Mudras are position of the hands which has been central the yogic tradition. Their purpose is to create specific internal adjustments that have numerous physical benefits such as inner strength, increased confidence, calmness and focus. Generally mudras are a gesture, mystical position of the hands, a seal or even a symbol. However it can also be certain eye positions, body postures and breathing techniques. Whilst practicing any particular mudra persistently, it helps both in a emotional and physical manner. Gertrud Hirschi in her book ‘Mudras in your hands’ described mudras after deep reflection as a lock which conceals a secret. Therefore we subconsciously use mudras to seal something for example when we are interacting meaningfully. The essence of mudras are symbolic which we all individually have to realize through our inner meditation about them.
One example of Mudra is the earth Mudra which is to touch the tip of the thumb with the tip of the third finger (see the picture above). This is a grounding mudra which helps pregnancy ladies to feel more secure and adjust to the current situation. This helps to connect to the energy of the earth and is a source of support and solidity. It is very effective to feel more grounded and steadier. It can be practiced with breathing and whilst practicing asanas so it is very practical, versatile and easy to remember. Gertrud Hirschi in her book ‘Mudras in your hands’ adds the following affirmation and visualization to this mudra. The affirmation is, “The power of Earth gives me secure stability, staying power and assertiveness, self assurance, and self-confidence. The power of the cosmos gives me enthusiasm, pleasure and joy.” The first visualization can be done on a chair where the feet are parallel and soles flat to the ground. On the inhalation you can imagine you are absorbing the energy of the earth through the soles of your feet, through your legs, back, throat into your head and far beyond into the cosmos. Then as you exhale you allow the energy like golden rain to go back into the earth as renewing force. There is a balance between what you are taking from earth and also giving back. A second visualization is to imagine your pelvic floor to be a catch basin where you can collect the energy rain to flow into the pelvis. Both the affirmation and the visualizations can be repeated a few times.