Mudra means “seal” in Sanskrit.  It’s a symbolic or ritual gesture using primarily the hands.  Each position is believed to have a specific effect.  Specific positions can lead to specific states of consciousness symbolized by the hand positions.  For example, if a person frequently and with feeling does a position of fearlessness, they will also be freed from fearfulness in time.  Mudras are said to engage areas of the brain and/or soul influencing them, sometimes physically, by their use—not unlike an affirmation, or reflexology for that matter.

“One way that all of us can better care for ourselves is by developing techniques for coping with the irritations and anxiety that are part of life…

Think of these gestures as self-talk for your hands. These simple movements, the gestures that we often make unconsciously, can help us focus on our work, calm ourselves, release anger and energize us. Used for centuries by many different cultures, mudras are seen in Eastern dance and meditation, in ancient Egyptian friezes, even in Byzantine icons of Christ. Most of us use them today, too: we wave goodbye, we press a hand to our chest in distress, we wriggle our fingers to release energy, or press fingertips together to calm ourselves.

Easy to learn, mudras can be done anywhere, at any time: at traffic lights, in meetings, in airplanes, when we’re arguing, when we’re grieving, when we need to prepare for sleep. The word mudra can be translated from the Sanskrit as that which brings inner peace, and that s what mudras are: a physical means of quieting our bodies.”  Product description for Mudras: Ancient Gestures to Ease Modern Stress by Emily Fuller Williams.

A great video about mudras:

Mudra for Empowering Your Voice

This month’s focus is on creating your own magic and empowerment. “Crow” and “Crane” pose activates the throat/communication chakra energetically when meditating on “Crow” and “Crane” as a totem.  I chose the mudra for empowering your voice.

Mudra: Sit with straight back.  Bend your elbows and hold them parallel to the ground as you bring your hands up in front of you at the level of your throat. Turn the right palm outward and the left palm toward you.  Now bend your fingers and hook your hands together, the left hand on the outside.  Pull on the hands as if trying to pull them apart, keeping your shoulders down.  Continue for three minutes, relax, and sit still.  Breathe long deep and slow.

Source:  Power Mudras, Yoga Hand Postures for Women, by Sabrina Mesko.

See the “Coupler Pull” in the “Meditation on the go” section above for a meditation similar to the mudra above.