The body is made up of five elements – air, water, earth, fire, and aether. An imbalance of any of these elements in the body can affect mental and physical health. To restore the imbalance of these elements, hand mudras or hand gestures prove to be very beneficial. Here we will talk about the Vayu mudra and how it can help rectify the imbalance of air element in the body.
What is Vayu Mudra?
The discipline of yoga includes the practice of many hasta mudras or hand gestures that have spiritual and therapeutic benefits. Vayumudra is one such hand gesture that can control the air element present in the body. It works by reducing and controlling excess air or energy within the body, thus helping the entry of new air or energy into the body. The body recovers from ailments caused due to presence of excess air and the new energy helps keep the body healthy.
Vayu Mudra meaning
The term Vayu Mudra is derived from two different Sanskrit words – ‘Vayu’ – air and ‘mudra’ – gesture, meaning air gesture. As the mudra is useful in reducing stomach gas, it is also often referred to as the mudra of stomach gas. When practiced for a long period, this mudra helps deal with all ailments caused due to excess air in the body.
How to do Vayumudra?
To practice the mudra of air, follow the steps given below:
- Sit in any position that feels comfortable to you. This could be yoga postures like Lotus pose (Padmasana), Auspicious pose (Swastikasana), Diamond pose (Vajrasana), etc. used in meditation. If you want to do it sitting in a chair or standing, make sure you are steady and your spine is straight.
- Once you are seated in a comfortable pose or posture, put your hands on your knees or thighs and keep your palm open.
- Shut your eyes and start breathing deeply. Make sure that you are aware of each breath. Your breathing should be relaxed.
- Now, bend the index finger midway and use your thumb to press it. The other fingers should remain stretched, but relaxed.
- You may feel some pain as the thumb presses the index finger, but it will recede over time.
- Do this with both hands.
- Be in this posture for at least 15 minutes. Repeat thrice. Best if you can practice it for 45 minutes without any break.
- Gradually open up your fingers. Open your eyes to complete air mudra.
Benefits of Vayu mudra
Vayu Mudra, when practiced correctly and over a long period, can have excellent curative and therapeutic benefits. These benefits can alleviate symptoms of regular as well as chronic ailments and promote the general wellbeing of a person. Serious practitioners can enjoy benefits of Vayu mudra such as:
- Cures Vata imbalance
Vata imbalance usually indicates an increase of Vata or air element in the body. This can lead to ailments of the lungs, colon, circulatory system, brain, etc. Excess of air within the body can cause problems like low energy, gout, sciatica, gas, bloating, indigestion, constipation, dry skin, insomnia, nervousness, anxiety, fear, etc. As air mudra reduces or controls air element within the body, many of these ailments can be cured with regular practice.
- Stimulates internal organs
Stimulation of the lungs and large intestine is also one of important Vayu mudra benefits that a practitioner can receive. As these organs function better on stimulation, they can easily expel waste materials from the body. As carbon dioxide and food waste are expelled, the body undergoes a natural detoxification process.
- Boosts emotional health
One of the important Vayu mudra benefits is that it helps improve emotional health. The index finger is related to emotions such as grief, sadness, depression, etc. On prolonged practice, you can become fully aware of your breathing. This allows better use of internal energy and helps unleash suppressed emotions that usually exhibit in the form of physical ailments. The Vaayu mudra, then, helps control these emotions and induces calmness.
- Promotes general wellbeing
Anyone suffering chronic pain in the joints, neck, or back can practice Vaayu mudra for a holistic cure. Vayu mudra benefits include relief from joint pain and other problems of the musculoskeletal system. The mudra also works as an immunity booster and aids in digestion. Practitioners can also gain better control of their minds and improve lung activity.
- Aids in meditation
Vaayu mudra is an important part of meditation. To gain the maximum benefits from meditation, you must clear your body of excess air or energy. This mudra does exactly that and is, thus, very useful for anyone practicing meditation. The practice of mudra of air also allows fresh air or energy to enter the body. This has a calming effect on the mind which fosters a balanced mental state.
To enjoy the numerous benefits of Vayu mudra it is essential to practice it with caution and prudence. You should take the following precautions while performing this mudra:
- Practice air mudra only as long as required. If you are practicing the mudra to cure a certain ailment, stop doing it immediately after you are cured. Continuing it even after you are healed may lead to a deficiency of air in the body.
- Make sure that you do not put excess pressure on the index finger. Only apply as much pressure as is needed to open up the energy circuit.
- Breathing is a vital part of Vaayu mudra. Controlled breathing will be counterproductive and you will see little or no results. Breathe as you would normally do.
- Do not desire to see results very soon. The desire for quick results will cause worry and stress and affect your health. Let the mudra work slowly and steadily.
- Pregnant women, senior citizens, and people with anxiety and digestive disorders should take extra care before practicing mudra of air.
While most people find the Vayumudra beneficial, some may not. If you feel uncomfortable practicing the mudra or see any unnatural effects, it is best to stop immediately.
Vaayu mudra can provide excellent results when practiced correctly over a long period. It not only helps cure physical ailments but also improves mental health. This makes Vayu mudra a must-have on your daily yoga routine.