Our body is a mini world made of five elements, Agni, Vayu, Akasha, Bhoomi and Jala and when there is disturbance body suffers from diseases and imbalanced mind. While the balance is restored with the physical postures specially drawn to bring awareness to the body and mind, there is more to yoga that can meet the eye. The twist is it is more fragile and independent branch of yoga known as Tatva Mudra Vigyan Yoga Mudras.
There are many types of Mudras. Shiva Samhita refers in detail about ten Mudras in one hundred shaloks, while Geranda Samhita refers about twenty-five mudras. From the studies, we come to know that conventional Hatha Yoga Mudras, Asanas, Pranayama, and Pratyahara are used in Laya Yoga Kriyas, besides there are many mudras that are suggested for Dharana and Dhyana. (source: The science of yoga mudras, by k. Rangaraja iyengar , prof. G.s).
Here we mention about eight types of Mudras with each of them gives different benefits:
Gyan Mudra of Mudra of knowledge: This mudra gives rise to the root chakra reducing tension and depression. This pose is quite calming and spiritually awakening. It stimulates the air element in the body which ultimately leads to increase in the memory power, nervous system and pituitary glands. It increases the level of concentration, builds mental power and sharpens the brain. If done regularly your mental and psychological disorders can be improved considerably like anger, stress, anxiety depression and even Insomnia.
This pose is performed by touching finger with the thumb by keeping other three fingers straight. It is best to perform this pose early morning for 35 to 40 minutes at a stretch.
Vayu Mudra or Mudra of Air: It reduces the air element of the body which controls the restlessness, nervousness, and uneasy mind by controlling the vata dosh like Arthritis, gas problems, Sciatica, Gout, knee pain or bulging stomach, relaxes the muscles, overcharged endocrine glands, soothes strained voice and many other problems. It also harmonizes five upa pranas like Kurma (blinking), Naga (bleeching), Kirkala(sneezing), Devdatta (yawning), Danajaya (preserving the body for a while after death).
Bend your first finger and press it with your thumb so that pressure is exerted, while keeping other fingers remain straight. Perform this pose for 45 minutes at a stretch everyday or for 10 to 15 minutes three times a day. It can be done anytime and anywhere.
Prana Mudra or the Mudra for life: It symbolizes energy or spirit of life. This Mudra provides energy and health. It improves eyesight, increases the body resistance to diseases, reduces deficiency of vitamins, and remove tiredness. Besides it also reduces hunger pangs during fast and gives you good sleep. Prana Vayu is very important way in the body, excites the root chakra that prepares the heat which energizes the body. It stimulates the entire human body, energizes it and awakens its organs.
To perform Prana Mudra, touch the tips of the thumb, right finger, and the little finger together while other two fingers are kept straight. Take a regular breath, Breathe in and exhale for few seconds. You can also chant So-Hum while inhaling and hum on while exhaling. Performing it for 30 to 40 minutes every day is sufficient to get beneficial results.
Shoonya Mudra or Mudra of Emptiness: It is a mudra of emptiness or heaven mudra which reduces the space element in the body. One hour of this Mudra if done regularly can reduce ear pain and watering of the ears, improves hearing, strengthen the bones, reduces heart diseases and throat problem, cure thyroid diseases and strengthened the gums. It also opens the heart chakra and helps in meditation.
Sit comfortably and bend the middle finger in a way that it is kept at the base of the thumb. Then press the first phalanx bone of the middle finger with the tip of the thumb so that pressure is exerted, while the other three fingers are kept straight and stretched. You can practice this mudra for fifteen minutes and three times a day to get the effective results.
Apan Mudra or Mudra of Digestion: This Mudra gives relief from constipation, piles, disease from Vayu or air, diabetes, kidney defects and the dental problem. It is best for stomach and heart disease. We are all aware of the fact that toxins are very harmful to the body but whenever we eat food, some part of it remain undigested, this causes toxins formation. It is very important to detoxify the body and the Apna Mudra helps in the same.
Apan Mudra is also known as energy mudra. To do this Mudra, bend the ring finger and press its phalanx with the thumb while keeping other her fingers stretched straight.
Surya Mudra or the Mudra of the Sun: This Mudra helps in controlling weight and obesity problem. It increases the fire element in the body. A fire element helps in maintaining the body temperature and improves the vision. Mudra is a cure of many other problems too like Loss of appetite, Indigestion, shivering, cold, Digestive problems and coldness of body limbs, hands or feet.
In this Mudra, touch the tip of the ring finger to the base of the thumb and exert pressure on it. Keep other fingers straight or relaxed. Thirty minutes of its practice at early hours of the morning is sufficient for getting the results.
Varun Mudra or Mudra of Water: This Mudra reduces the dryness of the skin and helps in improving the skin luster and softness and cures many skin diseases. It is also known as a seat of mental clarity. It encourages openness and fluid communication and balances the water element in the body.
Slightly touch the tips of the thumb with the little finger, but with pressure and see the difference. There is no time limit for doing this mudra and can be done anytime and anywhere. It is better to sit cross-legged for better performance and result.
Ling Mudra or Mudra of Heat: This mudra built heat in the body and can cause sweating even in winters for a long time. It also helps in the control of cold, asthma, cough, sinus and coryza and dried phlegm.
To perform this pose, clasp the fingers of both hands together and keep your right thumb erect. Place a little pressure and sit relaxed. You can do this pose for 20 to 30 minutes every day.
Yoga Mudras is also known as drugless therapy. Though here are mentioned just few Hand poses, mudras constitutes other parts of the body too. Mudras are done in conjunction with breathing to increase the flow of prana in the body. By doing mudras, a connection is developed with the instinctual patterns in the brain and influences the unconscious reflexes in the different areas. The internal energy is, in turn, balanced and redirected, creating an impact on the sensory organs, tendons and glands veins. This generates a new dimension to the yoga experience.