on mudras.

I’ve been thinking about mudras in meditation practice lately. Mudras (hopefully) being the answer to the question, “What do I do with my hands during meditation?”


Resting my palms on my legs never seems to work. I can get by, but I’m never really comfortable, and my mind seems to race. Same thing if I turn my palms up. It seems too ambiguous. Too open to interpretation. In fact, I’m not even sure this is technically considered a mudra, so maybe that explains my trouble.

jnana mudra

Jnana mudra (index finger and thumb together) hurts after a while when the palms are down on my legs, and we already covered the part where turning my palms up seems weird to me. (Admittedly, I haven’t tried this inverted variation, so perhaps this requires further investigation.)

cosmic mudra

The hand position Sharon refers to in her book (after some research, I believe it’s called “cosmic mudra”) has always eluded me, but I’ve been playing around with it more lately. It used to be that this felt way too loose to me, not grounded enough. My hands and thumbs would slip out of place (sometimes they still do). As I’ve been working with it this month, though, my feelings seem to have shifted. I feel like the mudra allows space for the centered-ness I’m looking for in meditation, and I like that I can feel heat building in the space between my hands. It’s kind of like one of those fancy Dyson bladeless fans. Occasionally I’ll try to hold my awareness in that space between the hands, particularly if I’m having a difficult day following the breath.

not a mudra

Kali mudra (fingers interlaced, with the index fingers extended) works, by far, the best for me. It feels centered, comfortable, and relaxed, without being too closed-off, as it might if all fingers were interlaced. I’ve read in a few places that this mudra is good for purification and transformation, so it seems a natural candidate for meditation. I also read it stimulates elimination of the large intestines, so I’m hoping that doesn’t present any problems down the line. Meditation can be a messy business, I guess.

kali mudra


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