Exploring The Mudra of Knowledge
In Sadguru, Jaggi Vasudev’s words, the indian culture identifies meaning with particular asana-s, mudra-s, and kinds of breathing, that helps a human being bring out his best. What we may lack is, complete awareness of how it benefits us.
Mudra-s are gestures or attitudes through which we convey meaning. In certain cultures, such as in India, you’d notice a magnitude of communication displayed through only gesturing, like, of the fingers and hands during active conversation, of facial expressions and body movements while dancing and acting.. yes, I do mean Bollywood.. are some of the least to speak off!
I guess since we’re cultures of diversity, we can’t possibly be expected to learn all languages now, are we?
What does Mudra mean in Yoga?
The Kularnava Tantra traces the word mudra to the root ‘mud’ meaning 'delight' or 'pleasure' and ‘dravay’, the causal form of dru which means 'to draw forth'. Mudra is also defined as a 'seal', 'short-cut' or 'circuit by-pass'.
Great yogis have experienced mudras as energy flow, intended to link pranic force with universal or cosmic force but scientifically, mudras provide a means to access and influence the unconscious,instinctive habit patterns that originate in the primitive areas of the brain. So each mudra sets up a different link and has a correspondingly different effect on the body, mind and prana. The aim is to create fixed, repetitive postures and gestures which can snap the practitioner out of instinctive habit patterns and establish a more refined consciousness and for healing certain areas of the body, mind and emotion.
According to the Asana Pranayama Mudra and Bandha by Swami Satyananda Saraswati or APMB as we commonly know it, there are 5 groups of mudra-s.
Hasta or hand
Mana or head
Kaya or postural
Bandha or lock and,
Adhara or perineal
If you’re interested in exploring further into the groups, do consider getting a copy of the APMB… reference name provided below.
I don’t plan to get into details as yet, until we establish the basics well enough! The personal understanding and change in your body and mind comes from repetitive practice and meditation upon different mudra-s and not just from the information you gather from a book or your teacher. Some benefits, are self learnt.. Would you agree yogis?
So in today’s post, I’m exploring the most common and fundamental “meditation” Mudra called, the Chin or Jnana mudra, The Consciousness Seal. This mudra connects us to our higher Self, helps lift dull energy, creates a more receptive state, calms the mind, and brightens the overall mood. It is often used in meditation, pranayama, and asana.
The word Jnana means 'wisdom' or 'knowledge', thus Jnana Mudra is the gesture of intuitive knowledge. Chin Mudra is performed in the same way as Jnana Mudra except that the palms of both hands face upwards, with the backs of the hands resting on the knees.
Did You Know?
In this mudra the index finger represents individual consciousness and the thumb represents universal consciousness. The index finger represents the limited perspective of self and the thumb is the expanded perspective of Self. When the two join, the limited self is connected to the spacious Universal Self.
Benefits of Chin Mudra
Connects us to our higher Self
Lifts dull energy
Creates a more receptive state
Calms the mind
Brightens the overall mood
Would you like to conclude this post with a short meditation?
Once you’ve completely read the text, you may play this track if you wish to, while you meditate for just for a couple of moments upon the Chin Mudra, to observe the energy flow through your fingers and the rest of your body.
Feel free to comment below on your overall experience, any particular thoughts, sensations in your body or emotions that might’ve come up. We would love to hear you and share some of our own stories as well.
-Find a comfortable and clean space for yourself to either sit or lye down. Make sure your spine can be positioned straight all along so feel free to sit on a chair, by the wall or prop yourself with a below beneath your knees if you plan to lye down…
-If you’re seated, have your legs crossed, neatly tucked beneath your knees…
-Hold your fingers in the Chin Mudra and let your hands rest gently on your knees or on the ground.. Remember, there’s no need to pinch your fingertips together. Just have a light warm contact…
-We’re only going to try and bring our focus back and again to the mudra and the warm contact.. Each moment the attention wavers, just bring it back to the mudra and continue on with a relaxed rhythm of inhales and exhales…
Now before you begin the track and close your eyes and immerse into this deep energy healing, I’d like to conclude by encouraging you to find a few moments in your day to silence yourself from within and restore your energy once again. Life is balance between the inward and outward journey.. enjoy!
Reference and Further Reading:
Asana Pranayama Mudra and Bandha by Swami Satyananda Saraswati
The Yoga Journal
Music track - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar - Silence - Bamboo Flute (Blossom in Your Smile)