Mudras are generally hand gestures, but may also be body positions, which belong to the Yoga Sciences. The purpose for incorporating mudras into your yoga and meditation practice is to invoke shifts within your consciousness that will assist you as you develop higher levels of spiritual awareness.
Most of us are familiar with Gyan Mudra. Meditation has become quite popular in the United States, therefore images of mediators sitting in lotus pose and holding their hands in Gyan Mudra is a common visual. There is a reason why this hand gesture is so popular.
The word, Gyan, is Sanskrit and translates to mean, Wisdom. It is used during meditation because the connection of the index finger and thumb opens up the flow of vital fire and air (akasha) energy flow.
In short, this mudra enhances the flow for spiritual wisdom to take root during meditation, while also opening up vital prana (air flow) as you focus on meditative breathing.
BENEFITS OF GYAN MUDRA: THE GESTURE OF WISDOM
- Increased concentration
- Heighten memory and awareness
- Reduces mental imbalances and disturbing thought patterns
- Reduces tendencies for anger
- Reduces laziness
- Increases happiness and a sense of well-being
- Calms the nervous system
- Reduces high blood pressure
- Reduces depression and anxiety
If you frequently experience foggy-headedness, or of dullness of mind, lack of enthusiasm for work, play, or relationships, and little to no creative mental flow, with common loss of memory such as misplacing your keys…Gyan Mudra is a simple remedy.
HOW TO DO GYAN MUDRA
> Sit down, or recline into a comfortable meditative position.
> Make sure your spine is straight and aligned.
> If sitting, rest your hands on your knees, palms facing upward. If reclined, place your hands out to the side of you, facing upward.
> Touch the tip of your index finger to the tip of your thumb on each hand. The other fingers should be pointing outward, and parallel to each other.
> Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
> A full yogic breath is to Observe the inhale by noticing your stomach enlarge…witness the breath rise into your lungs…hold for a second, and then exhale.
Witness the exhale by noticing the prana (breath) exit the lungs, and Observe your stomach becoming flat as the air leaves your body.
> To enhance this practice, you may wish to silently chant Om, (AUM) on each exhale.
Beginners are encouraged to try to maintain the mudra and breath concentration for up to 5 minutes if possible.
Advanced practitioners may increase the time spent in this meditation and mudra for 30 minutes to an hour.
Om Shanti~ Melinda
Melinda Johnston, M.Msc.
Spiritual Philosopher and Coach, Intuitive Healer, Wellness Consultant