According to yoga and Ayurveda, the human body is made up of 5 natural elements: air, water, fire, earth and ether.
The element of air is one of the most crucial elements in the human system. Our sacred breath, that which keeps us alive, is made up of nothing but air. In yoga, this sacred breath is known as prana. Prana is not only our breath but all the vital energy that is within us and surrounds.
This prana is made up of air. Vayu mudra is one of the simplest mudras that has been used for thousands of years since the dawn of yoga and Ayurveda to balance the element of air in the human body.
Vayu in Sanskrit means air, and Vayu mudra helps to heal many ailments in the body that are related to the element of air and vata dosha according to Ayurveda. Many mental, emotional, and physical disorders can surface when there is an air imbalance in the body.
Overthinking, restlessness, anxiety, gastric disorders and disorders of the endocrine system are all a manifestation of the imbalance of air/vata dosha in the body. In this yoga mudra, the index finger is pressed under the thumb.
Each finger represents one of the five elements. The thumb represents fire, while the index finger represents air. In this yoga mudra, the thumb presses upon the index finger, which means the energies of fire are used to purify the energies of air throughout the body. Yogis have been using this ancient mudra to activate the energies of Vayu (air) and reach higher states of consciousness.
How to practice Vayu Mudra: Technique
- Sit in sukhasana, padmasana or any other meditative asana. Use a cushion, as this will allow you to sit comfortably for a longer duration. If you have trouble sitting on the floor for any health reasons, this mudra can be practiced sleeping, sitting on a chair or even standing. The best results are achieved when sitting in a meditative pose.
- Gently close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Use the breath, your prana, the clear your mind of any unwanted thoughts. If any thoughts come, do not hold on. Let them pass through.
- Bring your hands on your lap as your palms are resting just ahead of your folded knees.
- Face your palms upwards.
- Fold the index finger of your left and right hand and press it under the thumb. The tip of the index finger should be touching the bottom on the thumb. The remaining three fingers: the middle finger, ring finger and little finger will remain straight.
- Stay in this mudra and observe the changes in your body. Observe and feel the movement of energy and air in your body. Feel and notice, how this yoga mudra, regulates and guides the flow of air in your body with your breath.
- Focus on your breath as you hold this mudra. This mudra is best performed with a meditation and pranayama practice.
- In the beginning, hold this mudra for 5-10 minutes depending upon your needs and comfort. With steady practice every day, increase the time slowly to 15, 20, and 40 minutes.
- To release the mudra, release the thumb from the index finger and relax your hands. Open your eyes and breathe freely.
Benefits of Vayu Mudra
1. Prana healing and purification
Along with being an excellent mudra for sleep, Vayu mudra has been practiced by wise yogis since the birth of yoga and Ayurveda to balance the element of air in the body by purifying the sacred breath.
The breath which is made up of air is one of the most essential purification channels. Pranayama, which is an ancient yogic breathing science, uses breath and the element of air to heal and purify the body. Vayu mudra practiced with pranayama purifies the sacred breath, thus bringing healing, vitality and spiritual transformation.
2. Healing of gastric and endocrine disorders
Not only is Vayu mudra an exceptional mudra for weight loss, but Vayu mudra also heals over 150 physical ailments in the body and is an excellent yoga mudra to heal gas problems like bloating and excessive gas in the stomach. As the thumb presses on the index finger, the energy flow created puts pressure on the stomach, which helps to release the excessive gas and bloating.
An imbalance of air also causes various endocrine disorders and hormonal imbalance. Vayu mudra helps in bringing balance to hormones, thus healing the endocrine system.
3. Healing mental, emotional disorders and vata dosha
The element of air is connected to our thoughts and brain activity. An imbalance in air or vata dosha causes overthinking, restlessness and anxiety. When practiced along with pranayama and meditation, Vayu Mudra helps heal mental and emotional disorders by balancing the vata dosha and bringing inner peace and tranquillity of the body, mind and soul.