“…mudras engage certain areas of the brain and/or soul and exercise a corresponding influence on them.” Gertrud Hirschi
The Ancients of the world used gestures – called mudras – to help with healing mind, body and spirit. No one knows their origin but it’s known that mudras were used in both Europe and Asia thousands of years ago.
I first discovered the Chin Mudra years ago when reading about ways to reduce stress. I had no idea at the time that it came from the Ancients – the book didn’t mention that or the name Chin Mudra – but it was effective.
Mudras are formed by bending, crossing, extending or touching specific fingers of our hand with other fingers of the same hand, and they influence our body and mind. Think about how we’ll cross our fingers for good luck! Have you ever wondered where that practice originated?
The best-known hand mudra in yoga is the Chin Mudra. It’s formed by touching the pad ofthe thumb to the pad of the index finger. It’s used frequently at the end of yoga classes with seated breathing and meditation and is a peaceful way to end a practice. My students love it.
The purpose of the Chin Mudra is to ground, focus and calm and it works especially well when combined with relaxing breathing like the belly breath.
If you are stressed, it’s a good idea to take some calming breaths first to get your breathing regulated, as we discussed in the 7 Steps to Relieve Stress blog, before starting the Chin Mudra. The mudra seems to be more effective when your body is more relaxed and your mind more positive.
Here’s the process:
- Begin in a seated, lying down, standing or walking position
- Begin belly breathing like was discussed in last week’s blog
- Relax your hands
- Touch your thumb pad to your index finger pad. Do this with each hand.
- Keep the pressure light
- Breathe gently keeping your attention on your hands and your breath
- Do this for several minutes
- Release your belly breathing and the mudra gently
- Take a few easy breaths before going on with your activities
How do you feel? I am continually amazed at and grateful for the wisdom of the Ancients.
Health is a precious gift and my goal is to help you live a healthier, happier life through yoga. Every private session is uniquely designed just for you. For a free telephone consultation call me at 303.818.4181. Discover whether personalized, private yoga instruction is right for you.
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