Definition - What does Shankh Mudra mean?
Sanskrit for 'Conch Shell Seal,' Shankh Mudra is a sacred hand gesture commonly used in Hindu purification ceremonies. The mudra is symbolic of the conch shell horn, which is played to announce the opening of temple doors in the morning. Shankh Mudra removes physical and spiritual impurities, and is symbolic of shining a divine light on our inner temple. It is also used to treat any problems in the throat, to clear the airways and calm agitation in the lungs.
Follow these steps to practice Shankh Mudra:
- Begin by coming to a stable sitting posture with hands in prayer position at heart centre.
- Encircle the left thumb with all four fingers of the right hand.
- Touch the right thumb to the middle finger of the left hand.
- Keep the fingers of the left hand gently extended, so that the two hands together look like a conch shell.
- Bring the hands to the sternum, just below the throat.
Yogapedia explains Shankh Mudra
This mudra can be practiced during meditation, and is particularly effective whilst chanting. It can be maintained for as long as feels comfortable, and may also be practiced in reverse using the opposite hands. The power of this mudra is increased by chanting Om continuously.
Shankh Mudra stimulates the visuddha chakra (throat), clearing any blockages to restore energetic balance. It can be used to tone the vocal cords and improve the voice, particularly in those with a stammer, stutter or speech impediment. The thumb represents the fire element, so by covering this with the fingers, this mudra can help to calm fire in the body. It is therefore useful for those experiencing fever, rashes or burning sensations.