Yoga has been practiced for centuries in Hindu and Buddhist cultures. Yoga has become a symbol of peace, wellness, and mindfulness today, finding new fans every day across the globe.
Yoga originated from Yogis, who used their mind, body, and breath to discover certain postures and positions that could help the body remain healthy. Yogis also discovered yoga mudras to be incredibly effective and began to incorporate them in all yoga practices.
Yoga mudras are basically simple hand gestures that activate the flow of energy within the body. Mudras are also often used in classical dance forms, as a means to convey the story or articulate emotions.
Mudras in yoga are known to provide healing powers to the body in order to alleviate physiological and emotional ailments. Using the correct yoga mudras is also known to help people lose excess weight and remain fit.
Yoga Mudras for Weight Loss
Yoga has traditionally been practiced as a way to keep the body and mind healthy. The breathing techniques taught by yoga helps to improve concentration and mindfulness. While yoga has evolved through the years, it remains true to Ayurveda at its core.
Yoga considers the five elements, namely – ‘Jal’ (Water), ‘Prithvi’ (Earth), ‘Akash’ (Space), ‘Vayu’ (Air), and ‘Agni’ (Fire), to be the core focus points in our body. Any imbalance caused by these elements results in illnesses or poor health in general. Yoga mudras help to restore the balance between these elements and prepare the body to fight against any future illnesses.
Here are some of the most effective yoga mudras that have been practiced and passed on from generations.
These mudras are known to assist in healing chronic diseases as well as improve the overall mental health of a person. These mudras are known to boost the weight loss process and help a person achieve good health and fitness –
1. Surya-Agni mudra
The Surya Mudra or the Agni Mudra, as it is known traditionally, represents the fire element. Performing this mudra activates the fire energy in the body, and allows you to restore the fire balance. Doing the mudras allow the fingers to form connections and facilitate the flow of energy in the body.
In the weight loss process, several people find difficulty in reducing fat due to poor digestive health. The fire element present in the Surya mudra is known to improve digestion by boosting the metabolism in the body. Regular practice can significantly aid in fat loss.
You can perform the Surya mudra at the comfort of your own home. First, sit upright with the back straight. Move the ring finger towards the palm of the hand and join it with the thumb. Place your hands on your thighs and knees and remain seated in this position.
In the meantime, you can perform breathing techniques or meditation. The Surya mudra is to be performed for 45 minutes each day, and with 15-minute intervals between each time. The Surya mudra yields more benefits when practiced early in the day.
2. Kapha-Nashak Mudra
The three temperaments of the body are known as Vayu, Kapha, and Pitta. The Kapha and Pitta elements represent fire and earth, respectively, whereas Vayu represents air. The Pitta element in the body represents fire and is known to speed up the metabolism in the body. The Kapha element represents earth, too much of which could indicate excess weight in the body.
The Kapha-Nashak mudra aims to remove the excess of the Kapha element from the body and restore the balance amongst all other elements. The Kapha-Nashak mudra improves the functioning of the digestive system by boosting metabolic activity through the generation of fire.
To perform the Kapha-Nashak mudra, you will need to sit in a comfortable position with your eyes closed. Bend the ring finger and the little finger towards the palm, and join them with the thumb. Exert pressure as long as it is comfortable for you and remain in this position.
You will need to practice this mudra for 30-45 minutes every day, with repetitions of 15 minutes to feel the complete benefits of the mudra.
3. Linga Mudra
The Linga mudra is also often known as Lord Shiva’s mudra. Yoga is intertwined in Hindu and Buddhist religions in an immense manner, with many believing that the Gods practiced yoga and meditation. The Linga mudra is an effective mudra that works to channelize inner conflicts.
The Linga mudra symbolizes the victory of positivity over negativity. Practicing this mudra awakens the fire in the body, which in turn produces energy that can revitalize the organs. The digestive system is activated, and energy flows through it in order to balance out any gut issues. Linga mudra helps in weight loss by improving the body’s metabolism. The heat generated with this mudra obstructs the growth of a toxic substance called ‘Ama,’ which is known to accumulate fat in the body.
To perform the Linga mudra, you will need to first sit in a comfortable position with the legs crossed. Keep your eyes closed to improve concentration and avoid distractions. Next, interlock the fingers of both hands, with the palms pressed against each other. Remember to keep the Left thumbs upright.
It is advisable to practice this mudra for 20-30 minutes each day. Increasing the pressure against the palms helps to generate more heat, thereby strengthening the effect of this mudra.
4. Vaayan Mudra
The Vaayan mudra is the mudra that is closely associated with the element of air. The body is required to energize itself with air properties that help in improving the nervous system in the body. When practiced correctly, Vaayan mudra is known to help people become more self-aware and practice a higher range of consciousness. With the mind on board, it becomes easier to control weight and cut down on fat effectively.
In order to perform the Vaayan mudra, you will need to be seated on the floor in a secured and ventilated space. Keep the spine erect and eyes closed to begin the process. You will need to bend your index finger and middle finger towards the palm and join them with the thumb.
Apply slight pressure and hold this position. Practice this position for 15-20 minutes on a daily basis to feel the positive effects of the Vaayan mudra.
5. Gyan Mudra
The Gyan mudra, as the Sanskrit name suggests, is also known as the mudra of knowledge. The Gyan mudra is meant to be practiced alongside other yoga positions and breathing exercises.
The Gyan mudra is known to improve the concentration of the mind and allows the bodily and mental functions to flow better. The Gyan mudra is also known to help people suffering from irregular sleep, and facilitate a natural and healthy sleep cycle in the body. Lack of sleep is often considered to be a large cause of weight gain. The Gyan mudra looks after the rest needed by the body, allowing you to boost metabolism and shed off the excess weight.
During the process of practicing yoga mudras, it is important to keep a positive frame of mind in order to reap the maximum benefits of these age-old traditions.
To practice the Gyan mudra, you will be required to sit on the floor, preferably with your legs crossed. Keep the back straight and eyes closed. Next, touch the tip of the index finger to the tip of the thumb while keeping the other fingers outstretched.
Place your palms on the knees and remain seated in this position for 30 minutes in order to avail of the benefits of this mudra.
6. Prana Mudra
The word ‘Prana’ means ‘life.’ The Prana mudra essentially means the ‘mudra of life’. This mudra holds superiority as it is believed to represent life itself. The Prana mudra helps the individual to activate energy in the body and allow the organs to function efficiently. With regular practice of the Prana mudra, the root chakras become activated, which allows energy to flow throughout the body without any hassles. Prana mudra, when performed with Pranayama yields the best results.
To perform the Prana mudra, sit on the floor with your legs crossed. Keep the back straight and eyes closed in order to improve concentration. The mudra is supposed to be performed with both hands.
Join the tip of the thumb to the tips of the ring finger and little finger, and repeat with the other hand. Hold the position for 20-25 minutes to feel the effect of the Prana mudra.
In addition to performing these mudras, there are a few other lifestyle changes that are to be made to activate the effects of these mudras and aid the weight loss process. Here are a few tips that can be followed –
Remember to follow a nutritious, balanced diet. Try to eat home-cooked meals as much as possible.Avoid excess consumption of sugary drinks and juices.Maintain an active lifestyle and try to remain on your feet for a major portion of the day.Exercise regularly to facilitate the fat burning process. Introduce variations in the daily workout regimen to keep the mind and body interested.Try to find a yoga group or even opt to practice yoga in the comfort of your home. Yoga helps to strengthen the body and also helps relieve stress and negativity. Just like the mind and body, the breath needs to be monitored as well. Incorporate a few breathing exercises along with the mudras to improve the breathing process.Remember to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water throughout the day to flush out the toxins.
Practicing these mudras and following the above-mentioned lifestyle tips can go a long way in keeping the body and mind healthy, and also helping you reach your weight loss goals.