What is Mudras?
Mudra is a term with many meanings. It is used to signify a gesture, a mystic position of the hands, a seal, or even a symbol. However, there are eye positions, body postures, and breathing techniques that are called mudras. These symbolic finger, eye, and body postures can vividly depict certain states or processes of consciousness. Conversely, specific positions can also lead to the states of consciousness that they symbolize. What does this mean in concrete terms? For example, a person who frequently and fervently does the gesture of fearlessness, which can often be seen in the depiction of Indian deities, will also be freed from fearfulness with time. So mudras engage certain areas of the brain and/or soul and exercise a corresponding influence on them. However, mudras are also effective on the physical level.
We can effectively engage and influence our body and our mind by bending, crossing, extending, or touching the fingers with other fingers. Isn't this wonderful?
In Hatha Yoga, there are 25 mudras. These also include eye and body positions (asanas) and locks (bandhas).
The enigmatic touches on the Divine—so each mudra ultimately creates a special connection to cosmic consciousness (or however you prefer to call the Divine). This symbolism, in particular, is the basis of the best-known hand mudra of yoga, the Chin Mudra.
The thumb is symbolic of cosmic (divine) and the index finger is symbolic of individual (human) consciousness. The ultimate or primary goal of yoga is the oneness of humanity with cosmic consciousness. With this gesture, the human being expresses this desire, this longing. It is interesting to note that both these fingers belong to the metal element in Chinese Five Element Theory. Metal is the material that is the best conductor—it conducts energy. According to this teaching, the metal element also creates the connection with the cosmic world, and inspiration and intuition dwell in this element. The index finger represents inspiration (energy from the outside) and the thumb stands for intuition (inner energy). In this gesture, intuition and inspiration form a closed unity. The power of the microcosm and the macrocosm are connected and mutually fructify each other.