You could say that mudras are hand yoga. While mudras are most widely known as gestures made with the hands, there are yoga postures that are also considered mudras. Photos of mudras most often depict a person sitting with their hands in a mudra while meditating, but you can also practice mudras while doing active yoga postures.
A mudra, known as a carrier or anupana, moves the meditation, yoga posture, or breathwork into the body and makes your yoga practice even more beneficial. Mantras, prayers, or positive affirmations often accompany mudras.
You can use mudras for physical or physiological ailments, mental and emotional imbalances, or when you desire to manifest something tangible—a specific type of relationship, the urge to let go of negativity, etc.
The five great elements are space, air, fire, water, and earth. Each of these elements has qualities and actions under which it is governed. For example, Bhu mudra is a gesture of the earth.
Bhu means earth, and bhu mudra activates the earth element. It possesses the qualities of stability, groundedness, firmness, security, stillness, and immobility. Bhu mudra comes in handy when cold, light, windy winter weather tries to pull us “up, up, and away!”
WHEN TO USE BHU MUDRA
A tenet of Ayurveda is to apply opposite qualities to an imbalance to regain balance. So, for example, the grounding, stable qualities of bhu mudra would be very productive for someone feeling anxious or “spaced out.”
Bhu mudra is especially helpful for reducing blood pressure and feelings of anxiousness, cultivating a sense of stability in the body and mind, strengthening the bones, and improving postural alignment.
BHU MUDRA AND THE DOSHAS
From the doshic perspective, bhu mudra balances vata and pitta doshas. Those with kapha dosha should use this mudra sparingly.
BHU MUDRA AND CHAKRA BALANCING
Bhu mudra balances the first, or root, chakra, the muladhara, which is the seat of safety and security (i.e., food, shelter, money). Fear can draw us into the ethers and impede our ability to think rationally. Bhu mudra brings us back to earth to provide stability and a sense of calm, allowing us to relieve our fears.
BHU MUDRA AND THE VAYUS
The word vayu is synonymous with vata and, in this case, refers to the five directions in which vata flows. Bhu mudra nourishes prana vayu—the energy that flows into the heart and brain. It also encourages apana vayu—the energy that flows downward.
BHU MUDRA AND POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS
A personalized way to create an affirmation is to consider your circumstances and how bhu mudra could serve you. Then, meditate while practicing bhu mudra. After your meditation, take to pen and paper to create your own personalized affirmation.
Get ideas for affirmations here.