Abhaya Mudra

Definition - What does Abhaya Mudra mean?

Abhaya mudra is a symbolic, ritualistic gesture of the hands often used in a spiritual yoga practice to demonstrate fearlessness, protection, peace and friendship. From Sanskrit, abhaya means "fearlessness" and mudra means "gesture," "mark" or "seal." This ancient gesture is thought to be the first mudra the Buddha displayed after reaching enlightenment, as well as one that shows the hands empty of weapons, illustrating peace and safety.

To practice this mudra, the right hand is held open and faces out at shoulder height with a twisted elbow.

Abhaya Mudra

Yogapedia explains Abhaya Mudra

The abhaya mudra is thought to be a primal, natural gesture indicating fearlessness and good intentions, often used throughout history to display hands free of weapons. Most often, only the right hand is used to show the gesture, but some practice this mudra with both hands at shoulder height and the palms facing out.

In yoga, the gesture is used while meditating in virasana (hero pose) or in a modification of Virabhadrasana II (warrior II), in which the individual raises the hand over the bent leg into the abhaya mudra, while letting the other hand slide down the back supporting leg in a display of humility and strength.

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