- Shunya Mudra
- For ear problems/tinnitus
- How to Do it
- Relation with elements and doshas
Do you ever feel sluggish or out of your senses? Are you experiencing excessive numbing or tingling in some parts of your body?
If you are struggling with thyroid problems, throat Issues, gum diseases, ear problems, or numbness of body parts, then according to yogic science, it may be because of aggravated space element in your body.
Shunya mudra is a healing hasta (hand) yoga mudra that is very helpful in curing problems that arise due to aggravated space (or ether) element in the body.
In this article, we will look into the benefits of shunya mudra, how to practice it and when it shouldn’t be done.
What is Shunya Mudra?
The Sanskrit word Shunya, which means “void,” “emptiness,” or “spaciousness,” is where the name Shunya mudra originates.
Shunya mudra is a tattva mudra (element’s mudra) made to lessen the space element (akasha) effect in the body and is called “Gesture of Emptiness”. Since this mudra focuses on limiting space element, which is expanded throughout the entire body from every cell to muscle, it is very helpful in the treatment of many health conditions.
Physically, shunya mudra can provide relief from most ear ailments, prevent heart diseases, improve the sense of balance, and other problems which are caused due to an imbalance in ether element. Some common health conditions in which shunya mudra is helpful are;
- Ear disorders such as hearing loss or tinnitus
- Throat problems, enlarged thyroid
- Motion sickness
- Numbness in different body parts
Shunya mudra is performed with the middle finger and thumb. To form shunya mudra, you need to curl your middle finger for its tip to touch the base of the thumb. The thumb is then placed over the bent finger giving a slight pressure. Keep the rest three fingers straight. Then place the back of the hand (with mudra) on the knees in any sitting posture.
Mudra for ear problems and tinnitus
For most ear-related problems, the space element or Akash tattva (which is represented by the middle finger) is responsible in our body. The Akash tattva is present throughout the entire body in the form empty space. Manifestation of Akash tatva in our body- Vacuums of throat, nostrils & ears, hair follicles, vacuums of veins and arteries, gaps in marrow etc.
Akash mudra and shunya mudra are two main mudras which influence the working of space element, therefore will be helpful in ear problems like Tinnitus, ear buzzing, hearing loss, etc.
One should first know what is the cause of their ear problems; is it the increased space element or lack of space element in the body? If ear problems are arising due to the increase of space element then do shunya mudra and if problems are arising due to lack of space element then do Akash mudra.
When there is an increase in space element; it feels like the pressure is acting on eardrums from inside or ears start oozing – it indicates your ear problems are because of excess Akash tatva in the body. In this case, if you’re having Tinnitus, ear buzzing, hearing loss, etc. problems, do shunya mudra.
One should stop doing shunya mudra for tinnitus if even after some days of practice the problem is consistent or ear ringing is ever increasing. It’s because might be your ear ringing is happening because of the lack of Akash tatva in the body and in the case of low Akash tatva, one should be doing Akash mudra, not shunya mudra.
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Benefits of Shunya Mudra
Shunya mudra aka Aakash shamak mudra is a therapeutic as well as a spiritual hand mudra. Here are some main benefits of this mudra.
- Relief from Ear-Related Problems. Since excess space element in the body is mainly responsible for hearing issues, Shunya mudra (which suppresses space element) can relieve ear-related problems such as earache, tinnitus (ringing or buzzing noise in the ears), and deafness.
- Prevents Motion sickness. Motion sickness is caused when our mind cannot distinguish sensory signals over brain signals. It is often caused due to inflammation in the inner ear and can result in dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, or vertigo. Practising shunya mudra directly affects and stimulates the nerves near inner ear, preventing balance disorders.
- Cures Numbness. Numbness is caused when you lose partial or complete sense of sensation in certain parts of your body. It happens when there is excessive presence of space element in our cells or veins. Shunya mudra will decrease this extra space element and give relief from numbness or tingling.
- Prevents Heart Disease. Placing the middle finger at the base of the thumb also acts as an acupressure point for Atrium – chamber through which blood enters the heart. Hence, shunya mudra may also relief from a wide range of heart diseases such as Atrial fibrillation (strokes), ASD (Atrial Septal Defect), blood pressure, and other heart disorders.
- Spiritual benefits – Makes Able to Hear Anahata Sounds. Anahata is the mystic sound and sounds of nature, often heard by yogis at the beginning of their meditation. You might be able to hear these sounds when you do shunya mudra with meditation. This also signifies that the Nadis or astral currents are getting pure.
- Helps activate the Heart chakra. The finger formation of shunya mudra promotes a smooth flow of prana towards the heart chakra. It opens up the heart centre.
How to perform Shunya Mudra
Since the shunya mudra can be performed with a full belly, hence, you can perform it at any hour of the day. Do it daily for 10-15 minutes 3 times a day keeping the problem, disease, or ailment you want to cure in mind. However, as soon as you get relief from the problem, decrease the intensity of practice as decreased space element can also lead to significant side effects in the body.
It’s advised to do shunya mudra with meditation for better results. Get a silent place in your home and sit for meditation there.
- Sit comfortably in a meditative asana such as Padmasana (lotus position), Vajrasana (thunderbolt pose), Shukhasana (easy pose). Keep your back straight and look forward to aligning your head with the spine.
- Close your eyes and take deep breaths to generate awareness within. Place your hands on your knees or mid-thigh with palms up.
- Fold the middle finger of both hands and touch them to the base of the thumb. Gently press the second phalanx (middle bone of a finger) of middle finger with the thumb.
- Leave the remaining fingers extended but relaxed.
- Stay in this mudra for 10-15 minutes.
- Once you are done, detach your fingers and place them on your knees or mid-thigh.
- Sit in silence for a couple of minutes to bask in the after-effects of the meditation.
Shunya mudra relationship with body elements and doshas
Each finger of our hand represents one of five elements or Panch Tatva of the human body.
- Thumb – Fire element
- Index finger – Air element
- Middle finger – Ether/space element
- RIng finger – Earth element
- Little finger – Water element
In shunya mudra, placing the thumb over the middle finger signifies reducing the space element in our body. This is the reason Shunya Mudra is also known as the Akash Shamak Mudra (akash means ether/space or sky and shamak means extinguisher or ‘one which reduces’).
By channelling the body’s fire element (Agni tattva), practising Shunya Mudra consistently helps to reduce the abnormalities in our bodies brought on by the sky elements.
Shunya can alternatively be interpreted as “heaven mudra” if it refers to the sky or heaven as the middle finger is also representative of heaven. Some ancient texts also mention that the practice of this mudra can aid the practitioner to access the heavenly realm or hear the sounds of heaven.
In the Ayurvedic context, Shunya mudra directly works on aggravated vata dosha as ether element is one of vata dosha constituents. This helps in correcting and improving the elimination system of our body, thus improving the detoxification process.
Moreover, the rise of space element does not let the other four elements (air, water, earth, fire) within the body increase (think of it as if all space within the body is occupied with Akash tattva). This leads to bi-dosha and tri-dosha Prakriti.
Shunya mudra decreases the space element and allows other elements to enter the body. Thus it helps to cure bi-dosha and tri-dosha Prakriti.
Thus Shunya mudra is helpful to cure Ayurvedic Doshas.
You may also like: Mudras for balancing Vata, Pitta and Kapha dosha
Shunya mudra is recommended to use only when you are going through some health conditions that can be cured with this mudra. It’s a short-term use mudra, once you achieve your desired result, its practice should be stopped.
For example, when you are doing shunya mudra for acute situations such as your tinnitus, once after ear ringing gets stopped, discontinue this mudra practice. While doing shunya mudra, do not press the thumb hard over the middle finger otherwise you will not be able to concentrate on mudra. If you are feeling very weak, you should not perform Shunya mudra.
Practising the shunya mudra can help you balance the space element, which is of great help to people with vata dosha. moreover, your sense of hearing will also improve while preventing the onset of various ear ailments and disorders. It is a great way to keep all your doshas in equilibrium as the 3 doshas arise out of space.
Thank you so much for reply sir
Sir, I have tinnitus sensorineural hearing loss in both ears left 33db right 41db by birth I am normal. also, I have vitamin b12 deficiency. Taking medicine for b12. Pelvic endometriosis underwent surgery on March 2022 after surgery taking birth control injection for endometriosis and also I have chest pain back pain left knee pain. Numbness tingling feet. Can I do shunya mudra for ears problem. Please reply
Chandrani, Shunya mudra, however, is good for hearing or general ear problems because it’s related to ether element but it’s not recommended if a person is going through body pain, especially when there is physical weakness in the body. In your case, I assume you should not do it now, until at least numbness doesn’t stop (considering numbness sign of physical weakness). Meanwhile, you can do Shanmukhi mudra for ear problems.
I have a hole in my eardrum. can I practice Shunya Mudra and heal the hole in the eardrum?
Shunya mudra should not be considered a treatment for eardrum holes or other physical conditions. It aids in hearing problems.
The elements are produced by the Space element. How does reducing the space element allow absorption of the other 4 elements?
HI Ashish How come two opposite mudras Akasha and Shunya mudras benefit the same issue .deafness. Are these mudras not contradictory ?
I read your article about Shunya Mudra. It is recommended for Tinnitus. My doubt is whether this mudra will affect the elimination process because for elimination we do Apana mudra where we touch the tip of the Thumb with the Middle finger. And in Shunya Mudra we bend the middle finger. Please guide.
Does this mudra works for noise induced hearing loss and for how long(how many days/weeks) one should perform it? Is there any other mudra to be performed for hearing loss?
Yes, shunya mudra can be done for any type of hearing loss. Based on the severity of your problem, it can be done 3 or 1 time a day, all days of the week. Preferably, do this mudra for 15 minutes in one sitting. Other than Shunya Mudra, you can do Shanmukhi Mudra with Bhramari Pranayama for hearing loss.
thank you for this! I have tinnitus, and will try this mudra, and tell you if it helps. I also appreciate you including these other questions and answers.
Thank you so much for the insightful post….. I am having a severe allergic cold and my ear keeps getting clogged. I am going to try this out. and will post the benefits. ?
Your article was very encouraging. I am suffering from tinnitus as well as partial hearing loss. I am practicing shoonya mudra but I observe it is increasing the ringing even more. Should I continue this or are there any other mudras? Please help.
Hello, if you feel the increase in ringing sound after practicing Shunya mudra, it could because of increased Vata constitution in your body. You should reduce the time of its practice. Other than shunya mudra, you can try Shanmukhi mudra and bhramari pranayama for this problem.
Thank you so much for the response. Can you please specify in which order I should practice these? Can I practice these mudra while taking medicines too? I am taking homeopathic medicines for the past 3 months, and also have started allopathic medicines since 2 days because the ringing is unbearable.
First practice Shunya mudra for 2 to 3 minutes, then you can practice shambhavi mudra and finally bhramari pranayama, both for 5 minutes duration.
Yes, you can practice it while taking your medicine, there isn’t any harm in it.
May i know which medicines you are taking? Any side effects
I don’t know the names of Homeopathic medicines. But Gabagesic NT 100, Demenzil 5 and Qlino cap are the allopathic medicines which I am taking for the past few days.
I have also tinitus and i practice anulom vilom pranyama. It has helped me a lot. There was a time , where it was unbearable. but slowly.i notice the sound is getting back again. may be it will help you.
Is it ok to do this if one has Vitamin b12 deficiency? Because it was mentioned to avoid doing this if one is weak.
yes, shunya mudra should be avoided if you having a deficiency of Vitamin b12 because it can create more weakness in the body. In the deficiency of Vitamin b12, you should take care of your immune system and for that, prana mudra is recommended.
Thanks for reply. But I am having both, b12 deficiency for which I have taken medicine and also tinnitus and BPPV (vertigo). What could be the best combination of mudras
Uday, for any kind of vitamin deficiency in the body you can practice Prana Mudra. Tinnitus may arise due to an excess of space element. However, Shunya mudra is the best to balance any imbalance in the Space element but as you have b12 deficiency, it can create some weakness. To overcome this weakness, do Gyan mudra along with this.
So the best sequence that can work for you is, first do Prana Mudra then Shunya Mudra and end the session with Gyan Mudra.
What it can reduce or get cure hyperthyroid?
Yes, Shunya mudra can cure hyperthyroid. Any hormone imbalance in the body including thyroid is managed by space element and Shunya mudra is all about balancing this element.
What should be the time gap between each Mudra. How many times does one perform Shunya Mudra for hearing loss. Please advice.
After doing a mudra, take a little gap of 2 minutes before doing another mudra. For better results, mudras are recommended for 45 minutes in one sitting. You can do it 3 times a day.
Should you do this if you have a high BP?
Yes, as described, Shunya mudra is helpful in maintaining high bp. So you can do it.
Jeg cannot sit in the position which is showen in shunya mudra .Is it alright If i sit on a chair to performance of this mudra.
Definitely, if a person isn’t comfortable on sitting posture, then shunya mudra can be performed on sitting a chair.