The Mudra is the most obvious form of Hand Yoga. These gestures of the hands have been used throughout history and in all parts of the world. From ancient Indian dances to catholic prayer and from Japanese martial arts to Australian aboriginal dreaming. Sometimes a mudra involves the whole body but usually it is performed with the hands and fingers. Many Eastern classical dances involve beautiful mudra performances as part of the style and ritual that is prescribed in the ancient Vedic texts. Eating in India with your hands is considered completely natural habit which makes sense when you know about the power of mudras.
In this video you see a classical Indian dance called Bharatnatyam which employs Mudra as a central theme.
Generally mudras are used in three mains areas:
a) Dance (to convey the feelings and emotions the gestures of the body.)
b) Rituals (for performing certain kinds of worship), and
c) Hatha Yoga (to help stabilize the mind).
Research has confirmed that mudras do in fact change the brain similar to that of language. Various spiritual practices have known this and so employed the mudra for elevating consciousness, as a symbol of perfection and even communication with the divine. These days people practice mudra techniques as part of their religion or simply to improve health. It is important to note that each mudra creates a different precise effect on the physiology of the practitioner.
Below are a few basic types of Mudra:
1) The Vitarka Mudrā was used by the Buddha as a gesture for the discussion and dissemination of his ideas and philosophy. This mudra is performed by joing the pointer finger with the thumb and by keeping the other fingers out stretched in a straight position.
3) The Namaste Mudra or prayer mudra may be one of the most common types used around the world. If you ever visit India you’ll know that this gesture is one of the best ways to show your appreciation for another human being or simply to say hello to a new person.
The Namaste Mudra is performed very effortlessly and naturally by joining the hands together in the center of your chest. This mudra is said to stimulate the mind and bring balance to the physiology. This mudra is ofter observed before eating food, saying a prayer and as a respectful greeting.