You need to know that there is much more to Yoga than the usual asanas and breathing practices. That is, the independent branch of Yoga called the science of Yoga Mudra. It is believed that our ancient sages had put forth the science of Mudra therapy.1 Mudra means hand gestures that are practised for the betterment of physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Mudra therapy connects the energy flow into the mind and the body system. It expresses internal feelings through different postures of fingers, palms, hands, and body.1 According to Ayurveda and Yoga, our body is composed of five elements, namely- Fire (Agni), Air (Vayu), Space (Aakash), Earth (Prithvi) and Water (Jal). If these elements are at optimum balance in our body, one enjoys a healthy illness-free life. 1
One of the common mudras is called Udana Mudra which can also practice with the combination of Pranayama to increase prana flow to energise different body parts. In this blog, we bring one Udana Mudra and its benefits.
What is Udana Mudra?
Mudra is the expression of feelings which is used by different hand gestures. Mudras are classified into five basic categories – yogic, spiritual, curative, religious, and customary. Mudra works on the principle of transferring the energy from the higher level to the lower with the help of finger and hand movements.1
Udana Mudra is a yogic hand mudra. It is primarily used during yogic meditation. It is a Sanskrit name in which ‘Udana’ means breathing upward and ‘Mudra’ means gesture or seal. It is also called Upward-flying Energy Gesture.2,3 Udana Vayu Mudra is involved in the movements and energy flow in the throat and facial region. It is one of the hand gestures that affects the five segments of life of force energy (prana) that circulates in the body.2
How to do it?
People of any age, gender, or religion can practise these hand gestures. You may perform them by standing, sitting, walking, praying, and watching TV. 1
The following are the steps to follow to practice Udana Mudra:
- Start with a normal sitting meditation position.
- Inhale deeply for a few breaths to relax and calm the mind.
- Put the hands on the knees or thighs with palms facing the sky.
- Touch the tip of your thumb with the tips of your index, middle, and ring fingers.
- Use little pressure and place the little finger straight without strain on it.
- Relax your hands and breathe in normal rhythm.
- Hold this gesture for five to forty-five minutes daily to see its effect.3
Do You Know?
Here is an interesting fact about Udana Mudra that might encourage you to start practising.
- The Sanskrit name for Udana is “the air that flies in the upward direction.”3
- Udana Mudra might enable a sense of lightness and laughter in one’s life if performed believing truly in the mudra.3
- Udana Mudra might be an excellent mudra for artists, writers, and singers as it allows you to express your inner self freely.3
Benefits of Udana Mudra:
Regular practising of Udana Mudra may develop a sense of joy and lightness in your body. It might even make you laugh freely with no worries.3 Some of the potential Udana Mudra benefits are described below:
1. Benefits of Udana Mudra for Vocals
If you are a singer, actor, or artist and using voice as your identity, then Udana Mudra may benefit you. As per Yoga philosophy, Udana Vayu is the energy that enters your vocal cords to vibrate. It may help you strengthen your vocal cords as it supports your voice and may enable you to express your unique sound. The regular practice of Udana mudra may help to clear your speech and overcome your artistic blockages.3
2. Benefits of Udana Mudra for Thyroid
If you are suffering from hormonal imbalance in your body, you must try Udana Mudra. As we have mentioned earlier, the human body is composed of five elements and even the slightest imbalance can negatively affect the body. When you perform Udana Mudra, the air element in your index finger stimulates the fire element in the thumb. In contrast, the pressure created by the middle finger frees the space element activating the throat chakra. The activated throat chakra might enhance the functions of your thyroid and parathyroid glands. In this way, Udana Mudra may act against the thyroid.1,3
3. Other benefits of Udana Mudra:
- Udana mudra hand gesture is classified under ‘curative’ mudra. Udana Vayu mudra benefits may provide spiritual growth and self-expression as it affects the throat chakra.2
- The Vayu/energy associated with Udana Mudra may provide your neck with the strength to hold your head up.3
Practising Yogic meditation may help you to develop the balance between mind and body. However, it is not an option for modern medicine. Therefore, consult a qualified physician for appropriate diagnosis and treatment if you are suffering from any health condition. Furthermore, practising and learning Yoga Mudra from a trained yoga teacher is necessary to gain maximum benefit.
- Risks of Exercise Udana mudra may be safe for all age groups irrespective of their gender.3
- It may be practised with any undergoing treatments too.3
- However, you must release the Udana Mudra and relax if you feel pain or stress in your fingers, hands, or body while performing Udana Mudra.
With the help of an experienced yoga expert, you can analyse the risk factors and continue practising Udana Mudra with precautions.
Mudra therapy is an old science that connects the flow of energy in the body. Udana Mudra is classified into the curative categories of Yoga mudra. Udana Mudra is a Yogic hand gesture called the Upward-flying energy gesture, which means breathing upwards. Udana Mudra is performed during yogic meditation. It activates the throat chakra that may promote self-expression and spiritual growth. As per yoga philosophy, the regular practice of Udana Mudra may benefit your vocal cords by increasing their ability to vibrate. It may help you to develop a sense of joy and lightness in the body.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Udana Mudra?
Udana Mudra is a hand gesture that stimulates the flow of energy in the throat region. It is referred to as the Upward-flying Energy gesture. It is practised during mediation. It affects the circulation of prana (life force) energy throughout the body. It benefits the vocals and establishes a sense of joy and happiness in the body.1-3
How to do Udana Mudra?
Put the tips of the index fingers on the top ends of the thumbs. Next, place the tips of the middle fingers on the nails of the index fingers and apply gentle pressure. Then, let the ring and little fingers remain slightly curled and relaxed. Hold this mudra for more than five minutes daily.3
What are the five elements of the human body?
The human body comprises five elements which are represented by the fingers of the hand. The thumb represents fire, the index finger air, the middle finger space (ether), the ring finger earth and the little pinky finger represents water.1
How are Udana Mudras classified?
Mudras are classified into five basic categories that are spiritual, yogic, religious, curative, and customary. And Udana Mudra is classified under curative mudra. It is practised to ward off foreign elements from the body and maintain the balance of elements in the body.1
How does Udana Mudra work?
As you perform the Udana Mudra, the air element in your index finger gets stimulated by the fire element of the thumb as you join their tips. As you apply pressure with the middle finger, all limitations by the space element are freed. And when positioned one upon the other, the air and space elements activate the throat chakra.3
1. Prakash Sharma C. Mudra Therapy and Its Classification. Intern Jo of Hea Sci and Res. 2021;11(1):126. Available from: https://www.ijhsr.org/IJHSR_Vol.11_Issue.1_Jan2021/IJHSR16.pdf
2. What is Udana Mudra? – Definition from Yogapedia [Internet]. [cited 2022 Sep 10]. Available from: https://www.yogapedia.com/definition/10437/udana-mudra
3. Saradananda S. Mudras for modern life: Boost your health, enhance your yoga and deepen your meditation. 1st ed. London: Watkins Publishing; 2015. Available from: https://www.grandacademicportal.education/assets/images/admin/20210115101603.pdf
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.