Yoga is not just all about yoga asanas (postures) and pranayams (breathing exercises). Yoga mudras- hand gesture exercises- also make an important, but, less popular branch of yogic exercises. Today, we are going to discuss shunya mudra for tinnitus- this hand gesture yogic exercise is very helpful for all sorts of ear problems- ear aches, fluid discharge from ears (water in the ears), hearing problems and tinnitus.
According to a review published in the Indian Journal of Otology, Vol 21, 2015- shunya mudra is one of the most effective yogic exercises for the holistic treatment of deafness.
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A brief about Yoga mudras
In simple terms, Yoga mudras are hand gestures. These specific hand gestures direct the flow of energy in a certain manner to balance the vital body elements.
According to ancient yoga philosophy, the entire universe including human body is made up of five elements- water, fire, air, earth and space (sky).
In the human body, these five elements are represented by the fingers as below:
Yoga believes that a person can’t get any disease if these five elements remain in harmony and balance. The whole concept of Yoga (and Ayurveda) works on the principle of balancing these five elements.
Yoga mudra balances the five body elements
During a particular yoga mudra, one or more fingers come in contact with the thumb. Thumb represents fire. It charges those fingers and a closed electric circuit comes into action. It stimulates the body’s magnetic field to trigger the flow of electromagnetic current throughout the body. It results in the balancing of the elements represented by those fingers.
Shunya Mudra for Tinnitus
Tinnitus means noise in the ears- a sort of internal sound- which doesn’t exist in reality. It is also known as “ringing in the ears”. But, it can be any sound- whistling, buzzing, clicking, hissing or ringing.
Various possible reasons for tinnitus problem are:
- Prolonged exposure to loud noise
- Ear infections or ear blockages
- Head or neck injury
- Natural ageing process- Tinnitus is more common among older people, 60 years old or above
- Hearing loss due to old age or some disease
- Chronic underlying problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure or brain disorders
- Chronic stress and anxiety
- Thyroid and hormonal imbalances
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As of today, there is no cure for tinnitus, but it can be managed well. It is advisable to ignore it rather than giving it too much attention. Shifting the attention from tinnitus helps a lot.
As discussed above, if tinnitus is due to some chronic underlying health issue- then sorting out that problem would automatically result in relief in tinnitus symptoms.
Generally, making positive changes in diet and lifestyle can help relieve tinnitus symptoms without any formal treatment. These changes include:
- Good sleep habits. Insomnia and sleep disorders are the worst enemies that worsen tinnitus symptoms
- Regular physical exercise
- Engaging in recreational and social activities
- Cutting down on smoking and alcohol consumption
- Eating a balanced, nutritious diet. Reducing the consumption of junk foods and carbonated beverages
- Stress management with the help of relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, tai-chi, dancing or whatever you enjoy
Read more: Quick yoga for stress relief
How Shunya mudra is going to help here?
Shunya is a Sanskrit word which means sky or emptiness. This mudra reduces the space (sky) element in the human body to treat health issues linked with vata imbalance. According to Ayurveda, most of the ear problems occur due to vata imbalance. That’s why shunya mudra is considered as one of the most effective yoga exercises for ear problems.
Vata, pitta and kapha are three doshas (life energies) that constitute a human body. These doshas should remain in balance for health and vitality. The vata dosha is governed by the space and air elements of the body.
Shunya mudra- Other names
According to classical yoga text manuals, shunya mudra is a mudra for spiritual awakening. It enlightens the practitioner to hear the anahata sounds. Anahata sounds are the hidden, mystical sounds of nature which a yogi can listen at the beginning of the meditation cycle. It brings mind-body peace and harmony.
Other names of Shunya mudra
- Zero mudra
- Mudra of emptiness
- Heaven mudra
How to do Shunya Murda
Fold the middle finger and place it at the base of the thumb. Now, place the thumb over the middle finger with a little pressure. Keep the remaining three fingers straight.
You may experience a little pain or discomfort in keeping the fingers erect during the initial few sessions of the practice. But, don’t lose heart and keep practicing. This problem would dissolve by its own within a few days of practice.
- You can practice shunya mudra at any time of the day in any position- sitting, walking, standing or lying. But, it is always better to practice this mudra in the sitting posture- sit in the easy cross-legged posture or Padmasana.
- People with disability or knee/ joint pain can practice shunya mudra by sitting on a chair.
- Keep your spine straight, breathe normally and keep your body loose and relaxed. Don’t tighten your body otherwise it would hinder the flow of energy.
- The pressure between middle finger and thumb should be mild and gentle.
- Before beginning the mudra session, wash your hands well and rub them 8-10 times against each other to activate the energy channels. It would certainly enhance the healing effect.
- Be patient and practice regularly for good results. Don’t expect overnight miracles.
Overall benefits of Shunya mudra
Benefits of shunya mudra are not limited to tinnitus and related ear problems only. It has a healing effect in a wide range of health disorders:
- It is highly beneficial in all sorts of hearing problems. It is beneficial in both- partial deafness as well as complete deafness- either due to old age or due to some disease.
- Useful in various ear problems such as ear aches, infections and other ear problems such as fluid discharge (water in ears).
- It helps to overcome travel sickness (motion sickness) and vertigo related symptoms by reducing the feeling of emptiness or dizziness of the head.
- Beneficial in thyroid and various throat problems
- May improve the voice quality of dumb people
- Beneficial in problems related to hormonal imbalance
- Eases the symptoms of numbness in any part of the body
- Reduces cholesterol and improves overall heart health
- Helpful for mentally challenged (intellectually disabled) people if it is not inborn
- Reduces the dullness in the body