There is a very traditional image associated with meditation. A person sits cross-legged, with their hands resting on their knees, fingers held to create a circle. For many of us, this is what we picture on hearing the word “meditation”. While this may be a pose many adopt instinctively, we don’t always know exactly what it means.
Chin Mudra refers to the circular position the fingers are held in. It’s a very basic position to achieve, and one even the earliest newcomers to yoga can master with no problems. However, there’s more to it than just simple hand positioning. To correctly practice Chin Mudra, you need to understand what the gesture means, and the effect it has on meditation.
What is Chin Mudra?
Chin Mudra is simple to do. The thumb and pointer finger touch to form a circle, the other 3 fingers point straight, with the palm flat and upwards.
What does Chin Mudra mean?
“Chin” means consciousness, and “Mudra” means gesture. Taken literally, we can see that Chin Mudra refers to a gesture towards consciousness.
The importance of Chin Mudra is all about that moment when the thumb and pointer finger touch. In that meeting, we create a place for reflection.
Each finger has a unique and important meaning. The little finger represents the physical body. The ring finger represents the emotions of the mind, and the middle finger represents the intellect, alongside reasoning and ego. These are the fingers that we relax, and point away from the body.
The pointer finger has its own connection, and that’s with the individual consciousness, or ‘atman’. The thumb represents the supreme consciousness, or ‘Brahman’.
By bringing these two together, we create a place to focus the mind. When practicing Chin Mudra, we strive to achieve that union between our own consciousness and the divine consciousness. The other three fingers, gestured away, represent our intentions to move beyond the physical body, and the emotions and ego within. By doing this, we create an opportunity for our own consciousness to move past ourselves, and reach towards the divine.
How to practice Chin Mudra
Chin Mudra is very easy to practice physically. However, it’s about so much more than the physical accomplishment.
To begin, you need to sit with your legs crossed. Whether you choose easy pose, half lotus, or lotus pose depends on what feels comfortable for you. The back should be straight, with the spine and neck kept long, and shoulders back. The position needs to be open, so the energy can flow through you.
Place your hands on your knees, with the palms open and facing outwards. Bring your hands into Chin Mudra by placing the tip of the thumb and pointer finger together. Keep the hands relaxed, with the other 3 fingers pointing outwards.
Once you’ve done this, you’re in Chin Mudra position.
During this hold, you want to focus on the energy as it flows through you. The eyes can be kept open or closed, depending on which you prefer. Hold the position for as long as you feel necessary, keeping the awareness on your thumb and pointer finger. Our thoughts at this time should be kept away from the body, emotions, and intellect.
Remember those other three fingers? They’re pointing away, and our focus moves away with them. Instead, our thoughts should be connecting us to the planet, and to the mind beyond ourselves. When you feel your thoughts drifting, bring yourself back to that connection between the thumb and finger.
Why practice Chin Mudra?
There are many of us who strive to add some peace to our daily lives, but can never seem to find the time to do it. However, meditation and yoga shouldn’t be difficult to accomplish. Chin Mudra is so easy to do that it allows us to add simple meditation to our every day.
If you already practice yoga, this pose can be practiced at the end, to find calm. If you’re interested in bringing meditation to your daily routine, try a short time in Chin Mudra position when you wake up in the morning, or before you go to bed. For office workers, a few minutes spent in Chin Mudra pose at your desk can lighten the day.
There are many advantages to practicing Chin Mudra. It’s a calming pose, and one that can settle a busy mind. With this calm comes a brighter mood, which is why it’s so helpful at the start of the day. With Chin Mudra, we can open our body and mind to new experiences, achieving a receptive state.
We are limited within our own consciousness, but through Chin Mudra we can find a way to connect with the unlimited, supreme consciousness.