Mudras are a great addition to your meditation/ yoga practice. A round-up of all my favourite mudras that really work – all in one place.
What are mudras? Mudras are symbolic hand gestures in Buddhism and Hinduism. You can spot them in spiritual practice, in sacred dance, in martial arts even: because they are believed to help you focus on certain ideas or goals, they are often part of different mindfulness rituals.
For me personally, mudras basically are neither magical nor religious – they are universal. I don’t understand how they work, I simply appreciate that they do. Mudras – obviously! – will not be a substitute for a medical treatment, they will not magically attract your dream partner or a million bucks into your life, but what they will do is support you when you build up the energy to go for it, whatever “it” may be for you, as well as when you show up and work your tail off.
And now, without further ado, on to…
My Favourite Mudras That Work:
Allergies, Healthy Weight, Self-Love, Focus & Good Sleep
Allergy & Bronchial Mudras
With our spring and summertime growing warmer and warmer, the season for allergic reactions has expanded for many of us. In addition, air pollution in the cities increases and makes breathing a tough matter sometimes. Obviously we need to do more than meditate in order to make our environment cleaner and healthier, but I found these three mudras to be truly helpful whenever I needed to just breathe, literally or metaphorically.
While some mudras are beautifully universal, like, for example, the prayer mudra (the Namaste emoji: 🙏🏼), some gestures are obscure and not widely known. My favourite mudras for happiness and connection with others are more exotic and very exciting to practice.
Include these two connection mudras in your yoga or meditation practice to help you create a deeper connection to yourself first and invite friendships and true connections with others into your life.
Mudras for the Broken-Hearted
Whether you’re looking to strengthen your charisma, to develop a deeper sense of self-love and then, as a result of feeling balanced, to harmonise your relationships, there are mudras for that. The selection of these four mudras is a power sequence to follow if you a relationship has left you feeling let down, disappointed and empty: while the first two mudras will support the process of letting go and creating self-love, the other two will help you spark your unique charisma and support healthy relationships. Works in an established relationship like a charm, and works after a separation to pick up the shards and create something new, brilliant and beautiful. What’s not to love!
What? Mudras for Weight Loss?
You’ll find these two mudras marketed to you as “magic pill” mudras that will somehow melt away the extra pounds. I see that as a bit of a toxic promise for two reasons: it nurtures a potential obsession with weight and it plays into the very idea that magic pills exist. No, they don’t. There are no shortcuts to any kind of success, be it health, wealth, or a loving family. Maintaining or obtaining a healthy weight has to do with a lifestyle shift, a lot of learning (what’s good for you, how your body responds), a lot of patience and self-love.
However, why I chose to speak about these two “weight loss” mudras is because I found them really helpful. The Surya mudra is a “fire” mudra. It helped me break through a period of icy lethargy and literally sparked the passion for health during a time of giving in to stress and “okay, so this must be my life, then”. The Chinmaya mudra is the mudra of processing and digesting – both on a higher level and on the physical level. For me it helped get through the experiences of life rather than flying over them, which I tend to do, as a quick thinker and a person with a more cerebral than emotional approach to life. I found Surya/ Chinmaya meditations absolutely enlightening.
Focused or Fatigued?
I absolutely love these two mudras that help gain clarity and fight fatigue while making space for new, brilliant ideas. The Uttarabodhi mudra is my go-to mudra that I tend to hold before a speech or a presentation. It fuels pure ingenuity, it strengthens the visionary powers, and it invites a lot of brillance and serendipity into the room for the benefit of everybody who attend. Just recently I skipped this step going into a meeting and… felt all the positivity and the passion I initially brought to the table crumble and flicker. No bueno.
Best Sleep You Ever Had
What if I told you that these three sleep-related mudras can help bring deep relaxation to your body (hi there, hurting back and clenched jaw) and mind?
I’m a big sleep enthusiast, and the more stress I experience, the deeper my sleep, but sitting down staring into a computer takes its tall on everyone. Whenever I feel that tension is creeping back in, I incorporate one or all of these mudras into my nighttime meditation and sleep like a baby. A fun tip: when I’m tired, I lay on the side and put my fingers holding the “anti clenched jaw” mudra, as I affectionately call the Matangi mudra, right under the pillow. Win-win!