In our daily life, we often get afraid of many things such as darkness, negative energy, stage, audience or public, height, etc. Every person has their own fears/phobias and everyone wants to overcome them.
Yoga mudras comprise certain techniques which can help you overcome these fears. One such mudra is Abhaya mudra, the gesture of fearlessness.
Abhaya Mudra (Gesture of Fearlessness)
Abhaya Mudra is a variation of Gyan Mudra. It is a ritual hand gesture, that is performed to draw feelings of fearlessness, peace, and protection within us. This is a gesture of safety and courage.
In early times, people use this gesture to greet strangers. As this gesture demonstrates that there is no weapon in hand or the hand is unarmed, it indicates friendship and peace.
In the Buddhist tradition, a story is famous where Buddha used this hand gesture when a furious elephant attacked at him. When the furious elephant saw that gesture, he became calm and peaceful. The fifth Dhyani Buddha, Amoghasiddi also demonstrated in this mudra.
Also, it is believed that this was the first gesture made by Buddha after enlightenment.
We can see this mudra as an action of preaching in Gandhara (Buddhist) art. Moreover, it looks like the symbol of saying stop. This indicated stopping the fears and phobias.
Meaning of Abhaya Mudra
The word Abhaya Mudra comes from Sanskrit words Abhaya and Mudra. Here Abhaya means ‘fearlessness’ and Mudra means ‘Gesture’. Combining both, it means the “gesture of fearlessness”. In other words, you can say this is the gesture of dispelling or detachment of fear
How to Do Abhaya Mudra
This mudra looks similar to Gyan mudra, but only with one hand. To practice this mudra, bring the right to shoulder height, twist the elbow, keeping the hand opened and outward-facing.
Here is the explanation to perform Abhaya Mudra in the Yoga session step by step.
- Sit in a comfortable Yoga Asana such as Sukhasana, Padmasana, etc. It is better to sit on a floor over a yoga mat.
- Take some deep breaths for a flow of the life force energy (prana).
- Relax and make yourself comfortable.
Now, remain in this body posture throughout the whole session.
- Place your left hand at the left kneecap palm facing upwards.
- Now, bring your right hand close to the right chest in such a manner that your palm is open and facing forward, keeping fingers upright.
- Now, close your eyes and bring your awareness to the flow of breaths and Chitta.
- Hold this position as long as you can and then release gently.
When done in conjunction with some breathing exercises or Pranayama, this mudra gives its best benefits.
One should perform this mudra for at least 20-30 minutes a day for the best results. You can do it in a single stretch or 2-3 stretches of 10-15 minutes. Try to perform it in the morning for better results. Still, there is no problem with doing it on any other hour of the day.
Gyan Mudra and Abhaya Mudra
Abhay mudra is a modified variation of Gyan Mudra. The difference between these two is just the position and arrangement of the right hand. But when it comes to benefits, both mudras as a bit different.
Gyan mudra works on mental consciousness and awareness. When we take it to a niche of mental consciousness, which is fearlessness, Abhaya Mudra comes into work. It helps to gain the stages of mind, where we are less prone to get afraid of anything.
Benefits of Abhaya Mudra
- As the name suggests, the Abhaya mudra helps in conquering the fear. The hand posture in this mudra is in such a way that it fills us with courage.
Along with this, this mudra helps to calm the mind. The regular practice of this mudra brings fearlessness and relaxation to the brain.
- Abhaya mudra settles all the emotions caused by fear such as irritability, anxiety anger, etc. This mudra helps in soothing the nervous system that helps in relaxing the body.
- After performing this mudra, the sensations of spiritual strengths begin to rise. This makes the practitioner stronger from inside.