Definition - What does Jnana Mudra mean?
Jnana mudra is a psychic gesture of knowledge and is one of the most common mudras used by yogis in meditation. The name comes from the Sanskrit jnana, meaning "knowledge" and mudra, meaning "gesture."
To perform this mudra, the index finger folds and touches the base of the thumb. It should be practiced in a comfortable seated position, with hands placed on the knees, palms facing forward. The little finger, ring finger and middle finger remain straight and point downward. The index finger forms a circle and the thumb points out.
A very common variation of jnana mudra is when the tip of the index finger touches the tip of the thumb, forming a full circle. This mudra may also be called chin mudra.
Yogapedia explains Jnana Mudra
In jnana mudra, the thumb symbolizes Brahman, or the Supreme Reality. The index finger symbolizes the individual self, the inner reality, or the jiva. The connection of the thumb and the index finger means the union of the supreme and inner reality. The remaining three fingers represent the three qualities, or gunas, of nature: sattva, raja and tamas ("balance, action and inaction").
Jnana mudra regulates the flow of prana in the fingers. Normally the prana goes out through the hands, feet or the head. By connecting the thumb and index finger, some of the flow is redirected, bringing the energy inward. This calms the mind, allowing yogis to sit in meditation for long periods of time.
It is believed that practicing jnana mudra helps with insomnia, improves creativity, increases mental peace and spirituality, and stabilizes the mind. It is also benefitial for the memory and regulates the flow of air in the body.