Join me in sitting quietly in meditation for 10 minutes. Please choose a time that works best for you each day when it will be quiet in your home, perhaps early in the morning or before going to bed at night.
Access the audio below, please become familiar with the mudras before beginning.
Repeating a mantra during meditation allows the mind to focus on a single thought, while using various mudras affects the subtle energy levels in your body sending a signal to the body to soften and relax.
Mantra: Om (or sounded as A-U-M) is considered the primordial sound or the fundamental vibration of all things. When chanted the subtle vibrations of sound in the body, by the pronunciation of the letters, helps to calm the mind by regulating the thyroid, parathyroid, pineal and pituitary glands.
Mudras: In this context, mudras are yoga for your hands and fingers. It can also refer to an eye position or body posture but we will focus on the hands. They are certain gestures with our fingers that can activate various parts of the brain and have an influence on our mind and body on a subtle level. When expressing a mudra, the pressure between the fingers should be light and the hands relaxed. Here we will explore 3 different mudras, I suggest you try one at a time during a single meditation:
Jnana Mudra – Place the tip of your thumb and index finger together with your other fingers gently extended. Rest the top of your hands on your knees, palms facing up. This gesture symbolizes the connected nature of human consciousness (thumb), the 3 extended fingers represent the three gunas: tamas (lethargy), rajas (activity), and sattva (balance and harmony) and the touching of the index finger and thumb depicts the meaning of yoga – union. This mudra helps to promote memory and concentration and clears the mind. With the palm facing up, it represents an intention of receiving or uplifting.
Chin Mudra – Using the same finger placement as Jnana mudra, but this time your palms are facing down while resting on your knees. The symbolic nature and benefits of this gesture is very similar to Jnana mudra, however with the palms facing down, it represents an intention of grounding.
Dhyani Mudra – Place both hands in your lap with the left hand on top of the right and your thumbs are touching. This gesture represents purity and openness to receive everything that we need on our spiritual path. The bowl like figure we make with our hands also represents an empty space to be filled with light. This mudra is sometimes known as the ‘classic meditation mudra’ as it can help to bring about a sense of inner stillness and contemplation.
Please find yourself in a comfortable seated position. If you’re sitting in a chair ensure that your feet are firmly placed on the floor. If you’re sitting on the floor cross legged, or on your yoga mat, notice the position of your knees to the floor. If they are raised up away from the floor you may want to place a cushion below your sit bones (your bottom) as this will help to place your pelvis in a neutral position and allow your knees to come closer to the floor.
As an alternative, if sitting is not possible then you may practice lying down on your back with your legs slightly apart, your arms are apart from your torso with your palms facing up.
Please try a single mudra for one 10 minute meditation then change it up the next day with a different mudra. You may want to record your observations each time.
Music courtesy of J.D. McKean – Om Sanctuary.
Teachings inspired by Yogrishi Vishvketu and Chetana Panwar of the World Conscious Yoga Family.