Vayu Mudra – Meaning, Procedure, Benefits, Tridosha Effect

By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S

Vayu = air / wind
Mudra = gesture / seal / mark / pose

Vayu Mudra is a hand gestures, practiced to release excess of air from the human body. This relieves one from the symptoms related to aggravation of air element in the body like excessive gas, bloating, arthritis, gout and other pains.

Introduction

This mudra is practiced to balance the air element in the body. Air is represented in the body in the form of Vata dosha. Therefore this gesture helps in balancing vata dosha in the body.

Since this mudra is helpful for relieving the gas from the stomach, it is also called as ‘Mudra for stomach gas’.
Read – Mudra – The Science Of Gesture: Benefits, Types, How To Practice

Procedure

  • Sit in an easy posture, preferably in a cross legged position. Yoga experts advise you to sit in Vajrasana i.e. diamond pose or Padmasana i.e. lotus pose. You can also sit in Siddhasana, Swastikasana, Sukhasana and Ardha Padmasana.
  • In sitting position, place the hands on your thighs or knees with your palm pointing the ceiling.
  • Keep your spine straight.
  • If you are unable to fold the legs due to joint pain, just sit on a chair and carry on with your practice.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Take few deep relaxed breaths. Be aware about the breathing patterns.
  • Fold the index fingers of both the hands such that the tips of these fingers touch the base of their respective thumbs.
  • Now gently press the thumbs over the index fingers.
  • The remaining three fingers should be kept straight.
  • Initially you may feel little pain or discomfort in doing this gesture. But with practice you will surely master it and will feel at ease.
  • Release the mudra by relaxing the fingers. Open the eye and finish.
    Read – Tips To Enhance Effect Of Mudra, 5 Mudra Groups, Rules Of Hasta Mudra

Duration of Practice

How long to practice this mudra?

Initially start by practicing this gesture for 10 minutes in a day.

Gradually the time duration may be extended up to 45 minutes in a day.

It can be practiced for 45 minutes at a stretch or in installments. You may also practice it in 3 installments of 15 minutes each. For better results this gesture shall be practiced for at least 2 months.

It can be practiced in sitting, standing, lying positions or even during walking. It is advised to be practiced early in the morning on empty stomach, while doing Pranayama. But this is not a strict rule. You may practice it at any time of the day as per your convenience. It can also be done after meals but after a gap of at least 45 minutes post food. Sitting is the best posture to practice this asana. This will enable you to focus on the gesture and get optimum results in comparison to other positions.
Read – Yogasana – Spiritual, Physical And Mental Benefits, Classification

Precautions

After getting the desired health benefits one should stop doing this gesture. If continued, the body may get depleted of supportive air and lead to its imbalance. This will lead to many ailments.

Don’t exert too much pressure on the index finger during practice. Applying pressure is only with an intention to enable free flow of energy within the circuit of fingers. Therefore keep the hands relaxed and apply moderate pressure.

Breathe normally and allow your body to be relaxed. Don’t keep the body tight. This would hinder the free flow of energy.

Keep patience and wait for good results. Don’t be anxious about the same. This will cause stress. Allow the procedure to work in the process.
Read – Jnana Mudra (Gyan or Dhyana Mudra) Posture, Benefits

Benefits

Releases excessive air from the body and causes balance of air element.

It brings about balance of vata and hence all activities controlled by vata dosha.

It cures all diseases caused by imbalance of air element and vata dosha, especially apana vata and vyana vata. (read)

It cures the below mentioned diseases –

  • Abdominal gas and bloating (relieves gas in the stomach and intestines) when you suffer from gas or flatulence after a meal, sit in Vajrasana and practice Vayu Mudra for 10-15 minutes
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Knee, neck, back pain
  • Spinal pain
  • Sciatica
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Paralysis / Hemiplegia
  • Stress and anxiety – this mudra is said to calm a stressed nervous system and soothe the mind
  • Tightens your chest and strengthens it, relieves your chest pain
  • Builds immunity against cold and cough
  • The mudra is supportive to skin and cartilage and keeps them healthy
  • Hysteria etc

Related Reading – Parkinson’s disease and Ayurveda

Mechanism of action

Fire element resides in the thumb and air element resides in the index element. When the index finger is pressed by the thumb, the air element is suppressed by the fire element. Thus excessive air element in the body is taken control of.
Read – Relationship of Water Element With Doshas And Lifespan

Vayu mudra as a part of analgesic package

Relief from joint pains can be achieved by practicing the below mentioned mudras in that order –

  • Vayu Mudra x 15 minutes, followed by
  • Varuna Mudra x 15 minutes, followed by
  • Prana Mudra x 15 minutes

Varuna Mudra – balances water element in the joint cartilages

Regular practice of Vayu mudra followed by Prana mudra cures gout

One should immediately practice Vayu mudra for 5 minutes after lifting heavy things, to avoid its effect. Similarly Vayu mudra should be done when there is a sprain. It should be done with opposite hand while placing samana mudra on the point of sprain. This can be practiced in any case of pain.

When Vayu mudra is followed by Prana mudra, it cures neck pain and frozen shoulder.

Regular practice of Vayu mudra for 15 minutes cures convulsions.

Balance of elements

In Vayu Mudra we are trying to bring a balance in air element by using the fire element against it. In other terms we are heating the troublesome cold air in the body and destroying it.
Read – Relationship Between Doshas And Basic Elements (Pancha Mahabhuta)

Impact on Tridoshas, tissues

As its name suggests, this is an ideal mudra to combat vitiated vata in the body. Vata is responsible for all activities in the body. On the other hand vitiated vata disturbs and displaces the other doshas i.e. pitta and kapha and damage the tissues. It causes wide array of health issues and diseases, mainly painful conditions. Vayu Mudra, by controlling the vayu and balancing it will enable smooth running of body functions. It also will help in getting rid of vata related disorders.

Since pitta and its heat are used to balance vata in this mudra, their balance will normalize the metabolism.

Bones and vata have abode and resident relationship. Aggravation of vata in the bones will lead to conditions like arthritis and other painful conditions. Vayu Mudra helps the bones and ligaments to recover. This mudra is also helpful for the channels carrying the bones.
 Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu) – Skype

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