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Mudras: Yoga for The Fingers
by Cynthia Funk

We have about 4000 nerve endings at the tips of our fingers. This is what makes mudras (yoga for the fingers) so effective, because the nerve endings are connected with organs and can influence them, relax, stimulate or balance them, depending on the individual need.

MudraThere are more than 100 mudras. Anywhere you go, while on a break, sitting at a red light while in your car, waiting at the checkout, at your office or home, you can recharge your batteries. The mudras are easily learned and with a little practice you can do them at any time and place.

In the dawn of our days before man received the gift of speech hand gestures was the primary form of communication. The language of hand movements is the oldest in the world. Hand gestures express moods and communicate ideas. Today gestures are used when language will not serve. Sign language is one example. Even our imagery speaks of the Hand of God. Each area of the hand is connected to an area of the brain and gives clear messages to that brain center. The hands are like a keyboard connected to our internal computer.

Mudras are sacred ritual gestures or hand positions. When used in religious dance they become an elaborate hand language. The Sanskrit word Mudra means seal. In the most antiquated times mudra was used with mantra and sealed the pattern of energy. The earliest mudra was the Sanskrit symbol. From this primordial system of mudra grew a secret language that became as diverse as the country it was practiced in. Mudra is likewise used for the purpose of prayer.

Mudra is a patterned movement mainly of the fingers that carries an idea or emotion. Mudras are a gesture language capable of expressing ideas and suggesting symbols. Mudras create an energy field and can be used in healing. The ultimate goal of mudra is a higher state of consciousness.

In yoga these sacred hand positions relate to the energy flow of a particular meditation. They enhance the asana (posture) and sound current (mantra). Mudras in yoga are symbolic of mantras and send signals to the glands and to a specific part of the brain depending on the purpose of the meditation or yoga set.

Mudras are powerful yoga postures performed with the hands. Detailed descriptions of mudras can be found in Tantra Shastra, Upasana Shastra, Nritya Shastra and other Vedic texts, and images of them appear throughout eastern devotional art. The Buddha, for example, is often pictured with hands in mudra posture.

mudraLike full yoga body postures, called asanas, mudras are scientifically designed to influence both the dense physical and subtle etheric bodies. By holding the hands in a particular posture, even for a few seconds, very significant energy movements can be affected, helping the practitioner to heal illness, rejuvenate the immune system and increase overall well being at every level.

The following image of the etheric body highlights the seven spinal chakras. Certain mudras are associated with each of these energy centers. By clicking on each chakra, you will find images and instructions for a series of powerful mudras, along with the esoteric correspondences for each chakra.

With practice, you'll arrive at a natural perfection of the mudra positions that correspond with your own energetic balances. It's best to perform the mudras in a standing position. Once your hands are properly placed, relax the entire upper body as much as possible, remove concentration from the posture, and focus on the "whole body" experience.

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