Gyana Mudra is a classical meditation mudra.
It’s one of my very favourites as it is great for soothing the nervous system and bringing mental balance.
Gyana mudra is known as the “yogic tranquilliser” as it brings calm, alleviates insomnia, depression and tremors associated with neurological diseases like Parkinson’s.
WHAT THE FINGER PLACEMENTS REPRESENT
In this mudra you bring the tip of your index finger and the tip of the your thumb together to form a circle. Keep your remaining fingers straight.
Your index finger represents individual consciousness and your thumb symbolises universal consciousness. So this mudra represents the unity of these two powers.
Your extended fingers represent the three gunas (the fundamental forces, tamas, rajas, and sattva, that interact to create all of the known Universe, including you.) These are like stages of awareness that have to be transcended as you evolve through your practice from ignorance to enlightenment.
Although mudras show immediate effects, most need time 30-45 minutes (this can be spread throughout the day) over an extended period of time.
I recommend using this mudra in a meditation practice, either 30 minutes, two lots of 20 minutes or five rounds of 5 minutes across the day.
You can practise mudras sitting, standing, lying down, walking. Almost anywhere really. I suggest trying at least 5 minutes in meditation and then you can bring the mudra in to other parts of your day, sitting at your desk.
Gyana mudra is a wonderful way to calm your mind at the end of the day and relieves insomnia, so you could practice this one before sleep.
WHAT ARE MUDRAS AND WHY ARE THEY POWERFUL?
In Sanskrit, mudra means “seal”, “mark” or “gesture.” Mudras are gestures (often of the hands but in Sattva Yoga we also use mudras of the eyes and tongue, and other body techniques).
Mudras act as psychic energy seals that create energetic shifts in the mental, physical and energetic body through guiding the energetic flow and harnesssing the bodily reflex stimulus to the brain.
The tips of your fingers, crown of your head, and feet are where energy leaves your body. You can practice mudras to channel that energy back into your body.
THE ELEMENTS OF THE HAND
The hand has three gunas, or qualities, and every finger has its own energy and its own elements.
In yogic philosophy the three gunas, fundamental forces, are tamas, rajas, and sattva. They interact to create all of the known Universe (Prakriti), and can be increased or decreased by using mudras.
Sattva manifests as balance, inspiration, and knowledge of what is real. Tamas is a heavy, mindless energy that causes ignorance and inaction. Rajas is the energy of change, manifesting as passion, pain, desire, and effort, and it can lead you to sattva or tamas but is often characterized as attachment to outcomes and unsteadiness.
Your hand has each of these three guna characteristics, and each finger is associated with an element.
Thumb Divine activator, Agni (Fire)
Index Finger Individual Soul (Jiva), Vaayu (Air)
Middle Finger Sattva Guna (Purity/Light), Akasha (Ether/Space)
Ring Finger Rajas Guna (Passion/Fire) Prithvi (Earth)
Little Finger Tamas Guna (Inertia/Darkness) Jal (Water)
A MUDRA FOR EVERYTHING
You can use mudras to increase, decrease or stabilise the gunas and specific elements. Whatever you need in your life, there is a mudra for it!
Some mudras show immediate effects, yet most need time 30-45 minutes (can be spread throughout the day) over an extended period of time.
You may notice some of the names I use are different from what you may be used to. My teacher comes from the Himalayan yoga tradition and so I use the names as he teaches them. Teachers from other traditions may used varied terminology.
NEW YEAR NEW YOU
Why a new you? There’s nothing wrong with the ‘old you’ but the only real constant in life is change. So you can make this change conscious, harnessing intention and practice to steer change in an evolutionary direction, or you can just be at the mercy of old, unconscious behavioural patterns and programming.
New Year is a wonderful time to set the intention of renewal. But really our cells are renewing constantly so we can renew our body anytime.
Mudras are a powerful component of Sattva Yoga as well as a technology you can use on their own.
Over the next 7 days I am going to share my favourite mudras with you. And talk about how mudras work and what they can do for you.
I recommend trying each mudra for a day and at the end of the 7 days, if you feel inspired, choosing a mudra to practice with daily for a 21 day meditation practice or sadhana.
Drop me a comment and let me know how you go. I love hearing stories of the effects of these subtle but powerful practices.
Hari om tat sat. Namaste. Blessings.
Christina at Raw Mojo
Check out upcoming Sattva Yoga and Chakradance classes here