Varuna Mudra For Congestion

It is cold and flu season in Bali and I unfortunately picked it up. I’m nearing the end of the first week of my cold and I’ve finally started to pull out the big guns. I’ve realized that my normal routine is not quite going to cut it. In addition to ginger, echinacea, and Panadol I’ve been focusing on using neti, mudras and restorative yoga. This week I have been incorporating Varuna Mudra into my practice to clear up the congestion in my sinuses and chest.

I’m typically one to go-go-go, so I have difficulty slowing down. I’ve been practicing more yang style yoga and have gotten myself a bit out of balance, so I’m not surprised that I got the “Bali flu”. It is often when I find myself out of balance or when I stop paying attention that I get ill (which luckily isn’t very often). Usually I catch myself before I get sick and step back, slow down, and take a breather, but not this time. I love teaching restorative yoga because I know how beneficial it is, but I’ve been struggling with my own restorative practice. This week I’ve been trying to dial it back in and refocus on my own wellbeing and self-care.

Well, this article is supposed to be about mudras, so lets bring it back to Varuna Mudra.

Varuna is the Hindu god of water and the celestial ocean. Varuna is also the god that upholds the moral law.

hand mudras varuna

Practice Varuna Mudra

To practice Varuna Mudra take the pinky finger of your right hand and bring it to the pad of your right thumb. Then wrap your right thumb over the top of your little finger. Take your left hand and wrap it gently around the right hand and bring your left thumb over the top of the right thumb. Hold this mudra for 30-40 minutes.

Benefits of Varuna Mudra

Varuna mudra is used to combat congestion… physically, emotionally and psychologically. Congestion and excess mucus in the sinus, stomach and lungs is often caused by some type of irritant. I feel like it’s probably safe to say that emotional or psychological congestion can be caused by an irritant too… According to Gertrud Hirschi congestion may also be related to “overstimulated nerves, inner tensions and unrest, triggered by overstraining, being pressed by time, being aggravated or experiencing fear.” Living a perpetually stressed out life makes us more susceptible to colds and mucus congestion.

I also use jala neti when suffering from congestion as well…. once again bringing in that water element of Varuna to fight the build-up of mucus and flush it out! Fighting water with water!

According to Ayurveda mucus is also related to a build up of kapha. If you suffer from excess mucus you may want to take a look at your diet in addition to general lifestyle trends.

Affirmations for Varuna Mudra

I go with the flow. I am adaptable and easily accept change.
I let go of what no longer serves me.

Ushas Mudra

Ushas mudra is the mudra for new beginnings, alertness and the second chakra, swadisthana, at the sacrum. The second chakra is our center of sexuality and creativity. In Sanskrit, Ushas means “break of the day” or “origin of good things” hence the mudra being used for new beginnings.

ushas mudra hand mudra

To Practice Ushas Mudra

Ushas mudra can be practiced first thing in the morning to help wake the body. It is the perfect practice when you have those three “snooze button” kind of mornings. To practice ushas mudra as a female interlace your fingers placing your right thumb between the index finger and thumb of your left hand. Your left thumb gentle presses into the thumb of the right hand. Males practice ushas mudra with the fingers interlaced and the right thumb resting on top of the left thumb.

Here is my favorite way to practice the mudra: maintaining the mudra take your hands back behind your head and let the head rest heavy in the palms of the hands, then stretch the elbows out to the side. With elbows pressing back into your pillow or bed begin to deepen your breath, perhaps arch your back slightly. Take a few rounds of deep breath here and then (still maintaining the mudra) stretch your arms overhead and turn the palms away from you. Stretch the body as long as you can and point out through your toes. Take some ankle circles. Take a few rounds of breath here and when you feel energized and alert make your way out of bed.

Ushas Mudra Benefits

According to Gertrud Hirschi, “This mudra concentrates the sexual energy of our second chakra and directs it into the energy centers above it.” Ushas mudra improves mental alertness, balances our hormones and concentrates sexual energy.

Affirmation for Ushas:

I am enthusiastic about life. I enjoy life’s pleasures.

I am present and alert in all of my actions.

I embrace change and new beginnings.

Ganesha Mudra

Hello from Bali! Yogis if you ever have a chance to make it out to Bali DO IT! It’s so beautiful. I’ve already felt the energy shift of being here AND I’ve only been here a little over a day. It’s pure magic. Since I am in Bali I figured it would be wise to teach Ganesha Mudra today. Ganesha, the elephant god, is the remover of all obstacles. Statues of Ganesha abound all over Bali! Some covered in moss or lichen, others adorned with flowers or mala beads, some with incense and offerings at their feet. It’s lovely. This is my third trip to Bali. Each time my energy shifts and obstacles seem to drop away…. Ganesha at work!

hand mudra ganesha mudra

Benefits of Ganesha Mudra:

Ganesha mudra helps open the heart chakra and encourages our confidence, courage, compassion and openness. Ganesha mudra, just as with Lord Ganesha himself, helps dispel fear, so we can achieve our hearts desires. This mudra also encourages the muscles of the chest to release tension and may also stimulate activity of the heart and open the bronchial tubes.

To practice Ganesha Mudra:

Bring your left hand in front of your heart and turn your palm away from you (your thumb pointing down) and fingers bent. With your right palm facing toward you hook the fingers of your right hand with the fingers of your left hand. Elbows pointing out toward the sides. From here, with an exhale breath pull the elbows away from one another while keeping the fingers locked together (don’t let them separate). You will feel the muscles of your chest and upper arms engage. On your inhale breath release the tension. Repeat up to 8 times. You can use this mudra daily OR as needed; like when you’re feeling self doubt, fearful, or closed off from others.

Love and Light,

Autumn

Pran Mudra

Hey yogis it’s Mudra Monday again. Pran mudra, or life mudra, is your hand mudra for the week.

pran-hand-mudra

Pran Mudra Practice:

To practice pran mudra guide your thumb to touch both your little finger and ring finger. Middle finger and index finger are extended straight. Practice this mudra with both hands. This mudra is best used in meditation and pranayama. Find a comfortable seat for meditation and pranayama and then draw your hands into the mudra and rest them on the back of your thighs/knees.

This mudra can be practiced with a very simple pranayama: Sama Vritti. Sama vritti is an equal length inhale and exhale. This pranayama can be combined with the chant of “So hum” for maximum benefit. Chant “So” on the inhale and “hum” on the exhale.

Feel free to practice pran mudra for 5-30 minutes each day.

Benefits:

Pran mudra activate muladhara bandha (our root chakra) and pelvic floor. This simple hand mudra has many benefits, for example: it increases vitality while reducing fatigue, it improves our assertiveness, self confidence, courage and ability to see things through. When combined with slow, conscious deep breaths pran mudra is calming and can help overcome nervousness.

This mudra, in addition to improving confidence and courage can also help you envision your future in accordance with your dharma. According to Anodea Judith’s book Creating on Purpose “When you act from vision, rather than what the world tells you is possible, your life becomes energized, and your vision becomes contagious to others.” It’s time to take charge and live your ideal life. If you’re not happy with your current situation I encourage you to begin a mudra practice and to also begin working with a sankalpa.

This mudra activates prana, our life force, by uniting fire, water and earth elements.

Affirmation:

I have the fortitude, confidence and courage to achieve what my heart desires.

Do you already practice pran mudra? Have you experienced its benefits? Send me a message I’d love to hear about it!

Love and Light,

Autumn

Adi Mudra

Hey yogis, your mudra for the week is Adi Mudra. Adi Mudra received it’s name, adi= first and mudra= seal, because it is the first position the hands are capable of inside the womb. Adi Mudra is most commonly practiced during pranayama, but may also be practiced in asana.

yoga-mudra-adi-mudra

To Practice Adi Mudra

To practice Adi Mudra tuck the thumb into the palm, so the tip of the thumb touches the little finger, then close the fingers over the top of the thumb to make a gentle fist. In meditation or pranayama turn the palms down and rest the hands on the thighs. Adi Mudra is calming to the nervous system and is nice to practice at the end of an asana practice. I’ve also found that it can help with balance in some of the balancing postures like tree pose.

Benefits of Adi Mudra:

  • Calms the nervous system
  • Stimulates udana vayu (the governing vayu for the upper chest, throat, and head)
  • It is thought to aid in pranayama because it increases breathing and lung capacity, thus increasing oxygen flow throughout the body. Source: yogapedia.com
  • The adi mudra is also thought to stimulate the brain, which is closely related to the crown (sahasrara) chakra that governs an individual’s sense of peace, higher awareness and oneness with the universe. Source: yogapedia.com
Autumn Adams
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Autumn Adams

Owner, Founder, & Retreat Leader at Ambuja Yoga
Autumn founded Ambuja Yoga in 2014 to share her love of adventure, yoga, and travel with her fellow yogis. Ambuja Yoga has morphed into more than she could have ever dreamed and she is thrilled to have a "job" she loves. She is forever grateful for the opportunity to facilitate personal growth and self love through yoga while taking yogis to off-the-beaten-path destinations worldwide. Follow Autumn on Instagram @autumnadamsyoga.
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