Mudras translate as gestures. They are physical positions of the whole body or parts of the body such as the hands which subtly alter the flow of prana, deepening the awareness and altering the mood. They may be practiced alone or in combination with certain asanas. Hand mudras can be used during pranayama and meditation.
Asana Name: Agochari Mudra - Also Called Nasikagra Drishti (Nosetip Gazing)
beyond sensory perception, unknown or invisible
Nasi – nose
Drishti – gazing
Sit in a meditative asana with the hands in dhyana mudra. Close your eyes. Relax the body. Open the eyes and become aware of the tip of the nose. You should be able to see inverted V. If this is not visible, you can start with a finger on the tip to get the focus right (a red dot on the tip of the nose can also be used to gain focus). Concentrate on this point for about 10 seconds. Breathe normally. Close your eyes again. Warm up your hands and cover your eyes to relax the eyes. Continue the practice for a few minutes.
- Good for calming and stability of the mind as well as stress relief.
- Eyes become strong and introspection is created.
- Control over pranic energy
- Awakening and balancing of mooladhara chakra.
Do not over strain the eyes. Do not overdo the exercise as nausea might be felt and if it’s done for too long one may get a headache
Asana Name: Ashwini Mudra – Horse Gesture
- Preparation for moola bandha.
- Strengthens the muscles of the anus.
- Helping to prevent anal incontinence.
- Helps prevent constipation and haemorrhoids.
- Helps to prevent prolapse of the rectum or uterus.
- Helpful in pregnancy due to the above.
- Helpful in postnatal recovery.
- Prevents dissipation of prana.
- Practicing in sitting position is a good alternative if one cannot practice sarvangasan for whatever reason eg. Pregnancy, high blood pressure etc,
Asana Name: Kaki Mudra – Crow Gesture
Kaki – crow
- Sit in a meditative asana with the hands in chin or jnana mudra.
- Make the mouth into a beak, with the tongue rounded, as in shitali.
- Inhale slowly and fully. (It can be combined with Agochari and looking at the nose while inhaling).
- Exhale while closing the eyes.
- Repeat for a few minutes.
- Stimulates digestive system. It is said that ‘your digestion system becomes like that of a crow’.
- This mudra is good for removing age related symptoms. It will make you young.
- Cools the body.
- Calms the mind and release tensions.
Precautions:Do not practice if there is glaucoma, low blood pressure, cough or cold. For diabetic retinopathy or recent eye operation one should consult an expert before practicing.
Asana Name: Khechari Mudra – Tongue Gesture
Variation :This can be performed in Viparit Karni – Inverted Pose.
- Good for thyroid
- Strengthens the digestive system as it stimulates certain hormones and saliva.
- Hunger and thirst are reduced.
- When performed in inverted pose, it retains ojas (life nectar).
- Improves meditation.
- Good for sinus problems.
- Awakens kundalini.
Precautions:Mouth ailments may stop one from practicing this mudra.
Asana Name: Maha Mudra – Great Psychic Attitude
- From sitting position, bend the left leg and sit on the heel. Keep the right leg out in front.
- Hold toes of the right leg with both hands and keep the head facing forward.
- Inhale with kaki and agochari mudra and bend the head a bit further back.
- Hold the breath for as long as comfortable while applying khechari and shambhavi mudra, as well as moola bandha.
- Exhale, close your eyes and straighten your upper body.
- Practice from the other side
- Practice a few rounds from both sides.
- Increases pranic energy.
- Removes energy blockages.
- Creates heat in the body.
- High blood pressure or heart complaints.
- If eye diseases or recent eye operations, do not practice without an experts opinion.
- Avoid during menstruation and pregnancy.
Asana Name: Manduki Mudra - Frog Gesture
- Mooladhara chakra is stimulated and the pranic energy flow is balanced.
- Good for the digestion, increases appetite, as it increases saliva.
- Face looks more attractive as the muscles of the face are relaxed.
- Good for anti-ageing and for delayed growth of grey hair.
- Good for throat and makes the tongue strong.
- Affects the sense of taste and creates a divine sense of smell.
- Stretches ankle, knees and hips.
Precautions:Perform with caution if there are problems with the ankles, knees or hips.
Did you know that your hands hold an innate healing power that has been used for centuries for healing various ailments?
‘Mudra’, a Sanskrit word, means a symbolic hand gesture that has the power of producing joy and happiness. It has been proved that regular practise of mudras not only contribute to one’s overall good health but can be used as a preventive measure as well. Our hands define our karma and fingers being the power points, are a link between individual Pranic force and universal cosmic energy.
The position of our hands has the ability to influence energy of our physical, emotional and spiritual body. Mudras help to link the brain to the body, soothe pain, stimulate endorphins, change the mood and increase our vitality.
1. Gyan Mudra: The Gesture Of Knowledge Or Wisdom:
To perform this mudra, gently join the tip of the thumb and the index finger, while the other three fingers are simply stretched out or free & slightly bent.
You can practice this mudra anytime during the day or while you are performing yoga postures or during meditation.
Gyan mudra helps to increase concentration, memory, reduces sleep disorders, helps to release stress and anger, eases depression and headache.
This mudra has been used extensively for thousands of years by yogis as it brings peace, calm, and spiritual progress.
2. Mudra: The Gesture Of The Earth
Earth element is a vital component of bones, cartilage, skin, hair, nails, muscles, tendons, internal organs, etc. Practice of Prithvi mudra builds and invigorates these tissues and strengthens the bones. It produces stability, confidence and strength
To practice this mudra Sit down in lotus pose or easy pose to perform this mudra. Gently touch the tip of the ring finger and thumb, while the other three are stretched or free.
This, if done 30-45 minutes every day (together or in 3 parts during the day), helps reduce stress, weakness, helps in weight gain, increases blood circulation & Kapha, boosts self esteem & confidence. Also, it increases determination and directs individuals towards spirituality. It improves digestive power, develops vitality and removes deficiency of vitamins
3.Prana Mudra: The Gesture Of Life
To perform this mudra place the ring finger and little finger at the tip of the thumb gently and keep the other two fingers stretched.
Prana mudra can be used whenever you feel drained or tired, and need an extra boost of energy. This mudra cleanses our aura due to its innate ability to control the subtle energies of our aura. It is considered beneficial or all types of diseases and is also said to impart special power to the eyes. Prana mudra is said to help activate the dormant energy in the body (chi or qui).
4. Suraya Mudra: The Fire Hand Gesture
The fire element is associated with body-temperature and metabolism. Practice of Surya mudra helps to maintain the body-temperature and keeps the metabolism going. It is a very powerful mudra with significant healing capacity. It increases the fire element in the body and reduces the earth element.
It is advised that this mudra should be practiced only in a sitting position and on an empty stomach every day. Fold the ring finger and touch the tip at the base of the thumb while the tip of the thumb presses the second phalax bone of the ring finger.
If practiced 20 minutes every day, it helps dissolve excess fat in the body, reduce cholesterol, quickens digestion, boosts metabolism & immune system, controls low BP and regulates the thyroid gland.
5. Varun Mudra: The Gesture For Water
Water is the biggest element of the human body and that is what this mudra works on. It prevents all diseases which come due to the lack of water or any kind of dryness.
To perform this mudra sit in an easy pose or simply lie down and slightly touch the tip of the thumb with the little finger. The rest of the fingers can be left freely without any stress.
This mudra when performed anytime during the day helps balance the elements related to the tongue and taste. It eliminates skin diseases, increases blood flow, and reduces muscle aches.
6. Vayu Mudra: The Gesture Of Air
This mudra relates to the air element. It is great for the Vata body types and reduces any constrictions in the body due to excess air in the body.
To perform this mudra just fold the index finger, and press the second phalanx bone with the tip of the thumb, and the tip of the index finger should touch the base of the thumb.
When practiced regularly this mudra helps eliminate excess gas/air related problems like gout, flatulence, constipation. It helps in diseases like arthritis, neck pain, trembling in Parkinson’s disease, paralysis and cervical spondilytis.