Yoga Mudra – The Art of the Use of Hands
There are numerous form of yoga therapy available today, some of which focus on the therapeutic effects over the mind, others which center on the physical fitness aspects. Yet another form, Yoga Mudra, is the art of the proper use of hands in order to channel the energy properly through the body. Normally Mudra is used together with asanas (poses) and pranayama (breathing techniques) from various forms of yoga to create a complete session which is beneficial to the mind, body and spirit.
There are several types of mudras, all practiced with varying techniques of contouring the hands in order to gain their maximum benefits. The most commonly practiced mudras include:
Apaan Mudra: The tip of the thumb is joined with the tips of the ring and middle fingers while keeping the remaining two fingers straight. Apaan is beneficial for the body as it cleanses it by eliminating all waste products produced by the body. It is particularly useful for people suffering from problems related to urination and constipation.
Gyaan Mudra: Also known as the Om Mudra, it is accomplished by joining the tips of the thumb and index finger to make an “O” shape. Used along with meditation, gyaan is very useful in gaining inner peace and tranquility. Therapeutically, it proves to be of great value for the treatment of psychological ailment as it promotes a sense of happiness, hones the memory and develops the intellect of the yogi.
Ling Mudra: A complex Mudra achieved by interlocking the hands, Ling is a great way of raising body heat, which in turn is therapeutically beneficial for relieving cold and flu symptoms from within the body, without the use of external medication.
Mukula Mudra: When performed it resembles a closed bud of lotus. Keeping the elbows next to the ribcage, the forearms are placed parallel to the ground in front of the abdomen. The hands are held palms up with the fingers joined together, but pointing up. This Mudra is a great way to channel energy towards areas of the body where healing is required.
Prana Mudra: The ring finger and pinky finger are brought together with the thumb to attain this Mudra, which is a complicated cycle practiced with a series of breathing techniques and meditation. This Mudra is particularly beneficial for pumping the life force into the body and also provides a special power to the eyes.
Prithvi Mudra: An easier Mudra done by joining the ring finger and the thumb together, it promotes feelings of happiness and assists in giving power to the entire body.
Shoonya Mudra: Also known as Shuni Mudra, it is practiced by pressing the tip of the middle finger into the base of the thumb and curving the thumb over the finger. The remaining three fingers are kept straight upright. This Mudra is the key for achieving patience, endurance and devotion. In addition, it also helps relieve health problems related to the ear.
Other famous mudras include Surya Mudra, Varun Mudra and Vayu Mudra, all of which have various benefits for the mind and body.
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