Our body comprises 5 elements (air, water, earth, ether/space, and fire), collectively called as Panch-tatva. These elements are present in a limited manner inside us.
But, do you know, there is an element that does not has any limit? That is the space element which is the most dominant among all 5 elements 1.
Its dominancy does not allow other elements to grow.
Now the question comes, how can we control the growth of this element?
The growth of space element can be controlled by performing a mudra i.e. The Shunya Mudra.
Shunya Mudra – Hand Gesture of Emptiness
Shunya mudra, also known as Akash Shamak Mudra, as it decreases (Shamak) space (Akash) element in our body. It is a curative mudra mainly balances the excess of space element in our body.
In Sanskrit, ‘Shunya’ means ’empty’, ‘Zero’ or ‘Void’ and ‘Mudra’ means ‘Seal’ or‘Gesture’. Thus, Shunya mudra is known as The Gesture Of Emptiness.
Why We Call It Shunya Mudra
The word Shunya indicates space (openness). This mudra controls the space element in our body, therefore, it is known as Shunya mudra.
Shunya mudra includes the practice of middle finger which refers to ‘sky‘ or ‘heaven’ therefore it is also called Heaven Mudra.
How to Do Shunya Mudra
Shunya mudra is all about the space element, therefore it includes the movement of the middle finger (associated with the energy of space element) and the thumb (contains the energy of fire element).
To perform this mudra, you need to follow the following steps.
Steps to Perform Shunya Mudra
- Sit comfortably in a meditative asana such as Padmasana (lotus position), Vajrasana (thunderbolt pose), Shukhasana (easy pose).
- Close your eyes and take deep breaths to generate awareness within. You can also perform Shunya mudra with open eyes.
It all depends on your preferences. But doing this mudra with closed eyes helps in better self-consciousness.
Best Finger Arrangement in Shunya Mudra
- Fold the middle finger of both hands and touch them to the base (ball) of the thumb.
- Now, gently press the second phalanx (middle part of a finger) of the middle finger with the thumb.
- Leave other three fingers extended.
- Now, in the same arrangement of hands, place both hands on your knees.
Best Time & Duration to Perform Shunya Mudra
In the morning time, our mind is in the freshest state, regardless of all tensions and stress. Along with this, this time of the day has the least disturbance and noise.
That’s why, for the best results, practise Shunya mudra in the morning time.
Since the Aakash-shamak mudra can be performed with a full belly, hence, you can perform it at any hour of the day.
Practice it 20-30 minutes a day or do it 15-15 minutes thrice. When you get the expected results, decrease practise duration of this mudra.
Precautions to Take While Performing Shunya Mudra
Precautions are always better than a cure. In order to prevent physical or health problems, you need to take some precautions while performing the Shunya mudra.
- Do not press the thumb hard, you will end up hurting yourself.
- If you are feeling very weak, you should not perform Shunya mudra.
- Discontinue this mudra after getting cured from a specific ailment as excessive practice of it can decrease the space element of the body.
How Does Shunya Mudra Work
In Surya Mudra, the middle finger (the energy on space) comes in contact with the thumb (the energy of fire). It stimulates the flow of energy throughout the body.
The contact of fire and space element reduces the space element in the body. This helps to treat the imbalance of this element and treats all related problems
Benefits of Shunya Mudra
Shunya or Aakash shamak mudra is beneficial for spiritual achievements, as well as to cure many physical problems. Here is a list of benefits of this mudra.
Physical Health Benefits
- Relief from a Range of Ear-Related Problems
Listening to loud music & sound pollution decrease our hearing power. Since the space element is mainly responsible for hearing loss, therefore the Shunya mudra is mainly performed to increase hearing power.
Moreover, Shunya mudra helps in the treatment of other ear-related problems such as earache, tinnitus (ringing or buzzing noise in ears), deafness.
- Prevents Motion sickness
This mudra prevents issues like motion sickness & vertigo 2. In motion sickness, our mind cannot distinguish sensory signals over brain signals & this results in dizziness, lightheadedness, or nausea in the body.
Motion sickness & vertigo is mainly caused by inflammation in the inner ear.
By the practice of Shunya mudra, nerves of the ear are directly stimulated. Thus, in such problems, performing Shunya mudra is a very helpful exercise.
- Cures Numbness
Numbness is the situation when you loss partial or complete sense of sensation in certain parts of your body. It happens because of the excessive presence of space element in the blood.
As Shunya mudra decreases the space element within the body, this mudra is very helpful in curing Numbness or Tingling in any part of the body.
- Reduces Thyroid Diseases
Shunya mudra decreases the space element in the body. This decrease in space element helps to form the hormonal balance inside our body which helps to cure abnormal behavior of the Thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).
- Prevents Heart Disease
The acupressure point of Atrium (through which blood enters the heart) is near to the base of the thumb. A gentle touch of the middle finger during this mudra creates acupressure on this point.
The acupressure helps in a better performance of Atrium which shows relief from a wide range of heart diseases such as Atrial fibrillation (strokes), ASD (Atrial Septal Defect) & Blood pressure disorders 3.
- Makes Able to Hear Anahata Sounds
Anahata is basically the mystic sounds heard by the Yogi at the beginning of his cycle of meditation. By regular practice of Shunya mudra, you’ll be able to hear Anahata Sounds (or the melody) during your meditation session.
- Helps Stimulate the Heart chakra
The base of our thumb has some acupressure points, which helps to clear the way of energy flow to our heart. When the middle finger touches the base of the thumb, this energy flow is redirected to the heart chakra in a better way through nadis.
Thus Shunya mudra helps to stimulate the heart chakra.
Shunya Mudra In Ayurvedic Doshas
Among all three doshas (Pitta, Vatta & Kapha), the space element is only present in Vata Dosha. In the dominant Vata dosha people, the space element in the body gets increased. Shunya mudra helps to balance the space element in the body.
Along with this, the rise of space element does not let any other element (air, water, earth& fire) within the body to increase. This leads to bi-dosha & tri-dosha Prakriti.
Shunya mudra decreases the space element and allows other elements to enter within the body. Thus it helps to cure bi-dosha & tri-dosha Prakriti.
Thus Shunya mudra is helpful to cure Ayurvedic Doshas.
- Significance of Five Elements of Nature https://astrobix.com/astrosight/704-significance-of-five-elements-of-nature-five-elements-of-nature.html
- what is vertigo https://www.emedicinehealth.com/vertigo/article_em.htm#what_is_vertigo
- The Effect of Acupressure on Cardiac Rhythm and Heart Rate Among Patients With Atrial Fibrillation https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30982782
- Anahata sounds http://sivanandaonline.org/public_html/?cmd=displaysection§ion_id=1721