Mudras are hand and body gestures that are both sacred and symbolic. Several spiritual and religious practices incorporate them into their rituals, dances, and poses. Mudras are most commonly found in Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism, and are often incorporated into elements of yoga and meditation, which stem from these practices.
The rudra mudra is associated with the solar plexus chakra. This specific chakra, also known as the third chakra, is located in the stomach, right above the belly button. The rudra mudra is a yoga hand position that activates energy in this area and is believed to have various health and wellness benefits, such as providing mental clarity and balancing energy throughout the body.
Rudra Mudra Benefits
In Sanskrit, the word "rudra" means howler or terror, while the word "mudra" translates to gesture or seal. The word "rudra" itself is also associated with the Hindu god, Shiva, who is known as the god of both poison and medicine, and also the slayer of beasts. Shiva is so powerful that he is worshipped as the supreme god.
When you hold your hands in this mudra, it is believed to activate the solar plexus chakra in the body. The third chakra is associated with a person's self-esteem, personal expression, and internal sense of power. When a person practices a mudra, it is believed that it helps spread energy throughout the body. Since this mudra is connected to the solar plexus chakra, it can help balance energies in this area in particular.
Other possible wellness benefits of the rudra mudra and stimulating the third chakra include:
- Higher rates of self-worth and self-definition
- Improved creativity
- Increased self-control
- Strengthened sense of personal will
How to Perform the Rudra Mudra
If this is your first mudra practice, don't be intimidated. It can take a while to get used to holding your hands in certain positions, and recalling the names in the Sanskrit language will become easier with some practice. You don't have to be a pro at yoga flows or guided meditation to pick up a mudra practice. You just have to be open to trying something new that might improve your overall well-being.
Follow the instructions below to begin your rudra mudra practice:
- Begin in a comfortable position with your back straight. You can be seated on the ground or in a chair with your feet planted on the ground. You can also practice this mudra lying down if that's more comfortable.
- Make sure the palms of your hands are facing upwards.
- Bring the tips of your pointer and ring fingers to touch the tip of your thumb.
- Then be sure that your middle and pinky fingers are pointed forward.
- Do this with both hands.
- Keep your hands in this position until you are done with your practice.
Do your best to hold this posture for at least five minutes. During this time you can take deep, cleansing breaths to help yourself relax and unwind. If you are already a frequent yogi or have a meditation practice, you can incorporate this mudra into the routines you already follow.
Tips to Strengthen Your Mudra Practice
Once you have gotten the hang of the rudra mudra, you might want to deepen your practice. This doesn't necessarily mean that you need to practice your mudra for a longer amount of time. However, you might find that that's something you're interested in. You can look to the tips below to learn more about how to enhance your rudra mudra practice.
- Focus on your third chakra while you practice your mudra. The rudra mudra is sometimes referred to as the ruler of the third chakra because of the strong connection between the two. When you focus on the area just above your belly button, you might notice a change in your mudra practice.
- Visualize the color yellow. Each chakra has a unique color associated with it. The third chakra is connected to the color yellow, which means that picturing the color yellow might enhance your experience.
- Chant the Bija mantra. These sounds or phrases are connected to each of the body chakras, and are believed to help life force every flow throughout the body. The mantra for the solar plexus chakra is "ram" (pronounced "rahm"). You can also listen to a third chakra-stimulating sound frequency during the meditation.
If you try and incorporate the rudra mudra into your daily routine and it doesn't feel like a good fit, that's okay. There are other mudras you can explore until you find the one that helps you feel your best. It might feel a bit strange at the start to be practicing deep breaths or meditation with your hands folded in a specific gesture. However, over time and with practice, you might find that mudras are just what your wellness routine was missing.