Yoga, an ancient Indian practice, has become very popular in the modern era for a wide range of health benefits it provides.
Mudras are hand gestures which help to balance energy flow in mind and body. The balance of energies is very important for attaining and maintaining optimal health. ‘Mudra’ is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘hand gesture’.
Mudras have been used since prehistoric times to stay in the best shape of health and also to express human emotions. In fact, many dance forms in Buddhist and Hindu rituals employ yoga mudras to express different meanings.
Yoga mudras help to redirect and change the energy flow and balance the alignment of energy in the body. It is believed that human hands are powerful because they possess all the acupuncture meridians.
Therefore, the human hands are said to be the control panel of the body. In yoga, the five fingers in the hand represent the five elements; air, water, fire, earth and sky.
How To Start Yoga Mudra Practice?
The most challenging part of starting something new is to figure out where to start. Yoga mudras are relatively simple to perform so starting them is not a big deal.
All you have to do is select a mudra and hold it for 15 minutes. For optimum results, practice three times a day.
Want things to be even better? Combine yoga mudras with meditation.
The person performing mudras should have faith in yoga and its benefits. Only then the heart and mind will align and positive changes can be achieved quickly.
Recommended Story – Yoga For Weight Loss: Burn Calories The Yogic Way
When To Perform?
The best time to perform mudras and meditation is early in morning when the air is fresh and the mind is clear.
However, you can perform mudras at any other time as well. Just make sure to follow the proper rules.
In a single sitting, you can perform a mudra for 40 minutes at a stretch.
However, if you are going to perform it multiple times a day then do it for only 15-20 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day.
It is worthwhile to know that some of the mudras are actually practiced in our everyday life. For example, in namaste, both the palms are joined together as an expression of gratitude. This gesture is called the Anjali mudra.
Here are some more prominent yoga mudras for complete wellness:
1. Gyan Mudra
Gyan mudra is commonly used in yoga. You may have watched people practicing yoga or meditation while performing this mudra.
Benefits of Gyan Mudra:
- Enhances learning and boosts focus
- Aids in the treatment of insomnia
- Relieves tension, and results in good feelings
- Combats depression
- Enhances cognitive performance and concentration
- Helps to relieve headaches
- Useful for treating diabetes alongwith medications and healthy diet
How To Perform Gyan Mudra?
To do this, you have to position your hands over the lap with your palms facing upwards.
Join the thumb tip with the index finger tip and stretch out the rest of the fingers of each hand and hold that position.
2. Vayu Mudra
“Vayu” means air. This mudra balances the vayu or air element. Vata dosha leads to imbalance of air elements in the body and this mudra can be performed to correct it.
It can be useful for resolving pain related to sciatica and arthritis.
Benefits of Vayu Mudra:
- Alleviates bloating and gas
- Good for relieving constipation
- Helpful for patients of cervical spondylosis
- Good for angina or chest pain
- Improves immunity against cold, especially in winters
- Strengthens brittle, dry hair caused by vata dosha
How To Perform Vayu Mudra?
With the end of your thumb, fold your index finger and touch the second phalanx bone.
Apply mild pressure to the base of the thumb with the end of the index finger.
Straighten the remaining three fingers while keeping them stretched out.
3. Surya Mudra
The element of fire is usually associated with metabolic energy and activities in the body and this mudra can balance the fire element making it an energy boosting mudra.
Since, slow metabolism is the root cause of many modern diseases like diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, etc. the correct metabolic rate can be achieved through a proper diet and exercise.
Surya yoga mudra can help to maintain proper body temperature which helps to prevent many diseases and maintain homeostasis.
The earth element is reduced by practicing this mudra. Therefore, it is also called “Prithvi Shamak Mudra”. However, one should not perform this mudra if suffering from ailments like indigestion.
Benefits of Surya Mudra:
- Reduction of bad cholesterol or LDL levels
- Improves strength and enhances metabolism
- Inculcates discipline
- Helps in digestion
- May aid in weight loss by burning excess fat through fast metabolism
- Improves skin health and provides lustre to skin
How To Perform Surya Mudra?
Fold the ring finger inwards, positioning the end at the base of your thumb.
Press a bit on the second phalanx bone with your thumb. Extend the remaining three fingers and hold until a few breaths.
4. Prana Mudra
Prana simply means life. Therefore, this mudra balances the life element.
The ‘life’ element provides internal energy which keeps you going and pursuing your daily life.
Sometimes, due to different stressors, you may feel exhausted and low. This mudra will help to improve vitality and alertness.
It is a powerful mudra and can help in improving numerous health conditions.
Benefits of Prana Mudra:
- Improves the immune system
- Enhances the flow of life energy
- Improves eyesight
- Brings back lost ambition and purpose
- Relieves anger, restlessness and frustration
- Improves digestion and soothes ulcers
- Improves blood flow and oxygen level
How To Perform Prana Mudra?
To perform prana mudra, extend the index and middle fingers while touching the tips of the ring and little finger with the tip of the thumb.
Hold and take a few deep breaths.
5. Prithvi Vardhak Mudra
The earth element is increased and the fire element is decreased in the body by performing Prithvi Vardhak Mudra.
The ‘Earth’ element contributes to healthy skin, hair, muscles and bones.
Therefore, practice of this mudra helps to enhance these vital parts and organs of the body and strengthen the skeletal system.
Benefits of Prithvi Vardhak Mudra:
- Relieves skin problems like allergy, rashes and urticaria
- Enhances the strength of nails
- Prevents hair fall and premature graying
- Aids in overcoming fatigue by providing energy to muscles and bones
- Helps in different bone conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis and osteomalacia
How To Perform Prithvi Vardhak Mudra?
While joining the tips of the thumb and the ring finger, keep the remaining three fingers straightened and active.
Hold this mudra for 15 minutes.
All the mudras need to be performed for at least two minutes to get the best results as it takes time to activate the flow of energy.
You will start feeling a soothing and calming sensation when you perform all the mudras properly. Depending on your goals, you should choose mudras which will balance the energy flow in your body.
Try these Yoga Mudras to bring positive healing energy into your lives!
Also Read – A Yogi’s Heaven: 10 Must Have Yoga Accessories