The word Mudra is Sanskrit and can be taken to mean an energetic seal or a gesture.
Mudras are used in art, yoga, dance, devotion and meditation as both an expression of intention and a means to channelling that intention.
Most mudras are physical gestures which use the fingers, hands and arms, but some make use of the whole body. Used in conjunction with Pranayama (focused breathing), mudras can be an effective way to channel the energy and manifest a particular state of mind or body.
In many cultures, the hands are considered a medium for healing and indeed different Mudras are thought to stimulate different areas of the physical body and different areas of the hands and body are linked to different areas and actions of the brain.
The study of body language has shown that different physical gestures can produce different emotions or effects on oneself and others around us. Just as body language can influence others and communicate intentions towards others, Mudras can have this same effect on our body and mind.
Each finger represents different energies, qualities and emotions and as such, Mudras are also an effective way to express one’s own current state and can be an outward representation of our emotions and wishes.
Mudras can be performed whilst in any position. The Mudra should be held with intention and enough pressure to feel the connection but not so much that it is uncomfortable.
Mudras can be maintained throughout a meditation for full effect, but a momentary Mudra to express self or connect with a desire or intention or to channel certain qualities also has its place.