From Sanskrit, “मुद्रा mudrā” means “seal or gesture”. Mudras are symbolic positions used in Buddhist and Hindu traditions.
Mudras is another way to improve the concentration necessary for meditation and yoga practice. In India, mudras are used in ritual dances. Indians believe that hands is the extension of one’s heart, and through specific gestures and poses, you can connect to God’s (Brahman) power.
Also, it is believed that each finger links to a particular kind of energy in the human body. So, practicing mudras helps promote the circulation of prana (energy of life). So, with regular mudras practice, you improve the energy flow through energy channels.
Typically, as a beginner yogi, you learn to use hasta (hand) mudras first. And Gyan mudra is the most powerful among them.
Today, we’ll have a detailed look to the benefits of Gyan mudra and give instructions on how to do it.
What is Gyan Mudra?
Gyan mudra is also known as Chin Mudra or Mudra of Knowledge. Sometimes it’s also called a mudra of wisdom. Many philosophers and spiritual leaders have used this mudra.
Thumb and index finger are used in the mudra, not by chance. Index finger associates with Jupiter, which determines a person’s wisdom, self-confidence, and inner power. Thumb symbolizes the higher power in the universe. So uniting these fingers enables inner strength and consciousness and connects you to a Supreme spirit knowledge.
Gyan mudra can be used for meditation to shift the perception from ignorance to wisdom, sharpen self-focus and mental clearness.
It’s good to finalize your practice with a short meditation holding the Gyan mudra. It allows your body and mind to assimilate the inner knowledge gained throughout the training. You can do it after or before the Savasana pose.
How to Do Gyan Mudra?
- Sit comfortable position. It can be Sukhasana (pose with crossed legs) or Padmasana (Lotus pose if available). Some yogis tend to practice mudras in a standing position as well.
- Please note that you should be able to hold the body position for 3 minutes and more. For example, in Kundalini yoga, meditation with mudras lasts 30-45 minutes. That’s why if you feel your back is aching and it’s hard to stay motionless in the pose – it means you’re not ready for practicing mudras yet. Be mindful of your body.
- Relax your palms, wrists, and fingers.
- Connect the tips of your thumb and index fingers on each hand, creating a circle. Palms facing up. If you use a seated position – you can put your hands on your knees.
- The other three fingers are straight, facing forward. Watch for the tension in fingers and wrists: if you notice any – take a moment to relax it.
- Close your eyes and concentrate on the breath and the feeling of fingertips skin. Relax your eyebrows and forehead. Let go of any tension and worries you come across inside you.
- Hold the position for the chosen time: 3-45 minutes, depending on the level of your yoga practice.
What Are the Benefits of the Gyan Hand Mudra?
Gyan mudra works in two directions that influence both your physical and spiritual states.
First, it activates the root chakra and connects it with the upper chakras for proper energy circulation. Muladhara or root chakra relates to the instinctive human nature and locates in the lower part of the body. On the physical level, it is responsible for creating new life and sexual instincts. It is a home for various fears and is responsible for a sense of safety on the emotional level. So, practicing Gyan mudra, you stay grounded and safe in your body but connected to the highest Self.
Wisdom mudra helps to reduce the distraction from whirling thoughts. It won’t prevent your brain from generating irritation but definitely can help get into an observer’s meta-position. So thinking is not going to annoy you anymore. This will reduce distraction and add more focus; thus, your levels of anxiety will go down. On the physical level, your sleep quality improves, cortisol levels reduce. As a result, you cope with emotional tension, anger, and depression.
Ayurveda suggests that Gyan mudra stimulates the Air element in your body. The fingers’ seal allows life energy to flow easily through energy channels. In this way, air purifies your energetic body from the stagnation of emotions that intoxicate your Self.
Can We Do Gyan Mudra Anytime?
The traditional time for mudra practice is 4-6 AM. However, you can implement Gyan mudra in your routine even if you do it before you go to sleep or at the office.
Just make sure you practice in a calm space, not right after your dinner or having drinks. If you feel uncomfortable doing mudra – please avoid practicing it or use it under the supervision of a yoga instructor.
To get all benefits of Gyan mudra, you should practice it for at least 2 months.