Meditation -- usually performed while seated -- is a practice used to gain awareness of the mind. The way you position your hands during meditation can deepen your practice and unlock blocked energy. Known as "mudras," these hand positions may also help maintain your posture and focus during seated meditation.
One hand position often used in meditation is called "gian mudra." To perform it, start in a comfortable seated position. Relax your arms naturally to the sides with your wrists resting on your knees. Bring your index fingers and thumbs to touch. This specific mudra is said to generate knowledge, wisdom, receptivity and calmness. A variation of the position is to lower the index finger onto the thumb knuckle's crease. This variation is said to generate a more active and protective energy.
The prayer mudra is the hand position most often depicted in images of the Buddha. In prayer mudra, bring the palms of your hands together at the center of your chest. Allow the elbows to relax comfortably. This mudra is used to center and balance your body and energy. A variation is to bend the fingers slightly, allowing air to pass through the fingers and hands. The late yoga master T. Krishnamacharya said this variation symbolizes the opening of your heart.
If you have ever clasped your fingers together and relaxed your hands in your lap while meditating you actually performed a common mudra. This position is referred to as "Venus" because it generates energy associated with the planet Venus, love and sexuality. For a woman, the fingers should be interlaced with the right little finger on the bottom. For a man, the left little finger should be on the bottom.
"Buddhi mudra" is a hand position used to generate and strengthen powers of communication. While seated comfortably, relax both arms out to each side with the wrists resting on your knees. Bring the tips of the little fingers and thumbs to touch. With regular practice, this mudra can help your communication to be intuitive and clear.