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

By Dr. Ankit Sankhe +2 more

Introduction: 

Did you know a Google Books search of ‘yoga’ retrieved ‘about 8,850,000’ hits in 1.6 seconds? Numerous books have been written on yoga. In addition, there is an end number of data related to yoga available online in online books, web pages, blogs, you tube videos and articles. The ‘Upanishads’, ‘Bhagvada Gita’, and ‘The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali’ are among the oldest texts that mention yoga. Yoga includes various techniques like physical postures (asana), breathing techniques (pranayama), mudra (gestures), meditation (dharana, dhyana and samadhi), kriya (yoga of awareness and action) and chanting (mantra).1 Mudra are gestures of positions, usually of hands. It locks and guides the flow of energy in the body.2 Let us look at the health benefits of one such mudra, the chin mudra. 

chin mudra

What is Chin Mudra? 

The practice of mudras that engage the body and the mind, which may have several benefits for the body. The word ‘chin’ means consciousness and mudra means gesture; therefore, chin mudra translates to gesture of consciousness in English. It is believed that the practice of chin mudra may instill wisdom and spiritual enlightenment in an individual. Chin mudra is often combined with asanas (postures) and pranayamas (breathing techniques) like Nadi Shodhana and Ujjayi Pranayama.2 

How to Do it? 

You can do chin mudra in the following way: 

  • Sit in a comfortable position. Depending on your ease, you can sit in any yoga posture like Padmasana, Vajrasana, Sukhasana or Tadasana. Instead, you can sit on a chair as well. 
  • Keep your back straight and shoulders relaxed.  
  • Make sure your head and chest are held high.  
  • Place your hands on your knees with your palms facing upwards, and touch the tip of your thumb with the tip of your index finger. Let the middle, ring and little finger be extended. Do this step with both the hands. 
  • Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. 
  • You can chant mantras while performing this mudra for a better outcome. 
  • You can practice chin mudra three times for about 5-15 minutes each, up to 45 minutes daily.2 

Do You Know? 

Some of the interesting facts associated with chin mudra are: 

  • Chin mudra is one of the simplest and most commonly used mudras, especially among Buddhist yoga practitioners. 
  • When your palm faces downwards while doing chin mudra, it is called gyan mudra. 
  • In Bharatanatyam, the same mudra as chin mudra is used, known as hamsayam

Benefits of Chin Mudra: 

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

1. Benefits of chin mudra for regulating blood pressure 

A study by Chadayan N. et al. in 2020 showed that practising a yoga protocol that includes chin mudra might be beneficial to lower blood pressure.3 However, more research is yet to be done to confirm if chin mudra may be beneficial for lowering blood pressure. Therefore, you must consult your doctor for abnormal blood pressure instead of self-medicating. 

2. Benefits of chin mudra to boost immunity 

A recent study by Kumar et al. in 2022 showed that regular yoga practice, including chin mudra, may be beneficial for boosting immunity. This may further be beneficial for infections like covid-19.4 However; more studies are required to check if chin mudra may boost the immune system. Therefore, you must work on building your immunity regularly and not solely rely on yoga. 

3. Benefits of chin mudra to protect from cancer 

A study conducted by Narahari et al. in 2016 showed that practising yoga protocol, including chin mudra, may be beneficial for people with lymphedema due to breast cancer. Lymphedema is swelling in the body due to the buildup of a fluid called lymph. The result suggested that the yoga protocol may reduce fibrosis (thickening and scarring of tissues) and the buildup of lymph.5 However, further studies are required to check if chin mudra may be beneficial for cancer. Cancer is a dangerous disease; you must take proper treatment instead of self-medicating. 

4. Benefits of chin mudra for managing stress and depression 

A study by Jasti N et al. in 2020 showed that practising a yoga protocol, including chin mudra, may reduce stress. Additionally, chin mudra may also help to manage depression. This may be due to the ability of chin mudra to stimulate the root chakra. The root chakra refers to the driving force that gives us energy. Chin mudra may help to relax the body and mind, bringing calmness and easing tension.2,6 However, further studies are required to check if chin mudra may be beneficial in managing stress and depression. Therefore, you must consult your doctor if you have high-stress levels or symptoms of depression. 

5. Benefits of chin mudra for improving concentration 

Chin mudra may help increase focus and concentration. It may balance the air element and regulate the energy flow in the body; therefore, it may stimulate the brain and empower the mind.2 However, more research is required to check if chin mudra can improve concentration. 

6. Benefits of chin mudra for stimulating the pituitary gland and nervous system 

Practising chin mudra regularly may stimulate the pituitary gland and the nervous system. The pituitary gland is a pea-shaped gland that controls the other endocrine glands. Chin mudra may help stimulate the pituitary gland and the nervous system by balancing the air element in the body.2 However, further studies are required to check if chin mudra can stimulate the pituitary gland and the nervous. Therefore, you must consult your doctor if you experience any symptoms related to hormonal or nervous system disorders. 

7. Benefits of chin mudra for insomnia 

Chin mudra may be beneficial for insomnia and other sleeping disorders due to its ability to balance the air element in the body.2 However, further studies are required to confirm if chin mudra may be beneficial for sleep disorders. Therefore, you must consult your doctor if you are experiencing any sleeping disorders instead of self-medicating. 

Yoga practice may help develop the mind and body; however, it is still not an alternative to modern medicine. Therefore, you must not rely on yoga alone to treat any condition. Instead, please consult a qualified doctor who will be able to assess your situation correctly and advise accordingly. Moreover, it is necessary to practice and learn yoga under the supervision of a trained yoga teacher to avoid any injuries. 

Chin mudra is derived from two words; chin means consciousness and mudra means gesture. As it is easier to practice, chin mudra can be performed in all types of meditation. Therefore, if you are a beginner in the world of yoga and meditation, you can start with chin mudra and proceed towards excellence.

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

Risks of Chin Mudra 

There were no associated risks or contraindications that have been investigated or reported as yet. However, it is essential to take necessary precautions before performing chin mudra. You must sit straight with your hands on your knees and palm facing upwards. Your middle, ring and little finger must be adequately stretched.7 You must be extra cautious if you have heart disease. Pregnant and lactating mothers should be careful too. It is best to perform chin mudra under professional guidance. 

There are various types of pranayama, i.e., Adham, Madhyam, Adhyam, and Mahat yoga pranayama. All these types of pranayama will help you open up your lung capacity. During Adham pranayama, chin mudra is commonly practised yoga mudra as it might help in controlling the lower parts of the lung.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Conclusion 

The word ‘chin’ means consciousness and mudra means gesture; therefore, chin mudra translates to gesture of consciousness in English.  It is believed that the practice of chin mudra may instill wisdom and spiritual enlightenment in an individual. Chin mudra may help to boost the immune system, regulate blood pressure, improve concentration and manage stress and depression. It may also protect against cancer and help in the case of insomnia. Additionally, chin mudra may stimulate the nervous system and pituitary gland. However, yoga is still not an alternative to modern medicine. People with pre-existing diseases, pregnant and lactating mothers must be cautious before performing chin mudra. You must practice chin mudra under the guidance of a professional. 

Also Read: What Causes Double Chin: Research-Based Insights

Frequently Asked Questions 

1) What are the chin mudra benefits? 

Chin mudra may help to boost the immune system, regulate blood pressure, improve concentration and manage stress and depression. It may also protect against cancer and help in the case of insomnia. Additionally, chin mudra may stimulate the nervous system and pituitary gland. However, yoga is still not an alternative to modern medicine. 

2) How to do chin mudra? 

Sit in a comfortable position. Keep your back straight and shoulders relaxed. Make sure your head and chest are held high. Place your hands on your knees with your palms facing upwards, and touch the tip of your thumb with the tip of your index finger. Let the middle, ring and little finger be extended. Do this step with both hands. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. You can chant mantras while performing this mudra for a better outcome. You can practice chin mudra three times for about 5-15 minutes each, up to 45 minutes daily.2 

3) Which pranayama can be done with chin mudra? 

Chin mudra is often combined with pranayamas (breathing techniques) like Nadi Shodhana and Ujjayi Pranayama.2 

4) Can chin mudra be helpful for insomnia? 

Yes, chin mudra may be beneficial for insomnia and other sleeping disorders due to its ability to balance the air element in the body.2 However, you must consult your doctor if you are experiencing any sleeping disorders instead of self-medicating.  

5) What are the benefits of chin mudra for mental well-being? 

Chin mudra may help to improve concentration and manage stress and depression. Chin mudra may also help to relax the body and mind, bringing calmness and easing tension. This may be due to its ability to stimulate the root chakra. The root chakra is the driving force that gives us energy.2 However, you must consult your doctor if your mental well-being is hampered. 

References: 

  1. Grossman B. Talking About Yoga: A Corpus-driven Survey of Yoga-related Websites and Blogs. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Barry-Grossman-4/publication/350721104_Talking_About_Yoga_A_Corpus-driven_Survey_of_Yoga-related_Websites_and_Blogs/links/606e9035a6fdcc5f778ca6a5/Talking-About-Yoga-A-Corpus-driven-Survey-of-Yoga-related-Websites-and-Blogs.pdf 
  1. Embassy of India Vienna, Austria. [cited 2022 Oct 16]. Available from: https://www.eoivienna.gov.in/?pdf8901%3F000 
  1. Chadayan C, Subramanian B. EFFECTIVENESS OF PRANAYAMA ON BLOOD PRESSURE AMONG HYPERTENSIVE CLIENTS IN A SELECTED HOSPITAL AT CUTTACK. Available from: https://www.academia.edu/download/83153533/effectivenessofpranayamaonbloodpressureamonghypertensiveclientsinaselectedhospitalatcuttack_June_2020_1591094443_7223449.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. InLessons from COVID-19 2022 Jan 1 (pp. 41-59). Academic Press. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780323998789000017 
  1. Narahari SR, Aggithaya MG, Thernoe L, Bose KS, Ryan TJ. Yoga protocol for treatment of breast cancer-related lymphedema. International Journal of Yoga. 2016 Jul;9(2):145. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4959325/ 
  1. Jasti N, Bhargav H, George S, Varambally S, Gangadhar BN. Tele-yoga for stress management: Need of the hour during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Asian Journal of Psychiatry. 2020 Dec;54:102334. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7396129/ 
  1. Gyan Mudra [Internet]. Yoga Teacher Training School in Rishikesh, India. 2020 [cited 2022Oct22]. Available from: https://www.rishikeshyogisyogshala.org/gyan-mudra/ 

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