Ayurveda teaches that each finger represents one of the five elements. The thumb is commonly related to agni, or fire, which regulates digestion. The index finger is air. The middle finger represents ether, ring finger is prthvi, earth, and pinky is water.
The earth’s elements correlate to the doshas (constitutions). Balancing of the elements, or doshas, is the starting block for much of Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Thus, hand mudras can be incorporated into a yoga therapy protocol.
Therefore, whenever one connects the thumb to one finger, there is an activation of the elements. In my Dem Bones workshops, we practice these mudras, engaging different finger pads for different bone issues. Because everyone is different, until you have had your doshic analysis or have been assessed by a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner/acupuncturist or yoga therapist, I recommend you touch whichever finger to your thumb is most appealing to you.
In the Kundalini tradition, there are slight variations. For example, the thumb represents the ego and the index finger is ether. Additionally, Kundalini, as taught by Yogi Bhajan, connects each finger with a planet. Index finger is Jupiter, middle finger is Saturn, ring finger is Sun and the little finger is Mercury.