Mudras - Five elements

Beginners guide to Mudras

What is a Mudras?

Mudras are hand positions used in yoga to create various symbolic poses. The ancient Indian system of medicine, called Ayurveda, explains that the body is made up of five elements:

  • Fire
  • Air
  • Space
  • Water
  • Earth

To be healthy a body must have a balance of all these. If one element is dominant or weakened it can cause an imbalance in the body, causing negativity or illness. Each finger represents an element. In Yoga philosophy, each finger runs a prana to the element. When a specific mudra is used for a specific purpose, it can help restore the balance of the five elements of the body using prana. 

Elements the fingers represent

  • The Thumb – represents the fire element 
  • The Index finger – represents the air element 
  • The Middle finger – represents the space element 
  • The Ring finger – represents the earth element 
  • The Pinky finger – represents the water element  

Benefits of Mudras

  • An excellent method for enhancing communication between the brain and body
  • Gain greater awareness and insight
  • Facilitate the passage of vitality from one part of the body to another

Various functions and benefits are associated with different mudras. There are many different hand movements and positions that are suitable for yoga. Here we will cover two mudras that are easy for beginners and are also effective in bringing positive results.

Namaskar Mudra

This is probably the most well-known Mudra and one which we commonly use in Meditation and yoga.

In this mudra, the palms and fingers join together in a prayer position in front of the heart. This mudra joins elements together and balances both sides of the body. It invokes the feeling of calmness and compassion and that is why it is often in meditation.  

Benefits:

  • Brings balance and stability to the system
  • Strengthens lower back muscles
  • Activates the lumber region

Chin Mudra

This is the mudra for wisdom, it is one of the most commonly practised mudras in meditation.

Sitting in a meditative position rest the palms on the knees or thighs. Touch the tip of the index finger to the tip of the thumb with the arms raised.

Benefits:

  • Strengthening one’s connection to the inner self and the cosmos
  • Helps to reduce anxiety