Author: Randeep Singh / go to all Techniques of Yoga articles
Jnana mudra is also known as Chin mudra,,
Adhi mudra, or Prana mudra.
Chin mudra differs from the Jnana mudra
in just the placing of the hands,
the formation of the fingers remain the same,
which would be explained separately here.
The root of the term “Mudra” is traced back to Mud,
which means joy. Another word Mudita is also
linked back to the same root and means happiness. The next part of the term mudra, “dra” means to suck forth, or bring out. Thus Mudra as a term stands for that which brings forth the naturally hidden joy within all of us. Mudra as a word taken together stands for that gesture, achieved by different parts of the body placed in a particular form, which helps bring out the hidden joy in oneself. From the Therapy point of view different versions of this joy when derived by performing correspondingly different mudras benefit different physical aspect of our being.
Jnana mudra, Gyan mudra as it is called comes under the category of mudras or gestures made with the hands: hast mudras. Jnana mudra comes under another subcategory of mudras practiced in Yoga, known as developmental mudras, as they help by developing and maintaining the overall health of the individual. This category is also known as developmental as they develop a sick body back to health by rebalancing back the elements (tattvas) involved. It is also known as meditation mudra, Dhyan mudra as it is an effective accompaniment to meditation due to its calming effect on the Mind. Practice and experience the magic of this Mudra on your own.
How to perform Jnana Mudra, Adhi mudra, Chin mudra
- Get into any comfortable meditative posture, padmasana, Sidhasana or any other posture where the spine can be comfortably held erect for long
- Join together the tips of the index fingers and the thumbs of both the hands
- Keep the other three fingers stretched straight and slightly apart
- Place the hand gestures so formed on the respective knees, palms facing upward, with the back of the palms resting on the knees
- Relax the palms, close the eyes and concentrate on your breath
Some schools of Yoga call this gesture (palms facing upward), as explained above, as Chin mudra. The term Chin has been derived from Chitta, or consciousness. Thus Chin mudra is the gesture of consciousness. For them, the formation of Jnana mudra involves the hands placed on the respective knees, palms facing downward.
Alignment Essentials, Precautions and modifications
- This mudra can also be performed with the tip of the index finger placed at the base, inside root, of the respective thumb, this Jnana mudra modification is helpful to the beginners as they find keeping the two tips touching each other for longer durations, as in meditation, difficult to hold
- The hands, palms must be kept on the knees within the body’s boundary limits; no part of the hand must project out of the respective bent knee boundary, in order to conserve the Prana
How it works- Jnana Mudra, Gyan Mudra
In Prana Yoga, the index finger stands for the element Vayu or air. The air element is inherently mobile and imparts the quality of being unsteady or flighty to the Mind of the individual. Thumb represents Agni or the fire element. Both of these elements are related to all the parts of the body they constitute, along with the brain.
When the tip of the Index finger is joined with the tip of the thumb, in Jnana mudra, the air element gets stabilized imparting steadiness to the Mind or the related thinking process. Wisdom sets in only when the Mind is steady, thus this mudra is also known as Gyan ( wisdom) mudra.
Moreover, the acupressure points connected to the Pituitary and Pineal glands are situated on the tip of the thumb as per the Chinese meridians system. Joining them with the tip of the index finger activates the overall secretions of the related hormones. The pituitary gland, also known as the master gland of the entire endocrine system impacts a being multiple physical and psychic levels. On the physical front, it is responsible for the proper growth of the body and at the psychic level it can make people liars, mean and bullies ( in case it is not functioning well), or geniuses, writers, poets or anthropologists ( in case of the pituitary gland if healthy).
Jnana mudra, Gyan mudra also impacts the Pineal gland which in turn is responsible for the healthy functioning of a number of related glands. A malfunctioning Pineal gland can lead to high BP, sex delinquency, and excessive retention of fluids in the body. This gland is also responsible for maintaining the general vigor of the body by regulating the flow of the cerebrospinal fluids rejuvenating the connected endocrine glands.
A healthy Pineal gland infuses sublimity in men, enhancing their wisdom and the willpower.
Advantages: Benefits of doing Gyan Mudra
- Practicing Gyan mudra strengthens the veins and the tendons in the body
- Comprehension ability, memory and the concentration power of the Mind of the practitioner of Gyan mudra gets enhanced
- One of the benefits of practicing Chin mudra, Jnana mudra is that it rubs the emotions positively leading to a kind of discriminatory knowledge or enlightenment
- The path of the movement of the electrical impulses along the nerves gets galvanized
- The developmental impact of Jnana Mudra strengthens all the muscle systems: voluntary & involuntary
- The voice of the practitioner of Jnana mudra gains power, strength as it positively impacts the vocal cords
- Gyan mudra has been found very effective in healing conditions like hysteria, depression, dullness of mind, restlessness, different fears and phobias
- It rectifies certain conditions related to the nervous system like alzimiers, neuritis, and cerebral palsy
- It has the potency to correct or rejuvenate any damage related to the eye like optic atrophy or degeneration of the retina
- Disorders like dwarfism ( hypopituitarism), diabetes, hypothyroidism, facial palsy, paraplegia, monoplegia can be cured, corrected by the regularly practicing Jnana mudra
- Gyan mudra helps with overcoming addictions (morphine, bhang, charas, ganja, LSD, cocaine) and intoxication
- Practicing Jnana mudra every day can help reduce violence, anger, or any tension inherent in one’s personality by propagating balance of mind
- Imbeciles, weak minded individuals can benefit a lot from practicing Jnana mudra, Gyan
- Insomniacs can benefit profoundly from practicing Jnana mudra as it improves the quality of sleep
- On the psychic level, Jnana mudra benefits by inducing the quality of conscientiousness towards work in the individual
- It makes the individual mentally more aware and awake, leading to experiencing joy out of ordinary
- Due to its balancing, calming effect on the Mind, Jnana mudra when done with meditation makes the experience more easy to reach attain and also help enhance the spiritual benefits of meditation, and thus terms like yoga Jnana mudra meditation are gaining popularity
Duration and repetitions: Jnana Mudra/ Gyan Mudra
There is no time limit for practicing Jnana mudra as such, still, follow the below mentioned points in order to extract maximum benefit from the same
- For curing hypopituitarism, hypothyroidism, and diabetes practice Jnana / Gyan mudra for a minimum of 50 minutes every day
- For arresting violence and irritability in the behavior, and for curing insomnia one must practice Jnana mudra for 50 minutes followed by Prana mudra for 15 minutes