By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Chinmaya mudra is a hand gesture, praised for its weight loss benefits. It is said to promote physical and mental health. It strengthens thoracic region and enhances digestion capacity.
Chinmaya = supreme wisdom / supreme awareness / full of knowledge
Mudra = gesture / pose / lock / seal / mark
The use of this mudra is to draw awareness to the body which aids in keeping the mind and body healthy. Through this gesture, the prana energy and the awareness of the breath flow smoothly into the body, thus treating the physical body to stay in balance.
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This gesture helps you to digest your life experiences. It becomes important that we understand the root of our fears and losses. The gesture helps us in doing so. It also brings an awareness of what essential things we deem lacking in our life and makes us understand our priorities. This becomes very important while dealing with problems like overweight or obesity. When we understand how our mind or soul processes our life experiences, we are able to instantly resolve the old and harmful habits. This would enable us to experience happiness and incomparable lightness of our free and unburdened self.
This gesture creates a sense of balance and alignment within the body’s structure. Thus it helps you to stay and feel the calmness. It enables you to feel rooted and supported from within you. This instills a sense of self-trust. It also helps you to trust your body, others and the world around you. It enables you to establish greater connection with the outer world.
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- Sit in any comfortable position. You can prefer sitting in Sukhasana i.e. easy pose, Vajrasana i.e. diamond pose or Padmasana i.e. lotus pose.
- Close your eyes for better concentration over the gesture. You can also perform the gesture with open eyes.
- Breathe in slowly. Focus your consciousness over the breathing and be aware of it.
- Curl your fingers into a loose fist.
- Bring the tips of the thumb and forefinger together so as to form a circle.
- Now place your hands on the upper thighs.
- Your palm may face upwards or downwards.
- Perform the mudra for the desired duration i.e. up to 45 minutes.
- Release your thumbs and forefingers from their mutual contact.
- Uncurl the fingers.
- Breathe free and relax.
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Time and duration
- Can be done at any part of the day, early morning is preferable
- Should be practiced for 35-45 minutes at a stretch or for 15 minutes thrice daily
- Can be done 1 hour after food, preferably on empty stomach
- Chanting mantras during the practice is beneficial
- Can be done while sitting, standing or walking
- Can be practiced after pranayama sessions such as anuloma viloma
- Promotes awareness of the body and mind
- Bestows body mind health
- Helps to keep the mind calm
- It relieves stress and anxiety
- Promotes flow of prana, the life energy in the body – promotes oxygenation of the entire body
- Imparts energy in the thoracic region
- Promotes breathing in the midsection of the lungs
- Improves digestion
- It bestows weight loss and can be readily done by obese and overweight individuals
- Stimulates nerves, improves functions of nervous system
- Induces sleep, cures insomnia
- Enhances memory power when practiced daily
- Reduces egoism and aggressive nature, keeps you humble
Effect on elements
Chinmaya Mudra helps in balancing the fire and air elements. The thumb represents fire energy and the index finger represents air element. In this gesture, the tips of these two are in contact with each other. Therefore the mentioned elements are balanced.
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Impact on Doshas and Tissues
Chinmaya gesture overall increases / balances vata and pitta and pacifies kapha. This mudra balances the prana vayu – sadhaka pitta – udana vayu – tarpaka kapha axis. Thus it has positive and beneficial impact on the mind and senses, promotes flow of prana in the body, enhances memory and brain functions and induces sleep.
The gesture has balancing and calming effect on udana vata and avalambaka kapha. Therefore it energizes the thorax and promotes breathing. The balanced and kindled pachaka pitta and samana vata in the stomach and gut enables proper digestion of food.
Coming to tissues, this gesture has depleting effect on fat tissue. Therefore it promotes weight reduction in obese and overweight patients.
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