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

By Dr. Ankit Sankhe +2 more

Introduction: 

In yoga, ‘mudras’ are believed to be the gateway to the storehouse of magnetic energy. A ‘mudra’ is a hand gesture or posture which has a specific pattern of fingers. As per Ayurveda, the human body is made of five elements, namely earth, water, fire, space and wind. Likewise, the five fingers of our hands are known to represent these five elements: the thumb represents fire, the forefinger represents wind, the middle finger symbolizes space, the ring finger symbolizes the Earth, and the little finger represents water. During the practice of mudras, when we apply pressure to the tips of the fingers, it results in the activation of certain regions in the brain and offers numerous health benefits. In this article, we will explore the health benefits of one such mudra, rudra mudra.1,2 

What is Rudra Mudra? 

Rudra mudra belongs to the ‘hasta’ or the hand ‘mudra’ category and is believed to have a powerful healing effect. The name rudra mudra comes from the Sanskrit word ‘rudra’, which is another name for Lord Shiva and ‘mudra’ means a seal lock or hand gesture. It is a mudra dedicated to Lord Shiva and involves the thumb, index and ring fingers that symbolize fire, air, and earth elements of the body.3 

rudra mudra

How to do it? 

Let us learn how to do rudra mudra: 3 

  • First, sit in either padmasana (sit on crossed legs) or in vajrasana (sit on your knees) with your head and back straight. 
  • Place your palms facing upwards on the knees. 
  • Next, join the tip of the index finger, ring finger and thumb, while the middle finger and the little finger will be straight and extended. 
  • Close your eyes breathe normally, and put a slight pressure on the thumb, index and ring finger. 
  • This hand gesture described above is called ‘rudra mudra’. 

Note: It is best to practice any mudra with a relaxed mind, closed eyes and a normal breathing pattern. 

If you’re seeking to enhance your concentration, I would suggest considering the practice of Rudra Mudra. This mudra is believed to be potentially beneficial in improving focus and concentration.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Do you know? 

  • In Hinduism, this pose is dedicated to Lord Shiva’ and a Rigvedic deity.  
  • As rudra mudra is dedicated to the mightiest of the mighty ’Shiva’, it is also known as a gesture of strength. 
  • Rudra mudra is known to activate the ‘manipura chakra’ or the solar plexus. 

Rudra Mudra is a hand gesture that I often recommended for enhancing eyesight. Practising this mudra might have a positive impact on vision and may help improve eyesight over time when done consistently.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Benefits of Rudra Mudra:  

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

Benefit of rudra mudra in hypertension 

A sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diets may increase the risk of hypertension. Literature studies have shown that eating a healthy diet, exercising and doing yoga may help in managing blood pressure along with proper treatment. Nagarajan et al. conducted a study in 2017 that brought to light that the practice of rudra mudra, along with other mudras helped in reducing blood pressure. Thus, the practice of rudra mudra may positively impact hypertension but the practice of this mudra should not be considered an alternative to modern medicine. So, consult your doctor for proper treatment of hypertension and do not rely on this mudra alone. Additionally, one should practice rudra mudra under the supervision of a qualified trainer.3 

Benefit of rudra mudra on obesity 

Obesity which has now become a lifestyle disorder, is characterized by excessive fat accumulation and an excessive increase in body weight. Literature studies state that the practice of asanas, mudras and pranayamas may have a positive impact on health. A study conducted by Nagarajan et al. in 2017 explained that the practice of rudra mudra, along with other mudras may be effective in reducing body weight and managing obesity. Additionally, the practice of this mudra may improve the metabolism of food and digestion by stimulating the manipura chakra. 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 obesity.3 

Benefit of rudra mudra on depression 

Depression is a mood disorder that is characterized by a feeling of sadness and loss of interest, which can affect daily activities. Literature studies show that the practice of asanas, pranayamas and mudras may positively impact depression. Umesh Yadav, a Yogacharya at Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2021, stated that rudra mudra may help reduce stress and anxiety; this indicates that rudra mudra may have the potential to manage depression; however, you should not rely on this mudra alone and consult your doctor for proper treatment. Additionally, the practice of this mudra should be carried out under the guidance of a qualified trainer.4 

Benefit of rudra mudra on type-II diabetes 

Type-II diabetes is characterized by increased blood glucose levels due to a deficiency or resistance in the insulin hormone, which is known to regulate blood glucose. Raveendran et al., in 2018, conducted a study that stated that the practice of hasta mudras may help reduce blood glucose levels and help manage type-II diabetes. Thus, the practice of rudra mudra may have the potential to show similar effects, but the practice of this mudra should not be considered an alternative to modern medicine. So, consult your doctor for proper treatment of Type-II diabetes and do not rely on this mudra alone. Additionally, one should practice rudra mudra under the supervision of a qualified trainer.5 

Benefit of rudra mudra on neck and back pain 

Faulty postures and being inactive for long periods have increased the frequency of neck and back pain episodes. Literature studies support the practice of yoga asanas, pranayamas, and mudras may help in alleviating neck and back pain. Nagarajan et al. conducted a study in 2017 that stated that the practice of rudra mudra may help manage neck and back pain but the practice of this mudra should not be considered an alternative to modern medicine. You should consult your doctor for proper treatment of chronic neck and back pain. Further, it is advised to practice rudra mudra under the guidance of a qualified trainer.3 

Other benefits of rudra mudra: 

  • Rudra mudra may help improve blood circulation.3 
  • The practice of rudra mudra may help improve breathing.3 
  • Rudra mudra may help in improving dizziness.4 

Note- The benefits of rudra mudra are studied in a limited human population. Still, more research is needed to claim the positive effects of rudra 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 understanding, I have come to learn that practising Rudra Mudra might be beneficial in reducing cholesterol levels. It’s worth trying as a natural approach to boost your cardiovascular health.

Dr. Smita barode, BAMS

Risks of Rudra Mudra: 

As mudras are practised along with yogasanas, the cautions which need to be taken during the practice of asanas should also be kept in consideration when performing mudras. Cautions need to be taken in the mentioned scenarios when performing rudra mudra: 6 

  • 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. 
  • After heavy meals 
  • While wearing spectacles and heavy jewellery  
  • On uneven surfaces 

As any mudra is practised along with yogasanas, the contraindications of yoga asanas will also apply to the practice of mudras. The following are the contraindications of rudra mudra: 6 

  • In case of surgeries and fractures 
  • In a state of exhaustion or illness 
  • In extreme weather conditions like too hot or too cold climate 
  • If feeling dizzy or uneasy 

Also Read: Tingling in Hands: Exploring Causes and Potential Remedies

Conclusion: 

Rudra mudra belongs to the hasta or the hand mudra category and is believed to have a powerful healing effect. The name rudra mudra comes from the Sanskrit word ‘rudra’ which is another name for Lord Shiva, and mudra means a seal lock or hand gesture. The practice of this mudra may help in exerting a positive impact on depression, hypertension, obesity, and back and neck pain. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What is the meaning of rudra mudra? 

The name rudra mudra comes from the Sanskrit word ‘rudra’, which is another name for Lord Shiva, and mudra means a seal lock or hand gesture.3 

Rudra mudra belongs to which category of mudras? 

Rudra mudra belongs to the hasta or the hand mudra category.3 

What are the benefits of rudra mudra? 

The practice of this mudra may help in exerting a positive impact on depression, type II diabetes, obesity and back and neck pain.3-5 

Is it safe to practice rudra mudra during pregnancy? 

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

Does rudra mudra benefit obesity?  

Yes, studies have shown that rudra mudra may have a positive impact on obesity. However, you should not rely on this mudra alone and consult your doctor for proper management of obesity.4 

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. Kumar KS, Srinivasan TM, Ilavarasu J, Mondal B, Nagendra HR. Classification of electrophotonic images of yogic practice of mudra through neural networks. International Journal of Yoga. 2018 May; 11(2):152. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5934951/ 
  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. Nagarajan M, Mayuranathan M, Jayanthi S. A deep survey on sole and essence of hand mudra (s). Int J Creat Res Thoughts. 2017 Oct; 5:378-83. Available at: https://www.ijcrt.org/papers/IJCRT1704050.pdf 
  1. Ekatma-JNU – Jawaharlal Nehru University. Available at: https://www.jnu.ac.in/sites/default/files/Yogaday/YogaMagazine2021_EkatmaJNU.pdf   
  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   
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