Published on November 16, 2018
slide 1: How To Awaken Your Inner Divinity With Yoga Mudra According to one of the most revered Buddhist sayings: The Universe is within you. It could be spelled You-niverse because you yes you have Universal divine spiritual energy all throughout your body — even the space between your fingers is sacred and alive. Learning to awaken your inner divine energy can take many paths. However in Buddhism the oldest most prominent and most traveled pathway is via the mindful practice of yoga mudra. Yoga mudras are specific hand gestures and body positions used in yoga and meditation. These gestures are believed to manipulate the flow of life energy prana within the body to balance and awaken divine spiritual power. Mudrās have been used in yoga for thousands of years. Although some mudrās even predate yoga — the Abhaya Mudrā for example was first used as a gesture of good intention and friendship when approaching strangers. slide 2: The Buddha’s are said to have developed a deep practice of yoga mudra in meditation. Statues of Buddhas often depict the mudrā they held during their moment of enlightenment. How Mudra Yoga Works From the viewpoint of the yogi the body is made up of connective pathways also called meridians for prana to flow through. Mudra yoga works by directing the flow of prana through these meridians and manipulating physical energetic connective points found in the hands feet and throughout the body. Since this change in energy is very subtle the practice of mudrās is paired with stillness intention visualization and pranayama awareness of breath. Learn how to best combine pranayama with mudras from the infographic by spiritual teacher Deborah King author of Mindvalley’s Be A Modern Master Program. Mudrās can be thought of as multi-purpose tools. slide 3: Some mudrās are used specifically to heal ailments of the body others are used to bring awareness to the heart and mind while others yet are used to meditate deeper and ultimately reach enlightenment. All mudras however bring you closer to your inner Universal divine self. When you are able to access the unified field intentionally you have the ability to discover anything in the universe – past present and future. – Deborah King The Different Types of Yoga Mudra There are 5 main types of mudra yoga Hasta Mana Kaya Bandha and Adhara thoroughly described in the ancient text Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Hasta mudrās In Sanskrit the word hasta simply means ―hand.‖ Hasta mudrās are hand gestures that alter the flow of energy from the hands back into the body. This is achieved by connecting the fingers and fingertips to one another creating what yogis refer to as the ―seal.‖ slide 4: Our hands are believed to contain energetic connections to the 5 elements: fire air space/ether earth and water. Our hands also contain the endpoints for the energetic meridians through which prana flows. These meridians are similar to blood vessels and nerves which also end in the hands in function — they connect the entire body to a type of ―networking‖ system. Physical Connection Point Meridian Connection Elemental Connection Thumbs Lung Meridian: Breath Fire Index Fingers Large Intestine Meridian Air Middle Fingers Pericardium Meridian: Circulation and Sex Space/Ether Ring Fingers Triple Burner Meridian: Throat Chest and Pelvis Earth Pinky Fingers Heart and Small Intestine Meridian Water Generally the thumb breath is used as the base in all mudrās just as the breath is used as the base of all yogic practices. For example by connecting the tip of the thumb and pinky called the Varuna Mudrā one can activate the water element within the body as well as the heart meridian. This connection can be used to balance bodily fluids like water and blood. Two common hasta mudras are the Gyan mudra and the Dhyana mudra. Hasta mudrās are often done in meditation but can also be incorporated into daily life. They can even be done while walking Fido or sitting in the back of a snooze-worthy class. Here’s a fun practice — the next time you are walking by an ashram hold up a peace sign to your local yogi the peace sign is also a hasta mudra symbolizing prana. Mana mudrās Mana head mudrās are gestures made using the eyes ears nose tongue lips and mouth. They also involve contracting the muscles in the abdomen and pelvis. Like hasta mudrās mana mudrās manipulate the flow of energy in the body. However rather than directing energy through the pathways in the fingers mana mudrās centralize energy into the body — a subtle but important difference. Mana mudrās are an important aspect of Kundalini yoga which aims to awaken the dormant divine energy that rests in our base or root chakra. Mana mudrās typically require much more internal concentration. They are used to reach deeper levels of meditation and elevated states of consciousness. slide 5: Kaya Mudrās Kaya. No not the groovy Bob Marley tune with herbal suggestions… Kaya is the Sanskrit word for ―body‖ or ―posture.‖ Kaya mudrās are full bodily positions that take the manipulation of prana to the next level. Kaya mudrās engage the entire body. They are practiced with other mudrās yoga positions and meditation to send prana to very specific energy centers called chakras. This type of yoga mudra is complex and requires the most concentration and focus to perform. Bandha Mudrās Bandha is the sanskrit word for ―lock.‖ Bandha’s are a type of contraction meant to close the flow of energy to a part of the body. The 3 main bandhas are the Jalandhara chin lock Uddiyana diaphragm lock and the Mula anal lock. Although locking seems a bit counterintuitive in the context of energy flow the effects of using bandha’s are felt when the lock is released. The release sends blood rushing into the area bringing a wave of relaxation and renewed circulation to the muscles that were contracted. Similarly this release creates a flood of energy purifying and cleansing the area of negative energy. Adhara Mudrās Pucker up young padawans… Adhara is the most elusive and secretive of the mudras and are usually learned from an experienced yogi who has studied yoga for many years. Adharas are used to bring prana from the root chakra up to the brain. It is performed by engaging very specific muscles on the pelvic floor such as the perineal muscle. Why might one desire to manipulate this pelvic prana To direct sexual creative energy that’s why. The mastery of these mudras increases sexual capacity and awareness. The more you know the more you know.