By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Apana = Apana Vata, a subtype of vata located in the lower portion of the body
Mudra = gesture / seal / mark / pose
Apana Mudra is a hasta mudra i.e. a hand gesture used to enable free flow of apana vata. It is used for improving the functions of the organs related to elimination / excretion, i.e. colon, urinary bladder etc. It is also called as purification or cleansing-energy gesture. Gheranda Samhita mentions apana mudra as ‘mudra of digestion’.
Read – Mudra – The Science Of Gesture: Benefits, Types, How To Practice
Apana Vayu is one of the five types of vayu. It is the second of the five pranas i.e. life forces. It is primarily responsible for elimination. It controls the organs situated between the navel and perineum. They include small intestines, colon, urinary system and reproductive system. Thus it is involved in proper elimination of feces, fart and urine. Its functions in a state of balance also involve easy ejaculation, menstruation and delivery of fetus at term. This gesture aims at balancing this vayu, to control the organs of lower abdomen and pelvis and the functions therein. This vayu has downward movement; its disturbances cause conditions like constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, menstrual irregularities, premature ejaculation, impotence etc. This gesture is a good remedy for these problems.
Procedure of Apan Mudra
- Sit in any comfortable position / posture. Keep your spine straight.
- You can also take any meditation pose like Sukhasana, i.e. easy pose, Padmasana i.e. lotus pose, Siddhasana i.e. accomplished pose, Swastikasana i.e. the auspicious pose or Vajrasana i.e. diamond pose.
- In the sitting position, place your hands on your thighs or knees. Let your palms face upwards.
- Close your eyes and take few deep relaxed breaths. Focus on your breathing and be aware of the process. You can also keep your eyes open. But keeping your eyes closed will help you to focus on the gesture completely.
- Bring your ring and middle finger together. Bend them over to touch your thumb. Keep the little and index fingers pointed straight. This needs to be done simultaneously in both hands.
- Remain in the same position for 15-30 minutes or as per your convenience.
- Visualize the energy flow in your body by diverting your consciousness towards it.
- Slowly open your eyes.
- Separate your fingers from their mutual contact.
- Bring back your hands on to your thighs or knee, the starting position.
- Relax and breathe easily.
Related Video – Apana Mudra – for healthy heart
Time and duration
- This gesture can be done at any time of the day. Early morning is preferable.
- It should be done for 30-45 minutes at a stretch. Alternatively it can be practiced for 10-15 minutes at a stretch for three times a day.
- It can either be practiced on empty stomach or 2 hours after having food. Doing it on empty stomach is beneficial.
- It can be practiced in standing position or sitting on a chair.
- It should be practiced for 6-8 weeks for better results.
Read – Tips To Enhance Effect Of Mudra, 5 Mudra Groups, Rules Of Hasta Mudra
- Helps in maintenance of small and large intestinal health
- Relieves constipation
- Relieves urinary retention and problems related to voiding of urine
- Relieves indigestion and acidity
- Regulates menstrual cycles in women
- Good remedy for PME
- Strengthens pelvic organs
- Enables easy childbirth
- Relieves back pain
- Good for those suffering from breathing disorders
- Good for those suffering from heart ailments, relieves chest pain
- It helps in removing our physical wastes
- It helps in releasing emotions too
- Strengthens the immune system
- Detoxifies the body
- Balances space and earth elements in the body and regulates their functions, supports structures and tissues made of these elements
- Helps you feel grounded and process difficult emotions
- It generates energy in the liver and gallbladder, supports balance and harmony
- It increases the vata and kapha in the body, decreases pitta. Thus it enables balance of all three doshas in the body. People with vata and kapha constitution should practice this mudra in moderation.
- Controls diabetes when it is practiced for 50 minutes followed by prana mudra for 15 minutes, one should also perform pranayama for 30 minutes
- Good remedy for migraine in combination with Jnana mudra (each should be done for half hour)
- Enriches the skin, makes it glow, good for skin health
- Soothes toothache
- Strengthens the thighs and hips
Read – How To Do Pranayama – A Simple Pranayama Technique
Apan gesture generates strong downward pulling force. It should not be practiced by pregnant women during the initial 8 months of pregnancy. It can cause miscarriage. During the 9th month it helps smooth and easy childbirth.
This shall not be practices when one suffers from diarrhea, dysentery, cholera and colitis.
Read – 37 Ayurveda Home Remedies For Diarrhea And Dysentery
It should not be practiced immediately after meals. It should be practiced at least 2 hours after meals.
Relationship with the elements
In Apana Vayu gesture we bring together the thumb, middle finger and ring finger together. Thumb represents the fire element. The middle finger represents space / ether element and the ring finger the earth element. This gesture has a balancing effect on these elements. This also gives wide array of therapeutic benefits.
Relation with chakras
Apana Mudra balances the Muladhara Chakra i.e. the root chakra and Swadishtana Chakra. The regions of both these energy centers are in the apana vayu zone.
Cures burning sensation of hand, heart, leg and urine
Regulates body temperature by timely elimination of sweat
Read – Chakra – Kundalini: Introduction, Meaning, Types, Location, Ayurveda View
Impact on doshas, tissues
Apana balances all the doshas. Apana Mudra effectively controls apana vata and balances its functions related to excretion, menstruation, ejaculation and parturition. Its balance will also balance the other related vayus in the body. It has a balancing effect on pachaka pitta. It balances udana vata and avalambaka kapha and balances heart and lung functions.
Coming to the tissues, this gesture imparts strength to the muscles and bones of back, thighs, hips and pelvis. It also strengthens the musculature of colon and uterus. Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu) – Skype