Tatra pratyaya-ikatānatā dhyānam”- Yoga Sutra of Patanjali [Chapter 3. Verse 2]
When there is an unintrupted flow of thoughts and awareness, the Dhyana (meditation) arrise.
Meditation is one of the common words in everybody’s mouth nowadays. It is the second last stage of achieving the ultimate goal of Yoga, which is the union of the individual soul to the divine soul.
Here, in this article, we will explore a yoga mudra, which helps us to achieve the stage of meditation, which is Dhyana Mudra.
Dhyana Mudra: Gesture of Meditation
Dhyan Mudra is a hand gesture that takes the mind to a deeper level of meditation. This is a variation of Gyan mudra, that helps to gain the meditative state of mind.
This mudra improves the quality of the mind to analyze and heal. As the Gyan Mudra is the foundation of this mudra, therefore, it helps in empowering the strengths and wellness of the mind.
Dhyana mudra includes the function of all the fingers, thus, balances the element associates with these fingers. Consequently, this mudra symbolizes balance in the whole body.
This is an ancient practice. In Buddism, it is believed that it was practiced by Gautama Buddha 1 during his meditation for the enlightenment process beneath the bodhi tree. However, before Buddha, Yogis practiced it to deepen the awareness in meditation.
What does Dhyana Mudra mean?
Dhyana Mudra is a combination of two Sanskrit words, Dhyana and Mudra. ‘Dhyana’ literally means ‘meditation’ 2 and ‘Mudra’ means ‘gesture’ or ‘symbol’. Dhyan mudra means the gesture of meditation.
As Dhyana Mudra takes us to the deeper levels of meditation, it is also called Samadhi Mudra or Yoga mudra.
Steps to perform Dhyan Mudra
Dhyana mudra is pretty easy to perform. To perform this mudra, place your left hand over the lap, and put right hand over the left hand, palms facing upwards. Then touch the tip of the left hand’s thumb with the tip of the right hand’s thumb.
Here you will see how to perform Dhyana Mudra, in detail.
To perform it in a Yoga session, all you have to do is, follow the following steps.
Let’s start with body posture.
- Sit in a comfortable Yoga asana such as Sukhasana or Padmasana. Make sure to keep your spine straight.
- When you get comfortable with the asana, take a few breaths to calm yourself.
Now let’s see how to arrange the hands.
- Bring your left hand to your lap and place it on the lap, palm facing upwards.
- Now, place your right hand’s palm, over the left hand’s palm, keeping the palm upwards.
- Then, touch the tip of the thumbs of both hands together. This will form a triangle like structure with your hands and thumb.
- Now, gently close your eyes and take deep and slow breaths.
- Bring your awareness to the flow of prana through breathing and try to realize your Chitta.
- Hold this posture as long as you can. Ones you are done, open your eyes slowly and then release the mudra smoothly.
The Dhyana mudra can be performed with a little different finger arrangement. Here the sitting posture is the same as above, but the posture of hand is slightly different. The finger posture, here, is quite similar to Gyan Mudra. Let’s see it in detail.
- Curl the index finger and thumb towards each other.
- Then, touch the tip of the thumb with the tip of the index finger (same as in Gyan Mudra). Do this with both hands simultaneously.
- Now, keeping the palms upwards, put left hand on the lap and right hand’s palm over left hand’s palm.
This is the alternate method of finger arrangement. The rest of the process remains the same as above.
- Chant OM for better concentration. This will take your awareness to a deeper level.
- It is best to perform this mudra in conjunction with the pranayama. This will increase the quality of meditation.
It is always preferred to perform this mudra in the morning time, with a fresh mind. Still, if you face any difficulty performing it in the morning, you can perform it on any other hour of the day.
Try to perform it at least for 20-30 minutes a day. If you feel it difficult to do in a single stretch, you can perform it in 2-3 stretches of 10-15 minutes.
What does the hand position represent?
In Buddism aspect, Dhyana Mudra creates a triangle, that represents the three jewels of Buddhism: Buddha, Sangha (community), and dharma (teachings).
The right hand signifies knowledge, wisdom, and awareness and the left-hand represents the fantasy of existence in this world. Right hand over the left hand, represents the dominance of the knowledge and awareness over the illusions created by the world.
It also indicates the balance of dualities (solar and lunar energy, hot and cold, masculine and feminine energies) in the body. The whole gesture signifies the balance of all the elements and soul.
Benefits of Dhyana Mudra
- As the name suggests, Dhyana mudra is specially designed to deepen the levels of meditation. Consequently, it is very helpful in the spiritual journey.
- While practicing this mudra, the left and right parts of the body, as well as the brain, are active. As a result, the practice of Dhyana Mudra brings balance between the left and right regions of the brain, as well as, the body.
- This mudra brings calmness and relaxation to the mind. Thus, it reduces negative emotions such as anger, anxiety, depression, stress, etc.
- Moreover, this mudra stimulates the Ida and Pingla Nadis (astral channel) of the body. This makes you attentive and focused.
- When one practices Dhyana Mudra regularly, it keeps him/her away from all the physical and mental illness.