Yoga Mudra – An introduction
Mudra or Graceful Gestures of power
Mudra, a Sanskrit word meaning “seal” or “sign,” is practised by the Yogis to describe the ritual hand gestures they practice during deep meditation.
Mudras are said to be a set of yogic exercises that resembles body language. It is an expression of energy passing through the body and there are several Mudras, each intended to stimulate a different part of body.
Ayurveda believes that everything in this universe is made up of five basic elements. These five elements are earth (prithvi), water (jal), fire (Agni or tej), air (Vayu) and ether or space (akash) and collectively they are termed as Panchmahabhuta.
These are the minutest elements, which constitute living and non-living matters. Every thing, including drugs, herbs and living beings are made of these basic elements. Every matter contains all of these five elements. Depending on the predominance of the content, the matter is classified as Parthiva, Apya, Taijasa, Vayaviya and Akashiya ( With predominance of earth, water, fire, air and space respectively). The permutation and combination of these elements and its quantity in a given matter determines its properties.
Ayurveda understands body, mind and spirit likewise.
It is believed that an imbalance and improper co-ordination between these elements causes mental and physical disorders, and therefore their synchronized functioning is the secret of perfect health.
The science of Mudras is based on the above mentioned five elements. The five elements are known to be represented in each of our fingers performing a healthy function. The thumb represents fire or the sun, the index finger signifies air, the middle finger represents the sky or space, the ring finger stands for the earth and the small finger represents water. They emit a special kind of energy or electro-magnetic waves.
The science of Mudras or gestures is an integral part of Yoga. Mudras are based on touch therapy and their regular practice helps to balance the five elements.
In ancient times it was believed that specific points in our palms need to be pressed to treat certain diseases. By touching our hands against each other or by folding fingers in a specific manner or pressing some points of hands, we can cure several disturbances with the help of our fingers in co-ordination with the elements of life.