Mudras and health dimensions
Agnida Bhootanam Aadhipati Jayadi homa mantras proclaim that Agni is the supreme among all the five elements, as it is able to control the other four elements. Similarly the Thumb is the most important among the five fingers of the hand. Thumb supports the other fingers to function as we desire. Therefore thumb is called Agni. Thumb is responsible for balancing decreasing or increasing the other elements by forming Mudras. We can Manipulate fingers and thumb in various gestures and regulate the elements thereby restoring health.
Guidelines of Mudra Therapy
1 Balance decrease and increase
v Touching the tip of the finger and thumb balances the element represented by the finger.
v Touching the finger tip at the base of the thumb decreases the element.
v Touching the thumb tip to the base of the finger increases the element.
2 A light contact between the tips of the thumb and the fingers is sufficient. One need not apply pressure.
3 Fingers not actively involved in the Mudra should be comfortably straight.
4 Whenever possible perform the Mudras with both the hands. Perform Mudra with one hand when there is problem in the opposite side.
5 Mudras can be practiced anytime, anywhere, while sitting, standing, walking, travelling, watching TV, listening to music or even while sleeping.
6 Chanting of mantra (e.g. Gayatri, Om Namah Shivaya) with mudras yields great effect.
7 Even passive performance of Mudras using rubber bands, sticking tapes fro unconscious people or for children while they are sleeping proves beneficial.
8 Suitable dietary changes can reinforce the benefits of Mudras, whereas unsuitable diet may offset the good effect of Mudras. A person’s recovery from diseases is expedited by combining Mudra therapy with correct diet.
9 Mudra therapy can be combined with medicines or Yoga therapy. Previously prescribed medication may be continued till well being is established by the doctor.
10 For general well being six Mudras are to be practiced every day for ten minutes each. They are Jnana, Prithvi, Apana, Prana, Shoonya, Vayu and Dhyana Mudras.
11 During therapy the specific mudras has to be practiced for a max. period of 50 minutes followed by Prana Mudra. If there is time constraint the same can be divided into three smaller practices of 15 minutes each followed by 5 minutes of Prana Mudra.
12 When a problem is solved the specific therapeutic mudras have to be discontinued. This applies to the following Mudras- Vayu, Shoonya, Soorya, Jalodar Nashaka Mudra and Ling Mudra. Ling Mudra should not be performed more than 15 minutes at a time as it generates a lot of heat within the body.
13 Some Mudras show their effects immediately e.g. Shoonya Mudra cures vertigo within a few seconds. Similarly Apan, Vayu Mudra gives instant relief during a heart attack. In case of chronic disease Mudras like Vayu Soorya and Jalodar Nashak can show their effect within eight to fifteen days.
14 Mudras have capacity to withdraw addiction e.g. Smack, LSD, intoxication and other mental maladies. Regular practice of Mudra can control bad habits like lying and thieving.
15 Prana, Apana, Prithvi and Jnana Mudra can be practiced for an unlimited time. Other Mudras must be practiced till illness persists.
16 Healthy people should regularly practice Janana, Prithvi, Apana, Dhyana, Prana and Shoonya Vayu Mudras every day for 10 minutes each so that they could remain healthy through out their lives.
Classification of Mudras:
Some Mudras are practiced to develop and maintain radiant health. These Mudras can also be performed by ailing people to regain health. They balance the elements and help us to be ever healthy. They are to be practiced for 10 minutes every day.
Examples of such Mudras are:
1 Jnana Mudra: Performed to increase brain power, improve memory, attaining peace and remove depression.
2 Prithvi Mudra: Performed to attain balanced health of 5 sense organs, good blood circulation and for energy. For happy dispositions and alertness, for providing vitamins to the body.
3 Apana Mudra: For good digestion, for healthy gums and teeth, for healthy excretory system, for elimination of wastes and for immunity.
4 Prana Mudra: For removal of fatigue, for provision of vitamins, for immunity, for stamina ad vigor, for maintaining health of the eyes, for helping other Mudras to be effective.
5 Dhyana Mudra: For peace of Mind.
6 Shoonya Vayu Mudra: Everyday after meals to prevent flatulance, gas problem and also to prevent all kinds of ailmets.
Jnana Mudra balances Vayu in our body and steadies the mind.
Formation: This Mudra is formed by joining together the tips of the thumb and the index finger.
Effect: Vayu causes movements and thoughts. Agni is related to the brain. When the tips of Index and Thumb join together the Vayu gets stabilized. Vayu and Agni together control the mind. That is why this Mudra is called Jnana Mudra- Mudra of WISDOM.
At the top of the thumb lie the points of the endocrine glands Pituitary and Pineal. Performing this Mudra balances their secretion.
This gland controls air and space in the body. This is the king of all glands. So it sends orders to all other glands. This gland controls will power, sight, hearing, memory and sense of discrimination.
Pituitary controls the growth of the body. An overworked Pituitary gland makes people physically big in size. While an underworked Pituitary may result in making them smaller in size.
This gland also governs the growth of the mind-brain. This gland may be damaged due to fear, injury or tension during pregnancy, leading to malfunctioning of the other glands and that could result in giving birth to mentally retarded children. An improper functioning of this gland tends to make people mean, liars and bullies.
As pituitary and Pineal glands are situated in the head it is harmful to hit the children on the head.
When pituitary gland is predominant it helps people to become great genius, eminent literary men, poets, scientist, philosophers and lovers of mankind.
Pineal gland also controls the development of the other glands and regulates them. Malfunctioning of this gland leads to high BP and sex delinquency. Moreover it controls the Potassium and Sodium balance in the body. Its malfunctioning leads to excessive retention of fluids. This gland controls the proper flow of cerebro spinal fluid thus keeping all the glands and body vitalized, strong and healthy.
This gland is also known as the “The Third Eye”. The predominance of this gland generates a sense of sublimity helping men to grow into saints, endowed with divine qualities. These people have great wisdom and willpower. They are not affected by physical suffering and sorrow.
In modern times stress / tension / worry / fear have increased and these often disturb all endocrine glands. Therefore balancing these glands with Jnana Mudra becomes very crucial.
· Tendons, veins become very strong.
· Mental power of grasping, concentration and memory increases.
· Empower the mind causing a positive effect on emotions and leading to enlightenment.
· Facilitates movements of electrical impulses along nerves.
· Empowers the Pituitary gland and the thereby the entire system of endocrine glands.
· Empowers the muscles both voluntary and involuntary.
· Empowers the vocal cords and voice by empowering the Thyroid gland.
· Mental Maladies like Madness, hysteria, dullness of mind, lack of initiative, loss of memory, lethargy, restlessness, fear and phobias and depression are cured.
· Disorders of the nervous system like cerebral palsy, Alzheimer’s disease and neuritis are recited.
· Degeneration of the Retina and optic atrophy are set right.
· Endocrine – hormonal disorders like hypo petuitarism (Dwarfism) hypo-thyroidism, diabetes etc. are cured (with a 50 minute practice every day) Muscular disorders like facial palsy, and Monoplegia and Paraplegia are cured by regular practice of Jnana Mudra.
· Bad habits like addiction, intoxication can be overcome.
· Violent and cruel behavior due to mental imbalance which would be overcome by this therapy- Jnana Mudra 50 minutes followed by Prana Mudra 15 minutes.
· For Students Jnana Mudra is a boon. This improves memory develops concentration and improves brain power. Mental development is manifold.
· Mentally retarded children will benefit- when they sleep put a band around the Jnana Mudra where there is no time limit to perform this Mudra.
· Sleeplessness and Insomnia can be cured easily by 50 minutes of Jnana Mudra followed by 15 minutes of Prana Mudra.
· Tension is removed, anger is pacified.
· Soothes irritability, harsh behavior.
· Aids in withdrawal from SMACK, LSD, MORPHINE, BHANG, CHARAS, COCAINE and GANJA.
· Increases commitment to work and selfless devotion to duty.
· Aids in the awakening of intuition leads to a feeling of awareness and joy.
Space within the body is a part of outer space. A person becomes very broad minded when it is balanced.
Formation: Formed by joining together the tips of the thumb and the middle finger.
Effect: This is a detoxifying Mudra that helps in increasing the space within the body and helps elimination of metabolic waste. Negative emotions like anger, fear and sorrow are replaced by positive emotions.
· Helps to detoxify the body by the elimination of metabolic wastes through exhaled air, sweat, urine and stools.
· Helps to overcome feeling of fullness, heaviness in the body.
· Helps to overcome discomfort caused by over eating.
· Helps to relieve congestion and pain in the head due to migraine or sinusitis, ears due to infection, chest congestion, infection, asthma etc.
· Relieves pain in angina pectoris, regularizes heart beats and high blood pressure. Practice this Mudra daily for 50 minutes.
· This Mudra aids in meditation. It helps purify emotions and thoughts. Vibrations can be felt on the top of the head at Sahasrara Chakra and one gets divine power with an increase in intuition and alertness.
· This Mudra is beneficial for any bone related disease as calcium content within the body increases.
· This Mudra removes tooth problems and makes the teeth strong.
· Locked jaws caused due to yawning can be cured with the flip of the middle fingers. This is why, traditionally during yawning fingers are flipped.
· Helps to balance the body while walking, climbing up or down.
· If rosary beads are placed on the middle finger and rotated with the help of the thumb mind enjoys prosperity, power and material happiness. Heart gets strong.
· This Mudra is more beneficial at dawn.
· Akasha Mudra is an excellent Mudra which stimulates noble thoughts and helps the practitioner to take rapid strides along the path to liberation from worldly desires.
· Akasha Mudra prevents jet lag; perform this for an hour during the flight.
The element Prithvi – earth is a vital component of bodily tissues like bones, cartilage, skin, hair, nails, muscles, tendons and endurance. This element is associated with smell and hence it helps to overcome nasal disorders. Prithvi also reduces fire, so an overactive Agni can be pacified.
Formation: Join the tip of the ring finger with the tip of the thumb.
Effects: Since the element fire and earth have qualities opposed to each other, Prithvi Mudra when formed cools the body and reduces the fire and helps overcome disorders of emaciation, fever and inflammation.
· Chronic fatigue, general debility (weakness after illness) and convalescence (recovery time) can be overcome.
· Treats lack of stamina and endurance.
· Treats emaciation and weight loss.
· Osteoporoses, Osteo malacia – diminished bone density and rickets can be cured.
· Helps to expedite the union of bones in case of fracture.
· Degeneration of articular cartilage is treated.
· Helps to strengthen the limbs in Polo myelitis, Paralysis.
· Dry, cracked, burning skin is pacified, fever is pacified.
· Cures skin rashes and urticaria (the skin allergy)
· Brittle nails are set right.
· Cuts and wounds are cured.
· Hair loss and premature graying of hair can be treated with the practice of this Mudra. Grey hair which is recent one turns black within 7 days by practicing this Mudra daily for 50 minutes. If the condition id older one then one has to practice this Mudra for longer duration like months together.
· Burning sensation in eyes, stomach, urine, anus, hands or feet is pacified.
· Apthous ulcers in the mouth are cured.
· Jaundice and fever is pacified.
· Complexion of the skin radiates with health.
· This Mudra provides Vitamin A,B,C,D,E & K.
· This Mudra makes one feel happy and contended.
· Makes the mind generous.
Prithvi Mudra is beauty aid, can shape eyes, nose, lips, by drawing the Mudra along the part concerned.
70% of our body is water. Varun Mudra keeps the water balance in the body.
Formation: Join the small finger with the tip of the thumb.
Effects: Varuna Mudra affects the water metabolism. It helps to rehydrate cells, tissues, muscles, skin, joints, and cartilage etc. The element water is associated with taste. This Mudra is useful in overcoming disorders like loss of taste sense and dryness of mouth.
Benefits: This Mudra can be used to overcome following disorders:
· Dryness of eyes and of the digestive tract, dry cough, dryness of skin leading to cracks, dry eczema, psoriasis.
· Degeneration of joint cartilage.
· Osteo arthritis, Anemia and cramps.
· Deficiency of hormones.
· Scanty urination.
· Loss of taste, tongue disorders.
· Burns, pimples, itching and all skin diseases.
· This Mudra helps in removing dryness from the body and adds tenderness, glow and beauty to the skin.
· It is beneficial in removing dryness from the body and adds tenderness, glow and beauty to the skin.
· It is beneficial in removing impurities present in the blood.
· This Mudra preserves youthfulness.
Unconsciousness due to sunstroke, accidents or over crowd can be cured by rubbing the tip of the thumbs and the tip of little fingers of the unconscious person.
There are Pancha Pranas in our body. They carry out various functions. They are named after the regions they work and functions they carry out. The Pancha Pranas are Udana, Vayu, Prana, Samana Vayu, Aapana Vayu and Vyana Vayu.
The wind – Udana Vayu is the great force that carries out the functions of the mind, brain and limbs.
The region Udana Vayu works is from head to the neck. Udana Vayu helps the functions of Vishuddhi Chakra which is situated in the throat pit. Udana Mudra activates the functions of Udana Vayu.
Formation: Place the finger on the tip of the thumb with gentle pressure. Place the tip of the middle finger on the nail of the index finger. Keep the ring and little fingers straight. This is called Udana Mudra.
Effects: The elements Vayu and Akasha together activate the Vishuddhi Chakra by their position one upon the other. Vishuddhi Chakra has discrimination power. Udana Vayu is settled in the throat. Udana Vayu is associated with Vishuddhi Chakra as it resides in the throat.
· Udana Mudra benefits the vocal cords (Voice), the respiratory system and the thyroid – Parathyroid glands.
· Parathyroid gland is in control of Kidneys. With this Mudra the Parathyroid gland functions well and the kidney problems are solved.
The speech becomes clear. The respiratory system works better. Limbs get strength and they become strong.
The current air – Vyana Vayu, in the Veins and arteries is said to the be the circulator of blood in the body. When this air current starts moving very fast in the lungs, arteries and veins the disease is called the high blood pressure. Performing Vyana Mudra 2-3 times a day for 50 minutes followed by 15 minutes of Prana Mudra for 15 minutes helps in regulating blood pressure.
Formation: The tip of Index finger and Middle finger to be joined with tip of thumb.
Effects: The speed of air circulation in the body is regulated.
· Blood pressure either high or low is regulated and balanced.
· Lack of initiative, enthusiasm, slowness of thoughts and perception is corrected with Vyana Mudra.
· Drowsiness, excessive sleep is overcome.
· Intolerance to heat, sunstroke can be averted.
· Excessive Sweating, thirst, urination, loose motions can be overcome.
According To Yogic physiology, the vital Pranayama Kosha is made up of Pancha Pranas – the five winds: Prana, Udana, Samana, Apana and Vyana.
Apana Vayu is concerned with the expulsion of body wastes in the form of sweat, urine, feces etc. Apana Mudra facilitates expulsion of waste from the body and keeps the body clean.
Formation: Tip of thumb is to be joined to the tips f the middle and the ring fingers.
Effects: Apana Mudra is a combination of Agni, Akash and Prithvi elements. Combination of these elements improves digestion and provision of calcium and vitamins.
Benefits: This Mudra helps improve the flow of perspiration, urine and stools. Apana Mudra can be used to overcome the following disorders:
· Anuria - Absence or obstruction of urine.
· Constipation, flatulence, piles.
· Absence of sweat.
· Stomach problems such as stomach pain, vomiting, hiccups and restlessness.
· Soothes tooth ache. In general, practicing this Mudra everyday for 10 minutes hels maintain healthy teeth.
· Diabetes is controlled by a disciplined practice of this Mudra for 50 minutes followed by Prana Mudra for 15 minutes (one should also perform Pranayama for 30 minutes. Diabetics should follow these Mudras lifelong to keep diabetes in control.)
· Migrane would be cured with Apana Mudra and Jnana Mudra each for half an hour.
For safe painless delivery a pregnant lady should practice this Mudra only for 10 minutes a month before the due date.
Formation: The tip of the little finger and ring finger joined on the tip of the thumb.
Effects: The major part of our body is Prithvi and Jal (water). Joining the finger tips and balancing these elements results in increasing stamina, vitality, strength and immunity. This Mudra starts the flow of vital energy in our body as if life dynamo has been started. While practicing meditation along with this Mudra, the whole body feels the vibration. Practicing this Mudra makes a person mentally and physically strong.
Benefits: Prana Mudra helps overcome the following disorders:
- · Chronic fatigue, general debility, low endurance.
- · Impaired immunity, mental tension, anger, irritability, jealousy, pride, restlessness.
- · Inflammatory disorders, forgetfulness, urination.
- · Dry eyes, cataract, skin rashes, urticaria and leprosy.
- · Any ailment of eyes is cured, eyesight is improved.
- · The element of earth, water and fire are joined, so this helps remove the obstacles present in blood vessels resulting in improved blood circulation.
- · The Mudra removes impurities present in blood and stimulates joy, energy, delight, zeal, hope and perseverance.
- · Prana Mudra helps remove any kind of deficiency of vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K. All vitamins are provided by this Mudra.
- · Any type of cramps in the muscle or veins and pain in the legs are cured.
- · During fasts this Mudra helps control Hunger and Thirst.
- · To treat any disease Prana Mudra is like a friend that helps other Mudras.
- · To cure insomnia, Jnana Mudra is to be followed by Prana Mudra.
- · To cure diabetes Apana Mudra has to be followed by Prana Mudra.
Numbness in any part of the body is cured by Prana Mudra.