I imagine few of us have not repeated at least one affirmation over and over or not have written one down placing it somewhere we’ll frequently see it. I have personal experience with the effectiveness of affirmations and how useful they are in making the changes I want. 

The first time I heard of affirmations was in my late 20s. I will never forget marching down Seattle’s Centennial Park, newly divorced and on my own for the first time, repeating to the beat of my steps, “I am con-fi-dent. I am con-fi-dent.” Ever since then, I pin words and phrases all around my home and workspaces.

This is all good for the visual and audio learners. What about those who are kinesthetic? Those who learn and affirm best with our bodies? If you do yoga, you have probably done poses with mudras. Mudras are hand gestures traditionally from India that are symbolic but also believed to influence the energies of your body and mood.

At their very basic, mudras are symbolic, just as words are. At the next level, they are a quiet way to remind yourself to calm down when you start to feel annoyed at that co-worker. And finally, there is a very real possibility they actually help shift your energy, therefore your communication and effectiveness. 

I first started learning about mudras when I incorporated them into an art project last year. In my art installment, “Peace Picket Ladies,” individual fence pickets depict a lady dressed in the garb of a different country, and each hold a different hand position demonstrating the blessings we all want and need, regardless of race or creed. As I painted, I practiced the mudras and fell in love with their grace and power.

How are your health and wellness goals coming along? Try including some of these mudras in your day to help underscore your commitment and resolve. 


Adhi mudra:  
This is one of my very favorites. Hold your hands out flat, palms down. Turn your thumbs into your palms. Then wrap your fingers around your thumbs giving them a little hug.

You can do this with your hands at your side or on your lap and no one will even notice what you are doing!


Prithivi mudra:
Press the tips of the thumbs to the tips of the ring fingers while extending the other fingers straight. 

Are you feeling out of sorts? Mother Earth reminds us that we are connected yet are individuals; we are vulnerable yet strong; we are present, hopeful, pulling together and, most of all, we are love.


Garuda mudra:  
Place the right hand on top of the left hand, hook the right thumb around the knuckle of the other thumb, resembling a bird’s wings, palms facing you.

Do you have the mid-day slumps? When your energy is out of balance, it is common to feel stuck or scattered. Use this mudra with deep breaths to clean and clear, and feel inspired and energized. 


Mira mudra: 
Touch the pinky to the thumb on each hand. Bring these joined fingers together. Touch the tips of the ring fingers together and stretch out the first two fingers.

Mira soothes the fearful child in us. Visualize gentle waves on the beach as they create openness in the airways as well as a sense of grounding and serenity.

Inner Strength

Kali mudra: 
Bring your hands together with your fingers interlaced. Extend your index fingers pointing outwards.

You have the power to remove damaging, energy-sucking dynamics from your life. If you’re going through a tough time, use the Kali mudra to remind you of your strength and empower yourself to stand in your truth.


Padma mudra: 
Bring the hands together with the palms, thumbs and fingers touching. Then spread the index finger, middle and ring finger wide like a lotus flower opening.

Padma directly translates to “lotus,” the symbol of purity, light, and beauty emerging from the darkness. The flower perseveres by floating above the muddy waters of desire, fear, and attachment.


Merudanda mudra: 
Roll your fingers inward to the palm and extend the thumb upwards. Touch hands together. This word means spine.

Do you need to get a back-bone? Or do you need some emotional support? Affirm your ability to tap into stability by using this mudra to visualize your connection to the center of the earth as you breathe up through your body and to the sky above. 

By Deanna Washington