We aaaall have them once in a while 🙄
Those difficult, conflictual conversations that are over before they begin and make you wish for an ‘easy button’ to help you gracefully exit before you blow a fuse.
Vitarka mudra is just about the closest thing yoga has to that ‘easy button’!
This mudra, or yogic energy seal, activates our inner wisdom and heightens our communication abilities.
Eager to know more? Read on and find out how to elevate your discussions and let the light of wisdom shine on you through this simple yet incredible mudra! 🙂
What Is Vitarka Mudra?
Whether you’re religious or not, you’ve probably encountered the statue of Gautam Buddha performing Vitarka Mudra. You probably didn’t know that this hand gesture captured in the classical iconography of Buddha is vitarka mudra. Vitarka mudra is so potent that variations of it are actually found in depictions of many religious icons, including Islamic and Christian portrayals of holy figures.
What a mystery!! This simple gesture is believed to charge its practitioner with the essence of enlightenment. In fact, this mystic gesture historically represents the transmission of the wisdom of prophets and gurus to their students. Its Sanskrit name literally means “reasoning” and it’s also known as the discussion Mudra.
If you take a closer look at the vitarka mudra, you might find it somehow similar to the chin or abhaya mudra, as well as to the vyakhyana Mudra. All of these mudras are known as Buddhist mudras due to their significance to this faith.
In vitarka mudra, the pointing hand is in front of the heart, with the palm facing outward while the index finger and thumb touch and create the shape of a circle, the symbol of perfection and infinite. The gesture is embedded with rich symbolism: The thumb symbolizes the Fire element and Brahman, the universal soul, the index finger represents the Air element and the individual soul, and the three raised fingers represent the tripartite nature of the Universe.
Vitarka mudra represents the joining of the basic duality, the sun and the moon, masculine and feminine, which are complementary opposites of the Universe.
Planet(s): earth and moon
Element(s): fire and air
Chakra(s): Vishuddhi Chakra
Enlighten Your Discussions & Other Benefits of Vitarka Mudra
When we join the thumb and index finger together, we can create a constant flow of energy which allows us to find peace of mind and dive into deep meditation. Consistently practicing vitarka mudra has many positive effects on the body, mind, and soul. Vitarka mudra:
- Infuses our mind and spirit with the spirit of sacred teachings
- Brings clarity to mind and thoughts, improving our communication skills
- Channels energy to sushumna nadi, recharging and uplifting our being
How To Do Vitarka Mudra
As with many mudras, vitarka mudra is traditionally only performed with the right hand, which is thought to symbolize the higher world of enlightenment (the left hand is associated with the lower world of appearances). Today, it’s common to practice this mudra with both hands. In this mudra, the thumb and index finger are connected while the remaining fingers, the middle finger, the ring finger, and little fingers are pointing towards the sky. Let’s see how to perform Vitarka Mudra step by step:
- Sit in a comfortable position with the spine straight.
Once you find your seat, take some deep breaths in and out and settle into your being.
- Find your mudra.
Raise the right hand at the shoulder level, palm facing forward, index finger and thumb touch with the other three fingers are completely extended while the left hand rests on the lap.
- Hold for 15-20 minutes
If the arm tires, gently release the mudra and rest your hands in the lap. Resume when you’re ready.
- Release and observe the effects.
Take a few deep breaths and sense into the energy body for the effects of this mudra.
Pair These Yoga Practices With Vitarka Mudra
Thanks to its amazing effects this mudra pairs really well with some restorative yoga poses but can also be combined with gentle asanas, for example:
- Sukhasana (Easy Pose): Inhale, cross the legs, breath out, sit with the spine straight making sure that the shoulders, hips, and head are on one line. Exhale and settle into the shape. Perform Vitarka Mudra either with one hand or with both hands: ensuring both index fingers and thumbs are well connected to each other.
- Utkata Konasana (Goddess Pose): Start by facing the long end of the mat, take a wide step to the side, bend the knees, tuck the pelvis in, engage the core and lift the arms at shoulder level. Perform the Vitarka mudra with both hands and feel the incredibly empowering effect of this pose and the mudra
- Skandasana (Side Lunge): Take a wide step sideways, squat on your right leg, while the left leg is extended. Keep the spine straight, balancing on the right foot, arms open to side. Raise either hand, thumb and pointing finger touch while the other fingers extend and point upwards. Shift your gaze to the left foot. If you choose to start with the left hand make sure that the left palm is facing outward. Take some breaths in and out and smile 🙂