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Mudras

A mudra is a bodily posture or hand gesture that has some symbolism. We often see images of people meditating with the palm open upward, resting on the knee and the index finger and thumb forming a circle. This is a mudra. Different religions or traditions of yoga use different mudras, and they may all give different meanings to these symbolic gestures. Some of the more common hand mudras as outlined in Transitions to a Heart Centered World by Guru Rattana are below:
  GUYAN MUDRA: Also known as Chin mudra, the tip of the thumb touches the tip of the index finger, which stimulates knowledge and ability. The index finger is symbolized by Jupiter, and the thumb represents the ego. Guyan Mudra imparts receptivity & calm.

  SHUNI MUDRA:Tip of middle finger (symbolized by Saturn) touches the tip of the thumb, giving patience.

  SURYA or RAVI MUDRA: Tip of the ring finger (symbolized by Uranus or the Sun) touches the tip of the thumb, giving energy, health and intuition.

 BUDDHI MUDRA: Tip of little finger (Mercury) touches tip of thumb for clear and intuitive communication.

 PRAYER MUDRA: Palms are pressed together, neutralizing and balancing yin & yang, for centering.

 BUDDHA MUDRA: Right hand rests on left for men, left on right for women, palms up, thumb tips touching each other in a receptive gesture.

The Shambhala Dictionary of Bhuddism and Zen offers this explanation for this hand symbol:
  Dhyani Mudra: In this mudra, the back of the right hand rests on the palm of the other in such a way that the tips of the thumbs lightly touch one another. The hands rest in the lap. The right hand, resting on top, symbolizes the state of enlightenment; the other hand, resting below, the world of appearance. This gesture expresses overcoming the world of appearance through enlightenment, as well as the enlightened state of mind for which samsara and nirvana are one.

5 Comments on “Mudras

  1. Love these descriptions, Maheshwari. On the last one, Dhyani Mudra, is that the description for the Buddha Mudra, and for women is it done with left palm placed in right as Buddha Mudra above notes to do?

    • Hi Lindsay! yes, the Buddha and Dhyani mudra are the same. Different groups have slightly different interpretations and sometimes names, so I’ve given both.

  2. Pingback: Sukhasana ~ Easy Seated Pose | Yoga With Maheshwari

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