Monday, July 27, 2009

Yoga For Your Hands

Mudras are healing hand postures and are a powerful aspect of yoga. Hindus have been using these specific hand gestures called mudras for thousands of years. These work because they stimulate acupressure points on the tips of your fingers.

You can benefit from as little as 5 minutes each day with hand yoga. Calm your nerves, release tension or prevent exhaustion, just to name a few. They can be done anywhere, anytime. According to Dr Dharma Singh Khalsa author of Meditation As Medicine: Activate the Power of Your Natural Healing Force “A map of the brain shows that the nerve endings on your fingertips correspond to more areas of the brain than any other body area, except perhaps the tongue and lips.”
Mudras are to be performed with both hands at the same time. Hold the pose for one to two minutes. Deep breathing before and during the pose is encouraged. Fingers should remain comfortable during the procedure and not held stiffly or tight.

I've chosen just a few to start with. (Pardon the hand photos—it’s hard to do the mudras AND photograph them yourself! )

Gyan MudraFall asleep sooner.
Description: The thumb and index finger are brought together gently while all the other fingers remain upright.
This stimulates the brain’s pineal gland which regulates the brain’s sleep center.

Rudra Mudra-A confidence boost.
Description: Place tips of pinky finger and ring finger together on top of the tip of thumb, with other fingers extended comfortably. (BOTH HANDS)
This targets the pressure points for your eyes and head which boosts energy,insight and mental clarity.

Prithvi Mudra-Help with weight loss.
Description: Place the tip of the ring finger on top of the tip of the thumb. Extend all the other fingers and keep them comfortably straight as possible.
This pushes on the acupressure point connected to the thyroid, which helps speed metabolism and calorie-burning. The thyroid is linked to mood so it can even help ease anxiety and help you relax, not snack.

Varuna Mudra
-Feel more energized.
Description: Join your little finger to the tip of your thumb. Keep other fingers comfortably straight.
This stimulates the somatosensory cortex which processes sensory inpout and triggers the release of hormones that make you feel more focused and alert.

For more information on Hand Yoga Gertrud Hirschi has written a book called Mudras: Yoga in Your Hands.
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Anonymous said...

What a great simple idea. This is something that people can use anywhere. I'm thinking that I'll be able to do hand yoga like this while I fly. I am not a huge fan of flying, and since these are non-intrusive exercises to do, I can do them before and while I'm in the air to help calm myself. Thanks for the info!

Carol said...

I haven't tried yoga but these simple exercises looked great to me. You'll have to let us know how calm you are on your next flight! :)
I'm hoping to use them to help me sleep and be energized.


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