In general, stomach gas is a cause of humor. But, it causes a lot of discomfort to the person who experiences it because stomach gas can cause bloating, flatulence, stomach cramps and constipation if left untreated. Today, we are going to discuss about Vayu mudra for gastric problems- a hand gesture yoga that helps to release excess air from the body to relieve symptoms such as gas, bloating and flatulence.
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When we talk about yoga, the two things that immediately come to our mind are:
- Yoga asanas (body postures)
- Pranayam (breathing exercises)
But, there is one more branch of yoga which is comparatively less popular- Yoga mudras.
Yoga mudras are specific hand gestures that guide the flow of energy in the human body to get desired health benefits. These Yoga mudras can balance all the five elements of the human body for health and vitality.
Read more: Anulom vilom pranayam for glowing skin
Let us know the five elements of the human body
As per the Yoga philosophy, everything in the whole universe including human body is made up of five basic elements- fire, air, earth, water and ether (space).
In the human body, the five fingers represent these five elements as below:
- Thumb denotes Fire
- Index finger denotes Air
- Middle finger denotes Space
- Ring finger denotes Earth
- The little finger denotes water
As long as these five elements remain in balance in our body, they create mind-body health and harmony. Any imbalance of one or more elements can cause diseases by affecting the immune system.
How the Yoga mudras help
During mudra formation, one or more fingers touch the thumb. It completes the closed electric circuit to stimulate the body’s electromagnetic field. The electromagnetic current flows within the body which has a healing effect to balance the body elements.
In other terms, a yoga mudra act as a lock to direct the flow of energy to balance the five elements of the body.
Vayu mudra for gastric problems
Vayu is a Sanskrit word which means wind or air. Vayu mudra is practiced to release excess air from the body to treat various health issues related to vata imbalance (aggravation of air).
According to Ayurveda- vata, pitta and kapha are the vital doshas (life energies) that constitute the human body. The “air” element governs the vata dosha.
Excessive stomach gas is the root cause of various gastric problems such as gas, bloating, stomach cramp, indigestion and constipation.
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How to do Vayu mudra
Press the index finger on the base of the thumb and gently press the thumb on the index finger. The remaining three fingers to be kept straight.
Though it is a very simple yoga mudra, but, you may face a little pain or difficulty in keeping the fingers straight. Don’t worry about it. This pain would dissolve automatically within a few days of the practice.
Further useful tips
- Vayu mudra can be practiced at any time of the day in any position- sitting, standing, walking or lying.
- You can practice it either on an empty stomach or after the meals.
- For best results, practice it in the sitting position- preferably in the vajrasana pose. Vajrasana itself is a wonderful yoga posture for the digestive health.
Read more: Vajrasana after meals to improve digestion
- If not comfortable with vajrasana, then simply sit in the easy cross-legged posture. Make sure to keep your spine straight for smooth flow of energy.
- If you are suffering from knee/ joint pain, then you can sit on a chair with and practice vayu mudra.
- Before performing the mudra, wash your hands well and rub them against each other for 10 times. It would increase the blood circulation in hands for better results.
- Vayu mudra should be stopped after overcoming the gastric problems. Over practice of vayu mudra can further cause imbalance of “air” element.
- Apply gentle, mild pressure during vayu mudra. Applying too much pressure between thumb and index finger would hinder the flow of energy.
- Keep your hands and other body parts loose. Don’t tighten them.
- Breathe normally.
- Being a yogic exercise, it takes time to bring good results. Have patience and practice regularly.
Overall benefits of Vayu Mudra
Vayu mudra is more popular as a mudra for gastric problems. But, it is highly beneficial for all the health issues related to the accumulation of air (vata imbalance). Ayurveda says that almost 80% of the pains and aches in the different body parts is due to excessive air- arthritis, gout, knee and joint pain. Vayu mudra is beneficial all these disorders.
Below enlist is a comprehensive list of health problems where practicing vayu mudra is beneficial:
- Gas, bloating and flatulence
- Arthritis, knee pain and joint pain
- Neck pain and spinal pain
- Parkinson’s disease (reduces the uncontrollable shaking/ trembling associated with Parkinson’s disease)
- Cervical spondylitis
The yoga mudras stimulate various body organs including glands and nerves and provide health benefits related to body organs, glands and the nervous system. Practice vayu mudra regularly for 2 months to sort out all the gastric problems caused by the accumulated stomach gas. Also, make positive changes in your diet and lifestyle for long term benefits.