Yoga is known as a practice that maintains and preserves your health and well-being. Many people think that yoga is all about movement, but not so! During my 200-hour yoga teacher training, I was able to learn about higher yogic practices like mudras. In this article we’re diving into Prana Mudra. It’s a simple mudra practice that activates and charges up the life force inside you.
With time, it aids in the evolution of your body, mind, and emotions. Let’s explore more of the benefits of this yogi ritual below!
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What is Prana Mudra
The Prana Mudra is the most prominent of all the yoga mudras. It is also known as Pran Mudra, Kapha Kaarak Mudra, and Pitta-Nashak Mudra.
Pran Mudra has a rich history that spans over thousands of years. The mudra has been depicted in various religions and traditions. Some include Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Indian classical dance.
Prana Mudra Yoga stimulates the Root Chakra (Moladhara Chakra). It increases vital life force energy from the root of your spine, and then radiates through the nervous system.
The hand mudra also stimulates Prana Vayu. Prana Vayu is one of the subdivisions of Prana. It activates the head and chest area that governs your sensory perception. When this energy is blocked, it can lead to anxiety and sensory overload.
The practice of this ancient mudra involves the use of three fingers. They include the thumb, the little finger, and the ring finger. In Ayurveda practice, the thumb represents the fire element (Agni), the little finger represents the water element (Jala), and the ring finger represents the earth element (Prithvi).
In yoga and meditation practices, mudras are used to influence the mind. Mudras are hand gestures that link energy points in your body.
Hatha yoga notes there are five necessary energies for the balance of life. They include Apana, Vyana, Aamana, Udana, and Prana. Prana holds the greatest significance. The Sanskrit term signifies the life energy that resides in your body. Therefore, the mudra represents life force and vitality.
The sacred mudra is rooted in the spiritual traditions of ancient India. It is an integral part of the yoga practice, Ayurveda, and other Eastern medicinal philosophies.
The imbalance of these three elements can create an imbalance of Vata Dosha in your body. When there is an excess of Vata, you might feel anxious and experience some insomnia. Prana Mudra helps to restore balance by increasing the earth and water elements while decreasing the fire element.
How to pronounce Prana Mudra
Sanskrit is an ancient and classical language of India and Hinduism.
The phonetic spelling for the correct pronunciation is as follows: [prah-nah] [moo-drah]
Take a listen to this audio on how to pronounce the Sanskrit word.
What this yogi hand gesture does
The benefits of Prana Mudra are healing to both the body and mind. It helps to activate dormant energy stored in your body. Therefore, this hand gesture is known as the “Life Force Seal.”
Practicing it removes impurities in your body. It increases blood circulation and improves your immune system. A regular practice can help alleviate cramps, leg pains, and muscle spasms due to accumulated blood in these areas.
It can help stabilize your mind. It transforms matters of impatience, fatigue, and irritability into enthusiasm, delight, and joy.
The mudra improves your awareness, focus, and productivity. It helps to decrease sensations of nervousness and boosts the sense of self-confidence.
How to do this hand mudra
This hand mudra is quite simple to do. As a professional yoga instructor, I’m sharing how I practice this yoga mudra.
Simply form the mudra by joining the tips of the thumb, ring, and little finger together.
Here's how to do it:
- Find a comfortable seat in a relaxed corner of your home. I suggest you settle into an easy cross-legged seated position (Sukhasana).
- Gently rest your hands on top of your knees. Join the tips of your thumb, ring finger, and little finger together in each hand. Apply gentle pressure. Keep your index and middle fingers relaxed and extended out.
- Close your eyes and draw your awareness to the patterns of your breath. Inhale to fill up your lungs with life energy (prana) and slowly exhale.
- Continue to be a witness to your breathing patterns and visualize each cell in your body being revitalized. With the mind focused, you will feel a sudden vibration throughout your body.
Do not press your fingertips hard while you practice the mudra. This common mistake will affect your ability to focus and concentrate.
When and how to use the mudra
It is best to practice the yoga mudra in the morning on an empty stomach. If you are unable to maintain a morning practice, ensure that your practice is done an hour after eating.
The energizing effect of this mudra is enhanced when your mind is calm. I suggest that you practice the hand gesture after meditation to reap the best results.
However, you can incorporate these measures to enhance your practice for optimal benefits.
Pran Mudra can be practiced in an easy cross-legged seat (Sukhasana), in lotus pose (Padmasana), or even in a kneeling pose (Vajrasana). It is suggested that you practice the mudra in a single session of 20 to 30 minutes.
I like to encourage my students to incorporate chants or affirmations during practice. While you practice the sacred mudra, affirm “I recharge my pranic battery.”
Try to pair the mudra with a chant, such as Om. “Om” is usually pronounced as a single syllable that rhymes with “home.” Breathe with this chant at least 20 to 30 times.
Explore its three individual sounds “A,” “U,” and “M” when you extend the chant. You will feel the vibrations travel from your belly up to the crown of your head. This chant will fill you with positive energy flow.
How long to practice Prana Mudra
If you are new to the hand mudra, it’s suggested that you don’t perform the hand gesture for long durations. Shorter durations are recommended of 10-minute sessions three times a day. Gradually build your practice up to 20 or 30 minutes a day.
If you need to access the mudra and do not have the time to meditate prior, take a few deep breaths to clear your mind. A calm mind is essential to performing the mudra.
Who shouldn’t practice this hand gesture
Avoid practicing it if you are suffering from a cold and cough. If you are a breastfeeding mother, consult with a professional yoga teacher. Do not practice this yoga mudra if you have back-related issues. Stop immediately if you experience any stress or pain at any time during practice.
5 benefits of Pran Mudra gesture
Yoga mudras can easily be woven into any individual lifestyle. The mudra of life is a simple one to incorporate into your daily routine. It has various physical, spiritual, and mental health benefits.
5 spiritual benefits of Prana Mudra are:
- Relaxation: This mudra has a relaxing effect on the mind. It improves awareness, focus, and productivity. It helps to stimulate sensations of delight, joy, hope, self-confidence, and perseverance. The mudra aids in overcoming mental tension, anger, restlessness, and irritability.
- Energy: The mudra of life is an energetic pick-me-up. It helps to improve the circulation of energy in the body and maintain energy levels.
- Meditation: Practicing the mudra will provide a better meditation experience. It helps maintain your meditation for a longer duration.
- Rejuvenation: With a regular practice, you will eventually feel a vibration in your body. It will leave you with a sense of feeling lighter.
- Spiritual Awakening: Practice this mudra during your meditation. It will lead you to have more spiritual awakening experiences.
Takeaway on Prana Mudra
I like to think of this mudra as an energetic pick-me-up as it revitalizes your mental well-being. This hand gesture also represents vitality. It's an easy practice to incorporate into your daily routine, and its powerful benefits can also impact your physical and mental health.
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