Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Position of Hands & Fingers During Meditation

Aug 2, 2011 | By Grace Wathen
Grace Wathen has been writing on various topics since 2007. She is the owner of Grace Yoga in Salt Lake City where she teaches her unique method, “Yoga for the Seasons," inspired by her guru, Bekir Algan. A yogini for over 11 years and counting, she has also trained with Dharma Mittra, Bikram Choudhury and Baron Baptiste.
Position of Hands & Fingers During Meditation
Photo Credit Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images
Meditation -- usually performed while seated -- is a practice used to gain awareness of the mind. The way you position your hands during meditation has a special purpose and result. Known as "mudras," these hand positions may also help maintain your posture and focus during sitting meditation. Consult with your doctor before practicing meditation.

Gian Mudra

One hand position often used in meditation is called "Gian Mudra." To perform it, start in a comfortable seated position. Relax your arms naturally to the sides with your wrists resting on your knees. Bring your index fingers and thumbs to touch. This specific mudra is said to generate knowledge, wisdom, receptivity and calmness. A variation of the position is to lower the index finger onto the thumb knuckle's crease. This variation is said to generate a more active and protective energy.

Prayer Mudra

A hand positioning depicted in images of the Buddha is the prayer mudra. In prayer mudra, bring the palms of your hands together at the center of your chest. Allow the elbows to relax comfortably. This mudra is used to center and balance your body and energy. A variation is to bend the fingers slightly, allowing air to pass through the fingers and hands. The late yoga master T. Krishnamacharya said this variation symbolizes the opening of your heart.

Venus Hands

A commonly used hand position in meditation is performed by clasping the fingers together and relaxing your hands in your lap. This position is referred to as "Venus" because it generates energy associated with the planet Venus, love and sexuality. For a woman, the fingers should be interlaced with the right little finger on the bottom. For a man, the left little finger should be on the bottom.

Buddhi Mudra

"Buddhi mudra" is a hand position used to generate and strengthen powers of communication. While seated comfortably, relax both arms out to each side with the wrists resting on your knees. Bring the tips of the little fingers and thumbs to touch. With regular practice, this mudra can help your communication to be intuitive and clear.


  • "Zen Training"; Katsuki Sekida; 2005
  • "Learn to Meditate"; David Fontana; 1999
  • "Kundalini Yoga"; Shakta Kaur Khalsa; 2000
  • "Krishnamacharya, His Life and Teachings"; A.G. Mohan; 2010
Article reviewed by Thomas Boni Last updated on: Aug 2, 2011
A mudrā (English: /muːˈdrɑː/ ( listen); Sanskrit: मुद्रा "seal", "mark", or "gesture"; Tibetan. ཕྱག་རྒྱ་, chakgya) is a symbolic or ritual gesture in Hinduism and Buddhism.[1] While some mudrās involve the entire body, most are performed with the hands and fingers.[2] A mudrā is a spiritual gesture and an energetic seal of authenticity employed in the iconography and spiritual practice of Indian religions and traditions of Dharma and Taoism.
One hundred and eight mudras are used in regular Tantric rituals.[3]
In yoga, mudrās are used in conjunction with pranayama (yogic breathing exercises), generally while seated in Padmasana, Sukhasana or Vajrasana pose, to stimulate different parts of the body involved with breathing and to affect the flow of prana in the body.
A brain research paper published in the National Academy of Sciences in November 2009, demonstrated that hand gestures stimulate the same regions of the brain as language.[4]

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