Mudras to Calm and Self-Soothe

Nov 15, 2023

Today, children are bombarded by sensory stimulus.  Their minds are required to process a tremendous amount of input with little rest.  Meditation is one of the best ways to give the mind a rest and mudras are a wonderful way to facilitate the one-pointed concentration that leads to meditation.

Mudras come from the Yoga tradition and are one of many techniques used to develop self-regulation and awareness.  They’re hand gestures that tune us into the subtle energies of the body by touching or pressing specific points on the fingers and hands.

Mudras can be a fun and interactive way to improve focus, reduce stress, and promote overall wellbeing. By practicing mudras, children can develop better self-awareness and learn to regulate their emotions more effectively.

Each mudra has its own effect and its own healing capacity. Let’s take a look at mudras specifically known to calm the mind and promote a sense of relaxation. This is particularly valuable for children who experience stress or anxious feelings…but anyone can benefit from these practices.

Diamond (Jnana) Mudra
Everyone seems to know Diamond mudra. When children hear the word “Yoga”, they often spontaneously assume a meditation posture along with this classic meditation mudra: first finger and thumb pressed gently together.  Place the hands face up resting on the thighs. 

It’s called Diamond mudra because the finger and thumb are held in the shape of a diamond.  It also helps make the mind clear, bright and strong like a diamond. A comment from a 9-year-old describes this mudra perfectly.  After holding this mudra for a few moments he said, “When I do this (shows his hands in Diamond mudra) it tells my mind to be quiet.”  And that’s exactly what it does--focus the mind.

Use it when:  You want to sit and quiet your mind.

Conch Shell (Shankha) Mudra
Like challenging yoga poses, children enjoy the complexity of this mudra. The left hand supports the right, as with most mudras.  This simple story gets the hands in place.  “The right hand is the hot dog bun.” (hold the hand out, palm up).  “The left thumb is the hot dog. Put the hotdog in the hotdog bun.” (place the left thumb across the palm of the right hand).   Wrap the right fingers over the “hot dog”.  Bring the left pointer finger to touch the tip of the right thumb.  The rest of the fingers on the left hand wrap around behind the right knuckles.   Holding the hands like this may create a sense of being safe and sound.  It can be grounding and calming.

Use it when:  You want to feel safe, calm and serene.

Lotus Mudra
Lotus Mudra is a simple yet powerful practice that can help children cultivate a sense of inner peace, focus, and purity. Regular practice of this mudra can enhance their ability to concentrate, calm their minds, and connect with their inner selves. By practicing this mudra, children can experience the beauty and serenity of a blooming lotus within themselves.

Bring the palms together at the heart.  Keep the wrists, pinky fingers and thumbs touching as you spread your middle fingers out away from center, like a flower blooming in the heart.  Feel your flower blossoming in the heart.  Imagine what color your flower is and maybe you can even smell the scent of your flower.  Children report feeling open, peaceful and light when practicing this mudra.

It may feel difficult at first to stretch the fingers out straight.  Keep practicing and you will develop the flexibility to hold your flower in full bloom.

Use it when: You want to cultivate inner peace and focus.

There are literally hundreds of different mudras.  However, not all mudras are suitable for children.  Some are too expansive or destabilizing for young bodies and minds.  Mudras that are suitable for children are those that help them feel stable, focused and balanced.   If you’d like to learn more, check out our Mudras for Children eBooklet.

Get 5 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Help Kids Feel Less Anxious and More Awesome

We are passionate about helping children better understand and move through anxious feelings. It’s a big problem for a lot of kids right now! So we’ve created a free resource guide full of proven strategies that have been successfully used with kids just like yours for many years.

Whether anxiety has been showing up in your life more lately, or it’s been around a long time, this free guide will help you and your kids shift out of anxious feelings today!