- What are mudras?
- Types of mudras
- Hand mudras meaning and benefits
- How do mudras work?
- Mudra practice tips
- Are mudras scientific?
- Common Questions
Why do the hands and fingers of yogis take on a unique form when they sit for meditation or in some asanas and pranayamas? What do these hand gestures denote in yoga?
The hand gestures a yogi makes during meditation or some sacred kriyas practice are called mudras. They are used to evoke a particular state of mind and have the ability to change one’s mood, attitude, or perspective.
In this guide, we will explore what are mudras exactly, the different types of mudras in yoga and their meaning & benefits. We will also see the science behind mudras working and tips to do them effectively.
What are mudras in yoga?
A mudra is a gesture or symbol used in yoga. Just like symbols denote a graphical form of an idea or concept, mudras represent expressions of the subtle body’s certain state of consciousness.
in the simplest term, mudras are gestures which promote the flow of energy in the subtle body and deepen your yoga experience. A mudra means ‘seal’ (or energetic seal) as it locks the energy within and doesn’t let it leak out from the body. This internalization of energy improves the mind-body connection that keeps us focused and helps heal physical/mental health conditions.
Mudra in Sanskrit defines as “Mudam anandam dadati iti mudra” means the specific actions that give us pleasure or bliss called mudra.
According to the ancient tantric text “Kularnava Tantra”, the word ‘mudra‘ is derived from two Sanskrit words mudam and drava. mudam means ‘bliss’ or ‘happiness’ and ‘drava‘ means ‘to draw forth’. It implies that mudras have the power to bring forth the hidden joy or happiness that lies within us.
When we do a mudra, it channelizes the Prana (life force) to flow in a rhythmic manner. The longer we hold the mudra the better gets the prana flow. And when prana continues to flow in a pattern inside the body, it brings a shift in consciousness. The shifting of consciousness involves evoking and cultivating a calming state of mind.
In yoga, mudras are particularly used for their therapeutic use but in traditions like Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism mudras can be seen as part of classical rituals, folk dance, or mantra chanting. It shows, that a mudra could contain many aspects of art and has indescribable meaning behind it.
How many types of mudras are in yoga?
There are five types of mudras we practice in yoga. They are categorized based on the body parts involved to make the gesture. Most commonly we use hand mudras (or hasta mudra) in yoga.
- Hasta Mudra (hand gestures) – Performed using hands and fingers
- Kaya Mudra (postural gestures) – Involved the whole body.
- Mana Mudra (head gestures) – involved sense organs (eyes, nose, tongue, lips & ears).
- Bandha Mudra (lock gestures) – Performed using 3 bandhas or more precisely subtle skeletal muscles (vocal, respiratory and pelvis).
- Adhara Mudra (perineal gestures) – Involves pelvis muscles
1. Hand mudras
Hand mudras are most practised among all types of mudras, particularly used in meditation and pranayama. These mudras work based on 5 elements theory and are known for their therapeutic benefits.
In hand mudras practice, we make different gestures using a combination of fingers and hold them for several minutes. Below is the list of hand mudras with their meaning and benefits.
*Scroll the table horizontally to see mudra pictures and benefits
|1.||Gyan Mudra||Index fingertip joins thumb, palm upwards. Rest three fingers extended.||Enhances memory, and concentration. Gives a sense of security, and groundedness.|
|2.||Apana Mudra||Middle and ring fingertips join thumb. Rest two fingers extended.||Helpful in diabetes and constipation. Strengthens leg joints|
|3.||Prana Mudra||Ring and little fingertips join thumb. Rest two fingers extended.||Prevents hair fall and Increases lung efficiency.|
|4.||Surya Mudra||Thumb pressing on second phalanx of ring finger and ring fingertip touches the base of thumb. Rest three fingers extended.||Panacea mudra for weight loss, maintain metabolism and reduce Cholesterol.|
|5.||Varun Mudra||Thumb joins little fingertip. Rest three fingers extended.||Helpful in dehydration, clears blood and glows skin.|
|6.||Back Mudra||Right hand – Thumb touches middle and ring finger|
Left hand – Thumb touches index finger
|Relieves back pain and muscle cramps.|
|7.||Apana Vayu Mudra||Thumb joins middle and ring fingertip while index finger bend to the base of thumb.||Best mudra for heart problems, prevents heart attack and improves digestion.|
|8.||Shunya Mudra||Thumb pressing second phalanx of middle finger. Rest three fingers extended||Treat ear-related problems, cure numbness and motion sickness.|
|9.||Rudra Mudra||Thumb touching tip of ring and index fingers. Rest two fingers extended.||Cure of dizziness, lowers blood pressure and burn belly fat.|
|10.||Adi Mudra||Thumb fold inside the curled fingers.||Increase oxygen flow in blood, gives mental clarity|
|11.||Linga Mudra||Both hands fingers clasped and left thumb is erect||Cures breathing disorders, Prevent hypothermia|
|12.||Anjali Mudra||Both hands finger align in front of each other, tip upward||Balance left and right hemisphere, improves focus.|
|14.||Akash Mudra||Thumb touches tip of middle finger. Rest three fingers extended.||Helpful in migraine, hearing loss, and overcome calcium deficiency.|
|15.||Padma Mudra||Little finger and thumb touches side-by-side then spread all fingers in a circular direction.||Brings creativity, calms the anxious mind, and balances heart chakra.|
|16.||Ganesha Mudra||Right hand back, left hand forward – interlock fingers at second phalanx from inside.||Increase lung capacity, reduce neck pain, and boost self-confidence.|
|17.||Matangi Mudra||Interlace both hand fingers and then point both middle fingers up.||Evoke self-confidence, helps in insomnia and relax jaw muscles.|
|18.||Dharmachakra Mudra||Make gyan mudra with both hands. Now touch right gyan mudra with left middle fingertip facing outside.||Deepen meditation, gives grounding sense, and calms the mind.|
|19.||Brahma Mudra||Fold thumb inside curl fingers then press fingers at knuckles.||Balance thyroid gland secretion, helpful in irregular menstrual cycle.|
|20.||Vajra Mudra||Middle, ring and little fingertips touches thumb. Index finger extended.||Removes stiffness of muscles, detoxes the lungs.|
|21.||Surabhi Mudra||Ring fingertips of both hand touches opposite little fingertips, and in same manner, middle fingertips touches opposite index fingertips||Enhances creativity and helpful in getting wish fulfillment.|
|22.||Bhumisparsha Mudra||Left hand on lap facing upward, and the right hand points to the ground touching||Increase concentration removes negativity and aggression.|
|23.||Shankh Mudra||Encircle left thumb with 4 fingers of right hand and then extend left hand 4 fingers and right hand up.||Overcomes fear of speaking, purifies nadis, and improve functioning of the larynx (voice box).|
|24.||Hakini Mudra||Join all fingertips and thumb of both hands each other and spread fingers wide.||Best mudra to increase brain power and balances 3 doshas.|
|25.||Kubera Mudra||Join the index and middle fingertips to the thumb tips. Then curl the little and ring fingertips to the palm.||Gives luck, confidence, and peacefulness. Opens blocked nose and ear.|
|26.||Yoni Mudra||Join all fingertips to each other, stretch thumb upwards, then bend middle, ring, and little finger so that the back of the fingers are touching.||Helpful in fertility problems, and removes all tiredness and stress when practiced at night before going to sleep|
|27.||Jnana Mudra||Thumb and index fingertip touching, rest fingers extended. |
For beginners – Index fingertip touching inside root of thumb.
Palm facing up
|Improves concentration, endocrine system and calms the mind.|
|28.||Vishnu Mudra||Index and middle finger bend down towards palm.||Reduce anger, purify nadis, and helpful in heart diseases.|
|29.||Vayu Mudra||Thumb pressing second phalanx of index finger||Overcome gastric problems and builds immunity.|
|31.||Shakti Mudra||Encircle thumb inside index and middle fingers, touch them at back, raise ring and little fingertips – extend them up.||Helpful in sleeplessness, rectifies the painful urination problem and menstruation discomforts|
|31.||Abhaya Mudra||Lift right hand to the chest level then open palm facing to the front.||Helps in conquering the fear and settle emotions.|
|34.||Dhyana Mudra||Place right hand over left hand so fingers aligning each other. Now touch both thumb tip.||Deepen the levels of meditation and activate left and right side of brain.|
|35.||Chinmaya Mudra||Curl middle, ring and little finger to palm and touch index fingertip with thumb.||Prevents memory loss and cures insomnia.|
|36.||Prithvi Mudra||Ring finger tip touching thumb. Rest three fingers extended.||Weight gain and healing body tissues.|
|37.||Karana Mudra||Middle finger tip touching thumb, ring finger curl parallel to middle, and rest two fingers extended.||Fill mind with positivity, drives energy forces inwards.|
|38.||Bhramara Mudra||Index finger curl down to base of thumb, thumb touching outside of middle finger, and rest two fingers extended.||Beneficial to get rid of allergies, and treats common cold, running nose, tonsillitis.|
|39.||Pushan Mudra||Right hand – touch index and middle finger tip to thumb tip. |
Left hand – touch ring and middle finger tip to thumb tip. Rest two fingers extended.
|Best mudra for digestion, eliminate blockage and toxins. Also, cures nausea, flatulence, constipation.|
|40.||Mushti Mudra||Hold hand in a fist with thumb placed over the ring finger.||Relieve negative emotions and lower blood pressure.|
|41.||Garuda Mudra||Hold onto your thumbs. Place right hand on the apex of left hand.||Inculcate fearlessness, and useful in get rid of lethargy and fatigue|
|42.||Vitraka Mudra||Join the tips of the thumb and the index fingers together, palm facing forward at the heart level.||Encourages wisdom, uplifts energy, and develops a sense of clarity|
|43.||Merudanda Mudra||Extend thumbs of each hand upward, and curl other fingers into the palm.||Strengthens the spine and eliminates restlessness from the mind.|
|44.||Varada Mudra||Right hand held out, with palm uppermost and the fingers pointing downwards.||Make seeker humble, cultivate forgiveness quality,|
|45.||Bhairava Mudra||Place right hand on the cup of your left hand. Tips of the fingers of both hands facing opposite directions.||Soothing and instant relieving effects on anxiety, stress, and mood swings|
|46.||Asthma Mudra||Bend and press middle fingers of both hands at the fingernails. Palms should press together gently with the other fingers remaining straight.||Improves breathing, removes blockage and toxins from lung,|
|47.||Uttarabodhi Mudra||Interlock both hand fingers. Now extend index fingers up, touching tip together and thumb downwards.||Boosts confidence, promotes optimism and inculcates fearlessness|
|48.||Ushas Mudra||Clasp hand together with finger interlaced. Thumb pointing up.||Regulates irregular menses, regulates the proper hormonal flow.|
|49.||Mahasirs Mudra||Touch index and middle finger tip with thumb tip, curl ring finger to base of thumb, and extend little finger.||Cures sinus issues, relieves eye strain and improves concentration|
|50.||Kalesvara Mudra||Join first and second phalanx of both hand fingers, extend middle fingers up and join them. Join thumb below creating a heart shape.||Helpful to get rid of the habit of procrastination, brings serenity, and develops adaptability|
2. Kaya Mudra (Postural Gesture)
Kaya mudras are mudras which involve the complete body posture to form the gesture. They are also called postural gestures. These mudras can be considered similar to various asanas because in these mudras whole body involvement is required. It requires intense concentration to hold the body in a particular gesture.
*Scroll the table horizontally to see mudra pictures and benefits
|1.||Viparita Karani||Inverted gesture||Body in inverted posture on shoulders and the back is supported by hands.||Release tension from cramped feet & legs, increases appetite|
|2.||YogaMudra||Psychic union pose||In padmasana, catch the left wrist by the right hand at the back and bend forward to forehead touching the ground.||Improves muscle tone, stretches muscles of the trunk and the neck.|
|3.||Pashinee Mudra||Folded psychic attitude||From halasana, bend knees to touch the sides of ears and shoulders. Then wrap the arms tightly around the legs and relax||Increases spine flexibility and tones abdominal organs.|
|4.||Manduki Mudra||Frog gesture||In bhadrasana close the mouth, then rotate tongue inside mouth touching upper palate.||Prevent graying of hair, aids in digestion, enhances the sense of taste|
|5.||Tadagi Mudra||Gesture of the pond||From bending forward in dandasana, hold the breath, pull abdominal muscles in hollow the abdomen.||Relieves physical stress and reduces obesity.|
3. Mana Mudra (Head Mudra)
Mana means head. Mana mudras are mudras in which sense organs (eyes, nose, tongue, lips and ears) are involved to form the gesture. They are widely used to focus the mind in meditation (mainly in kundalini meditation), hence called head mudras.
Head mudras are so powerful that they can snap out us from instinctive habits (which become an obstacle in meditation) even in short periods.
*Scroll the table horizontally to see mudra pictures and benefits
|1.||Shambhavi Mudra||Eyebrow centre gazing gesture||Eyes gaze turned inward & up on centre between eyebrows.||Gives psychic power, open third eye, reduce perceived stress|
|2.||Shanmukhi Mudra||Six gates closing gesture||Using five fingers 2 ears, 2 eyes, nostrils, and mouth is closed.||Facial glow and improves hearing ability|
|3.||Khechari Mudra||Tongue lock||The tongue is rolled up to the hard palate then extended back & up with time.||Opens blocked salivary glands, draw mind inwards and stimulates master gland|
|4.||Bhoochari Mudra||Gazing into nothingness||First, a point is fixed at 4 to 5 inches from nose tip using the hand. Then the hand is removed and concentrate on that point.||Increases awareness and reasoning power.|
|5.||Kaki mudra||Crow’s beak gesture||Air is sucked in through rounded lips keeping the tongue relax in the mouth.||Prevents the signs of aging like wrinkles, cures respiratory diseases|
|6.||Nasikagra Drishti||Nosetip gazing||The gaze is fixed down at the tip of the nose.||Good for calming and stability of the mind, stress relief, improves concentration|
|7.||Unmani Mudra||Attitude of mindlessness||Eyes open widely, awareness is fixed at Bindu, and then with breathing out, awareness is drawn one by one to lower chakras.||Stimulates all the energy chakras and balances doshas.|
|8.||Bhujangini Mudra||Cobra gesture||From a sitting posture, lean forward, lift the chin up then air is gulped through the mouth to the stomach.||Cures digestive disorders, improves respiration and regulates eating habits.|
4. Bandha Mudra (Locks)
Bandha mudras are those mudras which engage the bandhas. Bandhas with mudras utilize the engagement of skeletal muscles (vocal, respiratory and pelvis) to hold the Prana. This Prana holding awakens the kundalini energy in the body.
*Scroll the table horizontally to see mudra pictures and benefits
|1.||Jalandhar Bandha||Throat lock||Chin to chest locking throat||corrects double chin and prevents all the disorders of the thyroid gland|
|2.||Uddiyana Bandha||Abdominal lock||Pulling abdominal muscles in and up||Strengthens abdominal muscles and diaphragm. improves digestion|
|3.||Mula Bandha||Root lock||Contract pelvic floor muscles and pull them up||Kundalini awakening, stimulates the nervous system|
|4.||Maha Mudra||Great seal||All three bandhas are performed altogether after sitting in Janu sirshasana.||Destroyer of all 5 kleshas (sufferings), muscle strengthening, enhances immunity|
5. Adhara Mudra (Perineal Mudra)
Adhara mudras are those mudras that involve the pelvic floor organs. Adhara means Perineal, hence they are called Perineal mudra.
Practising adhara mudra stimulates the sacral chakra, which in turn harnesses sexual energy in the body. It helps energy redirect into the solar channel (Pingala Nadi) of the body.
*Scroll the table horizontally to see mudra pictures and benefits
|1.||Vajroli Mudra||Thunderbolt gesture||Awareness is cultivated in the muscles around genital organ and then with full efforts, muscles are contracted.||sexual potency, prevents premature ejaculation, and improves the vigor|
|2.||Ashwini Mudra||Horse gesture||The anal sphincter muscle is rhythmically contracted.||Effective in piles, Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and urinary incontinence.|
|3.||Maha Vedha Mudra||The great penetrating mudra||Awareness is focused on the root chakra to activate it.||Awaken psychic faculties, stimulates your endocrine system|
|4.||Maha Bheda Mudra||The great piercing mudra||Awareness is lifted from the root chakra up piercing all chakras one-by-one to the crown chakra.||Prepares the mind for meditation, and removes fear of death and decay.|
Benefits of Mudras
Mudras are a powerful set of physical gestures in yoga that produce subtle body effects to restore and refresh your energy. Each hand mudra is linked with elemental energies of the body and hence has a certain influence on brain centres. Mudras create equilibrium of air, fire, water, earth, and ether elements thus facilitating healing and health restoration.
Different mudras provide different mind-body benefits, it includes;
- Helps relieve stress, anxiety and depression
- Improves brain health and focus
- Strengthens immunity
- Helps in healing
- Relieve body pain
- Lower high blood pressure
- Helps to overcome fatigue, and during convalescence
Spiritually mudras can help a practitioner to move into states of transcendental consciousness. Some mudras are even powerful enough to stimulate the third eye chakra. They help channel your body’s energy flow and awaken chakras and Kundalini.
Below are some important benefits of doing mudras regularly;
- Increases concentration – Yoga mudras prevent the dissipation of energy from the body. It results in increased concentration.
- Cures physical and mental diseases – Some hand mudras are effective in curing diseases like insomnia, arthritis, diabetes, and heart problems.
- Boost metabolism – Mudras on balancing the proportion of five elements in the body boosts the metabolism. This way, mudras can help in weight loss and reduce bad cholesterol levels.
- Improves blood circulation – Holding any yoga mudra for 10 to 15 minutes may increase blood circulation which raises the oxygen levels in the body. It lowers the risk of heart problems.
- Healing body pain – From neck to lower back and legs, mudras are helpful in healing most kinds of body pain. Hand mudras can increase the range of motion in joints and relives any associated tension.
- Increases longevity – Yoga mudras are helpful in increasing the prana level in the body. It increases life expectancy.
How do mudras work?
Mudra is the science of altering or redirecting energy flow in the entire body using hand gestures. Our hands contain the maximum number of nerve endings which when pressed or arranged in a certain way creates an ‘energy circuit’. It happens through acupuncture meridians which brings our energy body to perfect alignment or balance.
The science of hand mudras is based on the principle of five elements of the body or Panch tattva. Panch tattva is the 5 vital elements that are represented by the 5 fingers of the hand. When any of the 5 fingers are pressed in mudras practice, it stimulates the corresponding element of that finger.
- Thumb – Fire element – responsible for our needs like hunger, thirst, and sleep.
- Index finger – Air element – responsible for movement and breath.
- Middle finger – Ether element – responsible for inner wisdom, intuition and overcoming emotional fear
- Ring finger – Earth element – responsible for body structure like bones and tissues, flesh and skin, and hair.
- Little finger – Water element – responsible for body fluids such as saliva, blood, sweat, urine, and semen.
Ayurveda explains when there is an imbalance in any of these 5 elements, it leads to disruption of mind and body and has a negative impact on one’s health. Different mudras we do in yoga have the ability to increase or decrease energy in a specific part of the body. Using mudras we can maintain overall health and wellness by manipulating the energy within the body in various ways.
A Perfect Analogy
To understand ‘how mudras work’ in a simple way, consider the human body an electric circuit in which current (the energy) is flowing through nadis or energy channels (similar to wires in an electric circuit). The five fingers are like the five terminals of a human electric circuit which are connected to specific parts of the body and mind.
When we hold or press a finger in a mudra, it completes the circuit. Therefore, corresponding body part or gland to that finger gets stimulated in the brain (Power supplier of the circuit). As soon as brain receives a signal to alter the energy pattern within the body, it channelise the energy to the corresponding part.
The way we arrange fingers in a mudra shows whether it will increase or decrease or balance one of five elements;
- Mudra to balance the effect of an element – The corresponding fingertip is joined with the tip of the thumb. For example, gyan mudra balances air element (which is corresponding to index finger).
- Mudra to increase the effect of an element – The thumb is pressed at the base of the corresponding finger. For example, aditi mudra increases earth element (which is corresponding to ring finger).
- Mudra to decrease the effect of an element – The corresponding finger is bent down to the base of the thumb. For example, vyana mudra decrease air and ether element (which is corresponding to index and middle finger).
Mudras create a loop of flowing energy
Keeping hands or whole body in a mudra for an extended period creates the pranic circuit (a loop of energy) in our subtle body. A pranic circuit can be understood as the closed-loop of Nadis which facilitates the flow of energy.
In yogic science, it’s said, the body gets diseases when prana (life-force) gets stuck in one place or there is a lack of prana in our body. The pranic circuit that a mudra makes keeps prana flowing indisputably inside our body. And, to prevent the lack of Prana, the loop that mudra creates doesn’t let Prana leaking out. This way a mudra helps in keeping the body diseases free, boost the energy level and enhances concentration.
How are yoga mudras performed?
In yoga, we perform mudras in combination with meditation, pranayamas or certain asanas. Here the purpose of doing mudras is totally to deepen yoga practice and accommodate body & mind to be in pose for extended duration. It’s more or less like a spiritual purpose of doing mudra.
To begin your mudra practise, sit in a comfortable pose; preferably you can choose to sit in sukhasana, padmasana, vajrasana or any pose of your choice where your posture is upright and spine straight. One can choose to sit on a chair if not comfortable sitting in a yoga pose.
Once you’ve found your preferred sitting position, it’s a good idea to prepare your hands for better receptivity before doing any hand mudras.
- Rub your hands together and keep your awareness on your fingertips until they lightly heat up. It will activate the nerve endings in the hands which increase the effect size of a mudra.
- After rubbing your hands, ground your hands down and feel the touch of mother earth for a while. It helps to release accumulated tension and open up the energy channels in the palm.
- Now bring your hands in a mudra of your choice.
Before making mudra hand position, always put palms in a facing up position over your thighs or knee cap (wherever you’re comfortable) and then press fingers in particular patterns to perform various mudras. If you need to adjust your fingers, you can first make the hand gesture and then place hands with mudra on your thighs.
It’s fine if the free fingers in mudra are not completely stretched or straight; in deep meditation, free fingers are usually curled up eventually.
One should apply enough pressure between fingers so that you can feel gentle touch between the fingers. It shouldn’t be too much, otherwise, you will end up losing your focus and the therapeutic benefit of mudra.
It requires time to feel the impact of hand mudras. If you’re new in mudras practice, aim to hold a mudra for 5 minutes at least in one stretch. When you get comfortable keeping your hand in mudra for this duration, expand this time up to 15-20 minutes. The efficiency of any mudra increases the longer you hold it.
Are mudras scientifically proven?
Yes, mudras are scientifically proven! There are many studies published till date which show the therapeutic use of mudras.
To assess the effect of yoga mudra, S-VYASA University India, conducted a study in which they found holding a hand mudra for 20 minutes or more increases the surge of energy at fingertips. It’s measured by the EPI technique.
In this study, 61 volunteers were divided into 2 groups namely ‘control’ and ‘mudra’ group. In Mudra Group, volunteers were said to sitting quietly with eyes closed in Prana Mudra for 20 minutes. The control group also followed the same procedure, except for not practising the prana mudra
- In the yoga mudra group, significant changes were observed in EPI parameters as compared to the control group.
- The EPI (Electrophotonic imaging) variable, intensity, is a measure of the quantum activity of a subject, measured by keeping all the ten fingers one by one on the glass surface of the EPI equipment. It is represented in computer unit pixels and is a measure of metabolic rate.
Increased effect size after practising mudra shows there is a surge of energy that occurs at the fingertips when we hold the hand in a mudra for long enough (minimum of 20 minutes). Indeed, mudras direct energy towards the body and prevent it from decaying outwards.
Yoga mudra is a simple yet important practice of yoga because it gives you the ability to direct the energy within the body in different ways. The asanas and pranayamas can be understood as a preparatory practice that cultivates awareness of having Prana within us. Then comes the practice of mudras which lets you interact and manipulate the pranic energy.
This is the reason in hatha yoga tradition, mudras are practiced only after proficiency in Asana, Pranayama & bandha.
Mudra is associated with the changing mental and spiritual features of an individual. This change through mudra lets channelize the internal energy by affecting sensory glands, veins & organs of the body.
Mudras for health conditions
Frequently asked questions
A. In yoga, there are more than 399 mudras mentioned in different texts and by different yogis. However, in tantric rituals, 108 mudras are used. Besides, taking yogic texts as a reference, in Hatha yoga pradipika 10 mudras are described, and in Gheranda Samhita, 25 mudras are described.
A. Some mudras may show effect in as less as 45 minutes. However, in general, mudras usually start showing the effect in 4 weeks when done consistently. If you’re going through some chronic conditions, it might take a little longer, around 6 to 7 weeks. Mudra’s working efficiency depends on your practice consistency and your current physical condition.
A. There is no harm in doing mudras during periods. In fact, some mudra (Apana mudra) helps to regularize the menstrual cycle. By the practice of mudra, the pain of periods can be eased by regularizing Apana movement.
A. Yes, mudras’ mechanism of healing can be understood by the fact that acupressure points are present on the hands. When we join fingers in the different arrangements in a mudra, acupressure points of the respective parts get stimulated. In this way, mudras open the blockage in the particular nerves of the body by stimulating acupressure points. Hence mudras have a healing effect.
A. If you’re new in mudras practice, aim to hold a mudra for 5 minutes at least in one stretch. When you get comfortable keeping your hand in mudra for this duration, expand this time up to 15-20 minutes. Ideally, mudra practise should be done for 45 minutes.