A busy and sedentary lifestyle combined with unhealthy food choices has made us vulnerable to a number of heart diseases. In addition to imbibing a healthy lifestyle, mudras can help in improving your health. One such mudra that directly improves heart health is the Apana Vayu Mudra.
Apana Vayu mudra is a well-known mudra that is associated with reducing symptoms of heart attack and other heart-related diseases.
In this article, we will see the benefits of Apana Vayu mudra and how to perform it for the betterment of your heart health.
What is Apana Vayu Mudra?
Apana Vayu mudra is a therapeutic yoga hand mudra that is mostly concerned with healing heart-related diseases. It works to prevent heart attacks and reduces heart heaviness.
- Apana Mudra – It’s formed by joining the tips of the thumb, middle, and ring finger. This mudra increases the fire and earth element which improves oxygen circulation to the arteries and improves the heart energy.
- Vayu Mudra – It’s formed by placing the tip of the index finger at the base of the thumb. The index finger represents the air element and through this gesture, you are essentially reducing pain and inducing relaxation.
Apana Vayu mudra is formed by joining the tip of the middle and ring finger to the thumb tip and then bending the index finger to the base of the thumb. This mudra increases the earth and space element which are good for the growth and structure of the body. It also reduces the excess of air. It is also called Mrit-Sanjeevni Mudra means one that brings along life from death.
If you are experiencing pain and sense an oncoming heart attack, immediately bring your hands to Apana Vayu mudra. The Vayu mudra part of this mudra will immediately unblock the artery and supply it with oxygen and the Apana mudra portion will remove these toxins in the form of clogs and blockages to improve blood circulation.
This process can delay the onset of a heart attack and the patient will have enough time to be transported to a hospital.
It can be practiced anytime for 10-15 minutes. You can perform this mudra during meditation thrice a day or for 30-45 minutes at a stretch.
How to Perform Apana Vayu Mudra?
Apana Vayu mudra can be practiced in any comfortable posture, however, in yoga, it’s advised to perform it with a seated meditative posture.
It is always preferable that you perform this mudra at Brahma Muhurata which is typically between 4-6 am. During this time, you will find the perfect environment to meditate along with fresh oxygen.
Follow these simple steps to perform Apana Vayu mudra in yoga;
- Firstly come in a seated meditation posture. For this you can sit in Easy Pose (Sukhasana), Lotus Pose (Padmasana), Hero Pose (Virasana), or Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana).
- Place your hands on the knees, palms facing up.
- On both hands, join the tips of the thumb, middle, and ring finger while bringing the tip of the index finger at the base of the thumb. Straight or slightly stretched the only remain finger i.e. little finger.
- Close your eyes and take deep breaths. Focus on your heart chakra. If you want, you can chant a beej mantra for enhancing your concentration.
- Throughout the meditation, your back should remain straight and your shoulder should be away from the ears to avoid slouching.
Hold Apana Vayu mudra for 15 minutes in one sitting. One can hold it for a longer duration if comfortable, or when doing it specifically for some heart conditions. To come out of the pose, firstly straight up the index finger and then release the contact of the middle and ring fingertips. Rub hands together quickly and cup warm hands over your eyes to feel the heat you have generated.
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Apana Vayu Mudra Benefits
Apana Vayu mudra can bring about a range of positive physical and mental changes. From countering the symptoms of heart attack, hypertension, diabetes and asthma to calming the mind and promoting good sleep, this mudra is truly a boon for a person.
You can practice Apana Vayu mudra for cleansing of the circulatory system which improves lung function. Also, this mudra is very helpful to relieve acidity, constipation, and gastric discomfort.
Here are some science-backed and anecdotal benefits. Let’s look at them more closely.
1. Improves physical and emotional heart health
Apana Vayu mudra is also called the Mrit-Sanjeevni Mudra as it directly impacts heart health. This mudra aids in the redirection of prana towards the heart, thereby managing any heart-related issues.
If you practice the mudra when you feel pain in the chest, which is one of the symptoms of heart attack, Apana Vayu mudra can give you the time frame to reach out for medical help. This has also been proven in a study published in 2017. By activating the parasympathetic nervous system it can help in normalizing the heart rate and blood pressure.
Apana Vayu mudra also helps remove any blockages in the blood veins, which keep blood pressure in control and prevents recurrence of heart attacks. If you have a weak pulse, which is sometimes the result of heart palpitations, practicing Apana Vayu mudra can normalize the pulse rate.
On the emotional plane, Apana Vayu mudra opens up the heart chakra which helps in releasing any heaviness or pent up feelings. It makes the practitioner ready to receive compassion, love and kindness from the outside world.
2. Provides relief from acidity, gas and digestive problems
Apana Vayu is one of the five vayus which facilitates the movement of downward flowing air. The overabundance of it causes stomach troubles. Apana Vayu mudra reduces this extra air, therefore, aiding in the indigestion problems such as ulcer, gastritis, or acid reflux.
3. Detoxify the body
Sweat and excretion of waste are two of the common ways through which the body detoxifies. By balancing the fire and space element, Apana Vayu mudra helps in promoting detoxification through these channels. Issue of constipation and urine retention also gets cured.
Other known benefits of Apana Vayu mudra include the following:
- Improves respiratory functions
- Helps manage anxiety and stress
- Improves liver and gall bladder functioning which may help in countering diabetes
- Activates parasympathetic nervous system to calm the mind quickly
- Helps treat insomnia symptoms and induce restful sleep
- Promotes mental well-being and reduce negative feelings such as anxiety, irritation, anger, etc.
- Balances three doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha
- Helps in managing bodily pains such as migraine, headaches, back pains, menstrual cramps, etc.
There are no side effects of Apana Vayu mudra, however, it’s advised to keep these things in mind;
- Since apana vayu mudra increases the earth element, people with excess Kapha Dosha or with a Kapha constitution should perform it with caution.
- Once you feel that your problem has been eliminated, you should stop performing this mudra as it can interfere with the balance of the other elements.
- Do not put excessive pressure on the fingertips. The pressure should be just enough to feel a sensation of pressing on the skin.
The elements – fire, earth, space, and air are brought together in the Apana Vayu mudra, which is thought to have healing advantages. People who have previously suffered from heart problems should practice Apana Vayu mudra on a daily basis. Even if you don’t have any medical problems, Apan Vayu mudra can assist you to keep your heart healthy.