Just as we make shapes with our bodies in yoga—asana, we can make shapes with our hands—mudras! Mudras, also referred to as seals or locks, are another interesting way to use your physical body, to direct energy and intention. Just as we are deeply affected by the way we hold our body, we are affected by the way we hold our hands too.
Don’t underestimate the power of your hands!
Mudras are an embodied way of taking responsibility for our own health and energy so we can head out into the outside world from a centered place.
There are SO many different types of mudras! The mudras below are some of my favorite mudras practiced in Kundalini classes.
How To Use Mudras In Kundalini Yoga
But how does this work? Why are the hands so magical? And how can this power be tapped into?
You have probably heard the word prana before. Mudras help create and direct that! There are many pathways in our hands, called meridians. These control the function of our organs. Certain parts of our hands correlate to different elements, chakras, doshas, and even planets. Certain parts stimulate reflex zones that correspond to different body parts, organs, and systems. So, by moving and touching our fingers together in specific ways we can channel energy through them for a desired effect.
On a physical level, this strengthens and increases flexibility in the hands. Hey fine motor skills! On a more subtle level, this stimulates certain parts of our brain and consciousness to influence our being; body and soul. Our hands can truly help us attain good health and happiness!
You can practice mudras from any position; seated, lying down, standing, or even while moving or walking. Get imaginative! In Kundalini yoga we often pair mudras with certain postures to make them even more potent. If this is the case, the directions will be specified and instructed in the krya.
But mudras are powerful on their own. To start, find your comfortable meditation seat or position. If seated, propping the sit bones up helps let energy flow more freely along the spine. You can also choose to stand. Choose a mudra and follow the instructions. Soften your shoulders and lengthen your spine. You can close your eyes or keep a soft gaze. Sit with the kundalini mudra as you breathe deeply for a few minutes. Or practice one of your favorite pranayamas. You can practice for one minute, three, five, eleven, thirty or more!
When you hold it, feel the connection between the fingers. Keep your awareness with the fingers involved as you let the other fingers soften and relax to allow the energy to move freely.
Mudras For Kundalini Awakening
The following hand positions can be considered superstar mudras of Kundalini yoga! With regular practice, incorporating these mudras in your kundalini practice may lead to kundalini awakening.
We begin with four simple mudras that can be done with the right hand, the left hand, or both hands. They are the mudras moved through in the beloved Kirtan Krya. Gyan, Shuni, Surya, and Buddhi each connect the tip of the thumb with just one other finger. We will start with these as you walk through the power each digit possesses.
Some mudras involve the left side and the right side. Pranam Mudra is a sacred shape you are probably familiar with. Ksepana Mudra Venus Lock and Bear Grip also connect both hands.
Try each of these kundalini mudras with the guidance below.
Instructions: hold the hands palms up, join the tip of the index finger to the tip of the thumb, extend the other fingers
- Gyan Mudra is THE kundalini mudra of knowledge. The index finger represents Jupiter, the planet of expansion and wisdom.
- It helps us expand beyond limitations and connect to higher consciousness. This digit represents our connection to the air element, inviting us to take more expansive breaths. It stimulates the root chakra which offers calm and stability, especially when we sit for meditation. That stability helps balance the nervous system and the activity of the pineal and pituitary glands.
- The awareness and steadiness it brings to the root chakra just might help you feel into the stirring of Kundalini energy at the base of the spine too!
Instructions: hold the hands palms up, join the tip of the middle finger to the tip of the thumb, extend the other fingers
- Shuni Mudra is the kundalini mudra of understanding and patience. Our middle finger connects us to the planet Saturn. Saturn is the planet of patience, and responsibility.
- It encourages compassion and a change of perspective from negative to positive. This digit connects us to Ether, which invokes strength to persevere. The thumbs involvement in Shuni Mudra connects us to the fire element and our solar plexus chakra to further offer us determination.
- This mudra encourages discipline and accountability in your practice and is a wonderful tool for keeping you on track with your 40 day krya!
Instructions: hold the hands palms up, join the tip of the ring finger to the tip of the thumb, extend the other fingers
- Surya mudra is the kundalini mudra of the Sun! The sun finger (ring) invites in the sun’s warmth, vitality, and radiance.
- This shape connects us to our solar plexus chakra and inner fire, reminding us of our personal power. It boosts our Agni, or fire element. This gives us drive, energy, and can even increase our metabolism. Surya mudra fuels creativity, inspiration and positivity in our daily life and health.
- You can practice with one or both hands, but using the right thumb really connects to the sun energy!
Instructions: join the tip of the little finger to the tip of the thumb, extend the other fingers
- The Mercury finger (pinky) is all things communication and intellect. This digit is also associated with the water element which helps us communicate with our own intuition too.
- Buddhi mudra is a kundalini mudra brings higher understanding and connects you to your own inner knowing. It is wonderful for those moments in meditation when your thoughts are all over the place and you need a little peace and mental clarity.
- This is the mudra to turn to when you need to concentrate and open to the messages within and all around you.
Instructions: press the palms together at the heart with the hands pointing up and the elbows slightly away from the body
- This kundalini mudra almost demands reverence. There is sacred power in the connection of the palms in front of the heart.
- It invokes divine union and directs breath, energy and awareness to our heart chakra. It reminds us of the interconnectedness all around us, from individual soul to universal consciousness. It welcomes balance and neutrality; of yin and yang, of feminine and masculine, of lunar and solar.
- This is the shape to turn to when you want to reduce stress, cultivate inner silence, and center and balance yourself and your energy.
Instructions: interlace the four fingers on each hand, wrap one thumb over the other, extend the left index finger and the right together, hold in front of the body
- You can hold this kundalini mudra overhead, near the heart, or at the lower abdomen. The thumb represents the connection to masculine or feminine energy. If you want to welcome in more feminine wrap the left side thumb on top. If you want more masculine energy place the right thumb on top. [Note: we’re no longer teaching or cuing that certain finger variations are “for” men or women, but emphasizing the energetic intention.]
- Ksepana mudra works with the air and water elements as well as the heart and sacral chakras. It helps release negativity so we can welcome positivity.
- This shape just feels powerful and is perfect for times when you need to release frustration or tension. It is supportive for overwhelm too.
Instructions: interlace the fingers softly and hold it in front of the body
- The venus lock is the seal of clarity and empowerment. This kundalini mudra has variations too. For more feminine intention keep the left little finger on the bottom and for masculine try the opposite. This supports glandular balance.
- It connects us to our sacral chakra, the center for sexual energy. This supports a healthy reproductive system and connection to sexual power.
- This is the mudra to turn to in cases of reproductive problems or a disconnect from sexual energy.
- Those of you who’ve completed our Kundalini University program know Guru Singh uses this one a lot in his original kriyas!
Instructions: place the left hand in front of the chest with the palm facing away from the body and the thumb down, place the palm of the right hand facing the chest, curl the fingers of both hands as if linking them in fists
- Forming loose fists and hooking the four fingers on each hand together for this kundalini mudra stimulates the heart.
- It connects us to the heart chakra, our center for love, compassion, and empathy, for ourselves and others. The right fist resists the left to help intensify concentration and open across the chest.
- Brett loves this one when she wants to activate and move stagnant energy through her heart center. More info on that in this course.
- Practice this when you need to open your heart!
- Watch my Kundalini playlist on YouTube for more Kundalini kriyas, mantras, and meditation.
- Join my Chakra Challenge! And get to know each chakra through your yoga practice. Open up a whole new dimension in your yoga practice.
- Try my Kundalini Demystified 30 HR teacher training course. It’s the perfect intro to Kundalini yoga, the serpent, and more!
About the Author | Katrina
Katrina is an E-RYT 500 with a background in biology and education on a mission to empower kids and adults with yoga tools. She is a lead trainer here at Uplifted™Yoga with a special focus on trauma-informed leadership. She brings this healing practice into her local and global studios. Katrina is especially passionate about trauma-informed kundalini yoga, yoga for youth, and using the chakras and astrology as a map for healing. You can shop her moon workbooks and see her schedule at www.katrinamarieyoga.com. Join her live to reclaim your personal power and come home to your body and heart.
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