We use our hands everyday for nearly everything we do – they have always been the ultimate utilitarian tool for human beings. The whole world has been remolded by human hands – there’s hardly a natural sanctuary left, not impacted by what our hands can do.
But we only know the physical aspect of this. We use our hands to change our physical environment. As with all things spiritual, there are many more subtle dimensions to the capability of our body, including our hands. We just need to become aware of this and learn to apply the ancient Vedic techniques.
The fingers are capable of connecting and activating the nadis (energy pathways). Through the hands we can control our nervous system, and early yogis made the associations between our hands and the rest of the body. For example, try bringing your hands together in Namaste, and notice how this induces calmness and deeper breath. Another example, try placing your hands palm down on your legs and breath, now turn your palms up and be aware of your breathing – do you notice the difference?
The little finger represents water and tamas (inertia). The ring finger represents earth and rajas (action), the middle finger represents space and satva (purity), the index finger represents air and atma (soul), and the thumb represents fire and Parmatama (supreme soul).
In yogic science, it is said that the ring finger is the control panel of our life energies. A wedding band on the ring finger is just an ordinary fact of life we all take for granted but where did this come from? Is it possible there is a long-lost science behind this practice? Yes, in fact placing metal on the ring finger stabilizes the system.
This is just to illustrate that there are mystical dimensions to the most ordinary things we take for granted. It is not to say that one should meditate with a middle finger mudra unless one is trained and knows how to use the body in this way. In meditation let us just use the Yoga Mudra we know, but let us realize what a fantastic instrument this body is.
Here’s a related article on Yoga Mudras: https://celebrateyoga.org/what-are-mudras-in-yoga/
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