Adho Merudanda Mudra

Definition - What does Adho Merudanda Mudra mean?

Adho merudanda mudra is a simple yoga hand gesture similar to the thumbs-up gesture, but rotated inward so that the thumbs point to each other. The name comes from the Sanskrit, adho, meaning “down”; merudanda, meaning “spine” or “spinal column”; and mudra, meaning “seal” or “gesture.”

From a comfortable seated posture – most commonly sukhasana (easy pose) – adho merudanda mudra is practiced by extending the thumbs of each hand and curling the other fingers into the palm. Rest the hands on the knees or thighs rotating the hands so that the thumbs point toward each other.

Adho Merudanda Mudra

Yogapedia explains Adho Merudanda Mudra

There are many types of mudras, but the most common used in yoga are hasta (hand) mudras. They assist the yogi in meditation or pranayama, focusing the breath and circulating energy throughout the body.

Adho merudanda mudra is believed to help direct energy to the lower portion of the spinal column, the nervous system and the svadisthana (spleen or sacral) chakra. It is also thought to relieve lower back pain.

Adho merudanda mudra is one of three similar mudras that are practiced together as the merudanda mudra sequence. The others are:

  • Merudanda mudra (thumbs pointing toward the sky)
  • Urdhva merudanda mudra (thumbs pointing away from each other)
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