The physical body is made up of five elements namely - Air, Water, Fire, Earth and Aakash (ether - the tiny inter cellular spaces in the human body).
Imbalance of these elements disrupts the immunity system and causes disease.
Deficiencies in any of these elements can be made up by connecting one part of the body with another in a particular manner through Mudras. 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. Mudras start electromagnetic currents within the body which balance various constituting elements and restore health. The joining of fingers creates an effect on the human body.
Five Fingers for Five Elements
Thumb - Fire
Index - Air
Middle - Aakash
Ring - Earth
Little - Water
Significance of yoga mudras
Entirely distinct and based on the principle of Ayurveda, yoga mudras are understood as a healing modality. The Sanskrit word mudra is translated as a gesture. A mudra may involve the whole body or could be a simple hand position. Mudras used in combination with yoga breathing exercises enliven the flow of prana in the body, thereby energizing different parts of the body.
How do yoga mudras work?
According to Ayurveda, diseases are caused due to an imbalance in the body, which in turn is caused by lack or excess of any of the five elements.
Our fingers have the characteristics of these elements and each of these five elements serves a specific and important function within the body. The fingers are essentially electrical circuits. The use of mudras adjusts the flow of energy - affecting the balance of air, fire, water, earth, ether - and facilitate healing.
Mudras create a subtle connection with the instinctual patterns in the brain and influence the unconscious reflexes in these areas. The internal energy is, in turn, balanced and redirected, affecting change in the sensory organs, glands, veins and tendons.
Different yoga mudras and guideline to practice
- Chin Mudra
- Chinmaya Mudra
- Aadi Mudra
- Brahma Mudra
- Naasika Mudra
- Gyan Mudra
- Vayu Mudra
- Agni Mudra
- Prithvi Mudra
- Varun Mudra
- Shunya Mudra
- Surya Mudra
- Prana Mudra
- Hold the thumb and index finger together lightly while extending the remaining three fingers.
- The thumb and index finger need only touch together, without exerting any pressure.
- Keep the three extended fingers as straight as possible.
- The hands can then be placed on the thighs, facing upwards.
- Now, observe the flow of breath and its effect.
Benefits of Chin Mudra
- Better retention and concentration power
- Improves sleep pattern
- Increases energy in the body
- Alleviates lower backache
- In this mudra, the thumb and forefinger form a ring and the three remaining fingers are curled into the palms of the hands.
- Again, the hands are placed on the thighs with palms facing upwards and deep comfortable Ujjai breaths are taken.
- Once more, observe the flow of breath and its effect.
Benefits of Chinmaya Mudra
- Improves flow of energy in the body
- Stimulates digestion
- In Adi Mudra, the thumb is placed at the base of the small finger and the remaining fingers curl over the thumb, forming a light fist.
- The palms are again placed facing upwards on the thighs and the breathing repeated.
Benefits of Adi Mudra
- Relaxes the nervous system
- Helps reduce snoring
- Improves the flow of oxygen to the head
- Increases capacity of the lungs
Here both hands are placed in Adi Mudra, then with the knuckles of both hands together, the hands facing upward are placed at the navel area and the flow of breath continued.
Gyan Mudra /Chin Mudra
This is the first yoga mudra pose known as Gyan Mudra or the Mudra of Knowledge.
How to do?
Practice this mudra when doing meditations. It’s perfect when you do it early in the mornings with a fresh mind. Touch the tip of your index finger with the tip of your thumb. The other three fingers, you may keep it straight or just keep it free, doesn’t matter even if they are slightly bent. This is a very commonly used mudra when practicing meditations.
This is a very beneficial mudra and anyone can practice this.
As the name suggests, this mudra is meant to increase your concentration and memory power.
This mudra sharpens your brain power.
It has the ability to cure insomnia.
Practice this mudra regularly to heal yourself of all mental and psychological disorders like anger, stress, anxiety or even depression.
How to do?
This mudra can be practiced in a standing, sitting or lying down posture. It’s easy to do. Fold your index finger. As you fold your fingers you can see two bones. These are called phalanx bones. When you have folded your index finger the second bone that you see, you have to press it with the base of your thumb just as shown in the above picture. The rest of the three fingers should be kept extended as much as possible.
Do this at any time of the day as per your convenience. There is also no compulsion of doing this at an empty stomach. You may also practice this mudra with a full stomach.
Once you achieve the benefits from this mudra, stop doing it. After a certain time, it may cause imbalance within your system.
As the name suggests vaayu mudra, it balances the air element within your body. This mudra releases excess wind from stomach and body thereby reducing rheumatic and chest pain.
Agni Mudra (Mudra of Fire)
How to do?
Fold your ring finger and press the second phalanx with the base of your thumb. Keep the rest of the fingers straight. This mudra should be practiced only in sitting position early in the morning with an empty stomach. Maintain this mudra for atleast 15 minutes every day.
But if you are suffering from acidity or indigestion, avoid this mudra.
It helps to dissolve the extra fat boosting metabolism and controls obesity.
Improves body strength.
Reduces stress and tension.
Controls high cholesterol levels.
Prithvi Mudra (Mudra of Earth)
How to do?
Touch the tip of your ring finger with the tip of your thumb. Pressing the tips of these two fingers, keep the rest of the fingers extended out.
It is preferable that you perform this mudra in the morning. However you may even do it at any time of the day and for any duration. Sit in a padmasana keeping the palms of both your hands on your knees with straight elbows. Perform this asana when you feel stressed out and exhausted. Padmasana accompanied by this mudra will immediately perk you up. This is also an amazing mudra yoga for glowing skin.
othing at all. Perform this asana freely.
It improves blood circulation throughout the body.
Increases patience and tolerance.
Increases concentration while meditating.
Helps strengthen weak and lean bones. Also increases weight of people suffering from low weight.
It reduces weakness, exhaustion and dullness of mind.
This mudra makes you more beautiful by improving your complexion and giving a natural glow to your skin.
Varun Mudra (Mudra of Water)
This is the best yogic mudra for your outer beauty. It has a positive effect on your skin and keeps it away off all problems. A very effective yoga asana for your overall health let us learn to do this mudra with perfection.
How to do?
Lightly touch the tip of your little finger with the tip of your thumb. The rest of the fingers should be kept straight. There is no specific time to perform this mudra. You may do it at any time of the day and in any position, but sitting cross-legged when doing this mudra is preferable.
Take care not to press the tip of the little finger near the nail. That will cause dehydration instead of balancing the water level in your body.
A number of benefits can be achieved by doing this mudra:
Varun Mudra balances the water content in our body.
It activates fluid circulation within the body keeping it moisturized always.
It cures all skin issues like dryness, skin diseases and skin infections. Moreover it also prevents the appearance of pimples for a longer time.
It adds a natural glow and luster to your face.
Varun Mudra also relieves and prevents any muscle pains that you may suffer from.
Shunya Mudra (Mudra Of Emptiness)
How to do it?
Press the first phalanx of your middle finger with the thumb.
Practicing this mudra with full concentration will cure earache within 5-10 minutes at the most.
It is also very helpful if someone is deaf or mentally challenged. But those who are handicapped inborn won’t benefit from this mudra.
After you are cured of these diseases, stop practicing this mudra.
Surya Mudra (Mudra Of The Sun)
How to do it?
Press your ring finger and press it with the thumb just as shown in the picture.
It is quite beneficial when it comes to reducing bad cholesterol.
Want to lose weight? This is an amazing yoga mudra for weight loss that comes handy.
Also improves your digestion.
Prana Mudra (Mudra Of Life)
This is a very important mudra as it activates the energy in your body.
How to do it?
This yoga mudra pose should be accompanied along with padmasana. Bend your ring finger and little finger and touch the tip of both these fingers with the tip of your thumb.
There is no specific time to perform this asana. Any time of the day will be suitable.
This mudra improves your immune system.
It also increases your eye power and also cures any sort if eye diseases.
It reduces fatigue and tiredness.
These are some very important mudras in yoga and are beneficial for your health. Practice them everyday.