Yoga Therapy for MS – The Mudras

The Sanskrit word “mudra” means “gesture” or “attitude” and although there are head mudras and postural mudras, I use the term “mudra” here to describe the “Hasta mudras” or hand mudras.

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According to my teacher Dr Omanand, “Mudras have the capacity to heal out weaknesses and thus bring about complete health”.

Basic concept

Each finger corresponds to one element: fire (thumb), air (index finger), ether (middle finger), earth (ring finger) and water (little finger). When practising a mudra, one places the fingers and the thumb in a particular manner. They touch lightly. This specific position enables the flow of energy between the fingers in a manner that enhances specific brain and bodily functions.

How to practise

Mudras should be practised regularly and consistently, which for some people is an inconvenient.

Some say you should practise for about 20 minutes, others say either 45 minutes once a day or for 15 minutes three times a day. For chronic illnesses, it is advisable to practise daily for… a few months at least.

There are many hand mudras. In the Yoga for MS series of classes, I introduce four mudras:

  • Pran Mudra – to stimulate energy
  • Garuda Mudra to give strength
  • Shakti Mudra which has a calming effect and helps to fall asleep
  • Kalesvara Mudra which calms the mind and support concentration.

Why not try one of these four mudras for a month?
Even if you start with 5 minutes, three times a day. This should help you notice if it works for you. Hand mudras are usually practised while sitting in a comfortable seated position or in a chair with the spine straight but you can also practise lying down, standing or walking. Just be sure that your body is symmetrical -not leaning towards one side- and relaxed.
If you are afraid of “losing your time”, you may also try and focus on your breath, do some visualization or meditate!

This article is part of the Yoga for MS Programme

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