Do you think that yoga is only about breathing techniques and asana practice? Think again. Apart from the numerous yoga asanas and Pranayama techniques, there is one more yoga technique. We are talking about yoga mudra that you can practice in combination with Pranayama and yoga asanas. The term Mudra is a Sanskrit word that means a gesture. Yoga Mudras are a symbolic pose followed in Hindu and Buddhist practices.
Yoga Mudras are highly beneficial when it comes to generating positive energy in the body and increasing your spiritual awareness. Moreover, practicing yoga mudras under the guidance of a highly skilled yoga instructor helps you prevent numerous health problems like anger, diabetes, and depression.
That said, let us find out more about this magical yogic technique.
Yoga Mudra – In Brief
As stated above, the word Yoga Mudra refers to a gesture and is mostly associated with a hand gesture. The practice of yoga mudra requires a particular finger and hand posture, which helps you form a subtle connection between your brain and the physical body.
Yoga mudras start affecting the unconscious reflexes between your brain and body. In other words, these mudras move the mind-body connection towards stability and balance.
Do you know that each of the fingers in yoga mudra represents an element? Read further to know more.
The 5 Elements Of Yoga Mudra
As per the science of Ayurveda, the universe and every living being in it represents the five key elements namely sky, air, fire, earth, and water.
With that said, given below is the complete breakdown of what each finger represents with regards to Yoga Mudra.
1) Thumb represents the Fire element
2) Middle Finger represents the Space element
3) Little Finger represents the Water element
4) Forefinger represents the Wind element
5) Ring Finger represents the Earth element
Needless to say, the yoga mudra does offer some impressive benefits.
Yoga Mudra Benefits – In Brief
Daily practice of yoga mudras brings your body and mind into harmony. Since these involve subtle movements and postures using hands and fingers, the yoga mudras activate the energy centers in your hands. In the long run, yoga mudra helps your mind concentrate when you try to meditate and also develop mental awareness.
However, for you to feel the benefits of yoga mudra practice, it is essential you know the right way of doing these.
How To Use Yoga Mudras?
Yoga experts have come up with some easy-to-follow steps to help you practice yoga mudra the right way.
Steps To Practice Yoga Mudra
- Sit in a place with a quiet environment and zero clutter.
- Keep your spine completely straight without tensing or forcing your body.
- Bring your hands and fingers into the chosen yoga mudra.
- Make sure your hands are actively holding the mudra and not tense.
- Close your eyes and focus your mind on your breath.
- Keep your fingers and hands alert to maintain the mudra.
- Settle your thoughts and focus on your breath.
Note: Daily practice of 10 to 20 minutes of yoga mudra would help you achieve the best results. Make sure you do these under the guidance of a highly experienced and knowledgeable yoga instructor.
On that note, have you heard of the Yoga Mudrasana? No? Read on to know about this highly beneficial yoga asana.
The Yoga Mudrasana is a forward bending asana, which is followed by a backward bending pose as a counterpose. To do the Mudrasana, make sure you attend a certified yoga school that can guide you properly for doing this yoga pose. However, if you suffer from a severe hip and knee problem then do not attempt this pose.
To help you do this pose with ease, yoga experts have come up with simple guidelines.
Steps To Practice Yoga Mudrasana
- Start by sitting in the lotus pose. For added comfort, you can place a cushion or little padding under your buttocks.
- Close your eyes and breathe normally.
- Keep your hands behind your back and hold the left wrist with the right hand.
- Bend forward slowly and try to touch the floor with your nose or forehead.
- Breathe out while bending forward. No need to strain yourself trying to touch the floor.
- Relax your whole body, especially your back and shoulders.
- You can try breathing deeply and slowly. Hold this position for some time.
- Come back to the starting position. Inhale when you return to the starting position.
There are a total of 100 yoga mudras prevalent in yoga practices, yoga experts have come up with a list of the most powerful hand mudras which you can combine with a yoga asana or Pranayama practice.
Powerful Yoga Mudras – Meaning & Benefit
Given below are the 10 most powerful yoga mudra which you should include in the daily yoga practice.
1. Chin Mudra
In the Sanskrit language, the word Chin refers to consciousness. Chin Mudra helps you reconnect with inner consciousness and the divine. This yoga mudra includes the Thumb which represents the Supreme Soul and the Index Finger, which represents your soul. The final goal of Chin Mudra is to help remove your ego, illusion, and karma.
- Increases your memory and grasping power
- Relieves stress, anger, and anxiety
- Relieves insomnia, and excessive sleep
- Improves and strengthens your nervous system
Note: You should do this yoga mudra daily, especially in the morning for 30 minutes.
2. Adi Mudra
Also known as the Primary or First gesture, the Adi Mudra looks similar to the hand pose of an infant inside the mother’s womb. This yoga mudra is also popular as an energy seal and most commonly used in Pranayama and meditation.
- Improves lung capacity and functioning of vital organs
- Increases the flow of oxygen to the head and throat
- Activates the Crown Chakra to help you develop mental awareness
- Quietens and calms down the nervous system
- Minimizes snoring
Note: The best time to practice Adi Mudra is during the early morning hours (4 AM to 6 AM). However, do not practice this yoga mudra if you suffer from hypertension or chronic heart problems.
3. Apana Mudra
Apana Mudra is highly beneficial for eliminating toxins and other waste material from your body. As the name suggests, this yoga mudra works on the Apana Vayu, which is the downward flowing energy. It is highly beneficial if you want to get rid of sweat, urine, stools, gases, or even blood that is unwanted by your body.
- Treats reproduction-related health issues
- Minimizes risk of heart problems
- Detoxifies entire body
- Minimizes discomfort of menstrual cramps
- Improves digestion and prevents bloating
- Helps treat Type-2 diabetes by minimizing stress
Note: If you suffer from joint-related problems like Osteoporosis, do not attempt this yoga mudra as it is difficult to do this due to the pain felt when trying to bend your fingers. Do consult a health professional before trying the Apana Mudra.
4. Vayu Mudra
The word Vayu refers to air. Vayu Mudra falls under the category of the most basic yoga mudra as it is easy to practice. The main purpose of Vayu Mudra is to remove the excess air element in your body which in turn keeps you safe from numerous health issues.
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- Helps release the extra gas to treat the imbalance of the air element
- Minimizes knee and joint pain in sciatica and gout
- Balances the air element within your body
- Minimizes shivering associated with Parkinson’s disease
- Best yoga mudra for treating neck and lower back pain
Note: For the best results, you should do this yoga mudra for 45 minutes every day.
5. Prithvi Mudra
The word Prithvi in Sanskrit represents the Earth element. The practice of this mudra increases the earth element in your body. It is a powerful yoga mudra that helps you get rid of numerous health issues like paralysis, ulcers, skin and tissue disorder, and Osteoporosis. Moreover, it has a positive effect on the Muladhara chakra which creates stability in your body.
- Balances the earth element in your body
- Generates immense energy in your body
- Regulates your body’s metabolism
- Treats stomach and mouth ulcers
- Provides you a glowing and healthy skin
- Recharges the Root Chakra and aligns it with earth energy
- Strengthens your bones and nails
- Helps prevent excessive dryness
Note: You should practice this hand mudra for 45 minutes daily in a place devoid of any noise. However, if you suffer from Asthma, overweight, or Kapha Dosha, yoga experts recommend you should not try this yoga mudra.
6. Apana Vayu Mudra
Also known as the Mrit-Sanjeevini Mudra, the Apana Vayu mudra can save you from life-threatening health problems like a heart attack. This yoga mudra helps treat the imbalance of earth, air, and fire element which are a cause of heart attacks. Apana Vayu mudra strengthens your heart muscles and improves blood circulation.
- Positively influences your heart and blood pressure
- Relieves gastric problems
- Improves oxygen supply to your heart
Note: You must practice this Yoga Mudra for at least 20 minutes to bring about an improvement in the energy flow in your body.
7. Matangi Yoga Mudra
The word Matangi is derived from the Tantric Goddess who is a form of Goddess Parvati. It is a belief that worshipping Matangi gives you access to deeper knowledge and mastery over many forms of art. The Matangi yoga mudra helps you get rid of lethargy and provides your body with a major boost of energy.
- Energizes your whole body and soul
- Minimizes anxiety and stress
- Improves efficiency of circulatory and digestive system organs
- Instills self-confidence and clarity
Note: Practice Matangi Mudra in combination with meditation for 4 to 5 minutes. However, yoga experts recommend you should not do this yoga mudra if you have hyperacidity or digestive problems.
8. Surya Chandra Mudra / Brahma Mudra
One of the most important and effective yoga mudra that provides you with some great health benefits. The Mudra has been named after Lord Brahma who is the creator of all life. You should do the Brahma Mudra to coordinate the movement of your head, neck, and mind.
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- The best yoga mudra to enter into the peaceful and calm state of meditation
- Minimizes stress and calms you down
- Improves the flow of the sacred Prana life force in your body
- Best for those suffering from nausea, stomach problems, and sleepiness
- Provides you with a sense of security and assurance.
Note: You should practice this yoga mudra for 3 to 9 sets in a single stretch.
9. Bhujangini Mudra
This one stands out from the rest as this yoga mudra requires the use of your head instead of your hands. It increases the flow of Prana energy in your body. The Bhujangini yoga mudra is done either with the Bhunjangasana pose or in the meditative pose.
- Tones your abdominal muscles
- Controls excessive hunger
- Helpful in dealing with stomach and digestion problems
- Removes gas and unwanted air from your stomach
Note: You can practice the Bhujangini yoga mudra daily for 3 to 5 rounds. However, seek guidance if you suffer from Spondylitis.
10. Kaki Mudra
Another yoga mudra that requires using your tongue instead of your hands is the Kaki mudra. This is a breathing exercise that gives you control over your breath. In the long run, this improves the health of your lungs.
If you suffer from asthma, bronchitis, or other respiratory health issues like COPD, do this yoga mudra.
- Cools down your body
- Keeps the focus on the tip of your tongue
- Increases your life span
- Strengthens the respiratory system
- Minimizes wrinkles on your skin and gives a natural glow
Note: You should practice this yoga mudra for a period of 2 to 5 minutes each day to reap all the benefits. However, yoga experts recommend you to not do the Kaki Mudra if you suffer from a common cold, low blood pressure, glaucoma, or sinus.
These are the most powerful yoga mudra that you should include in daily yoga practice. Apart from helping you fight numerous physical health problems, these help you connect with the divine source of life.
For you to experience the spiritual and mental benefits of yoga, you should include these yoga mudras into daily practice.