Beginner's Guide: Mudras

If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you might be familiar with the phrase “hands to heart center.” This hand position, called Anjali mudra, is very commonly used. It is one of many mudras, or hand positions, that people use. Mudra means “seal,” and by practicing them, you’re sealing and channeling energy in the body in a certain way. Different hand positions and fingers have different meanings, so pick the one that makes the most sense for you on any given day. Below are three mudras to pick from the next time you meditate. Or, maybe you’re at your desk about to head into a meeting with your boss. Pick a finger lock and practice it below your desk for a subtle boost of energy and power.

Anjali Mudra (Hands at Heart Center)
In this mudra, both palms are pressed against one another. This balances out both sides of the body, and the left brain and right brain. The mudra allows for centering by bringing the hands to the center of the body, and promotes feelings of dedication and honor to your yoga practice.

Shuni Mudra (Middle Finger)
This mudra represents patience. Its linked planet is Saturn, which also represents justice and caution. If you’re feeling rushed and out of control, take a moment to sit down comfortably and breathe. To practice it, bring the thumb and the middle finger together at the fingertips, leaving the other fingers straight. You can also lock both middle fingers together as well.

Buddhi Mudra (Pinky Finger)
The Buddhi mudra represents communication.  Its linked planet is Mercury, which represents communication and awareness. If you need to communicate clearly, like during an important conversation with a loved one, or giving a presentation at work, take a minute beforehand to link your pinky fingers. Bring the thumb and the pinky finger together at the fingertips, leaving the other fingers straight. You can also lock both pinkies together for a minute or to supercharge the mudra if you really need to channel your best communicative self.

There you have it! Pick the one that works for you, and hold it for a minute or two while focusing on your breathing.