Mudras in Yoga
- Nabin Kumar Shahi
Mudra is a Sanskrit word which is translated as ‘gesture’ or ‘attitude’. In the practice of yoga, the mudras have important place. The root word ‘mud’ which means ‘pleasure’. The gestures or attitude that brings pleasure in physical, psychological, emotional, devotional and aesthetic aspect is called ‘mudra’.
It purifies the nadis. It balances the both aspects of body- right and left hemisphere, prana and apana. It aims to develop balance and harmony in our body. It works on balancing the Ida and Pingala nadis. It helps to absorb the elixir that is secreted from bindu a point situated at the posterior fontanel which is collected at Visuddhi Chakra.
Gheranda Samhita describes Mudras as 25 kinds. Shiva Samhita explains 10 mudras and Hatha Yoga Pradipika also writes 10 mudras.
Types of Mudra
It’s connected to mental aspect. It’s related to mind.
Vaagbhvaa: It’s related to mantra.
It’s related to physical. Physical postures are connected to the body.
Mainly the mudras are divided into two categories: Hasta Mudra and Yogic Mudra. Here we will discuss about the Mudra which are mentioned in Yogic texts such as Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Gheranda Samhita, Shiv Smahita etc. God Shiv mentions that there are about 350000 nadis in the body whereas Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Gheranda Samhita assert the number nadis as 72000.
Benefits and Objectives of Mudras
According to Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the mudra helps to awaken the Kundalini. Asta Siddhi is attained. The bondage of life and death is dissipated.
Gheranda Samhita mentions that mudras are secret. They destroy the disease They help to dissipate the bondage of life and death.
In the practice of Maha-mudra, deep breath is inhaled. Then one needs to apply Jalandhara Bandha. According to Hatha Yoga Pradipika, it is practiced keeping the right heel underneath the perineum while another leg is extended. Both hands are placed on the toes of the extended leg.
The benefits of the mudras are as follows:
It is helpful practice for Kundalini awakening,
It reduces Gastritis.
It helps to heal skin issues.
It works on decreasing constipation.
It balances respiratory issues.
When we put chin to upper part of the chest, it becomes Jalandhara Bandha. Sucking the navel in when the breath is externally retained, it becomes Uddiyana Bandha. Pulling the perineum upward, it becomes Mulabandha. Applying all these Bandhas together it becomes Maha Bandha.
Mahaveda is required to get the benefits from both Maha-Bandha and Mahamudra. The process of performing Maha-Veda includes keeping the legs straight while placing palms on the side of the hips. Every time buttocks must be lifted and dropped. By this practice, the energy accumulated or stored at the root center rises upward.
It increases the Jatharagni. It enables Ashta Siddhi. It decreases the gray hair.
The best mudra among the mudras according to Swami Swatmaram. The tongue is rolled upward to touch the upper palate. While rolling the tongue upward, the ujjayi pranayama can be applied. Gradually, the breath slows down up to 5 times minute. In order to increase the length of the tongue, Katan, chalan, dohan can be applied in the length of a hair every week.
Himalaya Rock salt can be applied to prevent any infection.
Either inhaling or exhaling, one must pull the perineum upward to maintain the Mula Bandha. Reproductive issue can be healed by Mula Bandha.
Jalandhara Bandha is applied both after exhaling or inhaling, one must lower the chin down to the upper part of the chest to maintain the lock. By the practice of Jalandhara Bandha `Thyroid and parathyroid issue can be treated.
The dormant energy located at the Muladhara center is activated by the practice of Shaktichalani Mudra. The inhalation (Purak) is continued for 3 hours through right nostril while sitting in Vajrasana. The toes are pressed by the hands. The breath is retained as well as bhastrika pranayama can be performed in the practice of Shaktichalani Mudra.