What is Mudra?
Mudrā is a sanskrit word which means seal. Mudrā are gestures with the hands or the body to heal adn strengthen. This also relates to the Sanskrit word also relates to mudita, which means “to feel a sense of happiness.” Our bodies have the capacity to heal themselves. This capacity is applied in the practice of mudrās. It’s a beautiful science which, when understood, can do wonders. Mudrās arouse within us a sense of happiness by balancing and healing our bodily elements. Many hundreds of mudrās deal with art, healing, and meditation.
Why practice mudrās?
In todays world, we are living extremely stressful lives. Whether it be at work or at home, we face stress in different ways. Stress over a long period of time leads to many psychosomatic diseases which, if not controlled, can lead to chronic lifelong problems. In this seemingly difficult situation, ancient yogic science of the east gives us some good news. Most chronic illnesses can be controlled or healed by the practice of mudrās and a proper diet. Our bodies have the capacity to heal themselves. This capacity is applied in the practice of mudrās. It’s a beauti- ful science which, when understood, can do wonders.
What are the different types of mudrās
Mudras are performed with the hands or the body. They are performed mostly for the purposes of healing in yoga and Ayurveda. In ancient Vedic worship they are used to indicate many rituals and invoke different energies. In dance they are used for the purpose of indicating certain feelings. In this way mudras are used in various disciplines like art, yoga and Ayurveda.
How are healing mudras categorized ?
Healing mudras are categorized broadly as mudras performed with the hands and those performed with the body. The mudras performed with the hands are divided into mudras based on
1. Five elements - Earth water, fire air and ether.
2. Ayurvedic doshas - Kapha, Pitta and Vata
3. The vital airs - Prana , apana, Samana, Vyana, udana
4. Meditative purposes - Buddha and other yogis gave us wonderful meditative mudras
5. Series of mudras for various ailments.
Mudras performed with the body
There are various mudras which are performed with the body. These are yoga poses but held in certain positions with slight variations for healing the body and mind.