Our body works as a system that demands continuous input of energy for proper functioning. The digestive system is responsible for the extraction of energy from the food we take. Any deficiency in the digestive system can cause a serious problem in the body. So proper digestion is very important to have a healthy and happy life.
To overcome the malfunction of the digestive system, Mudras, the hand gesture of yoga works as an engineer to set the mechanism of digestive system back to normal with even better working conditions.
1. Pushan Mudra
In Sanskrit, Pushan is called to “one who nourishes”. Pushan Mudra is a holistic hand gesture that nourishes the Jatharagni or the Digestive fire. This Mudra is named after the Hindu deity Sun, synonymous to Pushan. The ‘one’ who is the ultimate source of energy or nourisher of the whole earth.
This Mudra is the combination of two hand gestures Apana Vayu Mudra and Prana Mudra. On practicing this Mudra, it activates the subtle energies of the body system by which we take, act, and reciprocate. These energies are as follows.
- Receptive energy – Prana Vayu
- Assimilative energy – Samana Vayu
- Eliminative energy – Apana Vayu
Prana, Samana, & Apana Vayu is the part of 5 Pranas in our body.
To do Pushan Mudra
Pushan Mudra involves two different gestures in both hands. Therefore, It is necessary to do it one by one.
- Come into any seated comfortable posture like Padmasana (Lotus Pose), or Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose).
- From the left hand, Touch the tips of the middle and ring finger to the tip of the thumb and maintain the posture.
- From the right hand, Join the middle and index finger to the tip of the thumb and stay in that pose for the practice.
- Apply gentle pressure in both of the hand gesture. Close your eyes and focus on deep breathing. Practice this mudra for 10 to 15 minutes each session.
Pushan Mudra directs the flow of subtle energies towards the solar plexus chakra that vitalizes organs concerned with the digestive system (liver, stomach, gall bladder, intestines, etc).
Also, on the activation of solar plexus chakra, it alleviates constipation, gas, and acidity related problems. Moreover, Pushan mudra is helpful in case of acidity.
2. Shunya Mudra
Shunya represents ‘void’ or ’emptiness’. That Void of emptiness is often occupied by the space element or Akash Tattva. An increase in the Space element creates an imbalance between the other remaining elements that indirectly affects the digestive system.
Shunya Mudra gesture helps in reducing the extra space element and simultaneously assists other elements.
Improper occupancy of the space elements in the body restricts the energy flow of the rest elements. Such a situation creates a chaos of energy in the body.
In Shunya mudra, the middle finger (space element) which has been pressed under the thumb (fire element) gets decreased. Due to which, this mudra is also called as Akash shamak where Akash means ‘Space’ element and Shamak means ‘reduction’.
To do Shunya Mudra
- Begin by getting into any seated comfortable posture Sukhasana (Easy Pose), Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose).
- Now, place your hand on thighs or on knees. Gradually lift a hand and try to fold the middle finger under the thumb. Hold the posture.
- Close your eyes and focus on deep breathing. Practice this mudra for 30 to 40 minutes twice a day for the better result.
Shunya Mudra enhances the fire element while diminishing the space element. Reducing space element stimulates the digestive fire, which further aids in digestion. Along with this, it also balances or overcomes the Vata doshas as the Space element is concerned with Vata Body.
3. Surya Mudra
Surya mudra symbolizes the sun’s energy as the fire element in the body. That is why this Mudra is also known as the Agni Vardhak mudra, Agni (Fire), and Vardhak (Enhancer).
This mudra is synonymous with the sun because it invigorates the Fire of Digestion. Hyper metabolism due to the rigorous effect of Surya Mudra over Digestive fire results in its most advantageous state. Therefore, enhances digestion.
To do Surya Mudra
- Begin with a seated comfortable posture Swastikasana (Cross-legged Pose), Padmasana (Lotus Pose).
- Now, fold your ring finger and touch it at the base of the thumb and press its above surface with the tip of the thumb.
- Close your eyes and remain in the posture while focusing on deep breathing. Practice this mudra twice or thrice a day for 20 to 30 minutes.
On doing Surya Mudra regularly practitioner overcomes various digestive disorders like indigestion, acid reflux, constipation, flatulence, and gas, etc. Apart from this, enhanced metabolism in Surya Mudra also results in weight loss, which decreases the chances of diabetes and heart conditions.
4. Varun Mudra
Varun is one of the Hindu deity concerns with water, due to which he is known by the name of ‘rain god‘ or ‘water lord‘.
Every step of the Digestive process ( ingestion, digestion, assimilation, and excretion) is assisted by the water. So, the problem (constipation, indigestion, etc) concerning the digestion process is natural in the absence of water. Similarly, the improper supply of water further gives birth to chronic Digestive issues.
Varun Mudra is a hand gesture responsible for the increment of water concentration in the body, which is the primary need for the digestion.
To do Varuna Mudra
- Begin with the basic seating posture Sukhasana (Easy Pose), Sawastikasana (Cross-legged Pose).
- Now, try to touch the tip of the little finger with the tip of the thumb finger. Press gently and maintain the posture.
- Close your eyes and focus on deep breathing. Remain in the posture and practice Varun Mudra daily twice or thrice a day for better results.
Varun Mudra is one of the effective hand gestures in overcoming the problems of digestion. Water is the fundamental element of Kapha and Vata therefore, balance the Kapha (deals with the strengthening of the immune system and muscle growth, etc) and Vata ( deals with muscular spasm, fear, anxiety, gas, and insomnia) in the body.
5. Pitta karak Mudra
Pitta is a Sanskrit term that signifies ‘warmth‘ and ‘transformation or change‘. Pitta Karak hand gesture promotes the pitta or bile formation in the body. Water and fire are the constitutive elements of pitta. Due to its governance over warmth or temperature of the body, Pitta regulates the function of Agni or the digestive fire. Therefore, induces digestion.
When we born pitta remains in equilibrium in the body along with the other two Vata and Kapha. Being new to the world, we remain pure in terms of physical and psychological feeding of our bodies. As we grow, we interact with various entities that somehow disbalance the pitta in our bodies. Therefore, issues arise among which digestion is the crucial cause “we become what we eat”. This mudra directs the energy that stimulates digestive juices to overcome digestive problems or encourage digestion.
To do Pitta karak Mudra
- Come into any seated comfortable posture Padmasana (lotus pose), Sukhasana (Easy Pose).
- Now, lift your hand before the chest and fold little and ring finger to touch the base of the thumb.
- Maintain the posture. Close your eyes and focus on breathing. practice this mudra daily in the mornings and evenings for 30 to 40 minutes.
This mudra restores the pitta humor and discourages the Kapha humor. Therefore, It is also known as the Kapha nashak mudra. Apart from this, it also helps in hypothyroidism, loss of appetite, drowsiness, mental problem, etc.
Mudras work as a prominent tool in tackling the problem of digestive issues. They seem silent in appearance or to perform but they are as dynamic as the electricity inside the subtle energy circuits of the body.
Every major to the minor problem could be linked to any of the body organs. Similarly, digestive problems are of a wide range. They do not have any single source. Irregular eating or drinking habit, stress, anxiety, doshas, etc could be responsible for their cause.
Mudras like, Pushan, shunya, Surya, Varun, and pitta Kapha Nashak are some of the best hand gesture which covers almost all the possibility to dismantle digestion problems. Therefore, involving these mudras in your lifestyle would be of ample benefits.
Mudras for Digestion FAQs
- Is there any specific time & duration to perform mudras for digestion?
For better digestion, generally, mudras above can be done after having a meal. In the case of Surya mudra, it's preferred before 2 hours and after 4 hours of the meal as it generates immense heat in the body. The duration of each mudra should be 5-to minutes for it effective working.
- How should I go with these digestive mudras if I'm a diabetic and heart patient as well?
Most of the mudras stimulate metabolism by heat production. So, you better not do those mudras or try moderately in terms of duration.
- Which seated posture works better with these mudras for digestion?
Vajrasana is the ideal pose that will add up an extra edge to the digestion process along with these mudras. However, people with knee problems can simply sit on a chair or any other cross-legged positions.