Mudras in yoga are the simplest yet effective practice to improve general wellness. Each mudra is connected to one or more of five elements of the body which are responsible for maintaining our overall health & wellness.
Surya mudra is the catalyst for enhancing the sun’s energy and vigor in the body. It is a mudra to increase fire element within body that rejuvenates and re-energizes our mind and body.
Surya mudra is extremely beneficial for people looking into yogic ways of reducing weight.
In this article, we will look into the benefits of surya mudra, how it helps in weight loss and the effective process to practice it.
Also read: Which Mudra Is Best For Weight Loss?
Surya mudra meaning
Surya means ‘sun’ in Sanskrit and mudra in general defined as ‘hand gesture’. Thus surya mudra literally means “hand gesture of sun”.
Just like the sun is the primary energy source for all living and non-living things on earth, the fire element, which is fueled by the sun, supplies vitality to all components within our body. Sun is representative of the fire element of the body.
Surya mudra is a simple hand gesture of yoga which increases the fire element in the body as well as decreases the earth element. It’s energy booster mudra as it strengthens the Sun energy present in the body.
Surya mudra is also known as;
- Agni mudra
- Agni Vardhak mudra
- Prithvi Shamak Mudra
- Weight loss mudra
Since ‘fire’ is called Agni, surya mudra is known as ‘Agni mudra’ in Sanskrit. It increases the fire element so it’s called ‘Agni Vardhak mudra’ or ‘fire enhancer mudra.’
Surya mudra’s other name is ‘Prithvi Shamak Mudra’ or ‘earth element reducing mudra’. Placing the thumb on top of the ring finger effectively reduces the earth element (Prithvi tattva) within the body.
By activating the fire element’s energy within the body, surya mudra improves digestion, aids in weight loss, boosts metabolism and promotes smooth energy flow. For people who are lazy or feel lethargic, surya mudra can act as a catalyzer in boosting their energy.
Benefits of Surya Mudra
Surya mudra has many benefits on the physical and mental levels. The most well-known benefit is that it aids weight loss.
Surya mudra is extremely helpful in weight loss for two reasons; the first is it cuts off the body’s excessive fat by lowering the earth element (which gives us weight). It happens when we touch the ring finger at the base of the thumb. The second reason is it activates the fiery energy within the body to boost metabolism which in turn burns more calories at rest or during activity. Combinedly it works for weight loss like a cardio workout; you burn more calories than you eat.
Also read: Does Meditation Help You Lose Weight?
Since surya mudra increases the fire element, it also helps in countering many issues related to digestion, eyes, and overall health.
Let us have a look at some of the benefits:
- Stimulates the digestive system. Surya mudra creates fire in the body. Since fire transforms food into energy, practising surya mudra stimulates the digestion process and metabolism.
- Reduces stomach problems. Surya mudra enhances metabolic function which reduced problems of indigestion, constipation, or acidity.
- Keeps the heart healthy. Surya mudra reduces the chances of heart attack or stroke by lowering bad cholesterol levels. It does so by boosting the overall metabolism of the body.
- Aid in delaying onset of diabetes. Surya mudra helps tackle diabetes. It produces internal body heat, which aids in the production of new insulin by the pancreas gland.
- Maintains body temperature. During winters surya mudra can help you maintain body temperature and prevent shivering, dry skin, sore throat, common cold, joint pain, etc.
- Improves vision. Surya mudra is good to improve eyesight. It works on alochaka agni or alochaka pitta, which is related to vision and perception, hence helping in improving the blur vision of the eyes and issues like leucoma.
- Reduce swelling. Practising surya mudra regularly is effective in reducing water retention, excess swelling, and weight loss after pregnancy.
- Stimulates the thyroid gland. The base of the thumb is the pressure point for the thyroid gland thus the ring finger placement in surya mudra helps stimulate and manage the function of the thyroid gland.
- Provides renewed energy and vigor. Surya mudra is very useful in countering laziness and lethargy. It boosts the energy level by activating the fire element in the body.
- Promotes better mental health. Practising surya mudra regularly keeps the mind sharp, focused and makes it more intuitive. Surya mudra energizes our life by strengthening our determination, which aids in the elimination of sluggishness, mental fogginess, and depression.
By reducing the earth element, surya mudra also aids in eliminating the problem of restless sleep or insomnia. Regular practice can also help in regaining your appetite or fight ailments like Anorexia.
Steps to perform Surya Mudra
- Sit comfortably in lotus pose (padmasana) or easy pose (sukhasana). Make sure your back is straight and your head aligned with the spine.
- Close your eyes and place your hands on your knees with palms up.
- Fold your ring finger so that the fingertip almost touches the base of the thumb. Place your thumb on the folded ring finger. Keep the rest of the fingers comfortably straight.
- Keep moderate pressure on the ring finger to increase the fire element but try not to overdo it.
- Hold the mudra for a minimum of 10 minutes.
- Separate your fingers gently after your session is over but do not get up immediately.
- Stay seated for a couple of minutes, with eyes closed, and slowly get aware of your surroundings.
- As surya mudra increases the fire element, you can practice this mudra for longer durations during winters to generate internal heat.
- Hydrate yourself before practising the mudra or keep a water bottle with you.
- Practising prana mudra after surya mudra will enhance its effects.
- If you’re experiencing excessive heat in the body after surya mudra practice, do Varun mudra to counter the heat effects.
How long to do surya mudra?
The surya mudra can be practised for as minimum as 10 minutes to a maximum of 45 minutes in the morning and evening. For ease of practice, break up the time into 10-15 minutes to perform it twice or thrice a day. Initially start with a lesser time and gradually increase the time.
When can surya mudra be practised?
The ideal time to practice surya mudra is during sunrise as you can tap into the sun’s energy. Thus the time between 4 to 6 am is perfect.
If you’re practising it any other time of the day it is advisable to not overdo surya mudra as it can increase fire element excessively. Once should stop practising surya mudra once the desired result is achieved.
During summers, try to practice surya mudra during colder times of the day such as early morning or evening to counter the effect of the rising heat.
To increase metabolism and better digestion after having heavy meals, it is beneficial to do surya mudra a few minutes before a meal. If you want to practice it after a meal, give a gap of at least one hour. It can also be performed while standing or walking.
Precautions for surya mudra practice
Avoid doing surya mudra in the following conditions:
- Fever, hyperthermia, flu or any physical condition which elevates body temperature
- If a person is underweight
- During pregnancy
- When one is feeling body fatigue or tiredness
- People with high pitta dosha or low Kapha dosha
- When having acidity, dizziness, headaches, dry skin and piles
Make sure to practice surya mudra in an open space during summers to avoid excessive accumulation of heat in the body. Drink a glass of water before practising the mudra as it may cause dehydration during summers.
Surya Mudra can be performed by anyone, regardless of their age or level of yoga experience. This mudra awakens the body’s fire energy and assists you to re-establish the fire balance. The mudras enable the fingers to make links, allowing energy to flow more freely throughout the body.
Frequently Asked Questions
A. It is advisable that you do not perform surya mudra during periods. Since it raises body temperature, an increase in internal heat can be detrimental when the body is already sensitive to hormonal changes.
A. Some practitioners may feel slight discomfort in their abdomen when they overdo surya mudra. This may cause excessive heat generation which can hamper the abdominal organs and their functioning.
Other side effects may include lesions or rashes on the skin, boils, excessive sweating during practice, dizziness, headaches, etc. To avoid these issues, always start with a lesser hold time, maybe 5-10 minutes. Once your body gets accustomed, increase the time to 20 minutes in one sitting.
A. Surya mudra in itself doesn’t cause hair loss. However, if you already have a Kapha imbalance, surya mudra further reduces the earth element which may cause hair loss.
A. Yes, surya mudra is good for lowering high blood pressure. It reduces cholesterol from the veins hence reducing the risk of heart problems.