Yoga Mudras Explained

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An introduction to yoga mudras: This blog explains the concept behind hasta mudrās, which are hand gestures often used in yoga and meditation.

What Is A Mudra?

Yoga Mudras are gestures that stimulate certain parts of your body and mind.

In addition to hand mudras (Sanskrit: hasta mudrā), there are head, postural, lock and perineal mudras. Hand mudras are, however, the most commonly used.

Yoga Mudras with simple illustrations
Hand Mudra Illustration by Anmarkk

Definition & Meaning Of Mudra

  • The Sanskrit word mudrā means “seal” or “gesture”
  • The Sanskrit word hasta means “hand”
    Therefore, hasta mudrā translates to “hand gesture”
  • In Devanāgarī, the word mudrā is written मुद्रा

List Of Yoga Mudras

Different mudrās are used for different purposes. Each mudrā is designed with a particular benefit in mind. The gestures are simple to perform, incredibly effective and fun.

Common Sanskrit NameCorrect Sanskrit NameSanskrit
Devanāgarī
Meaning
Abhaya Mudraabhaya mudrāअभय मुद्राGesture of
fearlessnes
Apana Mudraapāna mudrāअपान मुद्राGesture of purification
Anjali Mudraañjali mudrāअञ्जलि मुद्राNamaste
Gesture of greeting & prayer
Bhu Mudrabhū mudrāभू मुद्राMother earth
gesture
Brahma Mudrabrahmā mudrāब्रह्मा मुद्राGesture of
consciousness
Chin Mudrachin mudrāचिन्मुद्राPsychic gesture of consciousness
Dhyana Mudradhyāna mudrāध्यान मुद्राdhyāna = meditation, thought, reflection
Ganesha Mudragaṇeśa mudrāगणेश मुद्राgaṇeśa = a Hindu god
Garuda Mudragaruḍa mudrāगरुड मुद्राgaruḍa = a certain mythical bird (half-human, half-eagle-shaped)
Gyan Mudra
Gyana Mudra
Jnana Mudra
gyāna mudrā
jñāna mudrā
ज्ञान मुद्राGesture of knowledge
Kali Mudrakālī mudrāकाली मुद्राkālī = a Hindu goddess
Kundalini Mudrakuṇḍalinī mudrāकुण्डलिनीkuṇḍalinī = a form of divine feminine energy
Linga Mudraliṅga mudrāलिङ्ग मुद्राliṅga = mark, spot, sign (symbol of Lord Shiva)
Padma Mudrapadma mudrāपद्म मुद्राLotus Mudra
Prana Mudraprāṇa mudrāप्राण मुद्राprāṇa = breath
Prithvi Mudra
Prithivi Mudra
pṛthivī mudrāपृथिवी मुद्राpṛthivī = earth
Sankalpa Mudrasaṃkalpa mudrā
saṅkalpa mudrā
सङ्कल्प मुद्राSetting your intention
Shiva Linga Mudra
Upright Mudra
śiva liṅga mudrāशिव लिङ्ग मुद्राGesture of Lord Shiva
Shunya Mudraśūnya mudrāशून्य मुद्राśūnya = empty, absence of everything,
the non-existence
Surya Mudrasūrya mudrāसूर्य मुद्राsūrya = sun
Trimurti Mudratrimūrti mudrāत्रिमूर्ति मुद्राtrimūrti = trinity, having three forms, one of the eight vidyeśvaras
Vayu Mudravāyu mudrāवायु मुद्राvāyu = wind
Varuna Mudravaruṇa mudrāवरुण मुद्राvaruṇa = a Vedic god
Yoni Mudrayoni mudrāयोनि मुद्राAttitude of the womb or source

Sanskrit translation with the help of nws.uzi.uni-halle.de and en.wikipedia.org

About the author

Hi! My name is Chiara! I am the founder of Yoga Paper. I'm a yoga teacher, graphic designer and linguist – now combining these things to create illustrative tools to help you on your yoga journey!

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