What Are Yoga Mudras?
Yoga is a low-impact practice that includes Asana and Pranayama. Asana are body postures that the person who practices yoga adapts. Pranayama is a breathing practice. In addition, yoga also has a separate branch, which includes yoga mudra. The science of yoga mudra and Pranayama or Yoga Tattva Mudra Vigyan is a separate category of yoga that includes breathing exercises and hand positions. A mudra refers to seal, attitude, or gesture. In simpler terms, the formation of different positions or forms with hands and fingers while practicing yoga is a type of mudra. It is common to observe that those who practice meditation touch their thumb to the index finger, which is an example of mudra. Similar to Asana, mudra also has benefits in yoga. Mudra is an ancient practice that enables the Prana or life force, to flow freely. It ranges from a simple hand position to a complex compilation of other yoga elements.
What Are the Different Types of Mudra?
There are different types of yoga mudras. Some of them are:
Jnana Mudra: Jnana mudra or Gyan mudra is a basic yoga mudra. It is performed by sitting comfortably in Sukhasana (easy pose) or Padmasana (lotus pose) and folding the index finger to touch the thumb. The hands can then be placed on the knees, facing downwards. The remaining three fingers should be kept straight. It is known as Chin mudra when the hands face upwards.
Dhyana Mudra: Placing dorsal aspect of the right hand over the left hand and resting the right-hand fingers over the left-hand fingers, except the thumbs. The thumbs of both hands should touch each other.
Adi Mudra: In Adi mudra, the thumb should touch the base of the little finger, and the other fingers should curl over the thumb. The palm can then be placed above the knees, facing upwards.
Brahma Mudra: It is done similarly to Adi mudra, but the knuckles of the fingers should touch each other. In addition, the hands should be tucked towards the naval area, facing upwards.
Agni Mudra: It is also called fire mudra.It is done by folding the ring finger and placing the thumb above a part of the folded finger. The remaining fingers should remain straight. The hands can be kept on the knees, facing upwards. It is recommended to do this mudra on an empty stomach. It is contraindicated in patients having heartburn or acidity.
What Are the Benefits of Mudra in Yoga?
The benefits of mudras are:
Vayu mudra decreases the air element, called Vayu in Sanskrit. It is believed that too much Vayu causes diseases and ailments. Decreasing this element helps reduce the symptoms. It can be done in conditions like stress, anxiety, hypertension, or skin disorders. It also relieves chest pain by removing excess gas trapped within the chest cavity.
How to Practice Yoga Mudra?
According to Ayurveda, an imbalance between the five elements, air, water, earth, fire, and space, causes diseases in the human body. Each of these elements plays a significant role in physical and mental health. Mudras help in balancing the five elements and improves the flow of energy. Mudras can influence the unconscious part of a person and improve the functioning of veins, organs, and glands. It is recommended to practice mudras by sitting comfortably in Padmasana or Sukhasana. Breathing practices should also accompany the mudras. About twelve breaths can be taken in each mudra. It is also necessary to carefully observe the breathing and the flow of internal energy while doing the technique.
Yoga mudra involves simple to complicated formations. But even the basic and the simplest mudra is beneficial for physical and mental health. It is believed as a healing technique that cures mental and physical problems. Mudra combined with Pranayama helps improve focus and overall energy. It makes a person productive and concentrated.