In order to keep our mind focused when in a meditative state, and to encourage our energy to flow throughout our body without any disruption, we must practice maintaining the appropriate hand positions.
With that being said, while there are many different mudras or hand positions out there that people will commonly use during a yoga or meditation session, some can be a lot more demanding than others and a little more difficult to maintain when you’re also trying to focus on your breathing, and directing energy throughout your body and the chakras.
To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of 5 meditative hand positions which aren’t too difficult and are great for helping you improve your practice of meditation, enabling you to reach a higher plane of consciousness and a better understanding of the self much easier.
1. Abhaya Mudra
Many Burmese and Thai statues can be seen maintaining the abhaya mudra which is an ancient gesture that symbolizes the dispelling of fear and negative forces, protecting us from evil and bad influences by granting us divine protection so that we can focus on harnessing our energy during a meditation session.
To perform the abhaya mudra, simply lift your right hand to shoulder length, face your palm outwards, and keep your thumb close to the edge of your hand where it’s still touching.
Let your fingers relax and create a “wave” gesture as if you were bidding farewell to any negative forces or emotions that might be plaguing your body or mind.
2. Gyan Mudra
Probably the most well-known and commonly used hand gesture, the gyan mudra has been practiced by Hindu yogis and deities for several centuries due to its ability to connect our individual soul with the supreme soul, which is symbolized by how the thumb (supreme soul) and index finger (individual soul) gently press together in this gesture.
To practice gyan mudra, simply lie your hands flat on the top of your knees with your legs crossed, and turn your palms so that they are facing upward. Raise the tip of your thumbs to meet the top of your index fingers, and stretch the rest of your fingers outward.
3. Vayu Mudra
Also commonly known as the “flowing air mudra”, this hand position is very easy to perform, but also has many beneficial properties and abilities, especially in relation to mental and physical pain and anxiety.
The vayu mudra helps to regulate the air element which is associated with love, freedom, and openness, things that we can often ignore or lose a sense of entirely when we are going through a demanding period of stress and worry.
The vayu mudra can be performed by tucking your index finger and wrapping the tip of your thumb around it while keeping the rest of your fingers straight.
Practice this mudra with your palms facing upwards to the sky with both of your arms positioned just in front of your chest.
4. Dhyana Mudra
The gesture made in the dhyana mudra is symbolic of our eyes seeing through the illusions and distractions that can lead our mind astray, making this a great hand gesture to perform if you need a little extra focus and mental clarity when in a meditative state.
Making the hand gesture is very easy, you simply place your right hand on top of your left, press the tip of your thumbs together, and keep the gesture in front of your stomach at all times.
When performing dhyana mudra, try not to focus too much on the pressure being applied by your thumbs, simply rest your hands against one another, and practice centering your attention on your mental clarity and sense of awareness.
5. Varada Mudra
This mudra is closely tied to feelings of generosity, kindness, and compassion, making it an excellent hand gesture for facilitating our underlying feelings of love and generosity that may have potentially been buried by negative thoughts or emotions over time.
This friendly symbolization is clearly represented in the gesture itself which appears very welcoming and harmless, and to perform it, you simply need to bring the back of your right wrist down to your thigh, rest your fingers downwards, and face your palm forward.
The key here is to make sure your fingers are relaxed and loose so that you can easily feel the surge of compassion and love following through your fingertips and up through your chest.
Since this gesture only requires one hand, you can use the left hand to either perform a different gesture or place it on your heart to facilitate the loving energy flowing through the body.
If you’re still getting to grips with the basic elements of meditation and yoga, try out a few of these hand gestures listed above which are all easy to maintain for longer sessions, but that all contain many beneficial properties that will help improve your practice and facilitate your personal and spiritual journey.