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Our body is a mini world made of five elements, Agni (Fire), Vayu (Air), Akasha (Aether), Bhumi (Earth) and Jala (Water); and when there is disturbance in these elements, it can lead to an imbalanced mind and cause our body to suffer from diseases.

While it can be restored with the physical postures, drawn to bring awareness to the body and mind, there is more in all yoga styles that can help us balance all these elements within ourselves. Such is the case of the Mudras.

What is a Mudra?

To put it simply, a Mudra is a hand gesture that guides the energy flow to specific areas of the brain. There are many types of Mudras designed to bring different benefits, depending on what we specifically need. They are done in conjunction with breathing to increase the flow of Prana in the body. By practicing it, a connection is developed with the patterns in the brain that influences the unconscious reflexes in the different areas. The internal energy is, in turn, balanced and redirected, creating an impact on the sensory organs, tendons and glands veins.

If you’d like to add this new dimension to your yoga pracice. Read on to understand the eight basic types of Mudras, along with their uses and benefits.

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 little 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 ring 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.

Information from: Book Yoga Teacher Training

Want to learn more about the yoga Mudras? Text us for appointments at 407.617.9016

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