"Mudras and Mantras"
I like to call them the two "M's"... but what are they? How are they practiced, and, above all, what function do they have? The word "Mudra" means "gesture" or "seal," and the practice aims to achieve balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Mudras hold great symbolic value. Consider that in many religions, sacred icons of saints or deities depict hands in specific gestures symbolizing peace or acts of blessing. In daily life, we usually use our hands to give more emphasis to what we say. This gesture not only affects the whole body but also has an emotional impact. As a result, mudras are considered a "natural therapy" for resolving various ailments or difficult emotional situations.
According to yoga philosophy, mudras serve to contain and channel the pranic energy so that it is not dispersed towards the outside. Each mudra (there are so many) stimulates the nerve endings that we have in our fingers, thus creating a sort of connection with our "main engine" the brain.
In yoga they are also combined with asanas or meditation and can be practiced at different times of the day, possibly away from meals (digestion already takes up too much energy!). Sometimes they are also combined with a Mantra especially in meditation to help free the mind from negative images or thoughts. These are words or phrases repeated over and over again that produce a vibration that extends throughout the body and mind and makes it more calm and receptive. If repeated correctly, they are even able to change our daily lives, making our mood better and giving us serenity and awareness.
Some mantras are universal and well known such as OM and So Ham, others can be different based on the results you want to achieve. Mantras are something sacred and must be treated as such, only in this way their correct practice will give numerous benefits.