The Benefits of Yoga Mudra: Mudras For Health
What are Yoga and Mudra?
It is a Hindu spiritual discipline which is practised by most of the people nowadays. Yoga includes several exercises a part of which is meditation, pranayama and many more.
People confuse Yoga with Hatha Yoga. The system of bodily postures is known as Hatha Yoga. Whereas, Yoga is an art as well as a science. It is a science because it offers a practical method of controlling our body and mind, by doing deep meditation. It is an art which makes our body flexible and keeps us fit.
There are many other techniques which are practised in yoga, and one of them is Yoga Mudra; an ancient technique which we practice pranayama or meditation.
The Sanskrit word Mudra means “gesture” or attitude. It is a higher practice which leads to the awakening of the chakras, pranas, and kundalini. It allows the direct flow of energy into our body. These mudras in yoga are performed by hands but few mudras can be performed with the whole body. By practising these mudras heal us emotionally and physically.
Diseases in our body are the reason behind imbalance in our body, which in turn is caused by lack or excess of any of the five elements- Vayu (Air), Agni (Fire), Akash (Space), Prithvi (Earth), and Jal (Water).
Each finger represents these elements which are used to symbolise different gesture.
Vayu (Air)- Ring Finger
Agni (Fire)- Little Finger
Akash (Space)- Middle Finger
Prithvi (Earth)- Index Finger
Jal (Water)- Thumb
What should be the sitting posture while practising these mudras?
Yoga mudras are practised by sitting cross-legged in Vajrasana or the Sukhasana or in Padmasana. While sitting in these postures, your body should be straight, and hands should rest on thighs. Relaxing the whole body.
Types of Yoga Mudras and their benefits:
Gyan Mudra (Gesture of Knowledge)
It is one of the basic mudra poses which helps to improve your concentration and knowledge.
Sit in padmasana or sukhasna with back straight and keep your neck straight. Extend hands resting on your folded knees. Now touch the tip of the index finger with the tip of your thumb. Make sure that the touch should be with gentle pressure not with forced pressure. Keep the other three fingers free or straight doesn’t matter if the fingers are slightly bent. Keep eyes closed and focus on your breathing.
Gyan Mudra should be practised daily for 20-30 minutes. The preferred time is early morning.
Benefits of Gyan Mudra:
- It improves focus and concentration level.
- It helps in relaxing the body.
- It relieves stress, anxiety, anger or even depression.
- It has the ability to cure insomnia.
Vayu Mudra (Gesture of Air)
As the name suggests, this mudra helps in balancing the air element in your body.
This mudra can be practised in a standing, sitting or lying posture. It’s easy to do. Fold your index finger now press the phalanx of your index finger with your thumb. Straighten the three fingers of both the hands and keep them on knees facing the palms upward. Keep your eyes closed and relax your hands and arms.
Vayu Mudra can be practised any time in the day as per your convenience, and it is not compulsory to practice this mudra in empty stomach, it can be practised with a full stomach also.
Once you get the benefit from this mudra, stop doing it as it may cause an imbalance within your system.
Benefits of Vayu Mudra:
- It balances the element of air within your body.
- It releases excess wind from your body.
- It controls the restlessness, nervousness and calms the uneasy mind.
- It controls the Vata Dosha and helps with Arthritis, Gas problems, Knee pain, Gout and Bulging Stomach.
- It reduces chest pain due to trapped gas.
Chin Mudra (Gesture of Consciousness)
It is also the basic mudra pose which helps in increasing our grasping power and sharpens our memory.
Chin mudra is practised in the same way as Gyan Mudra.
Join the tip of the index finger and tip of the tip to form a circle. Keep the rest of the finger straight and the palm facing the sky, resting on the knees.
Preferred time to practice this mudra is early morning, and it should be done for a longer period as compared to other mudras.
Benefits of Chin Mudra:
- It helps in increasing our grasping power and sharpens our memory.
- It relieves insomnia and excessive sleep.
- It also gives us relaxation from tension and anger.
- Alleviates lower backache.
- Increases energy in the body.
Agni Mudra (Gesture of Fire)
This mudra helps you to balance the fire element of your body. It is a powerful yoga mudra for weight loss. It helps to reduce excess body fat and lowers your laziness quotient.
Sit in padmasana or sukhasna. Extend your hand on the folded knees then bend your ring finger touching the base of the thumb and press the finger with the thumb touching the phalanx of the finger, keep rest of the fingers straight facing towards the sky.
This mudra should only be practised early in the morning with an empty stomach.
Avoid this yoga if you are suffering from indigestion or acidity.
Benefits of Agni Mudra:
- It helps in reducing body fat.
- It boosts metabolism and controls obesity.
- Improves digestion
- It is beneficial for people with diabetics and controls high cholesterol level.
Linga Mudra (Gesture of Heat)
This mudra builds heat in the body and can cause sweating in the winters if done correctly. It helps in control of cold, asthma, cough, sinus and dried phlegm.
Sit in sukhasna or padmasana. Bring your hands in front of your body and clasp them so that the fingers are intertwined. Ensure that the left thumb should point out in the upward direction, and right thumb should encircle it with the support of the index finger. Take gentle breaths.
Linga Mudra should be practised early in the morning, and it can be practised every day for 10-15 minutes.
Benefits of Linga Mudra
- It strengthens the immune system.
- It is very beneficial for fighting cold and cough infections.
- It also helps to reduce weight loss.
- It keeps you energised.