The Root Chakra: Muladhara

Part of a 7 Week Course on Chakra Yoga

Gyan: The Root Mudra

Gyan mudra, otherwise known as chin mudra, is a sacred hand gesture or ‘seal’ used to direct energy and maintain focus. Gyan mudra is one of the most important and well known mudras, found across Buddhist, Hindu and Yoga traditions alike. Gyan is Sanskrit for ‘knowledge’ or ‘wisdom,’ and so this gesture is sometimes referred to as the Mudra of Knowledge.

Yogapedia explains Gyan Mudra

Gyan mudra is primarily used to promote and maintain stability during meditation practices. As a practitioner holds seated meditation postures, such as padmasana (Lotus Pose) or sukhasana (Easy Pose), their hands form gyan mudra whilst resting on their knees. This creates an energetic seal, encouraging a healthy flow of prana (vital life force) and a balanced internal energy throughout the practice.

Gyan mudra can be combined with pranayama breathing techniques, such as ujjayi or kapalabhati, and should be held for at least 30 minutes in order to experience maximum benefit.

Gyan mudra has been practiced for thousands of years and is highly symbolic in several ways. The index finger is believed to relate to Jupiter, and so this gesture helps to connect the practitioner with this planet of knowledge and expansion.

It also symbolises the union of Self with the universe, of Atman and Brahman. The thumb represents supreme consciousness or Brahman, whilst the index finger represents the practitioner's individual soul, Atman. The bringing together of these two realities is fundamental to the yogic philosophy of evolving from ignorance to wisdom and from darkness to enlightenment, highlighting this mudra's significance.

Practicing gyan mudra helps the practitioner to focus on attaining true knowledge and wisdom. Particularly when held during meditation, gyan mudra can help to increase mental strength, sharpen concentration and improve focus.

According to Ayurveda the gesture also boosts Vayu (the Air Element), leading to enhanced memory as well as an improved nervous system and pituitary gland function. In yoga, gyan mudra is thought to be directly connected to the Muladhara chakra, the root energy centre responsible for governing our sense of stability, security and interconnectedness. As such, regular practice of this mudra may help to provide relief from depression or worries related to root chakra imbalance.

Chanting Lam

Sound is a vibration. Thus, when you chant a mantra, you can feel your body vibrate which harmonies all your seven chakras. You will feel energized, balanced and a stronger sense of health. As you chant a mantra it brings transformation in you while leading you to more power, strength and spiritual growth.

Mantra is a sound, word, or group of words that is considered capable of “creating transformation.” Traditionally, it has been used for both prayers and affirmations. “OM,” is a traditional mantra that acknowledges all that is, without any form of judgement. “Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu,” is a prayer mantra to bring peace to all beings. The Sanskrit word mantra consists of the root man- “to think” (also in manas “mind”) and the suffix -tra, meaning “tools or instruments”, hence a literal translation would be “instrument of thought”.

  Among many types of mantras, one of the most powerful and popular forms of a mantra is the Bija Mantra. ‘Bija’ means seed, so they are basic root mantras and these “seed sounds” are core sounds – and there’s one for each of the 7 chakras. When you chant a particular beeja mantra, you release energy within that specific chakra – facilitating movement and vitality in your being.