Mudras – Healing at your fingertips!
Understanding the What, Why’s and How’s of practicing Mudras
in today’s stressful, bustling world full of work and only work – we have very little time for our body to heal, let alone taking care of our food habits and lifestyle. We indulge in eating all sorts of junk food, overeating, late nights and many wrong habits that decrease the health of our body. It becomes ver difficult for the body to rejuvenate.
So how does the Age old practice of MUDRAS help us in these problems?
WHAT IS A MUDRA?
Mudra is basically completing the energy circuit in the body- facilitating the flow of energy through the naadis or subtle body. So when you perform a mudra the circuit gets completed – from here energy goes to the endocrine glands and comes back – whatever element it connects all over and re-energizes the body.
So there are 5 elements – water, earth, space, air and fire. Each element is also associated with a particular finger in yoga and Ayurveda. Regular practice of a yoga mudra [20-40 minutes per day in a meditative pose] can balance out the elements and create a healing effect on both the mind and the body.
The mind is totally stressed and turbulent resulting in much agitation. The Naadis or nerves in the body are blocked, resulting in poor reflexes, memory etc. And as we know, the thoughts in our body are based on the flow of Vayu or Air within. The medium for the mind to express these are the naadis so the practice of mudra + meditation helps to remove these blockages and when you calm down, memory can be retained.
Do’s and Don’ts while practicing mudras-
- Sit calmly, preferably in a meditative posture
- Practice for atleast 20-40 minutes in a day for maximum benefit
- Simply touch the fingertips to feel a subtle pulse
- Preferable time to practice is in the morning – but they can be done anytime!
- Practice a single mudra on both hands or atleast one hand
- don’t forcible be calm, let it come naturally
- don’t press the fingertips too hard or practice forced breathing
- don’t practice two different mudras at the same time on different hands
Types of Mudras, how to practice them and their effects on the body –
1)Gyana Mudra/ Chin mudra
Element – Fire (thumb) + Air (index)
Gyana Mudra is one of the most popular mudras. In the body the flow of thoughts is a function of Air – so when you need to be calm, free of undisturbed thoughts and stress – Gyana Mudra is the solution! Any meditation pose, if you practice gyana mudra – it will lead to more focus and control over the mind and thoughts.
How to practice– simply touch the tip of the thumb to the tip of the index finger of both hands. For best benefit, hold for a maximum of 40 minutes or practice with prana mudra
Benefits of Gyana Mudra
- Reduces Stress, Anxiety, Depression and tension
- Increases focus and attention
- Builds stronger memory, response and sharpens the brain
Element – Fire (thumb) + Air (index)
This Mudra helps to control the Air or reduce its imbalance of air. Air balance or air pressure is extremely important – the tightness of the air in the body holds the body together. When you perform asanas and exercise, the air in the body tightens and the prana energizes.
How to practice- fold your index finger and gently press your thumb over it, keeping the other 3 fingers straight. Perform for 40 minutes.
Benefits of Vayu Mudra
- Best for joint pains, arthritis, joint pain, cervical spondylosis
- Helpful in healing parkinsons or dementia
- Also reduces acidity, burping,
- Prevents degeneration and rejuvenates the body
Element – Fire (thumb) + Earth (Ring finger) + Water (little finger)
This mudra literally means – Life giving or energizing. It is one of the most powerful and beneficial mudras – which stimulates the entire body. 80 percent of the body is water and rest is earth, so Pranayama goes well with mudra.
How to practice– touch the tips of the thumb, index finger and little finger together, keeping the other 2 fingers straight. Perform for minimum 20 minutes
Benefits of Prana Mudra
- For energizing, and reducing chronic fatigue, mental tension, anger
- Also reduces depression
- Reduces burning in eyes, improves eyesight
- Also helps in healing diabetes, cramps.
Element – Fire (thumb) + Space/ether (Middle finger)
This mudra deals with controlling the space element. The space is responsible for our hearing – so practicing this mudra literally helps in improving the hearing. And since the ears are also responsible for balance in the body – it also helps in curing vertigo
How to practice-bend the middle finger and keep the thumb over the first phalanx of the middle finger, keeping the rest of the fingers straight. Practice for 40 minutes.
Benefits of Shoonya Mudra
- Best for curing vertigo and maintaining balance in the body
- Improves hearing, auditory functions and reduces audio weakness
- Helps in curing numbness and deafness
Element – Fire (thumb) + Water (Ring finger)
This mudra deals with controlling the water element. Helps increase fluid in the body and activates salivary glands and gives mental clarity.
How to practice- simply touch the tips of the thumb and little finger, keeping the other 3 fingers straight.
Benefits of Varun Mudra
- Helps in psoriasis which is a skin condition dealing with itchy and dry skin.
- Also decreases dryness in eyes and moistens them.
- Rehydrates the skin and helps it to glow
- Reduces anaemia and cleans the blood
Element – Fire (thumb) subdued by all other fingers, Air (index finger)
This mudra represents a conch shell in shape. The conch produces vibrations that removes negativity and purifies the body. And this mudra helps in purifying the speech. Also performed in pujas, worship and while chanting mantras too as it purifies the 72 thousand naadis in the body.
How to practice – touch the tip of the left index finger to the right thumb and simultaneously fold the 4 fingers of the right hand around the left thumb. The remaining three finger of the left hand remain straight.
Benefits of Shankh Mudra
- Controls obesity and facilitates weight loss
- Improves the vocal cords, tones the throat airways and lungs. Results in a melodious voice
- Stuttering and stammering can be rectified
- Cures thyroid