Bhairava mudra is one of a few mudras - yogic hand gestures - that are commonly taken for meditation practice.
I find it gives an instant feeling of peacefulness.
Traditionally, the right hand is placed on top of the left. Both hands rest in the lap during meditation.
Bhairava mudra is said to harmonise the left and right hemispheres of the brain, the flow of prana (life force, cosmic energy, breath) and to unite all opposites. It brings inner balance in meditation.
Bhairava is the fierce or terrifying form of Shiva, responsible for the destruction of the universe - or of the ego - so that it absorbs the divine light.
The two hands represent our masculine and feminine energy channels - ida and pingala nadis - and their union reflects the union of the individual (self) with supreme consciousness (Self). This unifying force is palpable when we form the mudra.
You can also place the left hand on top of the right, as seen below. This is Bhairavi mudra, the feminine counterpart, as Bhairavi is a form of Shakti, the feminine form of the Divine. This version is said to nurture consciousness and manifestation.
It's interesting to instinctively go with whichever mudra feels right on the day.
To incorporate Bhairava or Bhairavi mudra in meditation, sit in a comfortable position with the spine straight. You can review various options for sitting here.
Close your eyes (or lower your gaze) and bring your attention to your natural breathing. For guidance on how to follow the breath in meditation, see here or for how to begin a meditation practice here.
For this particular mudra, it's nice to wrap a folded blanket around the waist. This forms a ledge on which the hands can comfortably rest.
Photos: author's own
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