Hand mudras or hand gestures are, indeed, one of the most powerful and effective forms of yoga practice. They may seem very simple, but their benefits are unending. Not only are they good for your physical health but can nurture your mental health as well. One such powerful practice is the Gyan mudra or the Chin mudra as it is known in Sanskrit.
What is Gyan Mudra?
The Gyan mudra is a common practice amongst yoga experts. In this mudra, the tip of the index figure touches the tip of the thumb in a way that unites an individual soul with that of the supreme soul. This helps in the attainment of supreme knowledge or wisdom which is why this mudra is also often referred to as ‘knowledge mudra’. The mudra opens up the path of the spiritual awakening of an individual and directs energy into our body. It allows an individual to win over ignorance and leads a practitioner to enlightenment.
Gyan Mudra meaning
Often used in meditation, the name Gyan mudra derives from two Sanskrit words – ‘Gyan’ meaning ‘knowledge’ and ‘Mudra’ meaning ‘gesture’. Together, they mean ‘knowledge mudra’. As the mudra helps improve the air element with the body, it is also referred to as ‘Vaayu Vardhak mudra’.
How to do Gyan Mudra?
The Gyan mudra meditation should be done in the early hours of the morning, preferably between 4-6 AM. If that is not possible, one can perform this mudra at any hour, given that the environment is calm and soothing. A practitioner can perform the yoga for 30-45 minutes at a stretch for the best results or do three repetitions of a 15-minute stint. Here are the steps to perform the yoga correctly:
- Start by sitting in a comfortable meditative pose like Diamond pose (Vajrasana), Lotus pose (Padmasana), Easy pose (Sukhasana), etc. If you want to practice it sitting on a chair, make sure that your legs are steady and do not move during the mudra.
- Straighten your back and hold your chest and head high.
- Place your hands on your knees with your palm open and fingers stretched.
- Bend your index finger so that the tip touches the tip of the thumb forming a circle. Do this with both hands.
- Keep the rest of the fingers relaxed and open.
- Start Gyan mudra meditation by closing your eyes.
- Focus on your breathing. Feel your breathing as you inhale and exhale. Gradually, begin focusing on the Third Eye or Ajna chakra.
- To improve the results of the Gyana mudra, you can also chant ‘Om’ as you exhale.
Benefits of Gyan Mudra
As the Gyan Mudra increases the Air element or Vaayu in the body, it has a number of spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental benefits. Here is a list of the most important Gyan mudra benefits:
- Activates the brain
Regular practice of mudra of knowledge activates the cerebrum of the brain with better blood flow and circulation. It, thereby, improves brain functions like memory, creative thinking, concentration, focus, and comprehension.
- Boosts muscular strength
One of the benefits of Gyan mudra is that it helps enhance muscular strength. It helps treat muscle ailments like paralysis, hemiplegia, paraplegia, myasthenia gravies, muscle myopathy, etc.
- Improves mental health
Gyan mudra is effective in the combat of mental and psychological problems like anxiety, stress, depression, anger, irritation, restlessness, negative thoughts, etc. Practitioners can get relief from pressure buildup caused due to worldly factors and enjoy a calm and relaxed mind.
- Alleviate symptoms of many ailments
The Gyan mudra benefits extend to ailments like insomnia, headache, lethargy, Alzheimer’s, drowsiness, etc. Practitioners also get relief from various problems of the nervous system as the mudra improves the functioning of the central nervous system. It also activates the pituitary gland, pineal, and thyroid gland and treats conditions like hypopituitarism, hypothyroidism, hypoadrenalism, hypoparathyroidism, high blood pressure, excess water retention, etc.
- Cures Vata deficiency
Vata refers to the internal energy born out of the air element. People with Vata deficiency usually suffer from conditions like lack of enthusiasm, happiness, and energy, dullness, late response to stimuli, decreased activity, tiredness, delusion, etc. Such people are also said to suffer from internal oiliness that causes obesity, excess sleep, dyspnoea, common cold, cough, etc. As Gyan mudra boosts the air element, it helps people suffering from Vata deficiency or lack of air element in the body.
While there are many Gyan mudra benefits, it is important to be cautious before performing the Gyan mudra. Yoga practitioners must take the following precautions before performing the Gyan mudra:
- People performing this mudra of knowledge should preferably avoid spicy and sour food items. Consumption of too much cold and hot foodstuff should also be avoided.
- Anyone practicing the knowledge mudra should wear loose, comfortable clothes to avoid discomfort while performing the mudra.
- People with Vata dosha or excess air element in the body should perform the mudra in moderation to avoid side-effects.
- Legs must be steady while performing the mudra of knowledge. It is best to be in a meditative pose before performing the mudra.
- The Gyana mudra is best performed at least 2-3 hours after a meal, preferably when the stomach is empty.
- The practice of this mudra must be strictly avoided if you feel uncomfortable while performing it.
The benefits of Gyan mudra are many but for people with ailments like indigestion, gastric problems, etc., the Gyan mudra may prove to be counterproductive. So, if there is a strong presence of air elements in your body, you may as well avoid performing the Gyan mudra.
The Gyana mudra is food for your mind and body. For ages, it has been used to boost functions of the brain, nervous system, and other organs of the body in general. Practicing the Gyan mudra meditation for 30-45 minutes can help cure a number of psychological and physiological ailments and restore Vata or Air imbalance within the body. Moreover, it is super easy to perform and needs no assistance making it the perfect choice for your daily yoga routine.