Varuna Mudra For Congestion

I’ve been practicing more vinyasa yoga and have gotten myself a bit out of balance, so I’m not surprised that I got the “Bali flu”. It is cold and flu season in Bali and I, unfortunately, picked up the nasty bug. Varuna mudra to the rescue!

It is often when I find myself out of balance or when I stop paying attention that I get ill. Luckily I don’t get sick very often. Usually, I catch myself before I get sick and can adjust the course. I love teaching restorative yoga because I know how beneficial it is, but I’ve been struggling with my own restorative practice. It’s time for an overhaul!

I’ve realized that my normal routine is not quite going to cut it. In addition to ginger, echinacea, and Panadol (eww… I know) I’ve been focusing on using neti, Varuna Mudra and restorative yoga. This week I have been using Varuna Mudra in my meditation practice to clear up the congestion in my sinuses and chest. I’ve been trying to dial it back in and refocus on my own wellbeing and self-care.

Please know that there will always be a natural ebb and flow to your practice, so give yourself a little grace if it isn’t currently what you expect it to be. Especially if you’re feeling crummy.

Let’s get back to Varuna Mudra, but first a little history.

Varuna is the Hindu god of water and the celestial ocean. Varuna is also the god that upholds the moral law in Hinduism. If you check out my recent book, The Little Book of Mudra Meditations, you’ll find an additional meditation practice that accompanies Varuna Mudra.

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. Then bring your left thumb over the top of the right thumb. Hold this mudra for 30-40 minutes. There is an alternative version of Varuna Mudra that you can also explore, but this version is best for colds/congestion.


Varuna mudra has been used to combat congestion for years… physical, emotional and psychological congestion by balancing the water element in our body. Different variations of the mudra can be used to increase of decrease this water. When working with Varuna Mudra I find it helpful to meditate on the qualities of water like flowing, cleansing with appropriate imagery.

Congestion and excess mucus in the sinus, stomach and lungs are¬†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 and stress is scientifically proven to lower our immune system.

Neti is great for congestion too

I love using 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! In jala neti you use a little pot to flush your nasal passages with warm salene water… it’s amazing how much crud comes out when you aren’t feeling well. If you’re going to practice neti– make sure you’re using the purest water you can get your hands on.

According to Ayurveda mucus is also related to a build up of kapha. Ayurveda is a holistic form of medicine from India that looks at your entire being. It aims to bring the elements back into balance through diet and lifestyle. You can learn more about Ayurveda here.

If you would like more guidance on mudras or you would like inspiration for guided meditations then check out my book, The Little Book of Mudra Meditations: 30 Yoga Hand Gestures for Healing. It’s available on Amazon.

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.

As always, please consult a medical doctor if you are ill. Mudras are not meant to replace medical care but are meant to complement it.

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Autumn Adams
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