Hand gestures are used in many meditation traditions and are instruments of healing in a number of therapeutic systems. These include reflexology (massage using reflex points on the hands and feet), kinesiology (muscle-testing and natural healing techniques) as well as India’s traditional system of healing, Ayurveda. This book is based mainly on the Indian use of mudras: these simple yet powerful gestures are also an essential practice in hatha yoga and Indian dance, art and ritual. However, people have been depicted making similar hand gestures across the globe and throughout history: on Egyptian pyramids, Sumerian tablets and Mayan statues, in Hebrew inscriptions and Classical art. Unlike yoga postures and breathing exercises, which are best learned from a teacher, mudras are easy to pick up and totally safe to practice by yourself.
Absolutely anyone can benefit, from children with learning disabilities to older people with limited movement. If you have little spare time, mudras make the perfect form of exercise: you can practise while waiting for a bus, taking a break from the computer or watching TV.
Mudras are so valuable because they enhance overall wellbeing and allow you to tap into hidden energy reserves. Practice brings physical benefits, such as increased mobility and balance, and mental benefits, such as improved concentration. Emotionally, mudras encourage forgiveness and compassion. As yoga and meditation tools, they develop deep calm and inner peace. This book offers practical techniques to achieve all this – and all you need is your hands.