Did you know that your hands hold an innate healing power that have been used for centuries? Mudras are positions of the hands that are said to influence the energy of your physical, emotional and spiritual body. Mudras have been used in the East for thousands of years and were practiced by many spiritual leaders including Buddha. Today, Mudras are still used in Yoga and meditation. Sometimes we may subconsciously place our hands into Mudra positions without even knowing it and other times we can use them to help channel and stimulate healing. There are hundreds of Mudras but here are some of the most common: 1.) Gyan Mudra (Mudra of Knowledge):mudra of knowledge The tip of the index finger touches the tip of the thumb while the other fingers remain straight. Benefits: Enhances knowledge, stimulates the pituitary and endocrine glands, increases memory, helps meditation, prevents insomnia, can boost mood and bring clarity. Practice: Any time while sitting, standing or lying in bed. 2.) Prithvi Mudra (Mudra of Earth): mudra of earth The tip of the ring finger touches the thumb while the other fingers remain straight out. Benefits: reduces physical and spiritual weaknesses, can increase the life force, can help clear skin, promotes body functionality. Practice: Any time. 3.) Varuna Mudra (Mudra of Water): mudra of water The tip of the pinky finger touches the thumb while the other fingers remain straight up. Benefits: helps to balance emotions and helps to retain water. Helps to relieve constipation and cramps. Can also help regulate menstrual cycles and hormonal conditions. Practice: 15 minutes three times a day. 4.) Vayu Mudra (Mudra of Air): mudra of air The thumb wraps over the index finger while the rest of the fingers remain straight. Benefits: helps to calm an anxious mind, soothe a strained voice and can help decrease stress. Can also help reduce impatience and indecisiveness. Practice: 10 to 15 minutes, 3 times per day. 5.) Shunya Mudra (Mudra of Emptiness): mudra of emptiness The tip of the thumb presses the middle finger down while the rest of the fingers stand straight up. Benefits: reduces dullness in the body and can also be highly effective for ear aches. Can help restore confidence and boost mental cognition. Practice: 40-60 minutes daily or for an earache- 4 to 5 minutes. 6.) Surya Mudra (Mudra of the Sun): mudra of the sun Bend the ring finger under the thumb while the rest of the fingers remain straight. Benefits: helps stimulate the thyroid gland, helps to alleviate weight gain and reduces appetite, stimulates digestion, helps relieve anxiety and stress. Helps to guide you to your purpose. Practice: 5 to 15 minutes, twice daily. 7.) Prana Mudra (Mudra of Life): mudra of life The ring and pinky finger both bend to meet the thumb while the index and middle finger remain pointed straight up. Benefits: improves the life force, helps to strengthen the mind, body and spirit, helps promote taking action, improves immunity and motivation. Helps enhance vision and reduces fatigue. Practice: Any time. 8.) Apana Mudra (Mudra of Digestion): mudra of digestion The middle and ring finger are bent under the thumb while the pinky and index finger stand straight up. Benefits: helps to regulate the excretory system, helps detoxify and stimulates bowel movements. Helpful at relieving constipation and piles. Practice: 45 minutes daily 9.) Apana Vayu Mudra (Mudra of the Heart): mudra of the heart The index finger bends to touch the base of the thumb while the middle and ring finger bend to touch the tip of the thumb. The pinky finger remains stretched out. Benefits: stimulates healing of the heart and helps physically protect the heart. Can also help reduce gas and heart burn. Practice: 15 minutes, twice daily 10.) Linga Mudra (Mudra of Heat): mudra of heat Interlock the fingers of both hands but keep the thumb of the left hand pointing up. Take the right thumb and wrap it around the thumb so it touches the index finger of the right hand. Benefits: helps to stimulate heat in the body, helps reduce phlegm and congestion, good for strengthening the lungs, helps to invigorate and balance the body. Practice: Any time but do not over practice.