Gyan Mudra, also known as Chin Mudra in Sanskrit, is a yoga mudra of and for knowledge. One of the simplest and widely practiced meditation mudras, Gyan mudra, brings knowledge and wisdom.
As Yukio Mishima, a Japanese author, says, “What transforms this world is — knowledge. Do you see what I mean? Nothing else can change anything in this world. Knowledge alone is capable of transforming the world, while at the same time leaving it exactly as it is. When you look at the world with knowledge, you realize that things are unchangeable and, at the same time, are constantly being transformed.”
Knowledge of self and knowledge of the world is supreme. Without knowledge, life does not make sense. Knowledge gives us a sense of meaning and a sense of purpose. Gyan mudra, when practiced accurately, activates knowledge and wisdom that is within us.
This sublimely simple mudra is connected to the planet of Jupiter, as Jupiter is the planet of knowledge and expansion. In this mudra, when the index finger, which also represents the planet of Jupiter, touches the tip of the thumb, a closed circuit of energy is created and contained within the body.
This closed circuit of energy created by the “seal of fingers,” known as a mudra, activates and heals various areas of the body and brain to reveal ancient wisdom and knowledge. The ancient Gyan mudra works with the energies of air (index finger) and fire(thumb) and is also known by various names such as Dhyan mudra, Jnana mudra, and Vayu-vardhak mudra.
How to practice Gyan Mudra: technique
- Comfortably sit down in Sukhasana, Padmasana, or in any meditative posture. To be able to sit down for a longer duration, it is best to use a cushion. If you are unable to sit down on the floor for any health reasons, you can also practice this mudra while sitting on a chair or standing.
- Keep your back straight but relaxed. If you feel a strain on your back while sitting, take the support of a wall.
- Gently close your eyes and breathe from your abdomen, circulating your breath, your life force throughout your body.
- Place your hands on your legs facing upwards. Make sure your palms are just near the knees and are facing upwards.
- Then, join your index finger and thumb on both your hands. The remaining three fingers will remain straight. This is the Gyan mudra.
- As you join the thumb and index finger, feel and notice the effect of this yoga mudra on your body and brain. Notice how the Gyan mudra guides the energy flow throughout the body.
- Stay in the mudra for as long as you feel comfortable. At first, you can practice for ten minutes every day and gradually increase it to 15, 20, and henceforth. For many hours a day, experienced yogis practice this mudra to deepen their concentration and access ancient spiritual knowledge.
- To release the mudra, release the thumb and index finger. After your release, your fingers, keep your eyes closed for another 2 minutes and regulate your breath throughout your body.
- Gently open your eyes and breathe freely.