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Yoga mudras: what are the types of yoga mudra, how do we practice yoga mudras, and what are the beneficial effects of mudras? Mudra means "seal", "gesture" or "mark". And simply put, yoga mudras are gestures or shapes we make with our hands. Each has it's own unique intention and implication, and they help facilitate the flow of energy through the subtle body and can enhance one's yoga practice.

Yoga means union, and if our yoga practice is something that can facilitate us union with ourselves, then mudras can help us to achieve this even further. We can connect with different intentions, elements, or perspectives and channel this energy through a mudra. Mudras are often used in combination with asanas or pranayama which further helps facilitate the flow of energy.  Each finger or point of the hand stimulates a different part of the brain, so by changing mudras we can alter the energy circuits and cultivate a specific frame of mind. If you set your intention right, and choose to concentrate your awareness on the mudra in question, you can reap the benefits of these simple gestures and expand your yoga practice and connection.

The benefits of yoga mudras are vast. You can use mudras can change your mood, increase your awareness, shift your focus, and instigate change. Here are a few examples:

The Gyan Mudra. To perform: touch index finger to thumb, keep the palms upwards and gently extend three remaining fingers. The unity of fire and air, and of universal and individual consciousness. The Gyan mudra increases concentration and is a gesture of knowledge. Use this mudra for peace, quiet, connection and spiritual development.

The Buddhi Mudra. To perform: touch little finger to thumb, keep the palms upwards and gently extend three remaining fingers. This mudra is known as the seal of mental clarity. You can use this mudra in meditation to help understand/receive messages from your subconscious. Simply meditate and ask for clarity.

Anjali Mudra. To perform: bring the palms together in front of the heart, fingers touching and facing up. This mudra symbolises honour and respect towards yourself and the universe. It is also a common expression of love and gratitude. You can rub the hands gently together to create some energy, and then find stillness in this mudra and deeply contemplate gratitude.

The Ganesha Mudra. To perform: left palm faces away from the heart with the thumb down, right hand faces towards, link all 4 fingers together and rest either thumb on top/bottom of fingers.  You can make this mudra dynamic by gently pulling the hands apart on your inhale, and relaxing on your exhale. The Ganesha is a great mudra to help you connect to your heart space and remove the obstacles in your life. Use this mudra to regain positivity and courage.

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