jnana mudra

jnana mudra: the gesture of knowledge

Jnana Yoga is the branch of knowledge, wisdom, introspection, and contemplation. The study of classical texts, such as the Bhagavad Gita, Mahabrata, Ramayana, the Vedas, and the Upanishads form the basis of Jnana Yoga. It is important to understand, however, that Jnana Yoga is not just about acquiring information. It is the integration of that knowledge in a way that opens up a wider perspective that is at the heart of Jnana Yoga.

Just as the breath is the thread of the physical practice of yoga, the wisdom that comes from applying knowledge is the thread of Jnana Yoga. The accumulation of knowledge is certainly a part of Jnana Yoga, but more important is to truly understand the information in a way that goes far beyond words.

Jnana Yoga could begin with the recitation and contemplation of verses from a yogic text. Taking the time to meditate on new information allows it to sink into the psyche in a way that can widen the students understanding not only of the passage, but of life itself. This is Jnana Yoga. It is yet one more path to understand our true nature.

Jnana Yoga teaches that all preconceived notions must be left behind so as to not skew our perceptions. On a practical level, by simply cultivating curiosity about the world around us and the information we come into contact with on a daily basis, we can open ourselves up to a new way of understanding ourselves. By letting go of judgment and comparison when taking in new information, we may just find that we understand ourselves on a deeper level.