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9 Yoga Mudras for Good Health and Curing Ailments
Yoga is an exercise that will rejuvenate the body and mind of the practitioner. Yoga practice is not an invention of our modern world; it has been practiced in India even in Vedic times (around B.C. 3000). The yoga practice has been included in the daily routine of the spiritual leaders (sages) in ancient India. This practice was used for the physical, mental and spiritual development of the sages. ‘Patanjali Maharishi’ (a sage in ancient India) codified the different rules and practices of yoga and produced a text called ‘Yoga Sutra’, which is the basis of yoga practice.
In our modern world, spiritual aspect of the yoga practice is not seriously following, but still it is practiced by many for the fitness and development of body and mind. Apart from other physical exercises, yoga is very much helpful for the control and the development of mind also, in addition to its physical fitness benefits. Meditation and ‘pranayama’ in yoga, doing along with various physical exercises called ‘asanas’, helps the practitioners to rejuvenate their body as well as their mind.
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is basically practiced in olden times to concentrate the mind on God. Its physical and mental benefits were considered as the additional gains of the regular practice. A yogi forgets his body and his every effort is to get maximum concentration of the mind. He can bear extreme climates without discomfort and he produces psychic heat in the body through practice.
How to Do Yoga Mudras?
Yoga practice is mainly a combination of stretching and breathing techniques. The breathing practices along with the stretching positions help to bring awareness of the relationship between the body and mind. The practice of yoga links the hand mudras or gestures to the changing spiritual and mental aspects of a person. Mudras have an effect on the energy flow of the body. Mudras are used in combination with breathing exercises to stimulate the flow of ‘prana’ (life) in the body and redirected causing changes in the sensory organs, glands, veins and tendons of the practitioner.
‘Hatha Yoga Pradipika’ and ‘Gheranda Samhita’ are the two ancient texts which describes the yoga mudras in detail. ‘Hatha Yoga Pradipika’ describes 10 mudras and ‘Gheranda Samhita’ describes about 25 mudras. Yoga mudras are mainly targeted to get relief from different physical discomforts, but its regular practice benefits overall good health and it will work as prevention against various ailments.
Benefits and Practice of Yoga Mudras
The human body is composed of five elements; they are fire, air, ether, earth and water. Each finger of our hand represents each of these elements; thumb represents fire, the index finger represents air, the middle finger represents ether, the ring finger represents earth and the little finger represents water.
Mudras are finger postures performed by gently pressing two fingertips and by stretching the other fingers. The nerve endings in the fingertips are stimulated by this action which releases the energy in the body to correct the imbalances within the body.
Several mudras were created by the ancient sages but only a few of them are practicing now for the healing of the ailments. Practice of mudras can be performed either separately or along with the asanas and meditation. Mudras can be practiced by sitting cross-legged, sitting in vajrasana or merely sitting in a chair. Start practicing mudras for five minutes initially and then increase the time up to 15 minutes. Fingers of the hands should remain comfortable during the practice and do not held them stiffly or tightly.
Nine Yoga Mudras for Health and Healing Benefits
1) Knowledge Seal (Gyana Mudra): This mudra stimulates the brain and pituitary gland, calms the nerves, relieves mental stress, reduce high blood pressure and migraines. It increases memory power and enhances mental concentration. Regular practice this mudra will cure insomnia, hysteria and depression.
Practice: Press the tips of the thumb and index finger. Keep the other fingers straight. The tip of the thumb has centers of pituitary and endocrine glands.
2) Wind Seal (Vayu Mudra): This yoga mudra is useful to get relief from the pains in muscles and joints. It prevents all diseases that will cause due to the imbalance of the air. It cures rheumatism, arthritis, gout, Parkinson’s disease, paralysis and also useful for curing cervical spondylitis.
Practice: Fold the tip of the index finger on the base of the thumb and press the thumb over it. Keep the other fingers upright.
3) Life Seal (Pran Mudra): The practice of this mudra enriches strength and vitality and it improves eyesight.
Practice: Press the tips of the little finger, ring finger and thumb together. Keep the index and
middle fingers upright.
4) Earth Seal (Prithvi Mudra): This mudra gives relief from stress, reduces overweight and increases weight in underweight persons. This mudra reduces all physical weaknesses and improves the complexion of the skin.
Practice: Press the tip of the ring finger and thumb. Keep the other fingers upright.
5) Water Seal (Varuna Mudra): This mudra energizes the kidneys, gives relief to prostrate problems and bed-wetting. It will balance the water content in the body and maintains the clearness in blood.
Practice: Press the tips of the little finger and thumb. Keep the other fingers upright.
6) Zero Seal (Sunya Mudra): This yoga mudra helps to get relief form ear pain, vertigo thyroid problems and nausea during travel.
Practice: Bend the middle finger and press the thumb over it. Keep the other fingers upright.
7) Descending Energy Seal (Apana Mudra): This mudra purifies and regenerates the body and it relieves prostrate and menopausal problems. It regulates excretory system and cures constipation.
Practice: Press the tips of the middle, ring finger and thumb together. Keep the other fingers upright as usual.
8) Descending Wind Seal (Apana Vayu Mudra): This mudra gives relief for heart and digestive problems. Regular practice of mudra will reduce the chances of heart attack considerably and it reduces the gas content in the body.
Practice: This yoga mudra is a combination of wind seal and descending energy seal. Place the index finger as in wind seal and the middle, ring and thumb fingers as in descending energy seal.
9) Sun Seal (Surya Mudra): This mudra boosts stability, relieves stress and problems associated with diabetes, cholesterol etc.
Practice: Bend the ring finger and press the thumb over it. Keep the other fingers upright.
Yoga mudras were practiced by the sages of India even in Vedic period which was around 5000 years ago. These mudras were often practiced by them along with the meditation process. Mudras are using widely in Indian classical dances also. Mudras harmonize and heal mind, body and spirit. It increases immunity and cures diseases. Long term practice of yoga mudras lead to higher state of consciousness.