Mudra means “gesture.” Yoga mudras refer to specific hand gestures which direct the flow of life energy (prana) in human body to achieve desired therapeutic results. In this post, we are going to learn about Vayu mudra which is used to release excess air from the human body to relieve symptoms related to aggravation of air such as gas, bloating, arthritis, gout and knee pain.
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Let us know Yoga Mudras
Apart from Yoga asanas (body poses) and pranayams (breathing exercises), there is a subtle and less talked branch of yoga which is utterly simple with amazing body-mind benefits. Yes, we are talking about Yoga mudras.
Various yoga mudras are used to balance the five elements of the human body to restore health and vitality.
In Hinduism (and Buddhism), these yoga mudras are used during various religious ceremonies and rituals. Also, various classical Indian dance styles use these yoga mudras as a mode of non-verbal communication and self expression.
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The five elements of human body
According to Yoga and Ayurveda philosophy, the whole universe including human body is made up of five elements- fire, air, water, earth and ether (space). The five fingers of our hands represent these five elements as below:
- Thumb represents Fire
- Index finger represents Air
- Middle finger represents Space (ether)
- Ring finger represents Earth
- Little finger represents Water
Every human being is born with a unique composition of these five elements and any disturbance in that balance- lack or excess of one or more elements- can affect the immune system to cause diseases. Yoga mudras can help restore this balance.
How Yoga mudras works
The thumb represents the “fire” element. When a finger (representing an element) comes into contact with the thumb, a closed electric circuit is established and the electromagnetic current flows within the body to balance that particular body element.
In other words, the yoga mudra act as a lock to adjust the flow of energy to re-balance the body elements.
Vayu means air. As the name suggests, this mudra is practiced to balance the “air” element. According to Ayurveda, vata dosha is governed by the “air” element of the body. Hence, Vayu mudra is quite beneficial for all the vata dosha related problems.
It is also known as “Mudra for stomach gas.”
Initially, you may feel a little pain or difficulty in keeping the fingers straight, but, don’t worry about it. It is completely normal and you would become comfortable with it within a few days of practice. Also, the style of folding the index finger can vary slightly from person to person which is not going to affect the mudra efficacy.
How long to practice Vayu Mudra
Start with 10 minutes a day and gradually increase the time up to 45 minutes a day. If you can’t practice for 45 minutes at a stretch, do it in 3 installments of 15 minutes each. Practice this mudra regularly for 2 months to get good results.
Making the most of Vayu mudra
- Vayu mudra can be done in any position- sitting, standing, lying or even walking. Many yoga experts advice to practice this mudra while doing pranayam (yogic breathing exercise) in the morning empty stomach. But, it is not compulsory. You can practice it at any time of the day as per your convenience- empty stomach or after the meals.
- It is always better to practice this mudra in the sitting posture. Just sit in the easy posture (cross-legged position) with a straight spine. If unable to fold the legs due to joint pain, simply sit on a chair.
Yoga experts and enthusiasts prefer to sit in vajrasana (diamond pose) or padmasana (lotus posture). Vajrasana is amazing for digestive health whereas the padmasana takes them to higher level of consciousness.
- Continuity is very important. Practice vayu mudra everyday without fail for almost 2 months to get the best results.
- Start a mudra session by washing your hands with water and then rubbing them against each other 10 times so as to facilitate smooth flow of energy in the hands.
Read more: Vajrasana after meals to improve digestion
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- It is advisable to stop doing it after achieving the desired health benefits otherwise it may cause further imbalance due to lack of air.
- When fingers touch during mudra, don’t exert too much pressure. The whole purpose of applying pressure is to allow smooth flow of energy. Hence, lightly press the fingers and keep the hands relaxed.
- Your body should be loose and breathe normally. Don’t tighten the body as it would hinder the flow of energy.
- Vayu mudra for gas brings good results with the passage of time. It is not a miracle and it would not bring overnight results. Hence, have patience and don’t rush into it.
Vayu mudra benefits
In general population, vayu mudra is popular as a mudra for gas and bloating. But, it is highly beneficial for all the problems related to aggravation of air (vata). Below enlist is a list of health issues where practice of vayu mudra is suggested:
- Knee pain
- Neck pain
- Spinal pain
- Parkinson’s disease (reduces the trembling/ shaking)
- Facial paralysis
- Cervical spondylitis
- Pain management for Polio patients
If you feel gas/ flatulence after a meal, just sit in vajrasana and practice vayu mudra for 10-15 minutes and feel the difference.
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There is a saying- Your health is in your hands. Various Yoga mudras prove this saying true. If you are suffering from gas, arthritis, nerve pain, sciatica, gout or any vata (air) dosha related problem, then vayu mudra is perfect for you. Practice this mudra anytime throughout the day for 30-45 minutes for 2 months and feel the difference yourself.