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Mudras are hand postures used to create specific circuits in the body, for the purpose of achieving certain effects in your meditations or during your kriyas.

According to the yogic system, we are replicas of the entire universe, everything is within as well as without, and our bodies have corresponding trigger points and meridians. In this case, each finger is associated with a particular planet, and when triggered or pressured, it connects you with the properties or influences attributed to the planet.

the index finger is connected with Jupiter, a planet associated with Knowledge, Abundance, Prosperity;
the middle or major finger is connected with Saturn, a planet associated with Discipline, Focus, Challenges;
the sun or ring finger is connected with the Sun, a planet associated with Vitality, Health, Energy;
the little or pinkie finger is connected with Mercury, a planet associated with Communication, Connecting to Others;
the thumb is not connected to a planet, but represents your personality, your “ego”, your self in the finite or 3-dimensional world;

Thus it makes sense that the most frequently used hand posture or mudra, during a yoga class, a setting where you are acquiring new knowledge, is “Gyan Mudra”: you connect the tip of the Jupiter (Index) finger to the tip of the Ego (thumb)*. Think of it as downloading knowledge into your personality or finite self, in other words: learning.

*Note: there is a variation of Gyan Mudra, as shown on the photos of the intro page, where the fleshy part of the thumb’s first phalanx (top) covers the nail of the index finger. This is called “Active Gyan Mudra”.

These basic mudras are used to promote the following benefits:
Gyan Mudra, Index Finger & Thumb: Receptivity, Calm & in active mode: Learning, Wisdom
Shuny Mudra, Middle Finger & Thumb: Focus, Discipline, Patience.
Surya Mudra, Ring Finger & Thumb: Energy, Health, Vitality
Buddhi Mudra, Little Finger & Thumb: Intuitive Connection, Clear Communication

Most Kundalini Yoga kriyas and meditations include very specific mudras; but when you are just resting in a meditative pose, or if the mudra is not specified, experiment with these basic hand postures, and observe how your experience is influenced. Use this opportunity to become acquainted with the subtle variations within you: that’s how the entire yoga system was created in the first place.



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