Sun is the source of sustainable energy for every living creature on earth. In yoga, there are several ways to redirects the energy of the sun within the body for different purposes. Surya mudra is one of the easiest methods of redirecting sun energy.
All mudras in yoga have their benefits in which some help in healing and some helps in treating the health issues.
Surya Mudra is best known as “weight loss mudra” as practicing it daily can enhance the functioning of the abdominal organs.
Meaning of Surya Mudra
Sanskrit word “Surya” means sun and here “mudra” means hand gesture. Hence, Surya mudra is basically finger arrangement (gesture) that represents energy our body gain through sunlight.
The energy of the sun also represents with Fire element of the body. Sanskrit term for fire is ‘Agni‘, therefore Surya mudra also known as Agni mudra.
To make an optimum balance among 5 elements of the body, Surya Mudra eliminates the earth element and increases the fire element. therefore, Surya Mudra is also known as Agni vardhak (fire increaser) mudra.
Surya Mudra: The Gesture of Fire
Sun produces fire & disseminates heat energy to all living and non-living matter present on earth in the form of heat. This is the sun only that is responsible for energy of the fire element present within us.
Many people wonder what we can do with an increased element of fire in the body, don’t you?
Fire is an essential element when it comes to intense yoga sadhana (yogic discipline). It works like a catalyzer which boosts your willpower against the vigorous yoga practices.
In yoga, the fire element is the synonym of Tapas (one of 3rd Niayamas). Tapas is the quality of a person to be self-disciplined. It can channelize or boost your inner body strength quickly.
Who Should Especially Practice Surya or Agni Mudra?
- People having a desk job or who used to sit for long hours generally troubled with overweight. Surya mudra maintains excessive fat of belly & relieve from overweight problems.
- Those people who have laziness in their behavior or feel powerless even after a small work, must adopt Surya mudra.
- Persons with weak eyesight can also adopt Surya mudra to increase the fire element of the body, as with fire (light) element vision comes.
How to Do Surya Mudra
Bend your ring finger in such a way that ring finger’s tip exactly touches the base of the thumb (at the third line of your thumb). At this point, simultaneously, press the second phalanx of the ring finger with the tip of the thumb.
Rest three fingers of the hand are lightly stretched and straight throughout the whole practice.
You may find it difficult for finger’s correct placement, so while doing with one hand, take the help of another hand to get the right placement of fingers.
You can follow the following steps to include agni mudra in your yoga session.
Surya Mudra Steps
- Sit in a comfortable yogasana on a mat, not directly on the floor. You can either try to sit in the half-lotus posture or full lotus posture (Padmasana).
(Even you can perform Surya Mudra by standing. However, it is essential to make sure you are sitting or standing comfortably for at least 15 minutes.)
- Now arrange the finger in the same way as described above.
Bend the ring fingers of your both hands in such a way that tips of the finger touch the base of your thumb and thumb pressing the top of the second phalanx (of the ring finger).
- Arrange another hand fingers in the same manner.
- After aligning the body & hand comfortably, hold your hands over the kneecap.
- While pressing down the ring fingers, make sure that other fingers are lightly stretched.
You can also imbibe the practice of Surya mudra with the Pranayama practice.
Preparatory Hand Gesture
For better results, begin the practice of Surya mudra with these preparatory mudras:
- Anjali Mudra: Join your palms together in Namaste. Here is the correct way to do it.
Before performing Surya mudra, this mudra prepares your mind to concentrate at one point for Surya Mudra.
- Adi Mudra: For soothing effect in our body, practice adi mudra before Surya mudra.
Follow Up Hand Gesture
End your Surya mudra practice with following hand gestures:
- Varun Mudra: If anyhow an excess amount of heat has produced in the body by the surya mudra, then to neutralize this overheat we can perform varun mudra. Where surya means hot, varun symbolize water or cool energy.
Here are the steps of varun mudra
- Prana Mudra: To lower the effect of excess heat produced after Surya mudra, perform prana mudra to stimulate the flow of prana.
- Gyan Mudra: It’s always advised to end a yogic practice by bringing hands in Gyan mudra.
Ideal Time & Duration
Morning & evening session when the external heat has minimum effect on the body, ideal time to practice Surya mudra. You can also do it other times but as we already described, it may results in excessive heat production in the body.
Make sure to maintain a gap of 2 hours between practice of Surya mudra & a heavy meal. A heavy meal is avoid for the same reason as it produces heat in the body plus Surya mudra, it may results in excessive heat production in the body.
To see results from Surya mudra in minimum time, it should be practice for at least 45 minutes a day. If you are not able to hold finger in same position for 45 minutes, you can practice it 3 times a day (having 15 minutes session each).
How Does Surya Mudra Work
Thumb represents the fire element and the ring finger represents the earth element.
When you hold the ring finger & thumb in the Surya mudra arrangement, then the fire element (thumb) of the body dominates over the earth element (ring finger).
Hence, this placement of fingers increases heat & energy in the body and simultaneously suppresses the earth element.
Surya Mudra Benefits
- Surya Mudra’s quality of increasing the fire element and decreasing the earth element helps in maintaining the metabolism of the body.
- As Surya mudra increases body temperature, it relieves from the problem caused by cold weather like Dry skin, Sore throat, Painful joints & Flu.
- A person suffering from the loss of appetite (Anorexia) can practice Surya mudra to bring the body’s hunger back on the track.
- An imbalance in Pitta humor can disturb the digestion process which results in various diseases of the abdomen. If you want to cure the deficiency of pita humor, then practicing Surya Mudra is highly beneficial.
- Reduces Cholesterol – This mudra works for removing extra cholesterol accumulated in the blood vessels and hence reduces the risk of heart attacks and indirectly helps in curing diabetes also.
- Tackle coldness of limbs – Surya mudra helps in problems like shivering, cold, coldness of body parts.
1. Surya Mudra for Weight Loss
According to a report from cdc.gov 1 half of Americans are trying to lose weight. In this chaos, Surya mudra is one of the easiest methods to lose weight.
Surya mudra helps in weight loss in the following way:
- Indigestion and sleep disorders are the most common cause of excessive weight. Surya mudra balances digestion problems (by stimulating fire element) & sleep disorders by bringing down the earth element present in the ring finger.
- Another cause of excessive weight is the accumulation of wastes in the body. Surya mudra regulates the ‘Apana Vayu – downward-moving energy’ (one of 5 Pranas) efficiently which helps to detoxify the body. Hence, it’s helpful in weight loss.
Surya mudra is also practiced to reduce the extra fat deposited in a female body post-delivery.
2. Surya Mudra for Thyroid
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland present in the front low neck. It’s mainly known for the secretion of different hormones that are responsible for metabolism, development of the brain (in adolescents), and body temperature.
- The fire element, which plays key role in Surya mudra practice is considered the stimulator of the metabolic functioning of the thyroid gland 2.
- In the neck region of the body (where thyroid gland lies) space element present that is responsible for hormonal imbalance. Surya mudra also balances the space element present in the neck which makes it effective practice for thyroid.
3. Surya Mudra for Digestion
The digestion process that takes place in the liver has heat is an essential part. In fact, heat quickens the chemical process of producing enzymes to digest any food particle 3.
We know it very well, Surya mudra has the efficiency to produce heat in the body by stimulating the fire element present in the thumb.
Thus in nutshell, Surya mudra is a panacea for diseases related to indigestion like constipation, ulcers, gastroparesis, etc.
4. Surya Mudra for Eyes
The element of fire and visual cortex present in our eyes has a special kind of relationship. It’s the fire element only that lights up our perception of seeing an object.
There are 5 kinds of fire mentioned in Ayurveda 4, among which, fire for vision is called alocaka agni. Surya mudra also works on alocaka agni that helps in improving the blur vision of eyes.
Especially people who are suffering from leucoma (a disorder related to eyes and vision) can practice Surya mudra to get beneficial results out of it.
Although, yogic practices haven’t any side effects, but precautions must be taken in order to avoid any side effects cause of incorrect or excessive practice.
- Surya mudra could have an adverse effect when practiced during fever. As this mudra heats up the body, it’s not suggested to practice it during fever.
- Make sure to practice this mudra in open space during summers to avoid excessive accumulation of heat in the body.
- Drink a glass of water before practicing the mudra as it is a powerful mudra and may cause dehydration if practiced for a long time.
- Underweight people should not practice Surya mudra for a longer period (45 minutes) as it may further reduce the weight.
Mudras in yoga are the simplest kind of exercises that works on the body as well as complex functions of the mind.
To produce heat in the body, stimulating the fire element present in the thumb (through Surya mudra) could work great.
Have you practiced this amazing mudra? Let me know in the comment section below how the practice of Surya mudra has benefited you. Namaste 🙂
- Attempts to Lose Weight Among Adults in the United States, 2013–2016 https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db313.pdf
- A clinical study to evaluate the role of Triphaladya Guggulu along with Punarnavadi Kashaya in the management of hypothyroidism http://www.ayujournal.org/
- Rate of digestion https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/1834-rate-of-digestion
- The Five Elements: Fire in Ayurveda https://www.ayurvedacollege.com/Ayurveda/five-elements-fire-ayurveda