Mudra, the Sanskrit word for “gesture,” “mark,” or “seal,” is a symbolic gesture in Buddhism and Hinduism. In the Buddhist tradition, mudras are seen on the hands of Buddha images. The Buddha speaks to us in a silent language through the positioning of his hands and fingers. These unspoken words are intended to convey deep meaning.
When used during meditation and rituals, energy or states of mind is being subtly influenced. While some mudras may foster the heart to open, others may cultivate fearlessness, strength, or clarity of mind. When used in yoga in conjunction with breathing, the flow of energy in varying areas of the body is being stimulated. The dozens of different mudras speak a rich language that have traveled over two centuries and been used on the path to enlightenment.
Mudras can be part of your formal meditation practice or informal practice as you use them through the day. Hold the mudra for many minutes so the energy of the gesture can be internalized ever more deeply. Mudras are portable and readily available. When needing equanimity, inner security, or encouragement to rid the mind of negative thoughts, use the support of the mudra to influence your mind and soften your heart.