body posture is symmetrical and centered, and that you are as relaxed and loose as possible.

List of mudras