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

By Dr. Ankit Sankhe +2 more

Introduction: 

The primordial tradition of yoga has recently been transformed into a million-dollar business. Yoga has flourished, from yoga retreats in Rishikesh to high-end gyms in New York. Yoga has spread across western countries. For example, on June 20, 2012, thousands of people gathered in New York’s Time Square to practice yoga while celebrating the longest day of the year (summer solstice). In contemporary times, yoga commerce extends to luxury yoga retreats, cleansing juices, specialised yoga mats, designer clothes and much more! 

vayu mudra

Classical yoga was designed to discover oneself, and the wisdom was transferred from the learned teachers to the spiritual students. Indian history is known for its diverse cultural and spiritual accomplishments.1 Asana (posture), kriya (technique) and mudra (gesture) are the primary component of hatha yoga and pranayama in yoga. 

Mudra is a gesture or position of the hands. It locks the energy and guides its flow.3 There are various types of mudras practised in yoga. Let us find out more about one such mudra, vayu mudra! 

Did you know?

What is Vayu Mudra? 

In Sanskrit, the word mudra means sign or seal. In mudra, ‘mud’ means joy, and ‘ra’ means to produce. Hence, mudra means gestures that produce happiness and joy. Each area of the hand corresponds to a particular part of the mind or body since several nerves of our body terminate at the fingers. Hence, by exerting pressure by stretching, crossing, curling or touching the fingers, one can activate different energy pathways and modulate various areas of the brain.3 

In Sanskrit, vayu means air or wind. Vayu mudra may help to regulate the air element (vata dosha) by removing excess and harmful wind from our body which may accumulate due to waste substances. Therefore, vayu mudra may benefit those with aggravated vata (air element) in their body.3 

Also Read: Benefits of Surya Mudra and How to Do it By Dr. Himani Bisht

How to do it? 

You can do vayu mudra in the following way: 

  • Make yourself comfortable in any position- sitting, standing or lying. You can do vayu mudra while doing pranayama or even while walking. 
  • Now, press the tip of your index finger on the base of your thumb, and press your thumb gently over the index finger. 
  • Keep the other fingers straight. 
  • You can do vayu mudra 2-3 times for 10-15 minutes, up to 45 minutes in a day.3 

Do you know? 

Some interesting facts about vayu mudra for an enjoyable read are: 

  • Indian classical dances, like Bharatanatyam, use hand gestures to convey messages and emotions. Vayu mudra is similar to the hamsas hasta of the Indian classical dance. 
  • Vayu mudra is one of the most commonly used mudras while meditating. 

Also Read: Benefits of Prana Mudra and How to Do it By Dr. Himani Bisht

Benefits of Vayu Mudra: 

Vayu mudra is believed to relieve about 150 ailments arising from an imbalance of air elements in the body.3 Some of the benefits of vayu mudra are as follows: 

1. Benefit of vayu mudra for stomach health 

Regular practice of prana mudra may relieve excessive gas in the stomach (flatulence). It may also help in case of stomach bloating and ease constipation. Vayu mudra practised in vajrasana or the diamond pose after a meal might aid digestion.3,4 Further studies are required to check the effect of vayu mudra on improving stomach health. Hence, you must always consult your physician if you feel discomfort in your stomach instead of self-medicating. 

2. Benefit of vayu mudra for reducing pain 

Vayu mudra may help relieve pain caused due to imbalance of the air element (vata dosha). It may help relieve pain caused by rheumatism (disease marked by inflammation and pain in joints and muscles), arthritis, gout, spondylitis and sciatica (pain in the back, hip and outer part of the leg). Furthermore, there is a possible benefit of vayu mudra for back pain and pain caused due to decrease in synovial fluid (a fluid that lubricates the joints).3 More research is needed to check the effect of vayu mudra in reducing pain. Hence it is advised to go to your doctor in case of severe pain for a prolonged time. 

3. Benefit of vayu mudra for mental health 

Vayu mudra may benefit those who get easily nervous or anxious. Stress, anxiety and confusion may be due to aggravation of vayu dosha. Chronic sleeplessness and head spinning due to unknown causes may be managed by vayu mudra. Thus, by balancing vayu dosha, we may also have improved mental strength.3 However, further studies are needed to confirm if vayu mudra is beneficial in mental well-being. Therefore, you must consult a psychiatrist if you feel your mental well-being is hampered. 

4. Benefit of vayu mudra for ears and eyes 

Vayu mudra may be beneficial for ears and eyes. It may help to normalise the functioning of the ears. It may also reduce the involuntary twitching of the eyelids and dryness of eyes.3 However, further studies are required to check the effect of vayu mudra on ears and eyes. 

5. Benefit of vayu mudra for skin, nails and hair 

Vayu mudra may be beneficial for skin, nails and hair. It may help to make dry and flaky skin normal. It may also reduce the brittleness of nails and hair. These functions might be achieved by bringing a balance to the air element.3 However, more research is required to check the benefits of vayu mudra for hair, skin and nails. 

6. Benefit of vayu mudra for hormonal imbalance 

Vayu mudra may help to overcome the hormonal imbalance in endocrine glands (glands that produce hormones). Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers, and hormonal imbalance is caused due to an abnormally high or low hormonal level in the blood. Thus, by balancing vayu in the body, hormones might also be balanced.3 Further studies are required to check whether vayu mudra can help overcome the hormonal imbalance in the body. 

7. Benefit of vayu mudra for Parkinson’s disease 

Vayu mudra may be beneficial in the case of Parkinson’s disease which is characterized by excessive trembling and shaking of hands, legs and fingers. It was seen that vayu mudra might reduce trembling and shaking.3 However, more studies are yet to be done to check if it is beneficial for Parkinson’s disease. However, if you have any symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, you must immediately consult your doctor instead of self-medicating. 

8. Benefit of vayu mudra for neck stiffness 

If you face the problem of neck stiffness regularly, practice of vayu mudra may help ease neck stiffness.3 However, more studies are required to confirm if vayu mudra can reduce neck stiffness. You must consult your doctor if your neck remains stiff for an extended period. 

Yoga practice may help develop the mind and body; however, it is still not an alternative to modern medicine. You must not rely on yoga alone to treat any condition. Please consult a qualified doctor who will be able to assess your condition 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. 

Also Read: Benefits of Prithvi Mudra and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

According to Ayurveda, our body is comprised of five different elements and each finger of the hand represents one element. The thumb represents the fire element and the index finger represents the air element, the middle finger represents the space element, the ring finger represents the earth element and the pinky finger represents the water element.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Risks of Exercise 

You must not practice vayu mudra for a long time and discontinue it once the pain symptoms are relieved.4 

There were no other associated risks or contraindications that have been investigated or reported as yet. However, it is essential to take necessary precautions before performing vayu mudra. You must be extra cautious if you have any prevalent diseases. Pregnant and lactating mothers should be careful too. It is best to perform vayu mudra under professional guidance. 

Conclusion 

In Sanskrit, vayu means air or wind. Vayu mudra may help to regulate the air element (vata dosha) by removing excess and harmful wind from our bodies. Vayu mudra is believed to relieve about 150 ailments arising from an imbalance of air elements in the body. Few of the conditions may include improvement of stomach health, alleviate pain, improve mental well-being and overcome hormonal imbalance. Vayu mudra may benefit ears, eyes, skin, hair and nails. Additionally, it may also be helpful to reduce neck stiffness and help in Parkinson’s disease. However, you must not practice vayu mudra for a long time and discontinue it once the pain symptoms are relieved. It is advised to perform vayu mudra under the guidance of a trained professional. 

Though most performed, The Vayu mudra can be easily confused with the Chin mudra. The Vayu mudra works around decreasing the air element from the body. If there is an imbalance in the air element, you can suffer from health conditions like stress and anxiety, gas, skin infections, etc.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Also Read: Benefits of Udana Mudra and How to Do it By Dr. Himani Bisht

Frequently Asked Questions 

1) What are the benefits of vayu mudra? 

Vayu mudra may enhance stomach health, reduce pain, improve mental well-being and overcome hormonal balance. In addition, Vayu mudra may benefit ears, eyes, skin, hair and nails. It may also be helpful to reduce neck stiffness and help in the case of Parkinson’s disease.3 

2) How to do vayu mudra yoga? 

Make yourself comfortable in any position- sitting, standing or lying. You can do vayu mudra while doing pranayama or even while walking. Now, press the tip of your index finger on the base of your thumb, and press your thumb gently over the index finger. Keep the other fingers straight. You can do vayu mudra 2-3 times for 10-15 minutes, and you can do up to 45 minutes daily.3 

3) Is vayu mudra beneficial in case of hiccups? 

Yes, vayu mudra might help reduce excessive air element in the system. Thus, it may reduce hiccups.3 

4) In which yoga postures can vayu mudra be done? 

You can perform vayu mudra in any pose, while standing, sitting, walking, lying down, etc. Therefore, it can be performed in any meditative yoga pose too. In addition, vayu mudra when performed in vajrasana or diamond pose might help in digestion and may help you feel relaxed after a heavy meal.3,4 

5) How is vayu mudra beneficial for the skin and hair? 

Vayu mudra may help balance the aggravated vayu dosha. Thus, it might help make flaky and dry skin normal and reduce the brittleness of hair.3 

References: 

1) Swamy HD, Agoramoorthy G. Evolution of yoga: From spiritual uplift to business outburst. Yoga Mimamsa. 2022 Jan 1;54(1):36. Available from: https://www.ym-kdham.in/article.asp?issn=0044-0507;year=2022;volume=54;issue=1;spage=36;epage=40;aulast=Dayananda 

2)Bhavanani, Ananda. MUDRAS. (2006) Available from: https://www.academia.edu/download/66704744/Mudras_Yoga_in_Your_Hands_by_Gertrud_Hirschi_zlib.org_.pdf 

3)Embassy of India Vienna, Austria. [cited 2022Sep19]. Available from: https://www.eoivienna.gov.in/?pdf8901%3F000 

4) Vandali V, Biradar RB. Yoga Mudras: Benefits. International Journal of Advances in Nursing Management. 2018;6(4):324-8. Available from: https://www.indianjournals.com/ijor.aspx?target=ijor:ijanm &volume=6&issue=4&article=013 

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.

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