Yoga Relief For The Summer Heat
Yoga Relief For The Summer Heat
Mudras are yogic hand gestures. They comprise a special, separate branch of yoga involving in-depth study. For long-term therapeutic use mudras need to be used with expert guidance since their effects are very powerful.
Explaination how mudras work: by exploiting the nerve representation for different organs in the brain. They work by tweaking the biological map in the brain called the homunculus man.
Another explanation that is accepted by alternative therapists is related to how our body is actually composed of five elements. In yogic science, each of the fingers also represent each of these elements: the little finger represents the water element, the ring finger the earth, the middle represents ether, the index represents the air and the thumb represents the fire element.
Pressing down a particular finger helps control, suppress or depress that particular element represented by that finger.
Similarly, touching the finger tip lightly enhances or increases that particular element. This is used to balance the elements in our body: when one element gets out of kilter is when there is disharmony which translates into dis-ease in our body. This is the ancient logic behind the magic of mudras.
In a way this also links mudra to the ayurvedic science of dosha or particular body type, again based on the idea of these basic elements. This also shows why blindly using the mudras without understanding which of the elements is out of balance may be counter-productive.
Here we present four mudras which can help tackle the excessive heat of summer by improving the water element in your body. They aid with rehydration, removing inner inflammation, and associated nervous disorders.
Given below are the basic do's and don't's for using mudra therapy:
Mudras are ideally held in a meditative fashion. Sit in any comfortable meditative pose, with eyes shut. You may also use them while doing your pranayama practice. Follow the same instructions for both hands, unless otherwise instructed. Each mudra must be held for a minimum of five minutes and maximum of 15 minutes. Only a mudra expert, after detailed analysis of individual ailment and constitution, may advise longer duration for any mudra. All mudras need to be held only as long as an existing condition needs relief and may be discontinued once desired results are achieved. All the following mudras need to avoided by those with excess mucous condition or kapha/earth element.
Shameem Akthar, yoga acharya trained with the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, Kerala, leads you through four mudras that'll help keep you cool this summer.
Brahmari(Humming bee breath):Sit in a meditative fashion. Eyes shut. Touch tips of little finger and ring finger to the tip of the thumb. Do for each hand. Hold for five minutes or more.
Benefits: Improves the earth and water element in the body. Boosts stamina, removes nervous disorders. Relieves thyroid problem, insomnia, inflammatory conditions. Cools body heat, hydrates dry eyes (as happens in air-conditioned spaces) and is good for those with excessive vata constitution which tends to dry hair and create arthritis of the joints.
Shankha mudra(Conch hand gesture): Sit in a meditative fashion, eyes shut. Stretch our left hand thumb. Place right hand fingers around the left thumb. Touch tip of right hand thumb to tip of left middle finger. The two hands now resemble a conch shape. Hold this against the chest for as long as is comfortable.
Benefits: Is an instant cooler, by controlling air and fire element. Relieves throat dryness, reduces inflammations, especially on skin.
Prithvi mudra (Earth hand gesture): Sit meditatively, eyes shut. Touch tip of ring finger to thumb tip. Do for each hand. Hold for minimum five minutes.
Benefits: Helps control excessive body heat, dryness of hair, skin and eyes. Relieves other drying or inflammatory conditions like arthritis, brittle nails, ulcers, hyperthyroidism.
Varun mudra (Rain hand gesture): Sit meditatively, eyes shut. Touch tip of little finger and thumb. Do for each hand.
Benefits: Reduces inner dryness that causes red eyes, arthritis, muscle cramps, constipation and body head.