Hand Mudras for Chakra Balancing
Eastern traditional medicine maps out how specific points on the hands and feet connect to separate body parts: organs, muscles, and glands. When you intentionally apply pressure to particular places on your hands and feet, you send prana to the corresponding body part and/or chakra.
To practice hand mudras, you will hold your hands and bend your fingers in ways that use this knowledge to develop and heal specific body parts.
Chakras and Your Fingers
In her book Mudras: Yoga in Your Hands, Gertrud Hirschi includes a section on mudras and the chakras. She explains that not everyone agrees on how the fingers of the hand correspond to the chakras. Some say that from pinky to thumb, the fingers correspond in sequence from the root to the Throat Chakra. Others illustrate it this way:
• Pinky corresponds to Sacral Chakra
• Ring finger corresponds to Root Chakra
• Middle finger corresponds to the Throat Chakra
• Pointer finger corresponds to the Heart Chakra
• Thumb corresponds to the Solar Plexus Chakra
Only these five of the seven major chakras correspond to fingers. Because yogis differ in their experience of which finger corresponds to which chakra, see for yourself how the energy works within you. You can use their models as guides.
Putting light pressure on the fingers that correspond to the chakras can be effective with just a few moments of practice at a time, a few times per day. It's something you can do as a break from your everyday work tasks. Practice first at home, making it easier for your muscle-memory to recall the hand posture later.
A simple way to use your fingers for chakra healing is choose the chakra you would like to work on. Place the corresponding finger of your right hand into the palm of your left hand, and wrap your left hand and fingers around that finger. Breathe in and out naturally, as you visualize healing. Your visualization can be of healing white light travelling through that finger to the corresponding chakra, of the color that corresponds to that chakra, of the chakra itself glowing in health, or you can just witness what happens. If you get the impulse to visualize something in particular that your body needs, follow that impulse. Hold your hands in this mudra for approximately three minutes.
Chakras and Hand Mudras
Hand mudras help strengthen your chakras, and thus your various physical, mental, and spiritual aspects. Practice the mudras that you choose three times per day for fifteen minutes each time. Bring your focus and breath to your intention while you practice the mudra. In this section you will find instructions for four mudras, out of numerous to choose from. The mudras may seem difficult at first; over time they will become easier. As they become more comfortable, it is a sign of the prana and energy working well on your body.
Connecting to mother earth is essential. Going on at least a ten-minute walk outside every day will restore and refresh you, or even if you step outside for five minutes and take nice, deep breaths you will create space in your body and mind. If the weather is warm enough, and you can stand outside in your bare feet, you will connect directly to the earth's grounding energy. You also can connect to the earth element with visualizations in your yoga practice, during meditation, and with hand mudras:
1. Hold your right hand so that the palm faces up.
2. Touch the fingertip of your ring finger to the tip of your thumb.
3. Straighten out the other fingers on the right hand.
4. Feel the energy rising up your arms, grounding you. (If you can't feel it, it's okay. Visualize it. Eventually, you will feel something, if not today, another day.)
5. After fifteen minutes, do the same mudra with your left hand
If you can do this with both hands at the same time, go ahead. Otherwise, if you have trouble straightening out any fingers for the full expression of the mudra, use the other hand to hold the fingers out. Or, use a prop of some kind to keep the appropriate fingers straightened. And, notice what you feel physically and psychologically as you hold the mudra. You may feel the energy as tingling or heat. Even if you don't feel anything, it's okay. Energy is moving. As long as you are breathing, you have life-force energy coursing through you.
It is good for you to pause several times throughout your day. Stop what you're doing and pause. Try this sometimes when you have the impulse to send a text message or a social e-mail. Before reaching out and contacting a friend, first give yourself some time. Pause. Check in with yourself. Breathe. Do a mudra, if you'd like.
The earth mudra brings energy particularly to your Root Chakra. If you are having any symptoms of a deficient Root Chakra, such as insecurity about your worth, your home life, and your safety, practice this mudra to help strengthen your Root Chakra. Also, to bring your ideas into physical reality, you must be connected to the earth. Do this mudra to help you ground and bring your dreams to life.
The prana mudra is designed to help bring life force into the body, and like the earth mudra it is connected to the Root Chakra. These options for bringing energy to the Root Chakra are essential because none of the other chakras can function in sustained health if the root is not balanced.
1. Hold both hands so that the palms face up.
2. Curl the ring finger and pinky finger of each hand to touch the tip of the thumb of the same hand.
3. Keep the pointer and middle fingers straight.
4. Hold this for fifteen minutes three times a day
As you practice hand mudras, remember to breathe. Sometimes when trying a new posture you will concentrate on getting it right, and you may hold your breath. Return your attention to the breath.
Do I hold my fingers firmly in their positions?
As with all yoga postures, hold the mudras with steadiness and ease. Don't strain, but be firm with the mudra. Keep the integrity of the posture, without feeling pain and without forcing. Release tension from anywhere in the body that doesn't need to be engaged in order for you to hold this position. Do this with lightness. Gently smile.
After releasing the mudra, pause to notice any effects before moving on to your next appointment or activity. Over time, notice if the mudra has become effortless, if your hands are more flexible. As the flexibility of your hands increases, it mirrors a growing openness in your body and in your nature, allowing energy to flow more freely.
As you heal your chakras, you will be eliminating what you don't want to carry around with you anymore: physically, psychologically, and energetically. How much are you ready to release? When you exhale, when you sweat, and when you go to the bathroom, you are releasing. These are examples of how your body eliminates waste including emotions, food, and energy that you no longer want or need. There is a hand mudra that can help this process, the apana mudra:
1. Hold your hands out so that the palms face up.
2. Curl the ring finger and middle finger of each hand to touch the fingertip of the thumb of the same hand.
3. Hold this posture for fifteen minutes, three times per day
Use this mudra to help you eliminate toxicity and make space for new beginnings, new ideas, and new projects. With each inhale, imagine the purifying effects of prana enter your system. With each exhale, know you are expelling what you no longer need.
This mudra is helpful for all the chakras, together. When any chakra is imbalanced it corresponds to illness or disease. By helping with physical, psychological, and energetic elimination of toxicity, the apana mudra supports the proper functioning of all your energy centers.
The Hakini mudra, named after the god Hakini, will help you concentrate, and also remember something you've forgotten. It is connected to the Third-Eye Chakra, where your intuition and imagination reside.
1. Hold your hands with palms facing each other, but not touching.
2. Bring the fingertips of the right hand to touch the fingertips of the left, pinky to pinky, ring finger to ring finger, etc.
3. Direct your gaze upward.
4. On the inhale place your tongue against the roof of your mouth.
5. On the exhale, allow the tongue to relax back down.
6. Do this several times. Pause. Notice if you've remembered what you temporarily forgot
This mudra can be used in the moment when you forget something. Also use it to strengthen your memory, in general. This mudra is said to balance the hemispheres of the brain, which creates a sense of calm and opens you up to clear thinking, intuition, and wisdom.