The word ‘mud’ means ‘joy’ and ‘ra’ means ‘to produce’. Therefore, mudra means gestures that create happiness and joy. Mudra is a position or gesture, usually of hands, that guides the brain’s reflexes and flow of energy in a particular manner. Besides hand gestures, it is also extended to body postures, breathing techniques, and eye positions. Since ancient times, several mudras have been practiced in Indian culture, including Gyan Mudra, Dhyana Mudra, Vayu Mudra, and many more.
Yogis believe that stretching, crossing, curling, and forming specific postures with hands activate specific parts of the body and mind, allowing us to connect with our higher self. Even some renowned researchers back this fact and have found that practicing mudra activates the brain and helps in maximizing its potential. The scientific community believes that several human nerves terminate in fingers. When we exert pressure upon the fingers, it leads to modulation of various parts of the brain and activation of different chakras or energy pathways in the body.
What is Vayu Mudra?
The literal meaning of the word Vayu is wind or air. Vayu Mudra is a hand gesture that regulates the air element present in the body. It is believed to remove the excess harmful air produced due to waste material in the body, especially in the intestines. It has been used for thousands of years to regulate the air element in the body and improve its gastrointestinal functioning. It balances the air element in the body by guiding the flow of prana. Furthermore, it is specially designed to activate self-healing within you. It is easy to learn, simple to practice, and guaranteed to help you feel better and achieve the kind of deep internal healing you may have been looking for. However, it is best to practice this mudra with meditation or pranayama.
What Does Ayurveda Say About Vayu Mudra?
Ayurveda says that the thumb represents the fire element, and the index finger represents the air element. When we suppress the index finger with the thumb, the fire overpowers the air maintaining the balance of elements in the body. Ayurvedic doctors say that there are forty-nine Vayus in our body, and out of all, five are vital (Prana-Vayu).
Vayu Mudra helps to fix Ayurveda Vata dosha linked with the element air. Those suffering from imbalances of air elements in their bodies can use this mudra to fix such problems. Besides this, those suffering from aggravated Vata dosha can also find immense relief by practicing this mudra. Don’t know what aggravated Vata dosha is? Well, it is characterized by confusion, stress, dryness, bloating, gas, dizziness, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, dryness of eyes and hair, cracking of joints, and early signs of ageing.
How To Perform Vayu Mudra?
While performing Vayu mudra, your primary focus should remain on the index finger and thumb. However, it should be noted that the other fingers are likely to move as well due to their proximity. Some steps seniors should follow to do Vayu Mudra correctly are:
- Find a peaceful and comfortable place and sit in a Sukhasana, Padmasana, or Vajrasana position.
- Calm your mind and relax your breathing.
- Close your eyes, take deep breaths, and focus on OM.
- Closing the eyes increases focus and concentration while deep breathing stimulates the Prana flow.
- Put your hands over your knees with the palms facing upwards..
- Gradually fold your index finger and touch the base of the thumb.
- Apply slight pressure with your thumb and press the index finger.
- You may find the pressure a little uncomfortable initially, but it will ease with time.
- Keep the rest of the fingers straight.
- Keep your hands steady, breathe calmly, and chant the OM mantra.
How Long Should Seniors Practice Vayu Mudra?
In the beginning, seniors must practice this mudra for around ten minutes per day. Later on, they can extend it for around forty-five minutes. Those who cannot sit continuously for forty to forty-five minutes at a stretch can do it three times a day for fifteen minutes. However, once you get rid of the Vata issues, it is advised not to overdo this mudra. Nevertheless, you can continue it for around ten minutes daily to prevent issues related to imbalances of air elements in the body.
What Is The Best Time To Perform Vayu Mudra For Seniors?
The preferable time is early in the morning during the Brahma Muhurta or Amrit Vela, but there is no strict rule in performing Vayu Mudra. It is advised not to practice this mudra right after having food, coffee, or tea. Make sure there is a gap of at least 45 minutes after you consume food.
What Are The Major Benefits Of Vayu Mudra For Seniors?
Some prominent benefits of Vayu Mudra are listed below:
Vayu Mudra for Gas
Vayu Mudra regulates the air element of the body, thereby helping tackle bloating, flatulence, excess gas, or other gastric issues. Besides eliminating gas from the intestines and helping better digestion, it also helps stimulate the part of the brain linked with the vagus nerves, which regulates the Vata doshas.
Vayu Mudra for Back Pain
By combining Vayu Mudra and Surya Namaskar poses, you can strengthen your shoulders and back. Some seniors have observed significant relief from pain in the neck, arm, shoulder, and chest after continuously practicing this mudra.
Vayu Mudra for Acidity
By practicing Vayu Mudra, individuals experience increased blood flow to the head, allowing for a greater amount of oxygen to rush into the brain cells. Since your body is receiving more oxygen than normal, toxins and harmful chemicals in your system are quickly eliminated. Toxic wastes leaving your body will significantly reduce the overall acid content within the body.
Vayu Mudra for Weight Loss
When our body senses stress, the hormone cortisol is produced. Over time, with increased cortisol levels, a person may gain weight. One effective way to reduce anxiety is through Vayu Mudra, which helps regulate stress hormones like cortisol. When one articulates Vayu Mudra with prolonged practice and focuses on an object or mantra for a prolonged period, the overall health can be improved in various areas such as emotional well-being and endocrine system disorders. Vayu mudra is regarded as a tonic of healing sounds that benefit our bodies and minds, both physically and mentally.
Vayu Mudra for Arthritis
Practicing Vayu mudra helps prevent various diseases and illnesses, most notably osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. It improves flexibility by improving range of motion and reducing joint pain, especially in seniors. In addition to this, it strengthens muscles and builds immunity by promoting healthy blood circulation throughout the body.
Vayu Mudra for Anxiety
Meditation is proven to work especially well when combined with breathing exercises. If you practice proper breathing while performing the Vayu Mudra, it reduces anxiety and stress, helping you stay calm throughout your day. It simultaneously keeps your energy levels high so that you don’t get easily tired, which leads to better productivity at work.
Vayu Mudra for Hair Growth
One way of strengthening the hair roots is by practicing Vayu Mudra, which regulates air in the body, removes toxins from your body, and clears the mind. If you include this breathing technique into your daily regime, it will help strengthen your hair follicles, encouraging natural hair growth.
Vayu Mudra for Parkinson’s Disease
This mudra helps treat several neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease without any medicine. Healthcare professionals believe that uncontrolled trembling in patients having Parkinson’s disease results from the accumulation of air in the body. Vayu Mudra removes the excess air from the body and brings back the balance in the body. If continued for a couple of months, this mudra has the power to show significant results.
Vayu Mudra for Immunity
Practicing Vayu Mudra continuously for a couple of months improves immunity. It helps the body develop a strong defense mechanism that fights pathogens or germs causing diseases.
Vayu Mudra for Gout
Gout is an illness caused by high uric acid levels in the bloodstream when the kidney fails to function properly. Vayu mudra can help reduce gout symptoms because it helps control the Vata dosha. This mudra decreases the air element in the body, due to which blood circulation improves and areas experiencing pain start to get relief.
What Are The Side Effects Of Vayu Mudra?
Although there are no specific side effects of regularly practicing Vayu Mudra, it is always a good idea to consult an expert if you face any unwanted or unnatural side effects. Moreover, seniors should take into consideration any physical limitations the may have like joint pain or back pain. Never overdo any physical practice beyond your comfort at an older age
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Frequently Asked Questions on Gyan Mudra
Some precautions to consider while doing this mudra are:
Avoid wearing tight clothes
Practice it in an open and airy space
Do not go overboard with pressure
Put your mobile phone on silent
Usually, it is advised not to perform this mudra during certain conditions. These conditions are:
If you are sleep-deprived
If you are over exhausted or stressed
If you have a cold, fever, or flu
If you have cardiac issues or hypertension
If your wrist, arms, and shoulders are injured
Apan Vayu Mudra is considered best for constipation. Additionally, it provides relief from poor digestion, hormonal imbalances, and urinary tract disorders. If performed regularly, it helps relieve constipation, better respiration, boost period flow, avoid urine retention and regulate the periods.
As we have already seen, Vayu Mudra provides many health benefits. As restless brain and stress can cause hair fall, Vayu Mudra, if performed regularly, calms the nervous system and mind, which helps in lustrous hair growth.
Apan Vayu Mudra is one of the therapeutic mudras that helps cure heart-related diseases. It prevents heart attacks and controls anxiety, headache, and panic. Besides, it can also improve digestive fire and lung capacity.