Meditation Hand Positions (10 Hand Mudras Explained)


David Em

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Meditation hand positions are gestures. They activate different parts of the body and energies. Learn what you need to know about using them.

Meditation hand positions.
Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Meditation hand positions are also called hand mudras. They’re gestures you can use in yoga or meditation.

When using hand mudras, you’re activating different parts of the body. You’re also guiding the energy flow.

Meditation benefits your mind, body, and soul.

Use hand mudras to be more present and build a deeper connection with yourself.

The following is your complete guide to meditation hand positions and gestures.

What to know about hand mudras

Hasta mudras is Sanskrit for hand gestures. The different meditation hand positions are powerful.

They affect your body’s flow of energy and connection with your mind.

Your hand is symbolic because your five fingers represent the five elements.

The following is what each finger symbolizes:

  • Thumb: Fire (Agni)
  • Forefinger: Air (Vayu)
  • Middle finger: Space (Akash)
  • Ring finger: Earth (Prithvi)
  • Small finger: Water (Jal)

You induce states of mind and direct the energy flow by doing hand mudras. You’ll connect different fingers and use gestures.

1. Gyan mudra: Gesture of knowledge

Gyan mudra.
Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Gyan or chin mudra is one of the most well-known meditation hand gestures.

You can practice the mudra any time of the day.

Gyan is a Sanskrit word meaning knowledge or wisdom.

The hand gesture increases concentration, memory, and consciousness.

It’s also an excellent way to remember that you have inner wisdom and relieve stress.

How to do gyan mudra: Start by facing your palms up. Then, join the tips of your index finger and thumb. Keep your other fingers straight out.

Elements: Air and fire.

2. Vayu mudra: Gesture of air

Vayu mudra.
Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Vayu mudra is a hand gesture that regulates the air element in your body.

The balancing of air relieves stress, gas, and joint pain. It allows it to overcome areas of blockage.

The air element affects your lungs, circulation, and digestion. So, practicing vayu mudra benefits your well-being.

How to do vayu mudra: Bend your index finger and use it to touch the base of your thumb. Then, press your index finger with your thumb. Keep your other fingers straight.

Elements: Air and fire.

3. Shuni (Akash) mudra: Gesture of patience

Shuni mudra.
Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Shuni mudra is also called akash mudra. It works with the elements of space and fire.

It’s the seal of patience, purification, and intuition.

Use it to increase your compassion, sympathy, and understanding of others.

Shuni mudra is also an excellent way to find peace, calmness, and positivity.

How to do shuni mudra: Join the tips of your thumb and middle finger. Keep your other fingers straight.

Elements: Space and fire.

4. Prana mudra: Life force gesture

Prana mudra.
Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Prana mudra offers many benefits, as it connects different energy points in your body.

It’s the life force seal. So, use it to become energetic and vibrant.

Due to its benefits, practice prana mudra in the morning or anytime you need energy.

Aside from energizing you, it boosts your vision and promotes healing.

How to do prana mudra: Bend your ring and pinky fingers to touch the tip of your thumb. Keep your other fingers straight.

Elements: Earth, fire, and water.

5. Jal (Buddhi) mudra: Gesture of mental clarity and intellect

Jal mudra.
Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Buddhi or jal mudra is a hand gesture that focuses on water.

It balances the water element and brings mental clarity.

Practice it to understand messages from your subconscious.

Aside from benefitting your self-communication, it helps you communicate well with others.

It maintains a water balance in your body and mind.

How to do jal mudra: Join the tips of your small finger and thumb. Keep your other fingers straight.

Elements: Fire and water.

6. Dhyana mudra: Gesture of concentration

Dhyana mudra.
Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Dhyana mudra is a meditation hand position that improves your concentration.

It’s a gesture that increases knowledge, memory, and inner peace.

Dhyana mudra is easy and comfortable, making it one of the best meditation hand positions.

Since it brings you into a meditative state, it also relieves stress and anxiety.

How to do dhyana mudra: Put your right hand in the palm of your left hand, with both facing up. Form a triangle by joining your thumbs.

Elements: All

7. Apana mudra: Gesture of detoxification

Apana mudra.
Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Apana mudra is all about detoxification.

Use the hand gesture to benefit your digestion and remove waste. It flushes the toxins from your mind and body.

It also boosts your flow of sweat, urine, and stool.

Apana mudra is especially helpful for women. It may lead to smooth childbirth and a healthy menstrual cycle.

How to do apana mudra: Join your thumb with your middle and ring finger. Keep your other fingers straight.

Elements: Fire, space, and water.

8. Ganesha mudra: Gesture of removing obstacles

Ganesha mudra.
Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Ganesha mudra is a hand gesture that removes roadblocks and strengthens you.

The name comes from the elephant-headed Hindu deity Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.

Practice the mudra to increase self-confidence, courage, and perseverance.

It gives you the strength and energy to overcome challenges in your life.

You can practice Ganesha mudra anytime. It’s an excellent hand gesture to use when you’re feeling down.

How to do Ganesha mudra: Bring your hands to your chest level with your thumbs at the top. Turn your left hand so your palm is facing out. Clasp your fingers together and hold them in a half-bent position.

Elements: All

9. Abhaya mudra: Gesture of fearlessness

Abhaya mudra.
Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Abhaya mudra is a gesture of fearlessness, reassurance, and safety.

Use it when you need protection, peace, or confidence.

The mudra is common in statues of Buddhism and other Indian religions.

It soothes your mind from fear and anxiety, leading to relaxation and stillness.

Abhaya mudra brings positive energy and removes negativity.

How to do abhaya mudra: Hold your right hand up at shoulder height. Open your hands with your palms facing forward. Join your fingers and point them up.

Elements: All

10. Anjali (Namaskar) mudra: Gesture of greetings and gratitude

Anjali mudra.
Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Anjali or namaskar mudra is a gesture for greeting, prayer, and offering. It’s also a symbol of yoga.

Practice the hand gesture for respect, gratitude, and stress relief.

Bringing your hands together also unifies your brain’s right and left hemispheres.

It benefits your coordination and gives you more compassion for yourself and others.

How to do anjali mudra: Press the palms of your hands and fingers together. Position your hands at the heart level with your fingers pointing up.

Elements: All

Frequently asked questions about meditation hand positions

Do hand mudras really help?

Hand mudras are gestures that channel energy within your body. Your five fingers represent different elements. You can use mudras to balance and activate them. Hand mudras work when you’re consistent. You may not see a difference after your first time using them. Over time, you’ll experience the benefits.

How long should you hold a hand mudra?

You can hold a hand mudra for any duration. It can be as short as 30 seconds or long as 45 minutes. The time length for a meditation hand position depends on your meditation and flow. You can also use one hand mudra or many.

Can you do hand mudras lying down?

Hand mudras build a connection between your brain and body. Using them benefits your physical, mental, and spiritual life. You can do hand mudras anywhere and anytime. Also, you can sit, lie down, stand, or walk.

Final thoughts

Hand gestures enhance your meditation practice.

Use the mudras to stimulate different parts of your brain and body.

They help build a better mind-body connection, and you’ll be more present.

Now you’re on your way to more clarity, focus, and inner peace.

Related: Positive Affirmations for Anxiety and Stress Relief

Featured image by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

David Em.

David Em

David Em is the Founder of Relaxation Hero. He created this site to provide tips and resources to help you relax. Outside of Relaxation Hero, David is the CEO of Everyone Media Group. He also enjoys hiking, running, and traveling.