Our body works as a system that demands continuous input of energy for proper functioning. The digestive system is responsible for the extraction of energy from the food we take. Any deficiency in the digestive system can cause a serious problem in the body. So proper digestion is very important to have a healthy and happy life.
To overcome the malfunction of the digestive system, Mudras, the hand gesture of yoga works as an engineer to set the mechanism of the digestive system back to normal with even better working conditions.
Below are the mudras you can do to improve digestion.
1. Pushan Mudra
In Sanskrit, Pushan means “one who nourishes”.
Pushan Mudra is called mudra of nourishment. It nourishes the Jatharagni or the Digestive fire. This Mudra is named after the Hindu deity Sun, synonymous with Pushan. The ‘one’ who is the ultimate source of energy or nourisher of the whole earth.
This Mudra is the combination of two hand mudras; Apana Vayu Mudra and Prana Mudra. On practicing this Mudra, it activates the subtle energies of the body system by which we take, act, and reciprocate. These energies are as follows.
Prana, Samana, & Apana Vayu is the part of 5 Pranas in our body.
To do Pushan Mudra
Pushan Mudra involves two different gestures in both hands. Therefore, It is necessary to do it one by one.
- Come into any seated comfortable posture like Padmasana (Lotus Pose), or Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose).
- From the left hand, Touch the tips of the middle and ring finger to the tip of the thumb and maintain the posture.
- From the right hand, Join the middle and index finger to the tip of the thumb and stay in that pose for the practice.
- Apply gentle pressure in both of the hand gesture. Close your eyes and focus on deep breathing. Practice this mudra for 10 to 15 minutes each session.
Pushan Mudra directs the flow of subtle energies towards the solar plexus chakra that vitalizes organs concerned with the digestive system (liver, stomach, gall bladder, intestines, etc).
Also, the activation of the solar plexus chakra alleviates constipation, gas, and acidity related problems. Moreover, Pushan mudra is helpful in case of acidity.
2. Shunya Mudra
Shunya represents ‘void’ or ’emptiness’. That Void of emptiness is often occupied by the space element or Akash Tattva. An increase in the Space element creates an imbalance between the other remaining elements that indirectly affects the digestive system.
Shunya Mudra gesture helps in reducing the extra space element and simultaneously assists other elements.
Improper occupancy of the space elements in the body restricts the energy flow of the rest elements. Such a situation creates a chaos of energy in the body.
In Shunya mudra, the middle finger (space element) which has been pressed under the thumb (fire element) gets decreased. Therefore, this mudra is also called Akash shamak where Akash means ‘Space’ element and Shamak means ‘reduction’.
To do Shunya Mudra
- Begin by getting into any seated comfortable posture Sukhasana (Easy Pose), Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose).
- Now, place your hand on thighs or on knees. Gradually lift a hand and try to fold the middle finger under the thumb. Hold the posture.
- Close your eyes and focus on deep breathing. Practice this mudra for 30 to 40 minutes twice a day for the better result.
Shunya Mudra enhances the fire element while diminishing the space element. Reducing space element stimulates the digestive fire, which further aids in digestion. Along with this, it also balances or overcomes the Vata doshas as the Space element is concerned with Vata Body.
3. Surya Mudra
Surya mudra is known to increase fire element in the body. The fire element is directly related to digestion; also called digestive fire or Jatharagni located in the stomach and small intestine.
Digestive fire is the strength of acid, enzymes, and bile present in the stomach and its organs. So when you do Surya mudra, you actually stimulate the digestive fire which induces the digestion process. It also increases metabolism.
To do Surya Mudra
- Begin with a seated comfortable posture Swastikasana (Cross-legged Pose), Padmasana (Lotus Pose).
- Now, fold your ring finger and touch it at the base of the thumb and press its above surface with the tip of the thumb.
- Close your eyes and remain in the posture while focusing on deep breathing. Practice this mudra twice or thrice a day for 20 to 30 minutes.
On doing Surya Mudra regularly practitioner overcomes various digestive disorders like indigestion, acid reflux, constipation, flatulence, gas, etc. Apart from this, enhanced metabolism in Surya Mudra also results in weight loss, which decreases the chances of diabetes and heart conditions.
4. Varun Mudra
Varun Mudra helps balance water content in the body. Water and other fluids break down food so that your body can absorb the nutrients. This mudra also helps prevent constipation. It softens the stool.
Every step of the digestion process (ingestion, digestion, assimilation, and excretion) is assisted by the water. So, the problem (constipation, indigestion, etc) concerning the digestion process is natural in the absence of water. Similarly, the improper supply of water further gives birth to chronic digestive issues. All these digestive problems due to lack of water content can be cured by varun mudra.
To do Varuna Mudra
- Begin with the basic seating posture Sukhasana (Easy Pose), Sawastikasana (Cross-legged Pose).
- Now, try to touch the tip of the little finger with the tip of the thumb finger. Press gently and maintain the gesture.
- Close your eyes and focus on deep breathing. Remain in the posture and practice Varun Mudra daily twice or thrice a day for better results.
Varun Mudra is one of the effective hand gestures in overcoming the problems of digestion. Water is the fundamental element of Kapha and Vata therefore, balance the Kapha (deals with the strengthening of the immune system and muscle growth, etc) and Vata (deals with muscular spasm, fear, anxiety, gas, and insomnia) in the body.
5. Pitta kaarak Mudra
Pitta kaarak mudra, aka kidney mudra, promotes the pitta or bile formation in the body. When pitta is in balance it helps with digestion. Balanced pitta improves digestion by breaking down fats into fatty acids, which can be taken into the body by the digestive tract.
Water and fire are the constitutive elements of pitta dosha. Due to its governance over the warmth or temperature of the body, this mudra regulates the function of digestive fire. Therefore, improves digestion.
To do Pitta karak Mudra
- Come into any seated comfortable posture Padmasana (lotus pose), Sukhasana (Easy Pose).
- Now, lift your hand before the chest and fold little and ring finger to touch the base of the thumb.
- Press the thumb over little and ring finger’s second phalanx.
- Maintain this hand gesture for 5 minutes initially.
- Close your eyes and focus on breathing.
This mudra restores the pitta humor and discourages the Kapha humor. Therefore, It is also known as the Kapha nashak mudra. Apart from this, it also helps in hypothyroidism, loss of appetite and drowsiness.
Mudras work as a prominent tool in tackling the problem of digestive issues. They seem silent in appearance or to perform but they are as dynamic as the electricity inside the subtle energy circuits of the body.
Every major to minor problem could be linked to any of the body organs. Similarly, digestive problems are of a wide range. They do not have a single source. Irregular eating or drinking habit, stress, anxiety, doshas imbalance, etc could cause it.
Hand mudras work on balancing subtle energies of the body thus improving digestion. Pushan Mudra, Surya Mudra, and Pitta kaarak Mudra are some of the best hand mudras which you can do for better digestion and overcome digestion problems.
Mudras for Digestion FAQs
Generally, mudras should be done after eating for better digestion. In the case of Surya mudra, it’s preferred before 2 hours or after 4 hours of the meal as it generates immense heat in the body. The duration of each mudra should be 5-to-15 minutes for its effective working.
Yes, however, in this case, a person should do mudras moderately as for digestion internal heat is required and holding mudras for a long duration may overheat the body internally (which isn’t a good condition for such people).
Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose) is the ideal pose that will add up an extra edge to the digestion process along with hand mudras. However, people with knee problems can simply sit on a chair or use a bolster to rest their knees in a cross-legged position.