Yoga asanas and breathing techniques are not the only means to get involved in yoga. Yoga has also some different approaches to keep us healthy and uplifting. Akash mudra is one of those approaches.
According to Ayurveda, our body has an inbuilt energy circuit. This circuit has pressure points spread across the palms and fingers. However, on performing certain mudras or gestures, these points can be stimulated.
Akash Mudra: The Gesture of Space
Akash mudra is a symbolistic yogic gesture of fingers performed while meditation. The middle finger is the seat for the space element and thumb is the seat for the fire element. However, when these two come in contact with each other, eradicate the problems like migraine, loss in hearing, etc. These ailments are associated with the space elements of the body.
Therefore, Akash mudra enhances the space element or cosmos in the body. It doesn’t only cure physical ailments, this mudra also cultivates the peace of mind. Balances the mind and body to improve the spiritual aspect of the practitioner.
What ‘Akash’ Means in Akash Mudra?
Akash, this Sanskrit term means ‘view or recognizes‘ and mudra means ‘gesture or seal’. It is also known as the Shuni mudra, which means the gesture of patience.
Akash represents the space or ether element, which surrounds all of us. An increase in the space elements in the body makes the person broad-minded and promote openness. However, it helps in transforming the negative thoughts, anger, selfishness into positive thoughts, love or compassion, and selfless behaviour.
In the human body, the Atma (soul) represents the space. It is believed that practising Akash mudra generates blue energy, which activates the vishuddha chakra (Throat chakra). Therefore, it unites the individual consciousness to the universal consciousness or inner space with the universal space.
How to Do the Akash Mudra
The fingers placement in Akash mudra involves a middle finger and thumb. Perform this mudra, First of all, fold the middle finger of both hands. Now, touch your middle fingers against the thumb of the respective hand. After that, extend the rest of the fingers and maintain the gesture.
To practice this mudra in a class, follow the following steps.
Before you jump to fold the fingers, you need to acquire an appropriate sitting posture, as described below:
- First of all, sit into any comfortable posture (Vajrasana, Sukhasana, Padmasana, etc). This will provide the firmness to the body for the attentive meditation practice.
- By straightening of the head, neck and back in a straight line, proceed for deep breathing, This increases your awareness required for the practice.
If having any discomfort regarding the sitting posture for this mudra, then you can change the posture as per your comfort.
So, this is the sitting position that you have to maintain throughout the yoga class. Now, let us look forward to the gesture of hands or finger during the Akash mudra
- Firstly, place your back of the palms on both knees. Gradually, fold the middle finger and touch it firmly against the thumb.
- Now, by maintaining the contact of the middle & thumb finger, extend the rest of your fingers as much as possible.
Time and Duration
Specifically, there is no particular time to perform Akash mudra. However, you can practice this mudra at anywhere and at any time.
You can practice 30 to 45 minutes on a daily basis. Also, you can divide the 45 minutes period into three sections, which can be practiced in the morning, evening and at night.
Akash mudra beneficial for our body in many ways. However, if practiced appropriately. The following are some of the precautions that one must keep in mind before initiating this mudra.
- People suffering from the Vata (wind) imbalance should practice it with patience.
- Do not put pressure while placing fingers on each other. This will give discomfort in maintaining the posture.
- Avoid electronic gadgets, tight clothes, and a closed room. Otherwise, these things become a barrier to your practice.
- Stressing over on becoming an expert in one go should be avoided. It will simply exhaust you. Slow & steady wins the race.
Benefits of Akash Mudra
Our fingers and their surfaces act as a lock and key models, which open up the treasure of health in some part of the body on accurate placement.
Akash mudra has various health benefits. Let us have a look at some of them:
1. Relive the Condition of Migraine
Lack of space element in our body results in the condition of migraine.
According to a study[efn_note] Scientific Evaluation Of Effect Of Yogic Practices Over Ardhavabhedaka (Migraine) https://www.researchgate.net/ [/efn_note]
, yoga practices like mediation with Akash mudra positively affects the Agya chakra(hypothalamic-cerebral system of the brain). This further improves the life quality of patients by improving the symptoms. Ultimately, relieve the migraine problem.
2. Reduces Sinusitis Pain
The condition of sinusitis and pain associated with it is quite common these days. It is a major problem among one in eight people around the world.
Acupressure pressure points[efn_note] Method and device for treating sinus pain at acupressure points https://www.researchsquare.com/article/rs-17297/v1 [/efn_note]
concerned with the sinus are found in the middle finger of the hand. On gentle touching of these points in Akash mudra, provide immense relief from the sinusitis pain.
3. Improve Hearing Loss
Exposure to the loud sounds and aging process decreases the ability of nerve cells in the cochlea[efn_note] Physiology, Cochlear Function https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK531483/ [/efn_note]
that send sound signals to the brain. This results in, inefficient transmittance of the electrical signals or hearing loss.
However, Akash mudra induces the centers of concerned nerve cells in the nervous system. Therefore, improves the functioning and ultimately affects the hearing ability of an individual.
4. Activates Throat Chakra
Problems like jaw pain, shoulder pain, malfunctioned thyroid, neck pain or issues with hearing surround us, in an imbalanced throat chakra.
Practising of Akash mudra directs the flow of prana in nadis to the throat chakra. On the regular practice of this mudra activates the respective chakra, which after balancing eradicates the concerned problems.
5. Overcome Calcium Deficiency
Lack of calcium concentration in blood could invite problems like tooth decay, brittle bones, hypocalcemia, osteoporosis, involuntary shivering, etc.
Our middle finger has points associated with the parathyroid glands, which secretes the PTH (hormone).
Practising Akash mudra stimulates the other side of those pressure points. Further, the interaction of calcium, vitamin D and PTH regulates the blood calcium level. Therefore, overcome calcium deficiency.
Thank you for your great work.
Please how can I tell the difference between akash imbalances. Whether it is high or low?
Actually knowing the symptoms of each of the five elements is what we need to know (and what we learn) in order to work with mudras. When Akash tattva is in excess one may feel detachment from the present situation, emptiness in the body; symptoms include; dry cough, bloating, ear problems, muscular spasms, etc. Low Akash tattva means less space and more structure; which results in weight-gain, tightness, heart problems, varicose veins and stubborn nature. For more information; read this article on Space Element.
Some Authors suggest to practise Akash and Shunya Mudra, one in Morning and the other in the Evening, for Tinnitus. Is it correct?
The leading cause of Tinnitus, according to Ayurveda, is the imbalance of Vata dosha. It implies the imbalance of air (Index finger) and space (middle finger) elements. Shunya mudra and Akash mudra both help balance aggravated Vata dosha by decreasing and increasing the space element. So yes, they can be practised two times separately; one in the morning and one in the evening.
Do you know if Akash Mudra is beneficial to overcome some heart ailments, like irregular heartbeat?
I’ve read somewhere that this Mudra mustn’t be practiced while walking… It’s that so?
Yes, akash mudra is beneficial to regulate the heartbeat since it creates space within the chest for the uninterrupted flow of air.
I think there is no such particular rule that it shouldn’t be practised while walking. However, if you’re doing it for meditative purpose, for sure you don’t want to do it while walking. Otherwise, if you’re comfortable in general, then it’s okay.
CAN I DO BOTH AKASH MUDRA AND SHUNYA MUDRA TO IMPROVE HEARING POWER( I AM HAVING HEARING LOSS. CAN I DO THESE MUDRAS IN LYING POSITION BEFORE SLEEPING.
Yes, you can do Akash and Shunya mudra (remove numbness) to improve hearing power. However, it’s best suited to do it in a seated cross-legged posture but if you can’t, mudras can be done in the lying position for therapeutic use.