Dr MK Taneja, Senior ENT and Head Neck Surgeon at Indian Institute of Ear Diseases, New Delhi, India recommends shunya mudra as an important yoga exercise for the holistic/ natural healing of deafness.
According to Ayurveda, deafness and other hearing loss related issues are due to vata imbalance. The shunya mudra balances vata dosha by reducing the space (sky) element in the human body.
Let us know Shunya Mudra
Shunya mudra is a type of yoga mudra. Yoga mudras are hand gesture yoga exercises which guide the flow of life energy within the body to balance the vital body elements- fire, air, water, earth and space (sky). Different yoga mudras involve different fingers and different therapeutic benefits are achieved.
According to ancient Yoga and Ayurveda principles, everything in this universe, including the human body is made up of five elements. Every human being is born with these five elements in a specific composition. As long as these elements remain in balance, the optimum mind-body health and vitality remain intact. If one or more of these elements goes out of balance, the immune system gets affected to causes diseases.
The fingers of our hands denote these five elements as below:
During yoga mudra practice, the thumb (fire) comes into contact with one or more fingers representing corresponding body elements. It forms a closed electric circuit to stimulate the body’s magnetic fields. It would result in the flow of electromagnetic current to balance the body elements belonging to those fingers.
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Shunya mudra for Deafness and Hearing loss
According to Ayurveda philosophy, the vata dosha vitiation damages the auditory nerves and nerve endings to block the channel the carries sound from the ears to the brain. The vata dosha is governed by space and air elements in the body. The shunya mudra reduces the space element to pacify the aggravated vata dosha. The minor ear aches can be relieved by practicing shunya mudra just for 5-10 minutes.
Shunya is a Sanskrit word which means heaven, sky or emptiness. Yoga enthusiasts perform this mudra while meditation for spiritual awakening and deeper meditation experience.
Shunya mudra is beneficial for partial deafness as well as complete deafness. Various reasons for deafness includes-
- Aging– The natural aging process affects hearing capacity by damaging the sensory cells and nerves
- Exposure to loud noise– Prolonged or sudden exposure to loud noise can cause deafness.
- Certain diseases– Diseases like diabetes, hypertension and thyroid dysfunction can cause partial deafness.
- Medication– Long term consumption of certain medicines can have a damaging effect on the auditory nerves.
- Tooth decay and dental treatment
- Hereditary– Sometimes, the faulty genes cause deafness to run in families from one generation to another.
- Inborn deafness– Some people are born deaf. In these cases, shunya mudra may not prove that much effective as in case of disease induced or old age induced deafness.
Read more: Anulom vilom pranayam for hypertension
How to do Shunya Mudra
Place the tip of the middle finger at the base of the thumb and let the thumb rest on the middle finger with a gentle pressure. The remaining three fingers should remain erect.
If you are new to yoga mudras, then keeping the fingers straight would be a little difficult for you initially. But, don’t lose heart and continue with the practice. The pain would dissolve very soon within a few sessions of practice.
- Shunya mudra can be practiced in any posture- sitting, standing, lying or walking. But, various Yoga experts recommend sitting posture for the best results. Just sit in the easy posture (cross legged posture) with a straight spine. If you are suffering from knee/ joint pain, then sit on a chair with a straight back.
- Start your mudra practice by washing the hands and rubbing them against each other for a few times. It would help flow of electromagnetic current (energy) to the hands.
- Press the thumb against the middle finger gently. Don’t apply too much pressure.
- Don’t tighten your body- keep it loose and breathe normally. Tightening the body would hinder the flow of energy.
- In most of the cases, regular practice of shunya mudra for 2-3 months- 45 minutes a day- brings good results. Hence, practice in regularly with patience and results would come accordingly.
Going beyond ear problems
Shunya mudra is not just all about ear problems. Being a vata pacifying yoga mudra, it has a wide range of therapeutic benefits:
- Deafness and hearing loss- Any sort of deafness problem which is not inborn can be improved by this mudra.
- Ear problems- Ear ache, ear infection, tinnitus and water discharge from ears- shunya mudra is beneficial in all these issues.
- Vertigo and motion sickness- Shunya mudra, also known as mudra of emptiness, reduces the feeling of emptiness in the head to relieve symptoms related to vertigo and travel sickness such as nausea, vomiting, headache, sweating and rapid heart beat.
- Helpful in thyroid problems
- Reduces numbness and dullness in any part of the body
- Helpful in problems related to hormone imbalance
- Mentally and physically challenged people can get benefited by this mudra.
Final words- Does shunya mudra cure deafness?
Benefits of shunya mudra for deafness and hearing loss are obvious, but, it is not a sure shot cure or miracle. For best results, it is advisable to practice shunya mudra every day along with a healthy diet, positive lifestyle and other medicines/ herbs as diagnosed by the doctor.