Jnana mudra is one of the most widely used mudras in meditation practices, in Buddhism, yoga, and even in the martial arts of the East. The Buddha’s hand performing the Jnana mudra at the heart level is a symbol of openness to the whole universe. Being a gesture of openness to new things, this mudra also symbolizes the true knowledge of existence.
In this article, we will share with you what Jnana mudra is, what its benefits are, and how to practice it.
What Is Mudra?
‘Mudra‘ can be translated as ‘gesture’. Hence mudras are symbolic gestures practiced with the hands and fingers.
Connecting the fingers in certain combinations, we can activate the meridians and direct energy throughout the body. Different positions of the fingers have the ability to close or clear the energy channels. In addition, performing this or that mudra, we affect the biologically active points of the palms and fingers.
Mudras help us to correct the direction of energy in the body, to control prana, and to improve the psycho-emotional state. Also, with their help, we can eliminate problems in the body and in the mind by pressing on particular acupuncture points.
What Is Jnana Mudra?
Jnana mudra is a yogic hand gesture that represents wisdom and knowledge. In Sanskrit, jnana means “wisdom” or “knowledge” and mudra means “gesture.” It is a hasta mudra, which means it is performed using the hands.
Connecting the fingers in certain combinations, we can activate the energy meridians and direct energy throughout the body, restore the flow of energy and eliminate “breakdowns” in diseased organs thus improve our health.
Different positions of the fingers have the ability to close or clear the energy channels. In addition, performing mudras, we affect the biologically active points of the palms and fingers.
When practicing Jnana mudra, we connect the thumb and index finger. The thumb symbolizes Brahman, or universal consciousness, whereas the index finger symbolizes Jivatma or the individual self. Therefore, the connection of the thumb and index finger represents the union of the supreme and inner realities. And the three extended fingers represent the three gunas that must be overcome: sattva (middle finger), rajas (ring finger), and tamas (little finger).
Each of the fingers has symbolic significance:
The index finger is associated with knowledge, wisdom, and self-confidence. It is connected to our life force.
The thumb is responsible for our ego, will, and logic. Also, this finger is associated with wisdom, mind, and awareness.
Also, it is important to know that each finger is associated with one of the 5 elements. Thumb represents the Fire element (Agni). The index finger is associated with the energy of the Air element (Vayu). Thus, Jnana mudra can be used to balance the elements of Fire and Air within the body. When we reach the balance between the Fire and Air elements within our bodies, we are able to still our mind, concentrate, and practice deep meditation.
Also, the connection of the index finger and thumb allows prana to circulate freely inward, rather than dissipating outwards. By directing prana inward, we can sit in meditation for longer periods of time.
Jnana Mudra Benefits
On the subtle plane, the practice of Jnana mudra activates the Crown chakra (Sahasrara), whereas on the physical plan it helps you to harmonize biological rhythm, normalize blood pressure; eliminates anxiety and anxiety. Moreover, the regular practice of this mudra provides the following benefits:
- helps to cope with depression and fatigue;
- improves memory;
- stimulates mental function;
- helps to relieve insomnia;
- boosts creativity;
- develops intuition;
- restores peace of mind;
- enhances the connection with the Higher self;
- lifts dull energy;
- brightens mood.
How to Perform?
Although this mudra can be practiced in any yoga asana, it is most commonly used in a stable seated position such as easy pose or lotus pose. In Kundalini Yoga, this mudra is usually practiced with the hands resting on the knees and the elbows straight.
To practice Jnana mudra, follow these simple steps:
- Tuck your index finger under the tip of the thumb to form a circle.
- Extend the remaining three fingers.
- Rest the back of the hands on the thighs or knees, with palms facing upward.
Another variation of this mudra is to touch the tip of the index finger and thumb together, thereby forming a full circle.
When practicing this mudra, make sure your body is alert but relaxed, with little to no strain in the arms or extended fingers.
For maximum benefits, practice this mudra during your meditations for at least 15 minutes, 2-3 times per day.