8 Yoga Mudras and why you should do them
Hand gestures that assist in guiding energy flow
Your body is like a mini world, which consists of five elements or components Vayu (Air), Agni (Fire), Jala (Water), Bhumi (Earth), and Akasha (Aether). When any of these elements is disturbed, you can experience some imbalance in your mind and it can also make you suffer illnesses. While you can restore your body using physical postures, various yoga poses can assist you to balance all your body elements. That’s where Mudras come in.
Hasta Mudras are hand gestures that assist in guiding energy flow to particular parts of your brain. Mudras come in different types, and each type has different benefits—but this depends on what you especially need. Mudras are combined with breathing in order to increase Prana flow in your body.
Practicing various Mudras during yoga practice develops a connection with the brain patterns that affect the unconscious reflexes in different parts of your body. Furthermore, the Mudra balances and redirects your internal energy, and this influences your tendons, glands veins, and sensory organs.
Yoga Mudras are great for personal growth and they can be done in a yoga retreat, meditation retreats or even at home. The good thing about yoga Mudras is that they only require hand gesture, which means that there is not much physical activity involved.
The following are 8 basic hasta Mudras and the reasons why you should do them.
Gyan Mudra helps in opening root chakra, which reduces depression and tension. One notable thing about the Gyan Mudra is that it is very calming as well as spiritually awakening. The Mudra kindles your body's air element, which in turn leads to an improved nervous system, memory power, and production of the pituitary gland.
Additionally, this yoga Mudra helps in boosting your concentration levels, develops mental power as well as sharpening your brain. Doing this Mudra on a regular basis can help in improving psychological and mental disorders like stress, depression, anger, insomnia, and even anxiety.
How to do Gyan Mudra
To perform this yoga pose, you need to couch your index finger using your thumb and ensure that you keep the remaining three fingers stretched and straight. This pose can be performed better early in the morning for a duration of 35 to 40 minutes.
Vayu Mudra helps in reducing your body’s air element, which helps in controlling nervousness and restlessness, and helps in calming an anxious mind. The Mudra is responsible for controlling Vata dosha and it is good for people with conditions like gout, gas problems, knee pain, arthritis, sciatica, and bulging stomach. In addition, it calms muscles and soothes a strained voice and other problems. The Mudra harmonizes your natural body vitalities like yawning, sneezing, and blinking.
How to do Vayu Mudra
Use your thumb to press your index finger while you are bending it and ensure that the remaining fingers remain straight. For this Mudra to be effective, you need to do it for an average of 45 minutes every day. You can choose to do the Mudra three times for 15 minutes every day, and you can do it anywhere and anytime.
This Mudra symbolizes the spirit of life or energy and it provides health and energy. Pran Mudra enhances eyesight, removes tiredness, reduces vitamin deficiency, and it helps our bodies to be resistant to diseases. In addition, Prana Mudra helps in reducing hunger pangs for people who are fasting and helps you to sleep well during the night. This Mudra can also stimulate your entire body, energize it, and set motions in your internal organs.
How to do Prana Mudra
Use both your little and ring fingers to touch your thumbs tip, and keep the other two fingers stretched or straight. Take regular breaths, as you inhale and exhale after every few seconds. Practicing this Mudra for 30 to 40 minutes each day can help you to achieve great results.
Also known as mudra of emptiness, it helps in reducing the body’s space element. Practicing Shunya Mudra for one hour on a regular basis can assist in reducing watering in your eyes as well as ear pain. Shunya Mudra strengthens bones, improves hearing reduces throat problems and heart-related diseases. In addition, it fortifies your gums and heals thyroid infections. Finally, it helps in the opening of the heart chakra, and assists in meditation.
How to do Shunya Mudra
While sitting comfortably, bend your middles finger in a manner that allows you to keep it at your thumb's base. Then, use the tip of your thumb to press the middle finger's first phalanx bone, and ensure that the remaining three fingers remain stretched and straight. To achieve great results, ensure that you practice Shunya Mudra three times a day, for 15 minutes.
Also known as Mudra of Digestion, it relieves constipation, diabetes, piles, dental problems, and kidney problems. This Mudra is suitable for heart disease and the stomach. Toxins are not good for your body. Every time you eat food, your body doesn’t digest the entire food you eat, and this makes toxins to form in your body. Because of this, it is always a good thing to detox your body, and Apan mudra is suitable for detoxifying your body.
How to do Apan Mudra
You need to bend the middle and ring fingers and then touch your thumb’s tip as the other two fingers remain straight.
Practicing this Mudra helps you to lose weight and control obesity. This mudra upsurges your body's fire element, and this helps in maintaining the body temperature as well as improving your vision. Moreover, this Mudra helps in curing other issues like indigestion, poor appetite, cold, shivering, and coldness of your hands, feet, and limbs.
How to do Surya Mudra
Using the tips of your ring finger, touch your thumb’s base and then exert some pressure to the thumb. Ensure that the other fingers remain relaxed or straight. To achieve great results, make sure that you practice Surya Mudra for 30 minutes every day in the morning.
Also known as mudra of water, it is good for skin care as it helps in reducing skin dryness and it assists in improving skin softness and luster. In addition, Varun Mudra helps to cure several skin diseases. Mostly, this mudra creates mental clarity, and it inspires fluid communication and openness. Lastly, it helps in balancing the water element in your body.
How to do Varun Mudra
Faintly touch your thumbs tip using your little finger and then exert a little pressure and check to see whether there is any difference. This Mudra doesn’t have a time limit, and you can do it anywhere and anytime. To get better results, consider sitting cross-legged.
This heat Mudra helps to build heat in your body and it can make you sweat even, during the winter. Linga Mudra can help you to manage asthma, cold, sinus, dried phlegm, and cold.
How to do Linga Mudra
Hold your hands together, then clasp the fingers together and ensure that your right thumb remains erect. Sit relaxed, and then exert slight pressure. Linga Mudra can be done for up to 30 minutes each day.
Other Yoga Mudras in Videos Below
Brahma Mudra tutorial with yoga teacher Guy Powicki
Māna - Head Mudras
Shambhavi Mudra: Eyebrow center gazing with eyes half-open
Nasikagra Drishti: Nosetip gazing
Khechari Mudra: Tongue lock
Kaki mudra: The crow's beak
Bhujangini Mudra: Cobra respiration
Bhoochari Mudra: Gazing into nothingness
Akashi mudra: Awareness of inner space
Shanmukhi mudra: Closing the seven gates
Unmani Mudra: The attitude of mindlessness
Simha Mudra tutorial with Yogateket Pranayama teacher Guy Powiecki