Yoga, the ancient holistic science, which nowadays is on its verge to become the next best alternative for modern health, is actually not an exercise regime. Well, many of the health conscious peeps would have already figured out its anatomy as to what extent and with how much potential can this practice make an impact on the hebetude of a being. With that said, we would like to raise the potentials of yoga to a whole new level.
Did you know that even a slightest hand gesture in Yoga can do wonders on your physical and mental health? Amazing! Isn’t it? They are known as ‘Yoga Mudras’ and they work on five elements of nature; Earth, Air, Water, Space and Fire. In this blog we aim to clear the fog from some of the best Yoga Mudras and their benefits known to mankind.
Still think Yoga is just about those unbelievable stretches and body postures? Its time you read the under mentioned and think again.
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Chin Mudra- Gesture of Conscience
This particular type of body gesture or ‘Mudra’ represents the unification of the individual being and the almighty. Practicing this Mudra offers numerous health benefits. This includes sharpening of the memory and increasing the mental ability to grasp new things. It is also known to cure Insomnia, habit of excess sleeping, stress and anger related problems.
Direction: Now to start with it, make a circle in your palm by joining the tip of the forefinger with the thumb. While doing so, the other fingers must be left extended and unfolded, especially the middle finger. One important thing that should be kept in mind in that both the palms and hands are pointing upwards.
Team up this Mudra of hands with cross-legged sitting posture, and in doing so, keep your spine and head straight upright. Chin Mudra must be practiced for a duration of around 10-15 minutes; longer than the various known mudras.
You can even try turning your palm downwards while practicing it, but then, it would be called the ‘Gyana Mudra’ or the gesture of knowledge.
Abhaya Mudra- Gesture of Fearlessness
Highly common gesture in Buddhism, this Mudra is a familiar one in numerous idols of the religion. Lord Buddha can be seen doing that. Not only in Buddhism, but other cultures and religions as well. The mudra symbolizes kindness, helpfulness, peace and victory over fear.
Direction: It’s quite simple. Just raise your right hand till the height of your soldier and bend your palm at right angle, opening the face of it outward. The fingers must be parallel and close to each other in a vertical direction. While doing so, rest the other hand on your lap.
Adi Mudra – Gesture of the First or the First Gesture
Hindu mythology describes the word ‘Adi’ as the first. Owing to this, Adi Mudra is also believed to be the very first gesture adopted by a new born child. This type of Mudra is believed to improve the functioning of the lungs, increases the oxygen flow to the brain, relaxing the nervous system, helps in reducing down snoring.
Directions: Start with creating a fist but keep your thumb under the coiled fingers, touching the base of your tiniest finger. In the process, place your palm to look downward and do not forget to exhale and inhale till the depths of your lungs.
Dhyana Mudra – Gesture of Meditation
Whenever we think of an ascetic meditating, picture of a person sitting in a cross legged position comes in our mind. That is what Dhyana Mudra is; the pure art of meditation representing illumination above illusion. Practicing meditation in this gesture is known to eliminate various health ailments like stress and insomnia, even out of control anger.
Directions: Get yourself seated first comfortably in the posture of ‘Sukhasana’ (legs crossed over one another). If you are not a regular practitioner of this form of asana, you may find it little difficult to put your legs over one another. In such a situation try the normal crossing of legs below the thighs. After this, place your palm facing upwards on the legs. Remember, the right palm must be above the left palm with all the fingers extended.
Dhyana Mudra is quite an iconic mudra in Hinduism and Buddhism.
Apana Mudra- Gesture of Vital air Apana
As per Hindu Mythology, ‘Apana’, which is the essence of this form of Mudra stands for air that runs throughout a person’s body. This particular Mudra functions in channelizing the inner air in order to energize the body and removing off various ailments. It also helps in improving the reproductive system.
Direction: Bring the tip of the middle as well as the ring finger to that of the thumb. Join them firmly and leave the other two fingers straight and extended. The palm must be facing upwards. Do it with both hands together.
Agni Mudra- Gesture of fire
Experts of holistic science also prefer to call it ‘Surya Mudra’. This form of Mudra works in reducing the earth elements within the body, as they are the prime reason for obesity in people. Thus, Agni Mudra proves highly beneficial in cutting down of body weight, curing of digestive disorders and removing of laziness. For its nature of removing the earth element (Prithvi), this mudra is also known as Prithvi Shaamak.
Direction: To start with the mudra, one has to bend his ring finger first till the base of the thumb. While you do that, press on the bent finger with your thumb and keep the other fingers straight as much as you can. Both hands need to be made in use while performing Agni Mudra and the palms must be facing upward.
Vayu Mudra- Gesture of the air
‘Vayu’ which stands for air, helps in maintaining the inner balance of elements inside the human body. Upon the performance of this mudra on a regular basis can benefit in various disorders such as rheumatism, arthritis and gout. It is also extremely helpful to people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
Direction: Vayu Mudra has to be performed with both hands. First press the tip of your index finger in the mound of the thumb on your palms. Then place your thumb over the bent index finger. The remaining fingers must be kept straight. The procedure has to be continued till the minimum time frame of 15 minutes.
Akash Mudra- Gesture of the space
Akash Mudra is known to increase the space element in the body. Holistic science defines this particular mudra as a process in which the ‘Aatma’ or soul of a person gets unified with the divine or God. Owing to which negative thoughts and emotions like anger, sorrow and fear get removed from one’s conscience.
This mudra of meditation is also helpful in providing various health benefits to the body. Practicing 30 to 45 minutes regularly can help in detoxification of the body by eliminating metabolic wastes, develop extra sensory powers, relieve congestion, and cure irregular heartbeats, high blood pressure.
One can also perform this mudra in three stretches per day, within a duration of 10 to 15 minutes in every session.
Direction: Make a circle by joining the tip of the middle finger and the thumb. While doing so, keep the other fingers straight and both the palms facing upward.
Prithvi Mudra- Gesture of the Earth
Also known as Prithvi Vardhak, this mudra works in balancing the earth element of the human body. While engaging with this element, the mudra also reduces the intensity of the fire element. Teaming up meditation with this form of gesture removes problems like chronic fatigue, lack of stamina, general debility, skin rashes, brittle nails, burning stomach, inflammatory diseases, hair loss, fever, mouth ulcers and weightlessness.
Direction: In this mudra, the circle has to be made by joining the tips of the ring finger and the thumb. Quite similar to the Agni Mudra, it only differentiates in the formation of the ring. It should be performed with both the palms facing upwards. Practice it daily for 5-10 minutes and you will see the results in no time.
Jal Mudra- Gesture of the Water
Now comes the turn of the ‘water’ element. Jal mudra works in increasing the water content present within the body; mainly in extra cellular fluid, saliva, digestive juices, mucous, blood, semen and cerebrospinal fluid. It is also known to improve our ability to taste and overcome dryness of mouth. Other body disorders which can be cured by this are indigestion, constipation, hormonal deficiency and dryness of eyes.
Direction: The middle finger of the palm represents the water element. Thus, in this mudra the tip of the little finger and thumb are joined together to form a circle. Same rule again! Keep the palm facing upward and the rest of the fingers going straight.
Apana Vayu Mudra- Gesture of the heart
Apana Vayu Mudra is dedicated towards the cardiac health of a person. As the Science of Mudras is in existence since the ancient times, Apana Vayu Mudra was considered an effective cure from heart attacks and thus, a life saver. Today also it is considered a holistic remedy for curing high blood pressure, indigestion, cholesterol problems and instant relief from heart attack.
Direction: To start with it, the person need to first get seated in a comfortable position; Padma Asana (Lotus pose) would be highly preferred. Then place your palms on your lap and must face upwards. Make the tip of the middle and ring finger touch that of the thumb. Insert the first finger in the curve that has been made by joining the two fingers and thumb.
The little finger must be kept straight and out of all bounds. While doing so, breathe gently through the nostrils. Apana Vayu Mudra must be practiced for anything between 10 and 15 minutes.
Prana Mudra- Gesture of the vital air
‘Prana’, which stands for life energy, is by far the most important force or drive within the body. The mudra works in stimulating the root chakra and in this directs the energy to the body. Experts believe that Prana Mudra is the mother of all cures.
Various benefits that one can reap by practicing this form of Mudra on a regular basis include improving of the immune system, overcoming fatigue, improved blood circulation, curing of diabetes, insomnia, backache, blood pressure, increase self-confidence, enhance mental health, controlling of emotions, removing of anxiety, muscle cramps, covers vitamin deficiency and the list goes on and on.
Direction: In order to keep it right, try making yourself comfortable in the seating position of ‘Sukhasana’. The mudra requires a great amount of focus on the breathing system. So you have to inhale and exhale properly.
If you like, you can also mix your breathing repetitions with chants of ‘Hum’. This will help in produce a certain kind of vibration which is required to feel the channelizing of energy within the body. Now, the palms would have to be placed on the lap facing upward. Tips of the ring and little finger would be touching the head of the thumb. While the first two fingers would be held straight.
After a prolonged stretch of inhale and exhale for about 20-30 times, pause for a while and focus your mind, while the fingers still intact as per the mudra.
Matangi Mudra- Gesture of the Goddess Matangi
Representing Goddess Matangi, this mudra helps in the release of inner stress, increase in energy flow and most primarily, strengthens the digestive system of the body. Matangi Mudra is highly referred for those people who are facing health problems like indigestion, restless heart and mind.
Direction: Start with joining your palms and raise them both at stomach height. All of your fingers must be crossing each other except the two ring fingers of the palms. These two fingers have to be vertically joined with each other and must be kept straight. Focus on your breathing and meditate while your palms are in the same position.
Matangi Mudra can be practiced three times a day within a time interval of 4-5 minutes.