The Power and Benefits of Mudras
Mudra is a Sanskrit word. ‘Mud’ means joy and ‘Ra’ means produce. Thus, the word Mudra means an action or activity done for producing delight. Originally mudras were used by the Hindus for rituals. Each ritual has its own significance and scientific denotation. Mudra helps relaxation and deep meditation. Therefore, we see all Hindu Gods and Goddesses sitting in some form of mudras.
Mudras are a silent language of self-expression. Practicing mudra is very easy; in fact, and do not call for any restrictions. They are postures or gestures with fingers during meditation to open, release, or close the flow of internal energy according to your requirement. Because of its psycho-energetic effects, they are powerful for sending messages to the nerve endings in our hands to the brain. In Mudra practice, the body communicates with the mind; because mind and body are interconnected in a vital unity. It is estimated that around 399 different mudras are accessible, 36 being the most practiced ones.
Mudras are credited for therapeutic or curative powers of the mind and body. They help to link the brain to the body, soothe pain, stimulating the endorphin system, change the mood and increase our vitality. However, their degree of effectiveness depends not only on the frequency or regularity of practice, but also, among other factors, the quality of the diet, eating habits and life in general. These practices are performed by people of all religions, cast and creed for relaxation and advancement in meditation. These techniques are 100% compatible with any philosophy, ideology or belief, as the main purpose of these gestures is to reach a body-mind energy connection.
Its practice is not difficult; you only need to stay focused on gestures. To practice the Mudras one does not require great skills, it requires regularity, few minutes a day. For beginners, it is advisable to choose a quiet place where no one interrupts us, away from noise and preferably alone and in silence. Once you have mastered the art, the practice can be performed elsewhere.
Mudras can be practiced as per our own needs. We can make a specific Mudra to relieve uneasiness or help cure a particular disease. A daily practice of Mudras contributes to improving and strengthening of our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual achievement. There are a few Mudras to overcome any ailments. They are as follows:
This is a very commonly used Mudra when practicing meditations. The benefits of this Mudra are:
- As the name suggests, this Mudra is meant to increase your concentration and memory power.
- This Mudra sharpens your brain power.
- It has the ability to cure insomnia.
- Practice this Mudra regularly to heal yourself of all mental and psychological disorders like anger, stress, anxiety or even depression.
Surya or Sun signifies fiery energy. Surya Mudra increases fire element in the body. This Mudra helps in cutting the fat and lowering bad cholesterol (Low Density Lipoproteins). Surya mudra is beneficial for eyes. It is excellent for people with high Kapha constitution (heavy, slow, laid back attitude, excess mucous). The mudra helps Kapha type by increasing alertness and mobility. The mudra is helpful for people who have intolerance to cold and encounter frequent shivering. Do as required for 10-15 minutes.
The Pran Mudra increases vitality, reduces fatigue and nervousness, and improves vision. It is also used against eye diseases. The food we eat is the source of prana. The reservoir battery is charged with the energy provided by food we eat. However, modern living lets prana exhausted due to incessant flow from sense organs. Our eyes that are glued to computer/TV screens, we are restless; our continuous involvement in futile activities such as not eating healthy foods, no rest, less sleep depletes the prana reserves. Prana mudra restores our energy reserves. Make sure you do it for minimum of 15 minutes every day.
This amounts to suppression of element air (residing in the first finger) by element fire (residing in the thumb). Vaayu mudra decreases the air element within the body. This reduction of air sedates restless and anxious mind. Calms overcharged nervous system, pacifies overactive endocrine glands, relaxes tense or spastic muscles, soothes strained voice, and allows re-hydration of skin and particular cartilage. The element air is also a component of bodily humor Vaata. This mudra is especially suitable for people of Vaata constitution (Vaata dosha). They can regularly use this mudra even to avoid illness.
The element earth is a vital component of bodily tissues like bones, cartilage, skin, hair, nails, flesh, muscles, tendons, internal organs, etc. Practice of Prithvi-vardhak mudra builds and revitalizes these tissues. In other words, this mudra increases vitality, strength and endurance. The element earth is also associated with the nose (smell). Therefore, Prithvi-vardhak mudra can be used to overcome nasal disorders (e.g., loss of sense of smell). The element earth is also a component of the bodily humor kapha. Practice of Prithvi-vardhak mudra increases the kapha humor within the body. Therefore, this mudra can be used to overcome disorders caused by kapha deficiency. However, it should be practiced in moderation by people who already have an excess of kapha in their bodies. This mudra helps eliminate chronic fatigue, general debility, convalescence, lack of stamina or endurance Inexplicable weight-loss and emaciation. They help expedite fractures.
Jal-vardhak (Varun) mudra increases the water element within the body. Almost seventy per cent of the body is water. Thus, water is the most abundant element in the body, being present in the protoplasm of cells, extra-cellular fluid, lymph, blood, tears, saliva, mucous, digestive juices, enzymes, hormones, semen, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), etc. A deficiency of water in the body would result in dehydration of tissues. Performance of Jal-vardhak mudra increases the water-content of the body by suitably affecting the water-metabolism. Thus, it helps to rehydrate cells, tissues, muscles, skin, joint-cartilage, etc. The element water is also associated with tongue and taste. Therefore, this mudra can be used to overcome disorders like loss of taste-sense, dryness of mouth, etc. Water is also a component of two bodily humors: Pitta and Kapha. Practice of Jal-vardhak mudra increases these humors. It cures dryness of eyes, dryness of the digestive tract (mouth, throat and intestine, indigestion, constipation, dryness of the skin leading to cracks, dry eczema, psoriasis, etc. degeneration of joint-cartilage, osteo-arthritis, anemia, cramps, dehydration, and deficiency of hormones.
It is useful in getting rid of any ear problems because of heavy usage of mobile. Even if it is not ringing, you think it is ringing. It means your ear is not working properly. May be there will be a heavy sound – some form of humming sound in the ear. Any ear problem can be mitigated with this Mudra. This Mudra is useful, when you are airborne. Your ear pains, while flying high altitudes. Cotton is used to mitigate this issue. Do this Mudra, and your ear pain will automatically come down.
Apana governs the pelvis and abdomen and controls the eliminative functions of the body. The body eliminates the toxins through various methods. The release of carbon dioxide from lungs, cough and mucous from organs of respiration, perspiration from skin, excretion through intestine, urination through kidneys and menstruation through hormonal cycle in females. Apana mudra helps by accelerating elimination. It helps in easy excretion, clears frontal sinus and removes phlegm from lungs. The mudra gives us patience, serenity, confidence, inner balance, and harmony.
Akash mudra counters absence of space in the body. Deficiency of space element weakens the heart and creates trouble in places associated with space. This includes ears and joints. Akash Mudra is beneficial for people with heart ailments and related disorders like blood pressure. It strengthens the bones. It is also beneficial in vertigo and loss of balance. This mudra also increase spiritual power and makes the practitioner fearless.
Some important rules for practicing Mudras:
Practice them with both hands.
Minimum 5-10 minutes for each mudra.
Practice regularly at the same time.
Early morning practice gives most benefits.
Concentrate on the practice.