The Ayurveda, one of the ancient Indian practice has summoned up our body into five fundamental elements. These elements are Vayu (air), Jal (water), Agni (fire), Akash (space), and Prithvi (earth). The balance of these elements keeps us healthy and positively vibrated.
However, an abnormal lifestyle due to ignorance toward the ancient knowledge regarding good health creates ups & downs of the air element in our body. To overcome concerned health issues, one of the yoga practices, called Vayu Mudra is being used from a long ago.
Vayu Mudra: The Gesture of Air Element
Vayu Mudra is a yogic hand gesture or symbol to equalize the Air element in the body. It can be easily achieved by the folding of an index finger and its pressing at the base of the thumb. Further, extend the rest of the fingers.
The air element in our body is helpful in managing the different types of pain like rheumatic arthritis, sciatica, etc, and various psychological disorders. Problems concerned with the imbalance of the Air element can be easily alleviated by practicing Vayu Mudra.
However, ancient yogis with the condition regarding gas used to perform this Mudra as a remedy. Therefore, one can become healthy or free from gastric disorders by the introduction of this ancient yoga practice in his/her day to day schedule.
Significance of Vayu in Our Body
The term Vayu Mudra is originated from the ancient Sanskrit language. In which, ‘Vayu‘ means Air and ‘Mudra‘ mean gesture. According to Ayurveda, the air element is associated with the Vata dosha in our body.
It is said that the thumb finger is the seat for the fire element and the index finger is for the air element. Therefore, as the index finger is pressed under thumb finger, fire overpowers the air elements by its suppression.
In the condition of the excess of gas, bloating, flatulence or other related gastric issues, Vayu Mudra regulates or balances the Air element in the body.
Ayurveda also said, our body is comprised of the 49 Vayus of which 5 are vital and 5 are subsidiary. All of which have their own specific function. Vayu mudra guides the flow of prana to balance the air element in the body.
However, an individual can practice it with meditation or pranayama technique for better results. It also helps in creating a balance within the Nadis (subtle energy channels) to maintains the air influx and efflux.
How to Do the Vayu Mudra
Vayu Mudra is one of the easiest mudras to do. It includes the movement of almost all the fingers but the main focus remains on the index and thumb finger.
You can perform it by touching your index finger at the base of the thumb and slightly pressing it with the thumb finger.
Now, let’s have a look at the step by step instructions of doing a Vayu Mudra.
- First of all, bring your body into a comfortable sitting posture such as Sukhasana, Vajrasana, Padmasana, etc. Find your place of relaxation here, one should be still and calm before doing Vayu Mudra.
- Now, proceed with the deep breathing while keeping the eyes close. Closing of the eyes holds your concentration for further practice, whereas breathing stimulates the prana flow across the body.
- Begin with the palms facing upside. Fold your index finger in a way that it touches the base of the thumb finger. Further on, pressing it with the thumb finger.
- However, your index finger might hurt a bit for a while but after some time it will find its way to remain disciplined in the Vayu mudra. After that, extend the rest of the fingers as much as possible.
- Now, without disturbing the gesture, place your hands on both of your thighs. From here, maintain the steady, calm breathing with OM chanting to add spiritual awareness into your practice.
Note: The only difference between the finger arrangement of Vayu mudra & Gyan mudra is that here we touch index finger at the base of thumb & in Gyan mudra, we touch at the tip of the thumb.
To reach the optimum level of benefits regarding the Vayu mudra, one has to be precautious in approach. The following are some of the measures, which should be finalized before practicing this mudra.
- Avoid wearing tight clothes while doing Vayu Mudra.
- Preference of open and airy place should be advisable over the closed and concise one.
- Keep away the electronic gadgets & turn them off until or unless you practice the Vayu Mudra.
- Do not try to overbend your index finger. Also, the application of great pressure by thumb finger is not advisable.
- Keeping the back straight adds some extra stars to your practice, as it eases the prana flow.
Benefits of Vayu Mudra
The regular practice of Vayu Mudra could cultivate an immense number of benefits. However, some of them are as follows.
1. Reduces Parkinson Disease Symptoms
The substantia nigra 1 is a part of the brain, which when loses nerve cells causes Parkinson’s disease 2. This region of the brain is concerned with the production of a chemical, called Dopamine. Damage of nerve cells reduces the amount of dopamine, which further provokes the abnormal brain activity.
The practice of Vayu Mudra recovers the damaged & regenerate the died nerve cells.
2. Stimulates Endocrine Glands
Improper growth, disturbed metabolism, sexual immaturity, Maleness in females and Femaleness in the male are all the problems of the malfunctioned endocrine system 3. If remains untreated transform the body permanently.
However, Vayu mudra directs the flow of subtle energy toward the brain. This induces a response of reflexes, which activates the Head of the glands called Hypothalamus. Therefore, it further stimulates the endocrine system.
3. Overcomes Gastric Problems
Vayu Mudra is also known as Mudra of Air. This quality of it is concerned with the problems related to Gas.
However, the practice of this mudra stimulates the area of the brain concerned with the Vagus nerve 4. This further controls or regulates the Vata (Air) Doshas such as Flatulence, Indigestion, Acid reflux, etc. Hence, Vayu mudra relieves gastric problems.
4. Builds Immunity
Getting infected easily or having cold or flu occasionally is a sign of a weak immune system. This could invite a serious or even life-threatening condition if it remains untreated for a long time.
According to Ayurveda, the index finger possess some pressure points which when gently touched induces an energetic wave in the body. This strengthens or prepares the member (antibodies, B & T-lymphocytes, WBC’s, Lymphatic system, etc) of the immune system for an emergency. Ultimately build up immunity in the long run.
5. Recovers Peace of Mind
Modern lifestyle lost the charm of living. Everyone is busy and restless either with a personal matter, official work, Materialistic mindset, electronic gadgets or in their own mental asylum. This has introduced an outbreak of stress and sorrow in the life of a common person.
However, practicing Vayu mudra in Meditation or in Pranayama could replenish or recovers their real gem of life, Happiness, and Peace of Mind.
- Substantia nigra https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/substantia-nigra
- Parkinson’s disease https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/parkinsons-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20376055
- Endocrine Disorders https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/endocrine-system-disorders
- Vagus Nerve Overview https://www.healthline.com/human-body-maps/vagus-nerve