Our world has become extremely fast paced and so have our lives. The need for immediate results and answers have us on our toes all the time. Even when you sit back and try to relax, you tend to have many stressful thoughts running in the back of your mind. Constantly being in a state of stress and anxiety has negative effects on your health due to which it is necessary to practice relaxation techniques regularly. Yoga is one such practice which is becoming increasingly popular all over the world, because of the marvelous effects it has on your physical and mental health. It is known to make you feel calm and relaxed by increasing the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system, which is generally activated when your body is in the rest and digest mode.
There are multiple reasons why you should practice yoga. It is an effective form of exercise for both healthy and diseased people, and it particularly addresses mental issues such as depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and memory issues. Yoga is not just about bending and folding into complicated shapes it is about breathing, meditating, opening your mind, and looking deep within yourself to develop mental awareness. Even something as simple as sitting down and practicing breathing techniques works wonders for your health. As you breathe you can adopt some finger and hand gestures known as mudras, which help govern the flow of energy in your body and stimulate various areas of the brain. Each finger corresponds to a single natural element, such as air, water, fire, earth, or space. So, each type of mudra has a different effect on your body, which can be used to improve and cure various ailments. Here are some of the mudras you can try when practicing relaxation and breathing techniques.
1. Gyan Mudra
Gyan Mudra is also known as the Mudra of Knowledge. It is practiced to improve your memory and concentration and to increase your knowledge. It is also beneficial to those who are suffering from insomnia. This mudra is quite common and you can often see it being used during meditation. You just need to touch the tip of your index finger with the tip of your thumb, while stretching out or slightly bending the other 3 fingers.
2. Prithvi Mudra
If you feel exhausted or stressed out, then you should try Prithvi Mudra, the Mudra of the Earth. It re-energizes you by improving your blood circulation and digestion. In this mudra, you need to press the tip of your ring finger against the tip of your thumb while extending other 3 fingers as much as possible.
3. Agni Mudra
Surya Mudra, the Mudra of the Sun or the Mudra of fire, is extremely beneficial if you have anxiety, digestion issues, or weight problems as it stimulates the thyroid glands. You need to bend your ring finger, press your thumb against its second phalanx, and extend the other fingers out as much as possible. This mudra should only be practiced in the morning on an empty stomach.
4. Prana Mudra
Prana Mudra is also known as the Mudra of Life. It is an extremely important mudra as it reinvigorates you by balancing your body’s energy. You should practice it if you fall sick too often as it improves your immunity. It also helps cure sleep problems, makes your eyesight better, and reduces hunger pangs when you are fasting. You need to touch the tip of your thumb with the tips of your ring finger and little finger.
5. Apana Vayu Mudra
Apana Vayu Mudra is extremely beneficial for those who have suffered a heart attack as it is the Mudra of the Heart. If performed daily, it strengthens the heart muscles and improves heart health. Touch the tip of the thumb with the tips of your middle finger and index finger. Stretch out the little finger and with the index finger, touch the base of the thumb by applying slight pressure. You need to hold the position for at least 15 minutes and can practice it as often as you want to.