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Benefits of Agni Mudra and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

By Dr. Ankit Sankhe +2 more

Introduction: 

We all know about yoga and pranayama, but did you know about mudra science? Mudra science is an ancient science known to connect energies called vata (energy of movement), kapha (energy of lubrication) and pitta (energy of digestion). Mudras are known to be a means for the expression of internal feelings by the use of different gestures involving the hands, feet and other parts of the body. Out of the five categories of mudras, hasta mudra or hand gestures are known to have potential benefits on mental, physical and emotional well-being. In this article, we will explore the health benefits of one such mudra, agni mudra.1 

What is Agni Mudra? 

Agni mudra belongs to the hasta or the hand mudra category and is the most commonly practised hasta mudra. It is also known as Surya mudra or the gesture of the sun. The name agni mudra comes from the Sanskrit word ‘agni’, which means fire, and ‘mudra’ means a seal lock or hand gesture. The practice of this mudra is known to eliminate the earth (Prithvi) element and increase the fire element (agni) present in the body. 

agni mudra

How to do it? 

Let us learn how to do agni mudra: 

  • First, sit comfortably in a relaxed position on the ground. It is best to sit in padmasana (sitting on crossed legs) or sit in vajrasana (sitting on your heels). 
  • Place your palms facing upwards on the thighs. 
  • Next, bend your ring finger inwards so that the tip of the ring finger touches the tip of the thumb. 
  • The middle, little and index fingers are stretched straight outwards. 
  • This hand gesture described above is called agni mudra. 

Note: Close your eyes and breathe normally, and perform this mudra daily for 45 minutes at a stretch or for 15 minutes three times a day. It is best to practice this mudra on an empty stomach in the morning. 

Do you know? 

  • The five fingers of our hands represent the five elements of the earth. The thumb symbolizes fire (agni), the index finger is associated with air (vayu), the middle finger represents space (aakash), the ring finger is linked with the earth (prithvi) element, and the little finger symbolizes water (jal). 
  • Agni mudra is also known as agni vardhak mudra as it increases the fire (agni) element of the body. 
  • Agni mudra is also referred to as prithvi shaamak mudra as it eliminates the earth (prithvi) element from the body. 

Benefits of Agni Mudra:  

Keeping the origin and history in mind, let us now discuss the benefits of agni mudra. 

Benefit of agni mudra on the thyroid gland 

The thyroid gland is a small gland located at the front of your neck that is responsible for the production of the thyroid hormone, which plays an important role in growth, development and metabolic processes. Kumar et al. conducted a study in 2022 proving that the practice of agni mudra may have a positive impact on thyroid function. However, the practice of this mudra should not be considered an alternative to modern medicine. So, consult your doctor for proper treatment of any thyroid disorder and do not rely on this mudra alone. Additionally, one should practice agni mudra under the supervision of a qualified trainer.3 

Benefit of agni mudra in diabetes 

Diabetes is one of the most common diseases affecting individuals globally. With this change, people now realize that in addition to medicines, diet and exercise may help manage diabetes. A study carried out by Raveendran et al. in 2018 explained that the practice of agni mudra, along with other mudras, may be effective in reducing blood glucose levels and managing diabetes. However, you should not consider the practice of this mudra as an alternative to modern medicine. You should consult your doctor for proper management of diabetes. Additionally, the practice of this mudra should be done strictly under the guidance of a qualified trainer.4 

Benefit of agni mudra on mental health 

Literature shows that the practice of asanas, pranayamas and mudras may positively impact mental health.  A study conducted by Mukhopadhyay et al. in 2021 stated that agni mudra may help reduce stress and tension and may improve emotional and social well-being. This may help positively impact mental health. However, you should not rely on this mudra alone and consult your doctor for proper treatment of depression. Additionally, the practice of this mudra should be carried out under the guidance of a qualified trainer.2 

Benefit of agni mudra on obesity 

As per studies, agni mudra is associated with the heating element of the body and is known to dissolve extra fat in the body; thus, it positively impacts obesity. Mukhopadhyay et al. 2021 conducted a study where it was found that the practice of agni mudra may help in weight loss and, thus, help manage obesity. The practice of this mudra should not be considered an alternative to modern medicine. So, consult your doctor for proper management of obesity and do not rely on this mudra alone. Additionally, one should practice agni mudra under the supervision of a qualified trainer.3 

Benefit of agni mudra on cholesterol 

Literature studies support that the practice of yoga asanas, pranayamas and mudras may positively impact cholesterol and, thus, reduce the risk of developing heart diseases. Kumar et al. conducted a study in 2022 that stated that the practice of agni mudra might help in lowering LDL or bad cholesterol. Even then, the practice of this mudra should not be considered as an alternative to modern medicine. You should consult your doctor for proper management of high cholesterol. Further, it is advised to practice agni mudra under the guidance of a qualified trainer.3 

Benefit of agni mudra on seasonal flu 

Research shows that the practice of yoga asanas, pranayamas and mudras may have a positive impact on fever and seasonal flu. Kumar et al. in 2022 conducted a study showing that the practice of agni mudra may help manage fever. As the practice of this mudra is known to increase the fire element in the body, it is believed that this effect may have a positive impact on fever. Additionally, this mudra may help manage flu symptoms. However, the practice of this mudra should not be considered an alternative to modern medicine and this mudra should be practised under the guidance of a qualified trainer.3 

Other benefits of agni mudra: 

  • The practice of agni mudra may help improve vision.3 
  • Doing agni mudra regularly may help in reducing constipation.2 

Note- The benefits of agni mudra are studied in a limited human population. Still, more research is needed to claim the positive effects of agni mudra. 

Although the practice of yoga asanas, pranayamas and mudras may help in the development of the mind and body. However, you should not consider them as an alternative to modern medicine. It is advised not to rely on mudras alone to treat any condition. Kindly consult a qualified doctor for proper treatment. Additionally, any mudra practice should be done under the supervision of a qualified trainer. 

From my experience, the practice of Agni Mudra might have positive effects on body temperature regulation. When combined with Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) during winter or in other cold conditions, Agni Mudra may help maintain body temperature and lessen shivering.

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

Risks of Agni Mudra: 

The precautions and contraindications of asanas should also be kept in consideration when performing mudras. Cautions need to be taken when performing agni mudra:5 

  • It is best not to do it in a state of exhaustion or hurry. 
  • Avoid performing this mudra within 30 minutes after having food or taking a shower. 
  • In pregnant and lactating women, children and older adults as there is limited data is available regarding the safety of this mudra in these particular groups. 

In people with pitta dosha (agni or fire dominant) and kapha dosha (prithvi or earth dominant), caution needs to be taken as agni mudra increases the fire element and decreases the earth element in the body.6  

The contraindications of agni mudra are enlisted below:5 

  • After a recent surgery or chronic illness, you should avoid the practice of agni mudra. 
  • In extreme weather conditions like too hot or too cold climate, avoid practising agni mudra. 
  • If you are feeling dizzy or nauseous, you should avoid practising agni mudra. 

Note: It is best to consult your Ayurvedic physician for possible foods which may increase the level of agni in your body. It will be best to avoid the consumption of these foods while practising agni mudra. Additionally, consult your physician to know about the nature of your body, also known as ‘prakriti’.  

In my experience, I have noticed that Agni Mudra might help provide relief from various issues caused by cold weather. It may help alleviate symptoms such as dry skin, sore throat, and even painful joints.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Conclusion: 

Agni mudra belongs to the hasta or the hand mudra category and is also known as Surya mudra as the sun signifies fiery energy. The name agni mudra comes from the Sanskrit word ‘agni’ which means fire, and mudra means a seal lock or hand gesture. The practice of this mudra is known to eliminate the earth (prithvi) element and increase the fire element (agni) present in the body. The practice of this mudra may help in exerting a positive impact on depression, diabetes, thyroid gland, cholesterol, obesity, fever, and constipation. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

1) Agni mudra belongs to which category of mudras? 

Agni mudra belongs to the hasta or the hand mudra category.2 

2) What is the meaning of agni mudra?

The name agni mudra comes from the Sanskrit word ‘agni’, which means fire and ‘mudra’ means a seal lock or hand gesture.2

3) What are the benefits of agni mudra? 

The practice of this mudra may help in exerting a positive impact on diabetes, depression, obesity, fever, thyroid gland, fever and cholesterol.2-4 

4) Is it safe to practice agni mudra during pregnancy?

There is limited information regarding the safety of agni mudra during pregnancy. It is therefore advised to consult your doctor for proper guidance. 

5) Which is the agni vardhak mudra in yoga?

Agni mudra is also known as agni vardhak mudra as it is known to increase the ‘agni’ (fire) element in the body.2 

Disclaimer: The information or data included on this site is only for educational purposes and should not be considered or counted as a substitute for medical treatment by any healthcare professional or doctor. Based on the individual needs, the reader should consult their physician or doctor to determine the appropriateness of the information provided on this site for the reader’s situation. 

References: 

  1. Sunitha S, CP S. Mudra therapy and its classification. International Journal of Health Sciences and Research (IJHSR). 2021; 11(1):118-26. Available at: https://www.ijhsr.org/IJHSR_Vol.11_Issue.1_Jan2021/IJHSR16.pdf 
  1. Mukhopadhyay, K. (2021). BANDHA (Inner Lock)-MUDRA (Hand Gesture): Essences of Optimizing Health. International Journal of Advanced Research in Science, Communication and Technology (IJARSCT), 11(1). Available at: https://ijarsct.co.in/Paper2124.pdf   
  1. Kumar SN, Venu A, Jaya MH. Effect of yoga mudras in improving the health of users: A precautionary measure practice in daily life for resisting the deadly COVID-19 disease. In Lessons from COVID-19 2022 Jan 1 (pp. 41-59). Academic Press. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9347266/ 
  1. Raveendran AV, Deshpandae A, Joshi SR. Therapeutic role of yoga in type 2 diabetes. Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2018 Sep 1; 33(3):307-17. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6145966/ 
  1. Ministry, Y.A, Do’s and Don’ts of Yoga practice. Available at: https://yoga.ayush.gov.in/blog?q=58   
  1. Shilpa S, Murthy CV. Understanding personality from Ayurvedic perspective for psychological assessment: A case. Ayu. 2011 Jan; 32(1):12. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3215408/ 
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