By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Surya = Sun
Mudra = gesture / seal / mark / pose
It is one of the important Hasta Mudras i.e. hand seals and has great importance in the field of Yoga. It increases the fire element in the human body. Therefore it is also called as Agni Mudra i.e. fire gesture.
Read – Mudra – The Science Of Gesture: Benefits, Types, How To Practice
By performing this gesture the fire element of the body is enriched and depletes excess of earth element. Therefore it is also called agni vardhaka mudra i.e. fire increasing gesture. It is also called as Prithvi Shamak Mudra – earth element reducing gesture.
The ring finger is related to Sun and Uranus. The Sun is a representative of heat, health and energy. Uranus is a symbol of intuition, change and sexuality.
Read – Prana Mudra – Procedure, Best Time To Do, Benefits
Method of doing Soorya Mudra
- Sit in any comfortable posture. You can try to sit in lotus or half lotus position. Make sure to sit on the mat and not on the floor.
- Place your hands on your thighs or knee. Let the palms face upwards, towards the roof.
- Close your eyes. Take some deep breaths. Be aware about your breathing process.
- Now fold your ring finger and press it with your thumb. If you are new to the practice, you may feel discomfort or pain while doing this gesture. But that will not stay long. You will be able to do it comfortably with practice.
- Put the ring finger such that its tip touches the root of your thumb.
- Keep the other three fingers extended.
- Now apply moderate pressure on your ring finger using your thumb. The more you press, the more your fire increases. Try not to overdo.
- Simultaneously repeat the same procedure in the other hand too.
Read – Padmasana Lotus Pose, How to do, Benefits, Side Effects, Ayurveda View
Principle – The ring finger is the symbol of the earth element. It takes care of the earth element in the body. The thumb is symbolic of fire element. It balances the fire element in the body. When you press your ring finger with your thumb, the earth element in the ring fingers is eliminated and the fire element residing in the thumbs is increased.
Read – Relationship Between Doshas And Basic Elements (Pancha Mahabhuta)
It is better to do this posture at the time of sunrise or before food. It can also be done after food but not immediately after food. It may be done 45-60 minutes after taking the food.
If this mudra is done early in the morning, at sunrise, the energy of the sun can be absorbed into the body and utilized. This optimizes the effect of mudra. So Surya Mudra should ideally be practiced between 4-6 am for optimum results.
You can keep this gesture for 25-35 minutes at a stretch. You may start this with small time durations. Later gradually increase the time once you feel comfortable doing it.
Alternatively you can do it for 10-12 minutes at a stretch, 3-4 times a day.
This mudra may be practiced in a standing, sitting or lying down posture. It can also be done while walking. While doing this mudra, you can chant mantras for better effect.
Read – Prithvi Mudra Method, Benefits
Just like the Sun, this mudra provides us the essential heat and energy, keeps us fit and healthy.
- It enables heat balance in the body. It increases the fire element in the body and regularizes the metabolism. It improves appetite and digestion.
- By increasing the fire element, we are able to channelize our inner body strength which is required to cure our interior.
- It helps regulate body temperature.
- It helps in increasing pitta. Therefore it is an ideal gesture to overcome pitta deficiency. At the same time it decreases kapha dosha.
- It is good for those who have consumed heavy to digest foods.
- Since the fire element is related to vision, improvement of fire in the body will also improve the vision.
- It removes the blocks in the liver and enables maintaining liver health.
- It lowers cholesterol level if practiced for 20 minutes twice a day.
- This mudra is useful in reducing the earth element in the body. Fat tissue is predominantly made up of earth element. Decrease in earth element leads to weight loss. Surya Mudra helps reduce weight and is a good remedy for obesity. It should be practiced by women who gain weight after delivery. It is popularly known as ‘weight loss mudra’.
- It is an effective remedy for thyroid related disorders. This can be achieved by pressing the tip of the ring finger on the thyroid point. This point, according to acupressure remedies is little below the root of the thumb, on the bulge of the palm. To do this, the tip of the ring finger in this mudra should be moved down to the center of the bulge beneath the thumb root and pressed.
- It has positive effect on your body, mind and soul. It keeps you healthy and happy. It also promotes longevity of life.
- It also helps in keeping the mind and senses in optimum state of alertness and helps combat stress and depression. It can be practiced by those feeling low.
- It controls blood urea and complications of diabetes.
- It removes excessive fluidity and swelling of the body.
- It acts as energy booster.
- By increasing fire element and reducing water element in the body it wards of laziness. It is a good remedy for those who are lethargic.
- It brings peace of mind and keeps the mind sharp and active. It enables one to stay focused.
- When practiced regularly it awakens intuition in a person.
- It can ideally be practiced in extreme winters and cold seasons to keep up the body temperature.
Read – Akasha Mudra For Body Stability, Vata Balance
Surya Mudra is useful in treating the below mentioned diseases –
- Obesity and overweight
- High cholesterol
- Excessive coldness in the body
- Coldness of skin and limbs
- Common cold, blocked nose
- Indigestion and other digestive disorders, constipation
- Eye disorders
- Less sweating in the body
- Inactivity of thyroid glands
- Excessive sleepiness
- Block in arteries
- Thyroid problems
Side Effects & caution
- One should not do this mudra when he has weakness in his body.
- This gesture should not be overdone beyond the mentioned time. Else it may be harmful to the health.
- In summer it should not be done for long time. A little quantity of water may be consumed before doing this mudra in summer.
- Pitta constitution people should be careful doing this posture. Fire element is predominant in these people and this mudra too enhances fire element.
- It increases fire element in the body. This might increase the body temperature. You can avoid this mudra when you have too much heat in your body or suffering from fever.
- Avoid doing this gesture if you are underweight because this mudra is highly effective in reducing weight.
- People with high pitta and low kapha shall avoid doing this mudra.
Read – Diet And Lifestyle Advice For Pitta Dosha Body Type
Balance of elements
In Surya Mudra, two elements participate i.e. fire element and earth element. This Mudra shall be practiced in those who have more of earth element and less of fire element. The fire element wards off excessive earth element and enhances the fire element.
Effect on Doshas
Impact of Surya Mudra on the doshas and tissues
Fire and sun are represented in the body by pitta. Since this mudra increases fire element and heat in the body, it will obviously increase pitta. It shall be practiced to increase pitta in low-pitta conditions wherein there is need of heat. It is also beneficial in curing the diseases caused by low pitta.
Surya Mudra, by enhancing pitta will decrease watery content and earth content in the body. Kapha is mainly made up of water and earth elements. Therefore this mudra destroys excessive kapha accumulated in the body. In this sense, it also removes excessive coldness and stagnation caused by increased kapha.
Seeing the benefits of Surya Mudra, it can be inferred that it balances all forms of pitta, mainly pachaka, alochaka and ranjaka pittas.
Pitta and blood tissue are interrelated. When this mudra balances pitta, it also balances the blood tissue and enriches it. At the same time it depletes the kapha tissues i.e. lymph, muscles, fat, bone marrow and semen. Therefore it should be practiced with caution. Its extraordinary role in fat depletion makes this a praised practice in curing overweight and obesity.
Read – Effective Obesity Treatment, Remedies And Ayurveda Tips
The mudra is beneficial for supporting the roots of blood carrying channels i.e. liver and spleen. It is good for liver and spleen health. It has depleting effect on kapha category tissues. When practiced indiscriminately it may damage these tissues by abnormally increasing the heat in the body. When practiced in a proper and balanced way, it removes the congestion and blocks caused by excessive accumulation of kapha tissues. Example – it removes blocks in arteries, calculi, constipation, sinus & nasal congestion, accumulation of phlegm etc.
Since this mudra reduces the water contents in the body, it may reduce urine output and enhance sweating. But on the other side it relieves swelling and edema.
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