Living out our hectic and busy lives requires us to take a break every now and then, to detach ourselves from the daily stress and find a place of inner calm. People find various ways to do this, but did you know that you could also use your hands as a healing tool? Emily Williams, author of ‘Mudras: Ancient Gestures to Ease Modern Stress’, shared her knowledge of this powerful but simple technique to cope with anxiety and stress.

On January 13, at our first WFWP Seattle event of the new year, our guest speaker Emily spoke to us about her passion: mudras.

‘Mudra’ is a Sanskrit term that refers to symbolic hand gestures, commonly used by yoga practitioners during meditation, but also found in dance or even in the hand movements we make subconsciously to focus on our work or calm ourselves down. Emily is both a massage therapist and massage instructor who integrates the teaching of mudras into her practice to add emotional balance.


She led us in a very interactive session, where she demonstrated several mudras and explained their meanings. Each of our five fingers represents one of the five elements of the universe, and hand movements can shift the flow of energy to create balance in our bodies, relieving us of stress. These hand gestures can be practiced at any time, whether we’re stuck in traffic or trying to make it through a frustratingly long meeting.

We all learned several mudras to take home with us; mudras to help with patience, tension, focusing, letting go of anger and/or grief, and increasing energy, to name just a few.

We had people from many different backgrounds joining in. One very helpful person was a dear friend from India, who had learned these techniques as a child. Everyone had a great experience and offered positive feedback.

As one attendee commented: "It was great to learn something new, while recognizing that mudras have been helping people, young and old, for ages!"

Editor’s note: If you would like to learn more about different mudras and their benefits, click here to read more and watch a short video introduction.