What is Gyan Mudra?
Gyan Mudra is the hand position during performing yoga and meditation. It is one of the essential mudras that promote physical and mental health. “Gyan” is a Sanskrit word that means “knowledge” or “wisdom”. This mudra is known as knowledge mudra because of the increase in knowledge.
In tradition Ayurveda, it is known as vayuvardhak that boosts the air element (Vaayu) thus stimulating the brain and empowering the mind.
Moreover, in Ayurveda, Gyan mudra stands for Vata dosha which helps to maintain cellular transport, electrolyte balance, and eliminates the waste products from the body. (Sources – 1, 2)
The Role of Fingers
Generally, in mudra, each finger represents an element,
- Baby finger represents Water,
- Ring finger represents Land,
- Middle finger represents Sky,
- Index finger represents Air, and
- Thumb finger represents Fire.
Gyan mudra is a combination of fire and air elements. The air element implies movement in the body and the mind. When the tip of the index finger is joined with the tip of the thumb, the air element gets stabilized providing steadiness to the mind.
Additionally, the acupressure point for endocrine glands pituitary and pineal is situated on the tip of the thumb finger. Pituitary gland controls air and space in the body and brain, skin, will power, mood, reproductive organs, vision, and growth. Whereas pineal glands controls the development and healthy functioning of the other glands. Joining index and thumb fingers balances their secretion hence enhancing wisdom and willpower.
How to do Gyan Mudra?
- Sit in Lotus Pose (Padmasana) or Cross-Legged Pose (Sukhasana). You can also perform Gyan mudra while standing in a Mountain Pose.
- Make sure your back and head are straight coming in a line.
- Gently keep your both the hands on the thighs; palms should be facing upwards.
- Bring the tips of index finger and thumb together and slowly form a circle around each other.
- Apply gentle pressure between index and thumb finger and make sure other fingers are relaxed and stretched out straight.
- Feel the energy from the beating pulse.
Variations in Gyan Mudra
Gyan Mudra can be performed in various ways which are as follows:
- Jnana Mudra – To perform this, bring the index finger to touch the root of the thumb to form a circle while keeping palm facing up on the knees.
- Purna Gyan Mudra – To perform this, place your hands in the Gyan mudra, then lift your right hand in the Gyan mudra and bring at the level of your right shoulder. Hold the right hand there.
- Gyan Vairagya Mudra – To perform this, place your hands in the Gyan mudra and instead of resting hands on the knees, place hands on the middle of your thighs.
- Abhaya Gyan Mudra – To perform this, place your hands in the Gyan mudra, then lift your right hand in the Gyan mudra and bring at the level of your chest. The palm should facing forward.
Duration of Gyan Mudra
Practice Gyan mudra every day for 30 to 45 minutes in a single sitting or three times a day for 10 to 15 minutes each.
Benefits of Gyan Mudra
Practicing of Gyan Mudra provides the following benefits:
- Stimulates the brain.
- Enhances the knowledge.
- Stimulates the root chakra, which eases anxiety and depression.
- Helps to sharpen memory power.
- Empowers the nervous system.
- Stimulates the endocrine glands pituitary and pineal.
- Helps in treating diseases such as Hypothyroidism, Hypoparathyroidism, Hypoadrenalism, Hypopituitarism, and other similar ailments.
- Provides metabolic changes that increase blood flow to the brain.
- Enhances concentration.
- Soothes irritability and harsh behavior.
- Increases commitment to work and selfless devotion to duty.
- Prevents insomnia.
- Prevents drowsiness.
- Gyan mudra should be practiced in empty stomach.
- Wear a comfortable dress while performing this mudra.
- While performing Gyan mudra, back should be straight and head should be up high.
- The person having an excess Vata dosha should perform this mudra in moderation.