Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Friday, 9 March 2012

Give Her a Hand: Spinning and Mudras

Shuni Mudra, said to provide patience and discernment (Public Domain Images)

Do these hand gestures look familiar?  They are yoga mudras, gestures meant to control body energy, stimulate emotions, cure disorders and delight the gods.  Mudras have been used in many cultures, but most of them are familiar to us through yoga and Indian culture.  Depending upon which tradition you consult, the number of mudras (not all are hand gestures) varies. (108 is a popular number.)  We see them on Hindu and Buddhist images. Mudras are important traits of Kathak, a traditional Indian dance form or in meditation practices.

A spinner may be reminded of something else. These mudras are similar to the hand positions we use when spinning, for drafting fibres, guiding the thread or smoothing our yarn. Whether we realize it or not, we position our hands in gestures simulating mudras every time we spin. Since many of the mudras are believed to induce calm, patience and perserverance, is it any wonder than so many spinners discover a sense of relaxation when they sit at wheels or pick up spindles?

The next time you spin, pay attention to the way your hands move as they hold the fibres.  Investigate mudras and their possible benefits.  Explore a variety of mudras while you spin.  In true yoga fashion, Be a Scientist and seek to discover a new way of looking at your craft.


Relationship of yoga palmistry, mudra and their effects on the body, health and emotion.
(Public Domain Image)


  1. I guess I never made that connection before, what a lovely way to think about it. I'll certainly think back on this post the next time I spin!

    1. I've noticed it, but never thought about it in terms of how it may relate to spinning's calming effects. Of course, lots of us do the anjali (prayer) mudra when our spinning isn't going well!

  2. So very interesting- thank you.