When I teach meditation I often include this basic mudra, or hand position. It is formed by placing the thumb and index finger together and then resting the palm open. The hand can rest either facing upwards or downwards depending on the focused intention. However, the key is the finger position. It is important to gently press the fingertips together without creating strain or force.
This special hand position called Chin Mudra is a foundational practice within traditional yogic teaching. It is thought to connect the fields within the body that help to ground the energy running through the sushumna, central channel within the torso.
It is a very useful and powerful way to ground awareness with firm attention. It is thought to anchor the meditator within a rooted witnessing consciousness.
There are many reasons why we cultivate a stated of being centered and rooted. Being firmly rooted in our awareness with a calm centered-core energy is the best state to maintain during stressful transitions, or moments of conflict.
When we achieve a sense of being grounded, or being centered we have integrated strength. That strength allows us to center ourselves later after drama or upheaval. It’s the state we wish to return when we’ve been thrown off-center.
Using the mudra, a center technique for the mind and body has a physiological and psychically centering mechanism. It allows the force within the body to become rooted while in harmonic flow. It is a foundational practice to get into especially in the begin of a new meditation practice.
When I first began to meditate I was not given the mudra. I was trained to hone my awareness and root it with my breath. This works equally well, although it require practice. Whereas the mudra appears to be instantaneous.
I highly recommend using the chin mudra in meditation to gain a depth in rooting the channel of energy. It has a lasting effect later even when not meditating. During stressful meetings, or classes, using chin mudra to help hone the mind for concentration and clarity.
We can learn about a new practice, or may be revisit one we’ve known. Chin mudra may appear easy. Simply touching two fingers together. And yet, somehow that simple and easy act has activated the nervous system to respond with calm awareness. It instantly sends signals into body to unify.
When I teach children to meditate we always sit with our hands in chin mudra palms facing down to help turn our attention inward toward our breathing. It is a great way to teach discipline to control the body while in meditation. It allows a framework to cultivate while calm the breathing and slowing down the mental activity.
During my mother’s group meditations, we sit with our hands in chin mudra with palms facing upward in reception of expansive energy and insight. This position helps to facilitate calm rooted awareness with an intentional focus of receptivity.
It’s been reported to have an expansive effect that seems to honor new growth.
In many yoga classes chin mudra is used again with downward facing palms to instill an inward quieting awareness. In circles, we use a combination of both linking hands as follows. The left side chin mudra is upward in reception with the right side chin mudra palm facing downward in rooting. Sometimes this is practiced without mudras and simple placing hands palm up or down.
It’s understanding the sacred circuitry of the body. It begins with honoring it within our bodies and within our connection with others. It is a fascinating study learning about what makes our inner magnetism to feel a sense of harmony. It is a resource rich with intelligence.
I encourage you to test out chin mudra for yourself.
Chin mudra: touch index finger to thumb gently.
Focusing on the breath
Breathe in peace,
Breathe out thank-you.
Each breathe that we cultivate with health, harmony and peace fills us with more health to be grateful. If you find that this exercise is helpful. Please share it. Small gift of knowledge can bring big changes for those we cherish and love. So much support possible when we allow our knowledge to be shared.
Mudras are part of specialize yoga techniques that have specific uses. If you find that you are successful with using this mudra consider learning more. There are many great books on mudras, along with website dedicated to the ancient practice.
I once heard the most beautiful story when I was studying mudras. I told of a young girl that had travel with her family to receive a special blessing from a local saint in India. After returning, during the car ride back to their lodging the girl had fallen asleep. While she slept they witness her hands being to dance changing from one grace mudra to another. Amazed they watched, she had never seen or study these postures. It was grace.
Deep within us is an intelligence that when sparked can transcend our everyday consciousness. Sometimes, it begins with small quiet moments of stillness with hands in chin mudra. Or perhaps it will be an unexpected meeting with a local saint. Each us has the same magic waiting to be ignited. Through our gently inward gaze of delighted reverence we discover it.