YOGA MUDRAS (SEALS)
Source: Jennifer Fitzsimmons' Pathways Academy of Life Yoga Teacher Training)
Many people wonder why and jest at some of the positions and gestures held in yoga, like squinting the eyes and holding the focus on the tip of the nose (looking cross-eyed and a bit silly haha!) or the eye brow point, in the middle of the eyebrows...
Yoga is to encourage the chemist in you to produce the chemicals and fluids the body requires. The pituitary gland is a major chemical producing gland in the body for emotional balancing. The eye positions cause a gentle pull on the muscles around the eyes which stimulate the pituitary gland into secreting the healing, rejuvenating chemicals for the body, mind and emotions. The eye positions also exercise the muscles of the eyes, strengthening the eyesight and making the eyes brighter.
Mudras are certain hand gestures or positions used in yoga which seal, lock and direct energy flow and reflexes to the brain through curling, crossing, stretching and placing slight pressure on certain points of the body. Mudras give access to the unconscious reflexes and establish a non-physical and non-intellectual connection with them to snap the instinctive, habitual patterns and attitudes holding us back from realising our maximum potential through self actualisation.
Mudras that are referred to as seals, are hand positions that lock or seal the hands into a position which guides the flow of energy and reflexes to the brain. Every part of our hands are linked to a certain part of the body or brain, which relate to different emotions or behaviours and using specific ones create specific results.
Every living body is made up of 5 distinctive elements: fire, air/wind, space/ether, earth and water.
The 5 fingers of the hands represent each of these elements:
Thumb - Fire (Agni / Tejas)
Index - Air / Wind (Vayu / Marut / Pavan)
Middle - Space / Ether ( Shunya / Vyom / Akasha)
Ring - Earth (Prithvi / Bhumi)
Pinky - Water (Jala / Ap)
The finger tips have many intense nerve root endings, which are free energy discharge points. Around each there is a concentration of free electrons. By touching the tips together the free energy (prana) is redirected back into the body along specific channels and directed toward the brain. The redirected energy stimulates the 7 chakras (energy centres).
The stretching of specific nerves for periods of time tones up the nervous system. Mudras can be compared to Acupressure, where the nerves are influenced by the application of pressure.
Gyan Mudra: The tip of the thumb touches the tip of the index finger. This is the most frequently used and is known as passive Gyan which stimulates knowledge and wisdom. It is used a lot during centering at the beginning of a yoga class, pranayama (breath control techniques), meditation and some Asana poses. The intention of this mudra is to sharpen the memory and improve concentration.
Shunya Mudra: The tip of the middle finger touches the tip of the thumb giving patience, discernment and commitment.
Apan Mudra: The tip of the ring finger touches the tip of the thumb, giving energy, health and intuition. It also gives one the power to win.
Prana Mudra: Touching the tip of the little finger to the tip of the thumb gives clear intuitive communication and stimulates psychic development.
Anjali Mudra (Prayer mudra): Palms are pressed together, neutralising and balancing masculine and feminine energies for becoming centred. Commonly used at the beginning and end of a yoga class and in some poses, particularly when trying to redirect and refocus energy into the heart centre (Anahata Chakra) for balancing.
Venus Lock: Interlacing the fingers gives sensuality, sexuality glandular balance, focus and concentration
The Golden Triangle: Is formed by pressing the tips of the thumb, index finger and middle finger together. It can cure high blood pressure, incorrect thinking and eating patterns