The most popular yoga mudra and its “downside”: meet Jnana & Chin!

Mudras help awaken cosmic energy in the body, mind and soul. With hand mudra practice, healing is literally at our fingertips.

nadisOur palms and fingers are filled with nerve root endings, that constantly emit energy and are just waiting to be activated. Like the seven “famous” chakras along the spine, there is a chakra, an energy wheel, in the center of each palm. This chakra is part of a vast and intricate pathway of meridians or energy currents (nadis) networked throughout our whole body. According to many traditional texts we have 72.000 of them!

At the fleshy tip of each finger there lies an electrical contact point. Touching it with the thumb creates a lock, accomplishing a specific effect depending on the position of the fingers.

Jnana Mudra

In mudra science the thumb symbolizes the Divine or Cosmic Consciousness (Paramatma) and the index finger the human consciousness (Jivatma). When the two meet, there is realization, the oneness of humanity with the cosmic consciousness. It is also the symbol of the Infinite. This particular gesture is, as you well know, often used during meditation.

jnana mudra

The other three fingers, the small, middle and ring finger represent the three qualities of nature, the objective world (gunas): tamas (inertia), rajas (activity) and satwa (harmony, luminosity, creativity). This objective world symbolically disappears when union is achieved.

Jnana is a mudra for evoking wisdom.

How to

As all the hand mudras, Jnana mudra too, can be practiced it in a sitting or standing position. The only requirement is that the spine is completely erect – the chest, neck and head are held in a straight line. The hands are relaxed with a gentle pressure of the fingers.

We join the thumb and index finger, keeping the other three fingers straight. Palms are open up, towards the sky, in a position of receptivity. Traditionally Jnana mudra is done in the morning.

jnana mudra

Chin mudra

The name Chin is derived from the word chittha (consciousness). The hand positioning is practically identical to Jnana mudra, only that the palms are pointing down, towards the earth. In this position the energy is being given out to the earth.

Traditionally this mudra is practiced in the evening, like Jnana, usually during meditation.

chin mudra

The benefits

Both mudras can be used to help with loss of memory, lack of sleep, poor concentration and in general to enhance spiritual wisdom.

According to some sources Jnana is a miracle mudra, which regular practice helps to overcome bad habits of any kind, including addictions to intoxicants.

Since practicing these mudras with the awareness of their meaning, and allowing the energy to flow freely through my fingertips, I have to say, I feel a big difference. Mostly in being calmer and more focused. Still waiting for the effect on my bad sugar habit though. 😉

Let me know how you are finding it!

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Read more about mudras: Sarvajit  Mudra, The Lotus Mudra

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One thought on “The most popular yoga mudra and its “downside”: meet Jnana & Chin!

  1. I knew nothing of these positions…. But it once I read an article like yours, I stopped before I got filled with info and experimented. I found that once I centered my awareness and slowed down enough, I could feel how different finger connections routed the flow of prana differently in my awareness. It works! Subtle, but very real.

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