A lesser known, more subtle and independent branch of yoga is Yoga Tatva Mudra Vigyan – yoga mudras.
Entirely distinct and based on the principle of Ayurveda, yoga mudras are understood as a healing modality. The Sanskrit word mudra is translated as gesture or attitude. A mudra may involve the whole body or could be a simple hand position. Mudras used in combination with yogic breathing exercises enliven the flow of prana in the body by stimulating different parts of the body involved with breathing. Relating directly to the nerves, mudras create a subtle connection with the instinctual patterns in the brain and influence the unconscious reflexes in these areas. The internal energy is in turn balanced and redirected, affecting change in the sensory organs, glands veins and tendons. This adds a completely new dimension to the yoga experience.
In the 20th and 21st centuries, the yoga teacher Satyananda Saraswati, founder of the Bihar School of Yoga, continued to emphasize the importance of mudras in his instructional text Asana, Pranayama, Mudrā, Bandha..
The Jñāna mudrā (“mudra of wisdom”) is done by touching the tips of the thumb and the index together, forming a circle, and the hand is held with the palm inward toward the heart.
Prana mudra can be performed in both hands place the tips of thumb, ring finger and little finger together. Other fingers remain stretched.