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Benefits of Adi Mudra and How to Do it By Dr. Himani Bisht

By Dr. Himani Bisht +2 more

Introduction: 

The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word yuj, which means “to connect.” Due to its simplicity of use and astounding outcomes, yoga has won the hearts of everyone. Yoga is popular not only among the older generations but among, the younger generations as well.  

Mudra therapy is an ancient and effective therapy taught by sages. Mudras denote a movement of the hands, eyes, and body. Mudras work on the principle of transfer of energy from a higher to a lower level. Mudras are simple and very effective. Adi mudra is a type of hastha mudra, meaning it is practised using hand gestures. 

adi mudra

Adi mudra connects all the fingers of the hand and forms a seal.  It is a hand gesture performed while sitting on the ground or on a chair.1,2,3 

Nowadays, stress has become part and parcel of our lives. If, like most people, you also suffer from stress, then adi mudra is the way to go! 

What is Adi Mudra? 

There are many types of mudras. Adi or Adhi mudra is one of them. It is also known as primordial mudra or a baby’s gesture. Adi is a Sanskrit term meaning ‘first’. Adi mudra is one of the simplest mudras. It tends to focus on the breathing pattern and can be done along with asanas. 

Adi mudra may assist in the improvement of the health of the human body and may help in the management of stress levels. ​1,4 

How to do it? 

To get the optimal benefits of adi mudra, it is necessary to do it properly. Wear comfortable clothes while performing mudras. The steps to perform adi mudra are as follows: 

  • You may start by sitting comfortably in a kneeling asana (vajrasana) or by sitting cross-legged in a meditation position (padmasana) for favourable results. 
  • Vajrasana is a simple sitting pose where in you kneel on the floor with your toes and ankles aligned and sit on the back of your legs as you exhale. 
  • Padmasana, on the other hand, is a position in which a person sits in a cross-legged manner, with their feet placed on opposite thighs. 
  • Next, ensure you are sitting straight with your head and chest held high with relaxed shoulders. 
  • The hands are placed on the thighs and the fingers are closed to form a fist in such a way that the thumb is at the base of the palm. 
  • As for the breathing pattern, exhalation should be twice or thrice as long as your inhalation. 
  • You can close your eyes to concentrate on your breathing. 
  • Perform this mudra three times with both hands in the mudra for 30-90 seconds.1,3 

Practising Adi mudra is quite beneficial for overall health. It might have many several effects which include relaxation of the nervous system, snoring reduction, increase in blood circulation to the brain, and capacity of the lung.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Do You Know? 

  • Adi mudra received its name from the hand posture of the foetus inside the mother’s womb. It is the position of the hands the foetus is capable of making inside the womb of a mother and looks like a fist. 
  • Adi mudra is also known as the first gesture or primal seal. 
  • It is commonly practised with pranayama (breathing technique). 
  • It can also be performed with asana to calm and quiet the nervous system. 
  • Like all mudras, the purpose of adi mudra is to direct the energy flow to certain parts of the body.13 

Benefits of Adi Mudra:  

Some of the potential benefits of adi mudra are as follows:  

Benefits of adi mudra for the lungs 

A study was carried out by Suresh M et al. in 2018 on the combined effects of mudra pranayama and sudarshan kriya on humans. The lung function of the volunteers was monitored before, during and after the study. The study results showed a significant improvement in the ECG, which could be attributed to improved lung function. More research, however, is required to demonstrate the impact of adi mudra on the lungs. Therefore, please see your doctor for better health outcomes. 6 

Benefits of adi mudra for stress and depression 

Cortisol is a primary stress hormone in the body. An investigation done by Suresh et al. in 2018 randomly monitored the cortisol levels of the patients during the study. There was a significant decrease in the plasma cortisol levels within 15 days and 85% of volunteers suffering from mild to moderate depression reported complete relief from stress and fatigue. However, further studies are required to check if adi mudra may be beneficial in managing stress and depression. Therefore, it is recommended to consult your doctor if you have high-stress levels or symptoms of depression.6,7 

Benefits of adi mudra on the blood pressure 

In a study conducted by Suresh M et al. in 2018, an electrocardiogram (ECG) of volunteers with mild to moderate hypertension was used to monitor their blood pressure. In this group of volunteers with high blood pressure (hypertension), there was a 25% reduction in blood pressure. However, more research is yet to be done to confirm if adi mudra may be beneficial for lowering blood pressure. Therefore, you must consult your doctor for abnormal blood pressure instead of self-medicating.6 

 Benefits of adi mudra on blood sugar 

Adi mudra may potentially be used to reduce blood sugar levels. Research done by Suresh et al. in 2018 studied the blood sugar levels of a group of volunteers. The study reported the reversal of blood sugar parameters to normal. However, further studies are required to confirm if adi mudra may be beneficial for the management of blood sugar. Therefore, it is advised to consult your doctor if you have high blood sugar levels instead of self-medicating.6  

Benefit of adi mudra for mental well-being 

In a study done by Vasan in 2022, the volunteers were evaluated based on their mental well-being in relation to the visual strain due to screen time. The study showed positive results in improving mental well-being and some reduction in the strain on the eyes by those who practised combined yoga therapy. For lack of better evidence, it can be said that adi mudra may have a positive relation to mental well-being. However, this claim needs further research to prove its efficacy for a larger population. Hence, it is better to take a professional opinion if you are facing mental health issues.8  

Other benefits of adi mudra: 

  • It may stimulate the flow of oxygen in the body. 
  • It may be useful for weight management.1,3,6 

Yoga practice might be useful to stimulate the mind and body. That being said, it should not be used as an alternative to any medicine. One should not rely on yoga alone to treat any condition. Please consult a qualified healthcare professional who will be able to assess your condition properly. Moreover, it is important to practice and learn yoga under the supervision of a certified yoga teacher to avoid any injuries.   

When you practise Adi mudra, your body uses clavicular (upper chest) breathing. This way Adi mudra might help in stimulation of the brain which is closely associated with the crown chakra.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Risks of Adi Mudra: 

There weren’t any associated risks or contraindications that have been investigated or reported to date. However, it is important to take necessary precautions in some conditions while performing adi mudra. The most important conditions are listed below: 

  • You must take extra precautions if you suffer from heart disorders.  
  • Pregnant and lactating women should take extra care. 
  • Children 
  • Elderly    

If you are performing adi mudra for any health problems, makes sure not to replace any kind of traditional care or medicine. Consult a doctor before self-medicating or replacing any kind of medication for yoga.5 

With the guidance of an experienced and certified yoga instructor, we can further analyse the risk factors and continue to practice the exercise with precautions. 

Conclusion: 

Mudras are an age-old effective form of therapy. In Sanskrit, ‘adi’ means ‘first’ and mudras define gestures; hence the name ‘primordial mudra’. Adi mudra may help guide the energy flow to certain parts of the body. It may help improve the flow of oxygen to the body, lower the blood sugar levels and decrease the cortisol levels (stress hormone), thereby perhaps decreasing stress, lowering bad cholesterol and increasing lung capacity. It is recommended to perform adi mudra under professional guidance. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What are the benefits of adi mudra? 

It may help improve the flow of oxygen to the body, lower blood sugar levels, and decrease cortisol levels (stress hormone), thereby decreasing stress, lower bad cholesterol and may increase lung capacity. 

Is adi mudra and adishakti mudra the same? 

No, adi mudra is different from adishakti mudra.

Is adi mudra beneficial in covid-19? 

Adi mudra may potentially increase the breathing capacity of the lungs, which in turn might be useful in covid-19. Even so, it is better to consult a professional before substituting adi mudra for any kind of treatment or care.  

What are the effects of adi mudra on stress? 

Adi mudra may be beneficial in the management of stress and depression as it may potentially reduce cortisol levels (stress hormone). 

Can we practise adi mudra at home?     

Yes, adi mudra can be performed at home. However, it is advised to seek guidance from a certified yoga trainer or an experienced professional. 

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation on the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes. 

References: 

  1. Kumar, S.N., et al. “Effect of Yoga Mudras in Improving the Health of Users: A Precautionary Measure Practice in Daily Life for Resisting the Deadly Covid-19 Disease.” Lessons from COVID-19, June 2022, pp. 41–59., https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-323-99878-9.00001-7  
  1. S, Sunitha, and Chandra Prakash Sharma. Mudra Therapy and Its Classification – IJHSR. Jan. 2021, https://www.ijhsr.org/IJHSR_Vol.11_Issue.1_Jan2021/IJHSR16.pdf.  
  1. Kumar KS, Srinivasan TM, Ilavarasu J, Mondal B, Nagendra HR. Classification of Electrophotonic Images of Yogic Practice of Mudra through Neural Networks. Int J Yoga. 2018 May-Aug;11(2):152-156. Available on: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29755225/ 
  1. Vandali, Vijayreddy, and Rekha B Biradar. “Yoga Mudras: Benefits.” International Journal of Advances in Nursing Management, vol. 6, no. 4, Aug. 2018, p. 324., https://doi.org/10.5958/2454-2652.2018.00074.4  
  1. Bharti, Jaya, and Manini Srivastava. Yoga: A Historical Perspective with Types, Mudras, Benefits & Risk Factor. Mar. 2018, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/361316363_YOGA_A_HISTORICAL_PERSPECTIVE_WITH_TYPES_MUDRAS_BENEFITS_RISK_FACTOR  
  1. Suresh, Meenakshi, and K Suresh. “Biochemical Studies on the Combined Effects of Sudarshan Kriya and Mudra Pranayam on Human Body: A Preliminary Investigation.” The Pharma Innovation Journal, AkiNik Publications, 15 Jan. 2018, https://www.thepharmajournal.com/archives/?year=2018&vol=7&issue=1&ArticleId=1625   
  1. Cay, Mahmut et al. “Effect of increase in cortisol level due to stress in healthy young individuals on dynamic and static balance scores.” Northern clinics of Istanbul vol. 5,4 295-301. 29 May. 2018. Available on: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371989/ 
  1. Vasan, Latha. Influence of Trataka and Pranayama Practices on Adolescents with … June 2022, https://vayuusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/vayu-doc-ms-thesis-2022-vasan-latha.pdf. https://vayuusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/vayu-doc-ms-thesis-2022-vasan-latha.pdf  
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