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What are Yoga Mudras?

What are Yoga Mudras?

Meditation is thought to be a key component to accompany the practice of yoga. It can be accomplished with or without the use of Mudras, which are precise hand gestures. Mudras are believed to impart healing power to a variety of ailments that a person may experience. Knowing how to perform them correctly is key to unleashing their healing properties to all parts of your body.


Types of Mudras:

Gyana Mudra

This is the mudra of knowledge and is one of the simplest to perform. Simply touch the tip of your index finger to the tip of your thumb and outstretch the rest of your fingers on your hand; do this for each hand. This mudra is particularly best to apply when meditating, with an open mind, as your hands can rest easily on your knees when sitting in Easy Pose. It has the ability to increase your mental function, including that of memory and concentration, and can help if you are suffering from insomnia, mental fatigue, or stress.

Vayu Mudra

With this hand pose, you fold your index finger in tight and place the pad of the thumb between the two bones of the index, which are called the phalanx bones. The rest of the fingers are outstretched as with Gyana. This mudra balances the air element in your body and is to be used only when needed; as to practice this mudra daily might cause you to become unbalanced. Its purpose is to release air from your stomach and reduce any chest discomfort.

Agni Mudra (Mudra of Fire)

With this mudra, you will fold your ring finger in tight, like the previous pose, and will place the pad of your thumb between the two phalanx bones, keeping the remaining fingers outstretched. This mudra is best practiced daily, for a minimum of 15 minutes, on an empty stomach, in the early hours of the morning. However, if you suffer from acidity or indigestion, you should avoid this pose as it may cause heartburn. Many love this pose as it helps with digestion, weight control, increased metabolism, and lowers stress levels.

Prithvi Mudra (Mudra of Earth)

Place the tips of the ring fingers onto the tips of your thumbs, the remaining fingers are kept out. Although it is best to practice this hand pose in the early part of the day, all times are acceptable. Sit in Lotus Pose and place your positioned hands on your knees comfortably any time when you feel like you are stressed or fatigued, as this pose helps you increase your blood circulation throughout the body. Its other recognized benefits are glowing skin, and weight increase for those who are under-nourished.

Varun Mudra (Mudra of Water)

A simple pose with great outer beauty benefits; place the tip of your little finger (not at the nail, otherwise you might dehydrate yourself instead) on the tip of your thumb and extend the other fingers. This pose excels in a seated position and can be practiced at all times of the day with no limit. It balances the content of water within our bodies, and can increase the skin’s radiance and glow, as well as take away any dryness you may be experiencing.

Shunya Mudra (Mudra of Emptiness)

Complete this mudra by placing the pad of your thumb on the first phalanx bone of the middle finger, stretching the rest of your fingers out. Practice this hand pose for 5-10 minutes and you may help ease pain from an earache; only use this pose to fix a malady and not for daily benefits.

Surya Mudra (Mudra of the Sun)

Apply the previous finger positions, but with the ring finger instead of the middle. This hand pose is recognized to help with weight-loss, anxiety, and improve your digestion. There is no limit to how much you can practice this gesture, nor any required pose.

Prana Mudra (Mudra of Life)

In Lotus Pose, place the tips of your ring and small fingers onto the tips of your thumbs. This hand pose activates the energy within your body and can be performed at all times of the day. If your eyes are feeling tired, this is a good mudra to practice; it also helps improve your immune system.

When applied correctly, and within the above guidelines, mudras can help with many ailments that can restrict the joy of living.


Prenatal Yoga

Prenatal Yoga

Prenatal yoga can be a wonderful addition to prenatal care. It can be done throughout the entire pregnancy with small variations added to accommodate the growing belly and baby. These are some of the most beneficial poses to incorporate into daily yoga routines for the first, second, and third trimester to keep that beautiful body stretched and energized.

First-trimester yoga is similar to the before-pregnancy yoga. Most poses can still be safely done but some are more beneficial to do than others.

Downward facing dog is one of those beneficial poses.

  1. To get into downward facing dog, begin on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
  2. Next, spread your fingers wide and press firmly into your hands and feet.
  3. Exhale as you lift your knees off the ground and reach your pelvis up towards the ceiling.
  4. Gently straighten out your legs.
  5. Your body should be in a sort of “A” shape.
  6. Continue to stretch the spine up during inhales and press the ground away during exhales.

Downward facing dog increases blood flow and brings energy to the body, which are two things that are so important during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Second-trimester yoga is not as strenuous as the first trimester. More stretching is involved to accommodate the growing belly.

Triangle pose is amazing to incorporate into a second-trimester flow because it stretches the inner groin, back, and shoulders.

  1. To get into triangle pose, begin by standing at the top of your mat with your feet hip-distance apart.
  2. Next, step one foot back and align the front heel with the back arch.
  3. Raise your arms to shoulder-height so that they are parallel to the floor, then turn the palm of your front hand up and reach towards the leading foot.
  4. Shift your hips back as you lean forward, but make sure that the chest does not drop forward.
  5. The leading hand should come to rest on the outside of the leading foot either on the mat or on a block for extra support.
  6. The other hand should then reach up towards the sky, lining up in a straight line with the hand on the mat.
  7. The body should represent a triangle.
  8. The top hand can also be placed under the stomach during this pose to help rotate the belly.

This pose is great for stretching out tight backs and the inner groin.

Third-trimester yoga is almost exclusively stretching. During this trimester, the body has gained a substantial amount of weight. This causes some aches and pains that were not present during the first trimester. One area of the body that takes a lot of pressure is the hips.

Pigeon pose is beautiful for releasing hip tension.

  1. To get into pigeon pose, begin with feet hip-distance at the front of the mat.
  2. A bolster and a blanket are very helpful in getting into this position comfortably.
  3. Place the bolster long ways at the top of the mat and the blanket folded long ways a foot behind the bolster.
  4. Stand in between the bolster and the blanket. Next, place your hands on your bolster and step one of your feet back.
  5. Place both hands on the inside of the foot that is at the front of the mat and scoot that foot all the way to the outside hand.
  6. Slowly place the hands back on the bolster and bring the knee down so that the front leg is perpendicular to the back leg.
  7. The arms can remain extended on the bolster or you can come to your elbows or even lay your cheek down on the bolster for a more intense stretch.

This pose stretches out those tight hips wonderfully and it does not only help the body feel better but also get the hips ready for labor.

These are just a few amazing poses that can be incorporated into prenatal care. They keep the body strong and stretched and they do not only relieve pressure from the body but from the mind as well.

Save vs. Splurge: Yoga Gear

Save vs. Splurge: Yoga Gear

Save vs. Splurge: Yoga Gear

Yoga gear comes in all price ranges, but it can be very expensive. There are many great affordable options for yoga equipment, so there are areas that you do not need to spend a lot to get good quality. We also know that there are areas that you need to spend more.

Yoga Mats – Save or Splurge

The cost of a yoga mat varies greatly. However, you should not be spending a significant amount on a yoga mat. A $10 mat will allow you to do most types of yoga. If you are doing power or hot yoga, you may want to spend just a bit more to get a mat with more grip and support. The lifetime on the mat will depend on what the mat is made from and its thickness.

Sports Bra – Splurge

A general rule is that you should be willing to splurge on a good bra, which includes a sports bra. A supportive sports bra can prevent sagging. Many times, cheap sports bras become uncomfortable and lose their elasticity quickly.

Tights and Leggings – Splurge

Tight fitting clothing is worth the cost. Cheap tights and leggings can be uncomfortable and may need to be adjusted regularly. There is also the risk that the fabric will be sheer or the seams will rip. Nicer leggings hold onto their elasticity and will fit better. Some also will reduce chaffing, and removes sweat.

Tops – Save

Unless you are buying a top with a built-in bra, you should buy cheaper options and use your savings to help buy a new sports bra. A good fitting tank top or t-shirt from Target or Wal-Mart will work the same as a more expensive shirt. If you want a brand name top, you can save money by buying them second hand.

Bag – Save

A workout bag does not need to be expensive because it is just there to carry your items to and from the studio or gym. Most of the time, these bags will end up with a smell and need to be trashed after a year or two. Washing can help extend the bag’s lifespan, and should be done at least once a month. The best option is to watch for clearance sales because you may find a great yoga bag without needing to spend a huge amount of money.

Activity Trackers –Save

Activity Trackers have taken off in the last few years. These electronic devices can help you monitor your activity and recovery time. There are many models available today, but you should look at the features that you are really going to use before buying one. Most people do not use all the features of the super expensive trackers. So, you may be better off using the apps on your phone because most of them are free.

Yoga gear does not need to be expensive, but buying the cheapest option may not always be the best option. Some cheap yoga items will wear out quickly and will cost you more in the long run. You can find high-quality yoga pants at a good price if you are looking in the right places.