Yoga & Fitness

Yoga Mudras: Types and Health Benefits

Ancient yogis had described Mudras as attitudes of energy flow, intended to link individual pranic force with universal or cosmic force.

Yoga is more than just about the asanas wherein you twist your body or practice difficult asanas. There are a lot of other ancient techniques that work in the Yoga. Today, we will talk about one of them i.e. Mudra, an ancient technique which we practice during Pranayama or Meditation. The Sanskrit word Mudra is referred as ‘gesture’ or ‘attitude’. Mudras can be described as psychic, emotional, devotional and aesthetic gestures or attitudes. Ancient yogis had described mudras as attitudes of energy flow, intended to link individual pranic force with universal or cosmic force.

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Mudras are a combination of subtle physical movements which alter mood, attitude and perception. And which deepen awareness and concentration. A mudra may involve the whole body in a combination of asana, pranayama, bandha and visualization techniques, or it may be a simple hand position. Mudras are higher practices which lead to the awakening of the pranas, chakras and kundalini. It establishes the pranic balance within the koshas and enables the redirection of subtle energy to the upper chakras inducing a higher state of consciousness. Each mudra sets up a different link and has a corresponding different effect on the body, mind and prana.

Diseases in our body are caused due to an imbalance in the body, which in turn is caused by lack or excess of any of the five elements- Air, Water, Fire, Earth and space. Our fingers have the characteristics of these elements and each of these five elements serves a specific and important function within the body. When a finger representing an element is brought into contact with the thumb, that element is brought into balance. Therefore, the disease caused by the imbalance is cured. The use of mudras adjusts the flow of energy affecting the balance of air, fire, water, earth, ether and facilitate healing with the restoration of health.

Air (Vayu)- Index Finger

Fire (Agni)- Thumb Finger

Water (Jal)- Little Finger

Earth (Prithvi)- Ring Finger

Space (Akash)- Middle Finger

The Yoga Mudras can be categorized into five groups depending on the body part we use for the practice.

  1. Hasta (Hand Mudras)
  2. Mana (Head Mudras)
  3. Kaya (Postural Mudras)
  4. Bandha (Lock Mudras)
  5. Adhara (Perineal Mudras)

Today, we will talk about some of the most powerful mudras which help to cure diseases. Mudras can be performed either in combination with or after the asana and pranayama.

  1. Jnana/Gyan Mudra (Psychic gesture of Knowledge)

This is one of the most basic yoga mudras which help to improve your concentration and knowledge.

Procedure: Sit in a comfortable meditation posture like Padmasana or Sukhasana. Fold your index fingers so that they touch the inside root of the thumbs. Straighten the other three fingers of each hand so that they are relaxed and slightly apart. Now, Place the hands on the knees with the palms facing down. Relax the hands and arms.

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Chin Mudra (Psychic gesture of consciousness)

Chin mudra is performed in the same way as Gyan mudra, except that the palms of both hands facing upwards, with the back of the hands resting on the knees.

Benefits: This Mudra helps to cure insomnia and improves concentration and memory power. Regular practice of this mudra can eliminate all psychological disorders like anger, depression, stress and anxiety. Moreover, it also improves sleep pattern, increases energy in the body and alleviates lower backache.

  1. Chinmaya Mudra (Gesture of awareness)

This is one of the powerful mudras that promote physical and mental health.chinmaya 2.jpg

Procedure: The thumb and forefinger form a ring and the other three remaining fingers are curled into the palms of the hands. Now, place your hands on the knees with palms facing upwards and take deep comfortable breaths. Relax the hands, arms and observe the flow of breaths.

Benefits: This mudra improves the flow of energy in the body and stimulates digestion.

  1. Adi Mudra (First Gesture)

This is a symbolic and ritualistic gesture of the hands used in a spiritual yoga practice to calm the mind and nervous system. adi-mudra.jpg

Procedure: The thumb is placed at the base of the small finger and the remaining fingers curl over the thumb, forming a light fist. Now, place your hands on the knees with palms facing upwards and take deep comfortable breaths.

Benefits: This mudra relaxes the nervous system and helps to reduce snoring. It also improves the flow of oxygen to the brain and increases capacity of the lungs.

  1. Vayu Mudra (Gesture of air)

As the name suggests, this is for balancing the air element of your body.Vayu-Mudra-techiniqus.jpg

Procedure: Fold your index finger. Press the second phalanx bone of the index finger with the base of your thumb. Straighten the other three fingers of each hand so that they are relaxed and slightly apart. Now, Place the hands on the knees with the palms facing up. Relax the hands and arms.

Benefits: This mudra helps to release the excess air from the body reducing chest pain due to trapped gas.

  1. Agni Mudra (Gesture of fire)

As the name suggests, this mudra is for balancing the fire element of your body. Avoid this mudra, if you are suffering from indigestion or acidity.Prtivi-shaamak.jpg

Procedure: Fold your ring finger and press the second phalanx bone with the base of your thumb. Straighten the other three fingers of each hand so that they are relaxed and slightly apart. Now, Place the hands on the knees with the palms facing up. Relax the hands and arms.

This mudra should be practised only in sitting position early in the morning with an empty stomach.

Benefits: This mudra helps to reduce the extra fat around your belly, boosts metabolism and controls obesity. It also helps to improve digestion and body strength.

  1. Varun Mudra (Gesture of water)

As the name suggests, this mudra is for balancing the water element of your body.  This mudra can be used to enhance the beauty. It makes your skin glow because it makes the fluids in your body flow and keeps your skin moisturised. Ensure not to press the tip of the little finger near the nail. That may cause dehydration instead of balancing the water level in your body.Varun Mudra.jpg

Procedure: Touch the tip of your little finger with the tip of your thumb. Straighten the other three fingers of each hand so that they are relaxed and slightly apart. Now, Place the hands on the knees with the palms facing up. Relax the hands and arms.

Benefits: This mudra helps to activate fluid circulation within the body keeping it moisturized. It cures skin diseases, infections and prevents the appearance of pimples. It adds a natural glow to your face and prevents muscle pains.

  1. Prana Mudra (Gesture of life)

As the name suggests, this mudra is for balancing the life element of your body. This yoga gesture improves your immune system, increases the sharpness of your vision and helps you to feel energetic by fighting fatigue. This is a very important mudra as it activates the energy in your body.prana_mudra.jpg

Procedure: Bend your ring finger and little finger and touch the tip of both these fingers with the tip of your thumb. Straighten the other two fingers of each hand so that they are relaxed and slightly apart. Now, Place the hands on the knees with the palms facing up. Relax the hands and arms.

Benefits: This mudra improves your immune system. This improves eye power and sharpness of your vision. It also cures eye diseases and reduces tiredness.

  1. Shunya Mudra (Gesture of sky)

This mudra is also known as heaven mudra and regular practice of this mudra helps to enjoy a level of tranquillity.shunya-mudra.jpg

Procedure: Press the first phalanx of your middle finger with the thumb. Straighten the other three fingers of each hand so that they are relaxed and slightly apart. Now, Place the hands on the knees with the palms facing up. Relax the hands and arms.

Benefits: This mudra helps to reduce earaches and also helps people who are going deaf due to age or disease. It also helps in overcoming travel sickness and vertigo related issues.

  1. Surya Mudra (Gesture of sun)

As the name suggests, this mudra is for balancing the sun element of your body. You must do it early morning to get the benefit of sun’s energy.ff5a031beae7b69421550670f3e821e9.jpg

Procedure: Press your ring finger with the thumb. Straighten the other three fingers of each hand so that they are relaxed and slightly apart. Now, Place the hands on the knees with the palms facing up. Relax the hands and arms.

Benefits: This mudra helps to reduce bad cholesterol and weight. It also reduces anxiety and improves digestion.

  1. Prithvi Mudra (Gesture of the Earth)

As the name suggests, this mudra is for balancing the earth element of your body. This is also an amazing mudra for glowing skin.FB-Benefits-of-Prithvi-Mudra.jpg

Procedure: Touch the tip of your ring finger with the tip of your thumb. Straighten the other three fingers of each hand so that they are relaxed and slightly apart. Now, Place the hands on the knees with the palms facing up. Relax the hands and arms.

Benefits: This mudra improves the blood circulation throughout your body. It increases patience, tolerance and concentration while meditating. Moreover, it also helps to strengthen weak and lean bones. Surprisingly it helps to increase body weight, reduces weakness and dullness of mind.

  1. Linga Mudra (Gesture of heat)

This mudra increases body heat by focusing on the element of fire inside the body.

Procedure: Bring both your hands in front of your body and clasp them so that the fingers are intertwined. Ensure that the left thumb is pointing vertically upwards and encircle it with the thumb and index finger of the right hand. Take gentle breaths and stay in this posture for 7-10 minutes.

Benefits: This mudra generates immense heat within the body and is very useful for fighting the cold. It also helps to boost the immune system and makes the body more resistant to cold and cough infections. Moreover, it also helps with weight loss and improves the function of the respiratory system.

  1. Apana Mudra (Gesture of digestion/vital air)

As the name suggests, this mudra is for balancing the digestive element of your body. The Apana Mudra is also known as the purification mudra. It helps to increase the balance of the elements of space and earth within the body.apana-mudra.jpg

Procedure: Bend the middle and ring finger and touch the tip of both these fingers with the tip of your thumb. Your index and little finger should be pointing straight. Straighten the other two fingers of each hand so that they are relaxed and slightly apart. Now, Place the hands on the knees with the palms facing up. Relax the hands and arms.

Benefits: This mudra helps to purify your body and get rid of unwanted toxins. It also helps to deal with constipation and useful during childbirth in case there is a delay in childbirth.

  1. Dhyana Mudra (Gesture of Meditation)

This is a hand gesture used by ancient yogis during meditation to build and improve the ability to concentrate and heal.Yoga-Mudras-Dhyana-Mudra.jpg

Procedure: Keep both your hands resting on your legs while keeping the right hand over the left. The palms should be facing upwards and fingers extended.

Benefits: This mudra helps to relax your mind and release the stress, anxiety and depression. It also helps to move you towards the enlightenment.

Yoga mudras are practised sitting simply cross-legged (Sukhasana), in Vajrasana or in the lotus pose, or even by sitting comfortably on a chair. In each yoga mudra, take at least 12-15 breaths and closely observe the flow of energy in the body.

Now, don’t wait. Enjoy your yoga mudra practice and have an awesome day! If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

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