Hand gestures are in practice by all of us during the time of communication. Usage of finger to switch on or switch off is also a Mudra called “Soochi” in classical dance. In dance, we use hand gestures to communicate lyrics & stories with the audience. Likewise, hand gestures are very helpful in sign language as well. We do witness this in our temple idols.
The mudras used in Yoga are to activate the body circuits. Touching the finger one another one in different ways helps to flow equal energy levels in our body. Yoga Mudra states that our fingers represent “Pancha Bhoothas”( 5 elements- Air, Water, Land, Sky, and Fire). Touching each with the thumb finger create different energy flow in our body.
Types of Yoga Mudra:
According to Natya Sastra, there are two types of hasta mudras. Hasta refers to hand. Mudras are referred to as hand gestures.
Samyutha means union and Asamyutha means separate one. There are 28 Mudras in one hand and 22 mudras in two hand gestures. We can see this reference in the book called Natya Sastra written by Bharatha Muni.
Similarity Mudras in Yoga and Dance
Gyana Mudra – Hamsasyam
Touching the thumb and index finger is called gyana mudra. This Mudra is the power of knowledge. It helps to improve concentration power, sharpens the brain, and reduces stress and anxiety. The same Mudra used in Bharatanatyam called hamsas(Sanskrit). There are so many meanings for this Mudra in dance according to the lyrics.
Note: Vayu Mudra is also similar to gyana Mudra. Actually, for gyana Mudra touches the tip of index finger the for Vayu Mudra fold the whole index finger and hold by the thumb. Vayu Mudra helps to stimulate air element in our body and helps to release excess air (gas) from the body. So it helps to prevent chest pain. Don’t do it in an empty stomach and also stop practicing this Mudra after your problem cured.
Surya Mudra – Mayuram
It increases fire elements in the body so obviously it helps to maintain our body weight and temperature. It can also help to cure cold and digestive problems. Touch the index and thumb for this Mudra. Here Mayurakyo(Sanskrit) used to show peacock in dance.
Note: Prithvi and Agni Mudras are also similar to Surya Mudra but the touch tip of the index finger is Prithvi. Bend and hold the whole index finger is Agni Mudra.
Varuna Mudra – Trisulam
It helps to balance water elements in the body and also reduces skin dryness. In dance, we call it as Trisulakaha(Sanskrit).
Prana Mudra – Katharimukam
Prana Mudra(touch little and ring finger together with the thumb) is very essential as it improves energy in the body. It is a symbol of life and it can help to improve eyesight, immunity, vitamins, and strengthening internal organs and reduces tiredness. Katharimukaha(Sanskrit) is used to show creeper, separation, lighting, etc.
Apana Mudra – Simhamukam
Touching the middle and ring finger together with the thumb is Apana Mudra. It helps with constipation, piles, kidney problems, and diabetes. Simha means lion. Simhamukaha(Sanskrit) means the lion’s head in dance.
It produces heat to the body so it can be a cause to reduce cold during winter. Join the entire ten fingers together and open one thumb alone to do this Mudra.
Touching the middle finger with the thumb is Shunya Mudra. It helps to cure ear problems. Those who are deaf in between not from the birth can also practice this Mudra daily an hour to improve their hearing capacity. And stop using it once cured.
Note: there is no reference for Linga Mudra and Shunya Mudra in dance.
Yoga for life and Dance is life!!!