Have you ever seen pictures of meditating monks with their hands in specific positions?
Doesn’t it feel so calming just LOOKING at them like this? I used to wonder what they were doing with their hands. What is the significance of each hand gesture and why is it being done? Is there an added benefit to doing the hand position shown above during meditation or can I just plop my hands on my knees? What is Gyan Mudra?
So many questions about a very private practice!
That’s why I went on an exploratory mission to find out what meditators always seem to be doing with their hands and why!
It turns out that meditators are utilizing mudras. Mudra’s are special placements of the fingers and hands that encourage the mind to focus. Once the mind is focused and your energy is directed to your hands, your nervous system can now begin to relax.
Gyan mudra specifically helps to facilitate inner wisdom by connecting the thumb to the index finger. Both the Indian healing system (Ayurveda) and the Chinese healing system (Acupuncture) teach that the thumb and index finger have specific pressure points and energy that are activated when pressed together.
This activation creates the inner balance and quiet needed to attain wisdom.
Other names: Jnana Mudra, Dhyan Mudra, Chin Mudra
Gyan Mudra is regarded as one of the most important Mudras. It has been used to enhance meditation for thousands of years. In Sanskrit, these two words mean the “Seal of Wisdom.”
How to do:
•Sit in Lotus Pose (Padmasna) or Cross Legged Pose (Sukhasana). Lay the top of each hand gently on the thighs, palms faced upwards.
•Touch your index finger to your thumb. Allow the 2 fingers to slowly circle around each other. Feel the energy from your beating pulse. Let the other fingers extend out straight and together.
•Roll your shoulder back and down so that you are sitting up straight. Imagine a string pulling the top of your head towards the sky.
•Breathe. Ahhhhh! Meditate if desired or simply enjoy feeling the breath swirl up from the belly to cool the nostrils.
|Calms the mind and enhances concentration, creativity, and memory.|
|Reduces insomnia, anxiety and depression.|
|Stimulates the endocrine system (glands regulating hormones such as mood, sleep, growth, reproduction, and metabolism).
Balances the pituitary gland (regulates thyroid) and nervous system (responds to stimuli – sympathetic/parasympathetic).
|Purifies the respiratory system and stimulates the brain.|
In real life:
So how does all of this apply to my regular life? To me it means that I am strongly connected to the earth during this mudra. I can feel my roots extend far into the ground. I am safe and secure. BUT my head also lifts towards the sky. I soak in energy and new life from the sun. The air that now flows through my body enables me to be free and light. My hormones are in balance.
I have the ability through this Mudra to connect to ancestors from thousands of years ago who also performed Gyan Mudra. The wisdom that they sought, I also seek. The wisdom that was inherent in them is also inherent in me. By performing Gyan Mudra I can instantly connect with my inner wisdom and seal in its benefits.