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The Yoga Mudra or the pose of humility is good for both the inner man and the outer man edit button Edit

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A.D Pradeep Kumar | calendar 03 March 2024 | 61

The Financial Express on Sunday March 12 , 2000

A lesson in humility

ASANAS are well known tools for strength and indirectly aid in the eradication of diseases. Some of the spinal exercises that Yoga prescribes are said to make certain changes in your consciousness itself.

Each posture is designed to enrich one virtue central lot he purification of your life. Let us take for example, the Yoga Mudra or the Symbol of Yoga, which is a posture of humility.

Though strictly not an asana. but a mudra. Yoga Mudra helps you build up a spirit of humility. It is a symbolic ritual, which is crucial from the psychological view to the development of the total Individual. In yogic terms These include the mental, moral, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of your personality.

The name Yoga Mudra befits this practice because a mudra is a symbol of an inner experience expressed through physical gestures, it benefits all aspects of your life and sets your mind free to lead a peaceful life.

Since practice of Yoga Mudra stretches almost all the posterior muscles of the trunk and the neck, it also contributes to improved muscular tone and better circulation in the spinal column.

The Yoga Mudra can be done in any of the comfortable meditative postures. The base should be broad, with the maximum part of the lower limbs touching the ground. It can be done in such postures as the Sukhasana, Padmasana, Vajrasana or the Ardhapadmasana.

How to do it

  • Since Sukhasana is the simplest posture, select that to practice the Yoga Mudra.
  • Hold the wrist of one hand with the other at the back. Sit straight, the shoulders pulled up. the chest forward, the abdomen drawn in.
  • Breathe in deeply for three seconds drawing your shoulders at the back as you do this.
  • Then with an exhalation of three seconds, twist the upper body to one side and bend down and touch your forehead to your knee. Gently drop the shoulders. Remain thus for six seconds.
  • Inhale slowly and come up in three seconds.
  • Draw the shoulders to the back and then with an exhalation of three seconds, twist the body to the other side and bend and touch the forehead to the other knee. Drop the shoulders and retain this position for six seconds.
  • Then with an inhalation of three seconds, return to the original position.
  • Bend down in the same manner as explained above, but this time. instead of touching the forehead to the knee, bend down forward to touch the floor. Hold again for six seconds and return to original position with an inhalation of three seconds.

The Yoga Mudra can be done statically while breathing normally as long as it is comfortable. But if you are stiff, then do the dynamic variation.

Benefits

The Yoga Mudra helps you to stretch almost all the posterior muscles of the truck and the neck, which contribute to muscular toning and the venous circulation of the spinal column.

The deep intra-abdominal compression affects the viscera favourably through a temporary normal replacement and the acceleration of the venous flow from the sex organs.

The deep pressure exerted on both the cecum (near the right side of the abdomen) and the pelvic loop (near the left side of the abdomen) stimulates elimination of the faecal contents from the two vital areas of the colon.

The compression of the diaphragm and the abdominal walls massages the abdomen and is useful for people suffering from gastric disorders.

This forward bending exercise works wonders in taking away the stiffness and pain caused by overused or underused muscles or for people who have to sit for long periods of time.

The Yoga Mudra also helps women who experience pains and hot flushes at the time of menstruation and menopause.

Going forward in the Vajrasana position and bringing the knees close to the chest provides a gentle abdominal compression. Staying in that position in a relaxed state, allows the tension of the abdominal region to be released. It also helps in relieving tension in certain parts of the body and aids in managing many chronic illnesses.

Generally, people who suffer from structural problems, such as a degeneration or increased gap between two vertebrae, spondylosis or a slipped disc should avoid doing forward bending asanas.

There should be a feeling of "letting go", humility and surrender while doing the Yoga Mudra. When you are resigning yourself to the will of the absolute, that is Vairagya. Forward bending brings detachment Vairagya. You tell God to take over and become totally humble. The ego goes down and a feeling of "I bow at your feet" arises in you.

Only by resigning yourself to a higher will can you develop the will power to face the world. Wisdom and knowledge too dawn only when, you have surrendered everything. And when you manage your life with this newfound wisdom. It is known as Aishwarya.

While doing the asanas, you should also try to learn what each posture is meant to convey to you. If we really understand them, the asanas are tools to a fuller understanding of your inner life.

(Note: This article is based on the principles advocated by The Yoga Institute, Santacruz)