Simply translated as Earth gesture, Prithvi mudra is one of those common yoga mudras that is used to invoke earth element in the body.
Among five gross elements (Panch Maha Bhutas – earth, water, fire, air, and ether) of which our whole body is made up, the earth element is the most dominant and dense.
Hence, to balance the earth element, we need practices that are intense in nature and promotes grounding.
This article explains Prithvi mudra benefits and steps to perform it in a way that you can incorporate it in your daily yoga practice.
What is Prithvi Mudra
Sanskrit word “Mudra” means “gesture” and “Prithvi” literally means “vast one”, here representing the Earth.
In yogic practices, mudras refer to particular hand positions, often involving gentle pressure between the fingertips. This gesture is held in place for a length of time, from a few seconds to the duration of a long-form meditation.
Prithvi mudra is a hand yoga gesture that is performed by lightly pressing the tip of the ring finger against the thumb tip while keeping the rest three fingers straight. It’s also called Earth Mudra or gesture of earth.
Because Prithvi mudra mainly focuses on balancing the earth element, it’s good to adopt this hand gesture in grounding meditation. Physically, the earth element is responsible for building basic body structure, therefore doing Prithvi mudra helps in weight gain, strengthen hair, and muscles.
Though the earth element has many characteristics that make us grounded and remain healthy in life, it gets out of balance by our routine activities. Therefore, it is very important to maintain its balance by Prithvi mudra practice. It helps us gain confidence, physical and mental stamina, and a sense of being firmly grounded.
How does Prithvi mudra work on body
As stated earlier, the five fingertips in our hand are said to contain five gross elements. On holding fingertips in different yoga mudras, we tend to increase, decrease or balance the proportion of these elements in our body.
In Prithvi mudra, we press the ring fingertip (associated with the earth element) against the thumb tip (associated with the fire element). When the earth element comes in contact with the fire element, this gesture of fingers fires up the augmentation of the earth element.
It means any deficiency of earth element in the body, on doing Prithvi mudra, get restored. This mudra basically fires up the body’s mechanism related to the growth and development of tissues, muscles, bones, teeth, and fats.
According to Kundalini yoga, the earth element is governed by root chakra, the first of the 7 major chakras. Since it’s associated with stability, solidity, and strength, doing Prithvi mudra balances root chakra, helps you feel grounded and able to withstand challenges. It helps eliminate anxiety, depression, rage, low self-esteem, resentment, and even suicidal thoughts.
Since this mudra increases the earth element proportion in the body, it’s also called “Prithvi Vardhak Mudra”, where “vardhak” means increasing. This property of increasing earth element makes this mudra good for improving body strength and self-confidence, as well as making the body and mind more stable and concentrated.
Also, in which proportion the earth element gets increases by this mudra, in that same proportion fire element gets reduced. To overall balance the five elements, the fire element automatically goes down in proportion to the earth element. Therefore, Prithvi mudra is also called “Agni Shamak Mudra”, where “shamak” means extinguisher.
How to Practice Prithvi Mudra
Before getting started with prithvi mudra, rub your hands together fastly and feel that warm senstation on your palm. It will activate the nerve endings on your hand.
- Sit in cross-legged posture; preferably Padmasana or sukhasana. One can sit on chair or do it in standing postion (keeping back straight) as well if having joint pain in sitting cross-legged posture.
- Place the hands on the respective kneecaps and take 4 deep breaths. Inhale deep-exhale deep. Bring your focus on breathing.
- Open your both hands facing up resting on respective kneecap.
- Now curl the ring finger of your hand towards the thumb. Touch the ring fingertip to thumb tip.
- Keep the other three fingers slightly extended straight.
- Hold this hand gesture for 15 minutes in one sitting. Take a break then and hold it again.
Generally, 30 to 45 minutes is considered the ideal duration to hold yoga mudras. You can do Prithvi mudra 3 times a day; in each sitting try to hold it for 15 minutes duration. Brahma Muhurat is considered most ideal to do mudra meditation. Take a break whenever you feel tired of holding.
While performing Prithvi yoga mudra, you should keep these points in mind.
- Don’t force your index, middle and little finger to extend straight, just stretch them gently. Overstretching them will make you tired in less time.
- Don’t press the tips of thumb and ring finger strongly on each other, else it will be hard to concentrate.
- Try to cover maximum area of both fingertips when touching each other.
- Keep the arms and the hands relaxed in order to allow the proper flow of energy through them while doing Prithvi mudra.
Benefits of Prithivi Mudra
- Build muscle and bone strength – Prithivi mudra increase earth element of body which helps build stronger bones and strengthen muscles.
- Help reducing hair fall – Prithvi mudra is best mudra for hair growth. Since hair roots and whole scalp itself is product of earth element, practicing prithvi mudra stregthen hair and reduce hair fall.
- Improve sense of smell – Prthivi mudra can improves sense of smell and hence beneficial in smell disorders and nasal cavities related issues.
- Assist in weight gain – Prithvi mudra help one gain weight because with increased earth element overall mass of the body tissue (muscles, flesh, bones) get increased.
- Build self-confidence – Since prithvi mudra balances root chakra, in turn, it builds confidence, physical and mental stamina.
- Maintain healthy digestion – Prithvi mudra helps reduce cholesterol and maintain healthy digestion
- Good for skin – Increase of earth element from prithivi mudra makes skin-tight, smooth, and glowing.
- Alleviate physical weakness – Regular practice of Prithvi Mudra benefit by removing weakness, lack of stamina and energy or fatigue
- Reduce symptoms of thyroid – By maintaining optimum body weight, prithvi mudra shows positive results in thyroid-related problems. Earth mudra should be incorporated with Ujjayi breathing for overactive thyroid.
- Improve mental stability – Since Prithvi Mudra enhances the sense of security by balancing root chakra, it provides mental stability and eliminates negative thoughts.
Who should avoid doing prithvi mudra
However there aren’t any side effects of Prithvi mudra, kapha dominant person shouldn’t be practised it. In imbalanced Kapha dosha, the earth element is already present in excess. Practising this mudra in such a case can further increase body weight and mucus.
In the case of Asthma or any other breathing issues, Prithvi mudra should be performed in moderation under the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher. The excess of Prithvi mudra leads to mucus accumulation and disturb Kapha dosha.
Prithvi mudra is also not recommended for women in pregnancy. As, in this stage, the body becomes much sensitive, so even a slight excess of any element could cause a problem. So, during pregnancy women should not perform this mudra.
Prithvi mudra, also known as earth mudra, is a hand gesture that works on increasing earth and decreasing fire element. This mudra is good to reduce hair fall and gain some bodyweight.
It’s best practiced in meditative pose and cures root chakra imbalanced symptoms. Practice this mudra for 30 to 45 minutes. It can be done in one sitting of 45 minutes or in a gap of 3 sittings, 15 minutes per sitting.