The Meaning of Gyana Mudra

During class today I opened with Gyan Mudra. As I learned it, some years ago, closing the gap between the index finger and thumb represented "surrendering your ego." The ego represented by the index finger, and when connected to the thumb, you surrendered. As I looked deeper into this mudra, (see below) I found several meanings, one is to empower the mind. Hmmm, sounds like letting go of ego, can bring on powering up of the mind. However, one of my students asked me, "what does it mean when you interlink the two hands in this mudra. I can't find the scientific answer, but I do have a theory. If you link your two hands together, in this mudra, you get double the benefit. If you link your hand with someone else, you share the benefit. Your thoughts?

What is Gyan Mudra?

Gyan Mudra is a powerful mudra (or hand position) practiced for thousands of years by yogis that brings peace, calm, and spiritual progress. It relates to the planet Jupiter. Artistic depictions of great spiritual masters such as Guru Nanak, Christ, Buddha and Mahavir are all shown regularly with this hand position. In addition to its many spiritual qualities, Gyan Mudra has wide and varied health benefits, making it one of the most practiced mudras of all.

How to do Gyan Mudra:

Connect the thumb and the forefinger (tip to tip, not tip to nail, which is another “active” variation of Gyan Mudra). The other fingers are straight but relaxed. Pressure between the thumb and forefinger is light.

Why do Gyan Mudra?

Gyan Mudra does many things. Stimulating the root chakra, it eases tension and depression. It relates to expansion and knowledge. It is extremely calming and brings the practitioner spiritual openness and ease in meditation. Also known as Vaayu-Vardhak in traditional ayurveda, this mudra boosts the air element (Vaayu), thus stimulating the brain, empowering the mind, nervous system and pituitary gland. It’s many benefits also include stimulating the endrocrine system and through the air element it dries out joints and cartilage which might otherwise be full of fluid, causing pain and joint stiffness.