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MUDRA THERAPY IN DAILY LIFE by Anupama



Namaste,

The term “mudra” is a Sanskrit word meaning “gesture.” Yoga mudras are used to aide in healing by focusing energy to different parts of the body. Generally, they are practiced during meditation and incorporated with deep breathing, or pranayama. There are many different types of mudras, each aimed at channeling energy to a specific area of the body. Therefore, Yoga mudras alone can adjust the flow of prana throughout one’s body. Combining mudra, meditation, and pranayama is a powerful method, which yields maximum results.

The history of yoga mudras dates back to pre-historic times before ancient Egyptian and Eastern civilizations were established. When the early civilizations grew, images of various gods and goddesses commonly show them sitting or standing with their hands in one of many mudras. In India, mudras were used in ritual dances to regulate stress and intonation. As religion developed worldwide and branched out into different forms, many of the new ideologies still incorporated mudras into rituals and meditative practices. Although many mudras are performed with hands, Kechari Mudra is actually done with the tongue.

History of Yoga Mudras

Traditionally, mudras have been used in more than just yoga or meditation practices. They are also used in classical Indian dances, religious icons, Tantric practices, devotional rituals, and visualization or meditation practices. Bharatnatyam is a form of classical Indian dance using mudras, where they are used to tell religious tales through the dancers’ body movements and hand placements.

List of Yoga mudras

In yoga, mudrās are used in conjunction with pranayama (yogic breathing exercises), generally while seated in Padmasana, Sukhasana or Vajrasana pose, to stimulate different parts of the body and mind, and to affect the flow of prana in the body.

Hasta (hand mudras)

Hasta mudras may be conducive for meditation and help in internalization. Many hand mudrās evolved for use in rituals, especially within tantra. Others developed as iconographical symbols for depictions of deities in statues and paintings. Others were developed for non-verbal story telling in traditional dance. The human body is mini world in itself. This world is made of five elements namely Agni [fire]Vayu [air] Akasha [The sky] Bhoomi [Earth]and Jala[water]. In the same way human body Is also made up of these five principals or elements.

The Thumb Represents Agni, sense of organ Eye. The index finger represents Vayu and It represents Nose the sense organ. The middle finger represents the Sky principle, represents sense organ ears. The Ring finger represents the Earth principle, the skin is the sense organ. The small finger represents the water principle and Mouth is the sense organ. When we touch thumb representing the Fire energy with each of the other fingers, we can feel the Heart Beat. The electro Magnetic waves produced by this touch reach the brain. The energy thus passed on, can activate different parts of the brain and the body and fill them with energy.

Gyan Mudra (Mudra of Knowledge)

This Mudra gives rise to the root chakra reducing tension and depression. This pose is quite calming and spiritually awakening. It stimulates the air element in the body, which ultimately leads to an increase in the memory power, nervous system and pituitary gland production. It increases the level of concentration, builds mental power and sharpens the brain. If done regularly, your mental and psychological disorders such as anger, stress, anxiety depression and even insomnia can be improved considerably.

How to do it

This pose is performed by touching the index finger with the thumb while keeping the other three fingers straight. It is best to perform this pose in the early morning for 35 to 40 minutes at a stretch.

Vayu Mudra (Mudra of Air)

This particular Mudra reduces the air element of the body which controls the restlessness, nervousness, and calms an uneasy mind. It controls the Vata dosha and helps with Arthritis, gas problems, Sciatica, Gout, knee pain or bulging stomach; relaxes the muscles, overcharged endocrine glands, soothes strained voice and with many other problems. It also harmonizes our natural body energies, such as blinking, sneezing or yawning.

How to do it

Bend your index finger and press it with your thumb while keeping other fingers straight. Perform this pose for 45 minutes at a stretch every day, or for 10 to 15 minutes three times a day. It can be done anytime and anywhere.

Prana Mudra (Mudra of life)

Prana Mudra symbolizes energy or spirit of life. It provides energy and health. It improves eyesight, increases the body resistance to diseases, reduces deficiency of vitamins, and removes tiredness. Additionally, it reduces hunger pangs during fasting and gives you a good night’s sleep. It also stimulates the entire human body, energizes it and puts the internal organs in motion.

How to do it

Touch the tip of the thumb with the ring finger and the middle finger together, while keeping the other two fingers straight. Take a regular breath, breathe in and exhale for a few seconds. You can also chant So-Hum while inhaling and hum on while exhaling. 30 to 40 minutes every day is enough to see results.

Shunya Mudra (Mudra of Emptiness)

It is a Mudra of emptiness or heaven, which reduces the space element in the body. One hour of this Mudra, if done regularly, can reduce ear pain and watering of the eyes. It improves hearing, strengthens the bones, reduces heart diseases and throat problems. It heals thyroid diseases and fortifies the gums. It also opens the heart chakra and helps in meditation.

How to do it

Sit comfortably and bend the middle finger in a way that it is kept at the base of the thumb. Then press the first phalanx bone of the middle finger with the tip of the thumb so that pressure is exerted, while the other three fingers are kept straight and stretched. You can practice this Mudra for fifteen minutes, three times a day to get good results.

Apan Mudra (Mudra of Digestion)

This Mudra gives relief from constipation, piles, diabetes, kidney defects and the dental problems. It is best for stomach and heart disease. We are all aware of the fact that toxins are very harmful to the body. Whenever we eat food, some part of it remains undigested and this causes toxins formation. It is very important to detoxify the body and the Apna Mudra helps with this.

How to do it

To do this Mudra, bend the index and middle fingers and touch the tip of the thumb, while keeping the other two fingers straight.

Surya Mudra (Mudra of the Sun)

This Mudra helps to control weight and obesity. It increases the fire element in the body that helps to maintain the temperature and improve the vision. Surya Mudra can help cure many other problems like loss of appetite, indigestion, shivering, cold, digestive problems, and coldness of body limbs, hands or feet.

How to do it

With the tip of the ring finger, touch the base of the thumb and apply pressure on it. Keep the other fingers straight or relaxed. 30 minutes of this practice at early hours of the morning is sufficient for getting the results

Varun Mudra (Mudra of Water)

This Mudra reduces the dryness of the skin and helps to improve its luster and softness. It also helps cure many skin diseases. It is known as a seat of mental clarity. It encourages openness and fluid communication and balances the water element in the body.

How to do it

Slightly touch the tip of the thumb with the little finger, then put some pressure and see the difference. There is no time limit for doing this Mudra and can be done anytime and anywhere. It is better to sit cross-legged for better form and result.

Ling Mudra (Mudra of Heat)

This Mudra builds heat in the body and can cause sweating even in winters. It helps in the control of cold, asthma, cough, sinus and dried phlegm.

How to do it

To perform this pose, clasp the fingers of both hands together and keep your right thumb erect. Place a little pressure and sit relaxed. You can do this pose for 20 to 30 minutes every day.

Thanks

Anupama

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