Mudras are gestures, attitudes or seals that have both physical and spiritual expression. They are intended to link the individual pranic (or life) force with the universal force and they can alter the mood and the perception. The best known are those performed with hands and fingers, which are called Hasta mudra. The vital energy (Prana) radiates from the fingertips and each finger conducts a different vibrational energy. Each specific hand positioning completes an energy circuit that creates internal adjustments that encourage different kinds of mental focus. The redirection of energies within the subtle body can awaken pranas, chakras (or energetic centres) and kundalini (divine energy).

During and after pregnancy, along with asanas and pranayama, they encourage inner strength and help cultivate a state of serene calm for the mother-to-be and the new mothers.

Mudras can help them develop focus and self-nurture so they can better care for their babies, in and out of the womb.

Some of the best mudras for pregnancy and after birth are:

Lotus / Pushpa Mudra:
Pushpa Mudra

Place your hands in front of your chest, base of hands and fingertips touching, forming the shape of a lotus bud.

Lotus Mudra

Then open your hands but keep the outer edges of your thumbs and pads of little fingers touching. Extend the rest of the fingers wide open and breathe deeply four times.

Now close the hands back into a bud, then turn the back of the hands to touch and let the hands hang down relaxed for a moment. Bring your hands back into a bud shape and repeat a few times.

This mudra is related to the heart, goodwill, affection and communication. Being a mother requires our heart to open completely and blossom with love and acceptance.

Maha Sacral Mudra:
Maha Sacral Mudra

Bring the little fingers to touch the thumbs and connect the fingertips of the ring fingers. Hold this hand position for 10 breaths.

This mudra is effective in relieving ailments of the lower abdomen and the organs of elimination, such as the bladder, uterus and bowels and colon.

Ganesha mudra or remover of obstacles:
Ganesha Mudra
Place your left hand in front of your chest with the palm facing outwards, bend the fingers. With the right palm facing inwards clasp the fingers and gently pull with the exhalation. Let go of all tension with the inhale. Repeat a few times.

On a physical level, this mudra tones the chest and upper arms and stimulates heart activity. On an inner level, it promotes confidence and courage, brings out qualities like warmth, self-care and the care for others.

Yoni mudra:
Yoni Mudra

This mudra (for which there are many variations) is intended to create a powerful connection to the womb spaces energies so that the power of the life force can help to nourish and heal the womb. A simple version of Yoni mudra consists in bringing the tips of the thumbs to touch as well as the index fingers. Rest the remaining fingertips on to the lower belly and breathe on to the mudra a few times.

Hridaya mudra:
Hridaya Mudra

Tuck the tip of index finger into the root of thumb. Connect the tips of middle and ring finger together to the tip of the thumb. Keep little finger relaxed or outstretched. Rest the back of the hands on to your thing or knees.

This gesture connects to the heart space, opens the Anahata or heart chakra and promotes qualities such as compassion, love and understanding.

Illustrations made by Luzius Schnellmann