Rita guides you through a most loving and sacred yoga practice. Her gentle nature and lightness allow for the most wonderful unfolding to take place in her class. As a fellow student and teacher I am always appreciative of her gifts and radiant smile she shares with others. ... Aarti Ganesh           Read more...

Yoga Mudras

The special gesture of the fingers and hands in relation to the body is called a Mudra. These Mudras generate, redirect and recharge the hidden energies of Panch Mahapranas, i.e the immediate force which governs the physical body. 

The attitudes and postures adopted during Mudra practices establish a direct link between :
Annamaya Kosha (The physical body),
Pranamaya Kosha (The pranic body) and Manomaya Kosha (The mental body). 

After establishing the Pranic balance within the Koshas, the practitioner gradually enables the redirection of subtle energy to the upper chakras, inducing higher states of consciousness. 

There are 25 mudras in Hatha Yoga which can be categorized into five groups. They are Mana (Head Mudras), Kaya (Postures Mudras), Bandha (lock Mudras), Adhara (Perineal Mudras) & Hasta (Hand Mudras).

To make it simple these can be categorized into two groups

1. Mudras involving the whole body in a combination of Asana, Pranayama, Bandha and visualization techniques. These types of Mudras lead to awaking of Pranas, Chakras & Kundalini.

2. Simple hand Mudras for balancing the five elements.


FIVE GROUPS OF YOGA MUDRA

1. Mana / Head Mudras

Mana Mudras involve the engagement of subtle skeletal muscles, mostly in the areas of the pelvis and centralize the Prana in the body. These are useful in stimulating the Kundalini powers. They are called Shambhavi, Nasikagra Drishti, Khechari, Kaki, Bhujangini, Bhoochari, Akashi, Shanmukhi, Unmani Mudras. Mana Mudras need concentration and focus on internal consciousness whilst elevating the cognizance. The positions of the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and lips play a key role in these Mudras.

2. Kaya / Postures Mudras

These practices utilize physical postures combined with breathing and concentration. They are called Prana, Vipreetakarni, Yoga, Pashinee, Manduki, Tadagi Mudras. Kaya Mudras reinvigorates the Prana in the body and directs the Prana into specific Chakras which are energy channels.

3. Bandha / Lock Mudras

These practices combine Mudra and Bandha which give rise to special kind of nerve impulses which are sent to the brain centers and translated as new sensation e.g. vibration, throbbing, creeping sensation, feeling of ecstasy, bliss, extreme joy etc. They are called Maha Mudra, Maha Bheda Mudra, Maha Vedha Mudra.

4. Adhara /Perineal Mudras

These techniques redirect Prana from the lower centres to the brain. These Mudras control the sexual capacity. They are called Ashwini Mudra, Vajroli/Sahajoli Mudra.

5. Hasta / Hand Mudras

Hand Mudras are all meditative Mudras. They redirect the Prana being emitted by the hands back into the body. They are called Jnana /Gyan, Chin, Yoni, Bhairava, Hridaya Mudras.

NOTE

The above Mudras should be learnt under the instructions of Yoga Mudra experts to get wonderful results.

MUDRA AND HEALTH

THE PHYSICAL BODY

The physical body is composed of five elements which are fused with each other in different proportions to form each human body. These five elements are fire, air, space (ether), earth and water. The thumb represents fire, the index finger represents air, the middle finger represents space, the ring finger represents earth and the little finger represents water. 

When these five elements are present in fixed proportion, body remains healthy. But if there is a slightest imbalance in these elements, it can upset our immune system and cause various ailments. The ancient Yogis explained how with bringing together the fingers in various permutations and combinations, the elements could be manipulated in the physical body. This balancing of the tension and redirection of the internal energy affects the changes in veins, tendons, glands and sensory organs to bring the body back to a healthy state.

MUDRA SCIENCE

• Mudra science is an independent Yoga which brings quick and effective changes.

• Mudras are easy to practice and can be practiced by sitting, standing or lying on bed whenever and wherever you have time. But these are most effective when we perform in Vajrasana, Padmasana or Sukhasana and on an empty stomach.

• While performing Mudras, try to keep the rest of the fingers straight. It is always a better option to do these Mudras with both hands with the palms facing the sky, although it is not a rule.

• The left hand Mudras are beneficial for the right side of the body and vice versa.

• Mudras can be practiced for a minimum of 30 seconds & up to 45 minutes daily. The practice can be spread out over three times a day for convenience or depending on your capacity.

• Mudras can be practised both by the healthy and the non-healthy. In the former case they are preventive measures, which preserve your health.

• Continuous practice of the Mudra will create minute changes in your body. There is perhaps nothing better in the world than the practice of Mudras for success and wellbeing.

• So try it, it really helps.

Following are a few very powerful Mudras for the wonderful health benefits…




1. Mudra of Knowledge (Gyan Mudra)

Sit in any comfortable meditation posture. Touch the tip of the thumb to the tip of the index finger with the other three fingers stretched out. Place the hands on the knees. Keep the spine straight & eyes closed. As it is a Mudra of knowledge, it enhances the knowledge. The tip of thumb has centers of pituitary and endocrine glands. When we press these centers by index finger the two glands work actively.

Benefits

Increases memory power and sharpens the brain, enhances concentration and prevents insomnia. If we practice it regularly, it will cure all psychological disorders like mental, hysteria, anger and depression. For insomnia problem, after this Mudra perform Pran Mudra.

2. Mudra of Life (Prana Mudra)

Bend ring finger and little finger and touch the tip of thumb with their tips keeping the remaining two fingers stretched. As it is the Mudra of life, it improves the vitality of the body as Prana Mudra activates the Root Chakra. In Root Chakra the elemental force of human entity resides. The fingers position in the Mudra provokes the nourishing energy in the pelvic floor. If we practice it regularly, we will become active & strong.

Benefits

It improves immunity, improves the vitality of the body, improves eyesight, helps in proper functioning of the lungs, energizes the heart and removes the vitamin deficiency and fatigue.

3. Mudra of Earth ( Prithvi Mudra)

Touch the tip of the thumb and the tip of the ring finger together, keeping the other three fingers straight. Since this Mudra is an association of the earth element with the powerful Sun, it brings solidity to the body.

Benefits

Regular practice of this Mudra assists in weight gain if the body is underweight, helps restore the balance and equilibrium of the body, wards off weakness, fatigue and dullness and increases Prana in the body. The position of the fingers intensifies the sense of smell and is also effective for nail, skin, hair and bones. It brightens the aura, activates the thinking power and helps to broaden the orthodox / conservative thinking pattern, compensates for lack of Rajasic Guna (passion).

4. Mudra of Water (Varun Mudra)

Join the little fingertip with the tip of the thumb, keeping the rest of the fingers stretched out. As the name suggests, this Mudra is associated with the water element (Varun is a name for the water God), so it balances the water element in the body. It retains clarity in blood and prevents all diseases which come due to lack of water.

Precaution

Do not press the tip of the little finger near the nail as it causes dehydration rather than hydrating the system. Those having respiratory problem should not do this Mudra.

Benefits

Excellent for skin disorders such as wrinkles, skin infections and dryness, purifies the blood and heals many blood disorders, brings luster and glow to the body, especially the face, compensates for the shortage of water in the body, cures constipation. . Since it moisturizes the body, it is also a thirst-quenching Mudra, which activates the salivary glands to secrete saliva, relieves dehydration and stomach infection, relieves kidney malfunctioning and promotes urination, activates the circulation of fluids in the body, prevents the pains of gastroenteritis and muscle shrinkage.

5. Mudra of Air (Vayu Mudra)

Keep the index finger on the base of the thumb and press the back of second phalange with the thumb by keeping the other three fingers straight. It prevents all the diseases that occur due to the imbalance of the air. The practice of this Mudra for 45 minutes reduces the severity of the disease in 12 to 24 hours. For better results practice it for two months.

Benefits

This Mudra helps with rheumatic pains, arthritis, gout, paralysis, Parkinson’s disease, chest pain, back pain, neck pain any pain associated with excess wind in the body. It releases aches and pains and acts as first aid.

6. Mudra of Emptiness (Shunya Mudra)

Bend the middle finger & place it at the ball of the thumb then press it with thumb. The rest of the fingers are left extended. For optimum results, this Mudra is performed for 45 minutes at a stretch. It reduces the dullness in our body. Shunya Mudra is connotation of Sky which is colligated with the highest forces.

Precaution

Do not do this Mudra while having food or walking.

Benefits

It relieves an earache within 4 or 5 minutes, useful for the deaf and mentally challenged, reduces the dullness in our body, beneficial for heart patients, strengthens the gums, improves the voice of those who are dumb since birth and good in thyroid problem. It brings relaxation to sudden senselessness of body due to sudden shock.

7. Mudra of Sun (Surya / Agni Mudra)

Bend the ring finger and press it with thumb. It sharpens the center in thyroid gland. Practice it daily twice for 5 to 15 minutes.

Precaution

Weak persons should not apply this Mudra. Since it produces heat in the body, one should not do in very hot weather.

Benefits

It balances the body, reduces cholesterol in body, helps in reducing weight, reduces anxiety and corrects indigestion problems. Good for diabetes & liver problems.

8. Mudra of Digestion (Apan Mudra)

The tips of middle finger and ring finger touch the tip of thumb while the other two fingers are stretched out. Apan Mudra is called energy Mudra. This Mudra stimulates the wood element which is associated with the energy of the liver and gallbladder. It gives patience, serenity, confidence, inner balance and harmony. It plays an important role in our health as it regulates the excretory system.

Benefits

Purifies the whole body, removes toxemia from the body, cures vomiting, regularizes the urine flow and perspiration. It regulates diabetes, cures constipation and piles. For healthy teeth, use this Mudra along with Akash Mudra. For eyes, ears and mouth related problems use this Mudra with Pran Mudra. Cures menstruation related problems, burning sensation of hand, heart, leg and urine.

9. Mudra of Osteoporosis (Aakash Mudra)

Join the tip of the middle finger with the tip of the thumb, keeping the rest of the three fingers straight. This Mudra is a combination of the ether element with the sun and pertains to any ailment involving sound.

Benefits

This Mudra is excellent for increasing the sensitivity to hear sounds, activates the calcium and phosphorus absorption from the diet and also their formation, which makes it a very good Mudra for those having weakness of bones, such as osteoporosis. Due to its inherent quality to release tension, it keeps the mind calm and serene and can be used during meditation, successful in releasing lockjaw experienced through yawning, mental tension or over-exertion. Regular practice calms and clarifies the thought process.

10. Mudra of Heat (Ling Mudra)
Interlock the fingers of both the hands and keep the thumb of the left hand vertically straight and encircle it with the thumb and the index finger of the right hand. Linga Mudra is the booster of body’s immune system and helps to relieve other problem related to human anatomy.

Precaution

Practice it any time you want. But don't practice it a lot as it produces heat in the body. It can cause sweating even in winter if you practice it longer. In addition to practice of this Mudra follow a balanced & healthy diet. Drink lots of water, juices and eat more of fruit.

Benefits

It stops production of phlegm and gives power to lungs, cures severe cold and bronchial infection, invigorates the body, good in low BP. If Ling Mudra is practised daily, along with proper performance of Kapalbhati Pranayam, then various complicated diseases of the chest can be healed. Regular practicing of this Mudra is effective for those who are overweight.

11. Mudra of Heart (Apan Vayu Mudra)

The tips of the middle finger and ring finger touch the tip of thumb, while the index finger touches the base of thumb and little finger stretched out. Apan Vayu Mudra is a combination of two Mudras, Apan Mudra and Vayu Mudra. This Mudra benefits the heart. It works like an injection for the reduction of heart attack. It is as powerful as sorbitate tablet. Within the first two seconds, this Mudra proves to be instant reliever. This Mudra is also called as Hridaymudra or Mrit Sanjeevani Mudra. Practice it as many times as you can. Heart patients and BP patients can practice it for 15 minutes daily twice for better results.

Benefits

It strengthens the heart and regularizes palpitation, regulates excretory system,cures gastric trouble, helpful to cure acidity and headache, also regulates bowel movements, effective on toothache, balances body temperature and disposes toxic things from the body.

SOME MORE HEALTHY TIPS FOR THE HEART

• While taking a walk, apply Apan Vayu Mudra. This will not only help your heart, it will prepare you for the day by charging up your circulation and your metabolism.

• Do Yoga and Dhyan for at least 30 minutes, three or more times per week. It helps strengthen the heart.

• Nadi Sodhana Paranayam is the best exercise for heart patients and can be done virtually anywhere, anyplace. For this inhale though the left nostril, exhale through the right then again inhale through the right and exhale through the left.

• Increase fibre and reduce fat intake in your diet as this helps lower blood cholesterol. Fibre is found only in plants - fruits, vegetables and grains.

• In case you are a heart patient & want to climb stairs then 5-7 minutes before that do Apan Vayu Mudra. It’ll give you relaxation.

• Learn to stay calm so that you don't lose your temper and increase your blood pressure. Deep breathing is a good way to control anger and to relax.

• Make yourself happy and feel free, keep smiling always. Even five minutes of laughter keeps our stress at the lowest possible level.

Courtesy: Dr. Rita Khanna
Aum Shanti