Book Review: Mudras of India: A Comprehensive Guide to the Hand Gestures of Yoga and Indian Dance

Cain Carroll and Revital Carroll
Mudras of India: A Comprehensive Guide to the Hand Gestures of Yoga and Indian Dance
2013, Singing Dragon, Philadelphia, PA

Our hands are awesomely powerful. We create the world we live in with our hands — we cook, deliver a baby, and build a home. A single touch can convey a wealth of loving intention, while a clenched fist signals rage. With hands being so central to our human experience, it’s no wonder hands are considered sacred in many spiritual traditions around the world. Hand mudras (mudras means “seal”), or hand gestures, are a silent language of connecting hand to heart. Mudras of India is a detailed photographic compendium of 250 hand mudras and how-to techniques illustrating India’s rich tradition with these gestures. Mudras invite subtle forces to interact with our physical, emotional and spiritual selves in yoga to channel higher energies in the body and mind, in ritual to communicate with the deity, and in dance and drama for artistic expression. The most common of these practices in the west are the yoga mudras, considered valuable tools on the path to awakening. From a physical standpoint, working with the gestures is magnificent for the health of the hands. When practicing, use your mind to send energy to each finger, your wrist and your entire body. This will activate your hands and the corresponding energy in your body, making your whole being feel more alive. In this age of keyboards and cell phone text messaging, Mudras of India introduces a wonderful self-healing way to communicate with our hands.

Gail Lord is a freelance writer living in Massachusetts. Please send book review copies to 51 North Street, Grafton, MA 01519 or email