The Chinmudra

A lot of what I am about to say paraphrases a lesson from my middle-school Sanskrit teacher. The lesson focused on the most basic “mudra”, or gesture, in both yoga and meditation: the chinmudra. The chinmudra involves facing your palm upwards and joining your index finger and thumb such that you create a circle. In short, a chinmudra represents human consciousness, and peace of mind.

Your index finder represents your jeevaatma, which when translated from Sanskrit means “living soul”. It is you, your beliefs, your desires and everything else that represents your soul.

Your thumb represents your paramaatma, or the universe. It represents the universe, unbounded knowledge and consciousness. In essence, it is the highest order of atman.

Take a moment, and make a chinmudra. Now, try to do it again without moving your thumb. Now, try to do it again without moving your index finger (remember, you need to make a circle with your fingers for it to count as a chinmudra).

You might have realized from the above exercise that it is almost impossible to make a chinmudra without the movement of both your index finger and your thumb. In my old Sanskrit teacher’s own words, “jeevaatma cannot attain peace of mind without moving closer towards paramaatma, and paramaatma aids one’s soul attain that peace of mind.”

The chinmudra might be the most basic gesture in yoga and meditation, but its meaning leaves us with so much to wonder about. Shanti out.


what a week!

Gandhi Week comes to an end with our successful service trips (soup kitchen, senior center, and family house) and our amazing mural painting project! :D I’m so proud of the OM board and all the hOMies for their effort in making everything work out with such great execution and enthusiasm all week long. :D

shanti out 

Yoga is not a religion. It is a science, science of well-being, science of youthfulness, science of integrating mind, body and soul.
Amit Ray, Yoga and Vipassana: An Integrated Lifestyle