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What are mudras and what are their health benefits? 10 Powerful Mudras and how to use them

Written by Madalina Voiculet

What is the origin of mudras?

The world “mudra” is coming from Sanskrit and it means “seal”, “gesture” or “symbol”. We use our hands to create mudras. With their help, we manage to switch the energy to the subtle body, switching from experiencing to feeling. Gertrud Hirschi, author of “Yoga in your Hands” says that “When a mudra is done with full concentration, and a state of serenity is maintained, cerebral activity is calmed and regenerated”. Each finger is connected with a different element:

  • Mudras for the earth element will include your ring finger; ring finger represents our physical health, vitality, grace and beauty.
  • Mudras for the air element will incorporate your index finger; index finger represents wisdom, expansion and openness to change.
  • Mudras for the fire element will include your thumb; thumb finger represents as well the individual, the ego.
  • Mudras for the water element will incorporate little finger; little finger represents our power to relate and communicate with others, and to subconsciously communicate with Self
  • Mudras for the ether element will focus on your middle finger; middle finger represents the conversion of emotion to devotion and patience

1) Gyan Mudra

Gyan Mudra known as the mudra of knowledge. The tip of the thumb has centers of pituitary and endocrine glands. By pressing the centers with the index finger, the two glandes work actively together.

Method: touch the tip of the thumb to the tip of the index finger, while the other three fingers are stretched out. It should be practices with both hands.

Elements: Fire (the thumb finger – It represents the individual or ego) and Air (the index finger – represents wisdom, expansion and openness to change. It is associated with the planet Jupiter and the element Ether)

Chakra connection: Root Chakra

Time duration: there is no specific time of the day for holding the mudra. You can do it while meditating (no matter if you’re lying in bed, sitting or standing). You can hold it for 30-40 minutes each day.

Benefits:

      • increases memory power and sharpens the brain
      • enhances concentration and prevents insomnia
      • by practicing it regularly, it will help reduce anger and depression in the long run

2) Prithvi Mudra

Prithvi Mudra known as the mudra of Earth. It is known that it reduces physical weaknesses.

Method: touch the tip of the thumb to the tip of the ring finger, while the other three fingers are stretched out. It should be practices with both hands.

Elements: Fire (the thumb finger – It represents the individual or ego) and Earth (the ring finger – represents our physical health, vitality, grace and beauty. It is associated with the planets Sun and Venus as well as the element of Fire).

Chakra connection: Root Chakra

Time duration: there is no specific time of the day for holding the mudra. You can do it while meditating (no matter if you’re lying in bed, sitting or standing). You can hold it for 30-40 minutes each day.

Benefits:

      • By practicing it regularly, it helps to improve body strength
      • Growth and regrowth of hair are linked to the earth element of the body;
      • Improves self-confidence, by releasing confusion and anxiety in the body
      • It makes the body and mind more stable and concentrated, reducing fatigue

3) Varuna Mudra

Varuna Mudra known as the Mudra of Water. It balances the water content and prevents all diseases that are coming due to lack of water.

Method: touch the tip of the little to the tip of the thumb finger, while the other three fingers are stretched out. It should be practices with both hands.

Elements: Fire (the thumb finger – It represents the individual or ego) and Water (the small finger- represents our power to relate and communicate with others, and to subconsciously communicate with Self. It is associated with the planet Mercury and the element of Water).

Chakra connection: Sacral Chakra

Time duration: there is no specific time of the day for holding the mudra. You can do it while meditating (no matter if you’re lying in bed, sitting or standing). It is recommended that varuna mudra be practiced three times daily for 15 minutes each time to obtain its health benefits.

Benefits:

      • It retains clarity in the blood by balancing water content in the body
      • Relieves stomach problems and pain.
      • It prevents the pain of gastroenteritis and muscle shrinkage.

4) Vayu Mudra

Vayu Mudra known as well as the Mudra of Air. It is known to prevent diseases that occur due to the imbalance in the air such as gas-related pain, flatulence, joint pain, bloating, and abdominal discomfort.

Method: keep the index finger on the base of the thumb and press with the thumb keeping the other three fingers straight.

Elements: Fire (the thumb finger- It represents the individual or ego) and Air (the index finger – Air- represents wisdom, expansion and openness to change. It is associated with the planet Jupiter and the element Ether)

Chakra connection: Heart Chakra

Time duration: The practice of this mudra for 45 minutes reduces the severity of the diseases from 12 to 24h hours. For better results, practice it for two months.

Benefits:

      • It cures rheumatism, arthritis, gout and paralysis
      • It is useful for cervical spondylitis, paralysis of face and any crack or disorder in neck
      • It corrects the disorder of gas in the stomach

5) Shunya Mudra

Shunya Mudra known as well as mudra of emptiness. It helps to reduce dullness in the body. This mudra guides us towards listening to the inner voice, which steers us on our spiritual path with greater clarity.

Method: keep the middle finger at the base of the thumb and press with the thumb keeping the other three fingers straight.

Elements: Fire (the thumb finger – It represents the individual or ego) and Aakash (the middle finger- represents the conversion of emotion to devotion and patience. It is associated with the planet Saturn and the element of Air).

Chakra connection: Throat Chakra

Time duration: it can be practiced for 40 to 60 minutes daily; it should be practiced every day at the same time to maintain consistency.

Benefits:

      • It relieves earache within 4 to 5 minutes
      • It reduces numbness in the body
      • It also helps in overcoming travel sickness and vertigo related issues

6) Surya Mudra

Surya Mudra known as well as Mudra of Sun. It sharpens the center of thyroid gland.

Method: bend the ring finger and press it with the thumb

Elements: Fire (the thumb finger – It represents the individual or ego) and Earth (the ring finger – represents our physical health, vitality, grace and beauty. It is associated with the planets Sun and Venus as well as the element of Fire).

Chakra connection: Throat Chakra

Time duration: it can be practiced twice a day, between 5 to 15 minutes

Benefits:

      • It reduces cholesterol in the body and helps reducing weight
      • It increases heat in the body
      • It corrects indigestion problems

7) Prana Mudra

Prana Mudra known as well as the Mudra of Life. That being said, it improves the power of life. People become stronger. It reduces clumps in blood vessels.

Method: bend the ring finger and the little finger and touch the top of the thumb finger with their tops, by keeping the remaining two fingers stretched.

Elements: Fire (the thumb finger – It represents the individual or ego), Earth (the ring finger – represents our physical health, vitality, grace and beauty. It is associated with the planets Sun and Venus as well as the element of Fire) and Water (the small finger- represents our power to relate and communicate with others, and to subconsciously communicate with Self. It is associated with the planet Mercury and the element of Water).

Chakra connectionRoot Chakra

Time duration: there is no specific time of the day for holding the mudra. You can do it while meditating (no matter if you’re lying in bed, sitting or standing). You can hold it for 30-40 minutes each day.

Benefits:

      • It improves immunity
      • it improves the power of eyes and reduces eye-related diseases
      • It removes vitamin deficiencies and fatigue

8) Apana Mudra

Apana Mudra known as well as the Mudra of Duration. That being said, it improves the power of life. People become stronger. It reduces clumps in blood vessels.

Method: the tip of the middle finger and the ring finger touch the tip of the thumb while the other two fingers are stretched out

Elements: Fire (the thumb finger – It represents the individual or ego), Earth (the ring finger – represents our physical health, vitality, grace and beauty. It is associated with the planets Sun and Venus as well as the element of Fire) and Water (the small finger- represents our power to relate and communicate with others, and to subconsciously communicate with Self. It is associated with the planet Mercury and the element of Water).

Chakra connectionRoot Chakra

Time duration: there is no specific time of the day for holding the mudra. You can do it while meditating (no matter if you’re lying in bed, sitting or standing). You can hold it for 30-40 minutes each day.

Benefits:

      • It improves immunity
      • it improves the power of eyes and reduces eye-related diseases
      • It removes vitamin deficiencies and fatigue

9) Apana Vayu Mudra

Apana Vayu Mudra known as well as the Mudra of Heart. That being said, it benefits the heart. It is great to prevent heart attacks, by keeping it healthy. It regulates the gas content in the body.

Method: the tips of the middle and ring finger touch the tip of the thumb, while the index finger touches the base of the thumb and little finger is stretched out.

Elements: Folding the index finger reduces the air element, which helps to relieve pain and relax the body and mind. Connection of the thumb, middle finger and ring finger increases the fire element and the earth element, which helps to detoxify and cleanse the body, supply more oxygen to heart arteries and increase the power of the heart.

Chakra connectionRoot Chakra

Time duration: practice as many times as you can and want. For people with heart problems, it can be practiced for 15 minutes twice per day.

Benefits:

      • It strengthens the heart and regulates palpitations
      • it regulates excretory system
      • It removes vitamin deficiencies and fatigue

10) Linga Mudra

Linga Mudra known as well as the Mudra of Heat. It generates heat in the body.

Method: interlock the fingers of both the hands and keep the thumb of the left hand vertically straight and encircle it with the thumbs and the index finger of the right hand.

Elements: Fire (the thumb finger – It represents the individual or ego), Earth (the ring finger – represents our physical health, vitality, grace and beauty. It is associated with the planets Sun and Venus as well as the element of Fire) and Water (the small finger- represents our power to relate and communicate with others, and to subconsciously communicate with Self. It is associated with the planet Mercury and the element of Water).

Chakra connection: Root Chakra

Time duration: practice it at any time you want. If practiced too much, it can cause sweating.

Benefits:

      • It stops production of phlegm and gives power to the lungs
      • It cures severer cold and bronchial infection
      • It invigorates the body

Are you practicing mudras during your yoga practice and meditation? Which ones? Share with me.