Prana refers to the vital life energy that flows through our body to keep us alive. Prana mudra aims to stimulate the smooth flow of prana (life energy) to awaken and energize the body from within. It can help overcome all sorts of weakness to make you strong and assertive- physically as well as mentally. Prana mudra creates a sort of energy bank or reservoir within the body to make sure that you remain active, energetic and enthusiastic to face all the life challenges.
Prana mudra increases the prana shakti (vital life force) to energize the mind-body. It improves vitality and endurance. It makes a person self-confident and promotes inner stability and mind clarity. It improves the physical, mental as well as social life.
Prana mudra stimulates the root chakra (Muladhara) to create vibration and energy- it helps unite the aatma (soul) with parmatma (super soul).
The science behind Yoga mudras
The Yoga and Ayurveda philosophy believes that the human body is composed of five elements- fire, air, water, space and earth. As long as these elements remain in balance, a person enjoys a healthy, disease free life. Any imbalance in one or more of these elements brings illness and diseases.
These 5 elements are well represented by the fingers of our hands as below:
The yoga mudras are hand gesture yoga exercises that aim to bring back the elemental balance by guiding the flow of life energy within the body. Depending upon the elements to be balanced, specific yoga mudras are practiced by manipulating the fingers. For example- to increase the water element in the body, varun mudra is practiced. Similarly, to reduce the air element in the body, vayu mudra is practiced.
What is the science behind these yoga mudras?
The fingers of our hands are just like live wires of electric current. During a mudra formation, one or more of the fingers touch the thumb to complete an electric circuit and the life energy flows through that circuit to balance the elements represented by those particular fingers.
How to do Prana mudra
During prana mudra, the tips of the ring finger and little finger touch the tip of the thumb. The rest two fingers- index finger and middle finger- remain erect.
Practice this mudra with both hands for maximum benefits.
You can practice this mudra in any posture- sitting, standing, walking or lying- at any time of the day. Start with 10-15 minutes a day and you can practice it up to 45 minutes a day. Due to hectic lifestyle, if you are unable to devote 45 minutes at a stretch- then practice this mudra in intervals- for example, three times a day for 15 minutes each.
For best results, practice this mudra in the sitting position. Sit in a relaxed cross-legged position, close your eyes, keep your spine straight and focus on the breathing. Now, practice prana mudra by focusing on the natural breathing process.
Prana mudra balances 2 most prominent elements of the body- water and earth- to increase stamina, endurance, immunity and vitality. During this mudra, the earth, water and fire elements are stimulated to improve the blood circulation by removing blockages. Improved blood flow would supply oxygen to various body parts to improve their functioning. Aids in blood purification as well.
Other names of Prana Mudra
- Pran mudra
- Life energy mudra
- Kapha-kaarak mudra– As explained earlier, this mudra increases the earth and water elements in the body. These two elements further constitute the kapha dosha in the body. Hence, prana mudra increases the kapha humor in the body.
- Pitta-nashak mudra– This mudra reduces the fire element in the body which is related to pitta dosha. That’s why it is also known as pitta-nashak mudra.
- Energizing hand yoga
Prana mudra reduces aggravated pitta (excessive heat) in the body to sort out various digestive system and liver related problems. Also, this mudra increases kapha humor in the body to provide life energy, strength and immunity.
Prana Mudra Health Benefits
- Physical health
- It helps to overcome chronic fatigue, low endurance and exhaustion.
- Strengthen the immune system to improve the disease-fighting capacity.
- Improves the body metabolism to aid in the digestion process. It would help your body to extract optimum vitamins and nutrients from the food you eat. Hence, helps to eradicate the problem of nutritional deficiency.
- During fasting, practicing prana mudra helps to sustain and maintain energy level despite low intake of food and water.
- Muscle spasm, painful sensation and weakness in the legs by improving blood circulation. It is helpful in case of headache, migraine and sciatica as well.
- It is beneficial for all sorts of eye problems- burning (inflammation), dry eyes, eyesight weakness, water discharge from the eyes and cataract.
- Old age people who find doing yoga and pranayam troublesome can practice this simple hand yoga for better health.
- By reducing the excessive body heat, it eases the summer issues such as intolerance to heat and stress.
- Mental health
Prana mudra helps to overcome the negative feelings such as fear, nervousness, tension, anxiety, anger and replace them with self confidence, inner stability, mental clarity, faith, happiness, joy and zeal.
- Spiritual health
Improves concentration and brings better meditation experience. Within a few days of regular practice, you would start feeling vibration in the body. So, if you practice this mudra during meditation, it would bring deeper meditation experience and spiritual awakening.
Read more: Apana mudra for body detox and constipation
Read more: Vayu mudra health benefits
Read more: Varuna mudra health benefits
Prana Mudra- Precautions
- If you are a kapha dominated body type, then practice this mudra in moderation otherwise this mudra would further increase kapha in your body to cause imbalance. Similarly, if you are suffering from any disease related to kapha aggravation, then practice it in moderation.
People with frequent cough and cold symptoms should avoid this mudra as it may worsen their symptoms.
- Being a yoga exercise, prana mudra is a complementary therapy and it should not be considered as an alternative to medical treatment. Hence, do not expect miraculous results with this mudra. Rather, practice this mudra regularly with a healthy diet, lifestyle and medications as diagnosed by a health expert for long term results.
- Pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and people with chronic, serious health issues should practice this mudra after consulting a yoga expert.
Mudras: Yoga in your hands
According to the yoga philosophy, the hands and fingers have tremendous power of healing. This book explains all the hidden secrets of yoga mudras in a very easy to understand manner for beginners. It covers disease wise yoga mudras for various mental and physical health issues- a very good read for those who believes in the power of yoga mudras and wishes to explore them further.
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