word "mudra" according to Tantric philosophy has a Sanskrit root "mud",
which means “to give pleasure, to delight
in”. These gestures beside denoting different objects and attitudes
expressdeep feelings. The other ethimology is “seal” or "body stamp", a
gesture, which is employed in Classical
Indian Dance and Hatha-Yoga.
Gestures play an important role in
communication as well as
in Vedic calendar rituals.
Moreover, since ancient times, people knew the
healing power of emotional gestures and used them
against various diseases
The gestures are connected
the flow of energy and emotions. Consciously deploying them helps to
communicate ideas and emotions and to control the energy and psychic strength.
The pure dance called
is accompanied by various
combinations of gestures that have no meaning.
the highest lithurgical form of dance called
Bharatanatyam, mudras were formerly used to indicate the
motion and positions of the heavenly bodies in the
there are 24
gestures of asamyukta hastas. We can suppose that they were
associated with the 24 Lunar half-months.
But the "Abhinaya Darpana"
of Nandikeswara describes
(single-hand) and 24 samyukta (joined-hands) mudras or gestures (fifty-two
28 asamyukta hastas
can be interpreted as the symbols of Lunar
nakshatras or asterisms marking the Moon's monthly path. 52 mudras can
be associated with the number of weeks in a year of 364 days.
Every hand gesture has many Viniyogas (the
traditional dance and theatre usages or meanings described in "Natya
Shastra" and "Abhinaya Darpana").
There are various Yogic Mudras from the
Buddhist, Hindu and Tantric
traditions. Look at a collection of 60
Hand Yoga Mudras.
Keep in mind that in
your hand gesture is held at least a hand distance away from your body
to create an harmonious movement and spacious and graceful affect.
ART & Sciences
of history and dance technique