Vyana Vayu Mudra - Steps, Benefits & Complementary Practices
Vyana Vayu Mudra is a yoga hand gesture to improve the flow of Vyana Vayu - the circulating current of the breath. Performing the gesture improves blood circulation and the biological functions related to the organs and glands in the chest region.
Vyana Vayu is one of the five parts of prana - the vital breath. Our breath is divided into five sub currents called Pancha Prana (five types of prana). These currents are categorized as Prana, Udana, Vyana, Samana, and Apana Vayu.
Each current of the breath is associated with a particular region of the body. They play a crucial role in regulating the biological functions of the organs and glands in that region. This theory of the five prana winds is an important aspect of traditional medicine in the Indian sub-continent.
In this post, we explain how to use Vyana Mudra and explore yoga poses, breathing techniques, and other ways to balance Vyana.
Definition: Vyana Mudra
Vyana Vayu Mudra is a yogic hand gesture that involves touching the tips of the index and middle fingers to the tip of the thumb. It is used to improve blood circulation and strengthen the biological functions of Vyana Vayu. Vyana Mudra has a therapeutic effect on fatigue, blood pressure problems, and heart health. The mudra enhances confidence and energy distribution.
Vyana Vayu is located at the heart and has a natural outward motion. It is associated with the water element and Svadisthana (Sacral) Chakra. Vyana binds everything together and plays an important role in proprioception (awareness of the body).
Simplistically, blood circulation is the main biological function of Vyana.
Vyana assimilates nutrition (in conjunction with Samana Vayu). Then it divides the nutrients and transports them to every corner of the body. However, Vyana circulates everything. This includes emotions, nerve impulses, sensations, oxygen, and other intangible elements.
How to form the Vyana Mudra?
To form the Vyana Vayu Mudra, get into any comfortable seated posture on a mat or a chair. The yoga pose Sukhasana (Easy Pose) is ideal if you can sit cross-legged.
Take a few deep breaths to relax the mind and body.
Bring the tips of your middle and index fingers to touch the tip of the thumb as if you are pinching something. Don't exert too much pressure. The fingers should touch lightly.
Keep the ring and little finger as straight as possible without straining the muscles.
This yogic hand gesture is called the Vyana Mudra or Vyana Vayu Mudra.
Form the Vyana mudra on both hands. Place them on your thighs facing the ceiling.
Focus your mind on the breath as you use this mudra.
There may be additional benefits if you increase the duration of inhalation.
You can concentrate on the Sacral (Svadhishthana chakra) or the tip of your nose if you are meditating.
When you are done with your practice, release the fingers with a deep exhalation to empty the lungs.
Duration: Generally, hand mudras are held for 15 to 30 minutes. They can be split over three sessions of 15 minutes per day. It is important to practice this every day for a week to notice any significant benefits.
Yogic hand gestures are not a replacement for medical treatment. If you use them as a healing modality, use the proper guidelines for yoga mudras.
Vyana Mudra Benefits
In this mudra, we gently press the tip of the index (Air element) and middle finger (ether/space element) against the tip of the thumb (fire element). This configuration of the fingers is used to balance air, ether, and fire elements, which in turn balances Vyana. Some of the key benefits of Vyana mudra include:
Vyana Mudra improves prana-flow and blood circulation.
It reduces sluggishness and dullness of the mind and body.
It can lead to a mild reduction in sweating, thirst, and hunger.
It also improves mood and reduces drowsiness.
Vyana Mudra pacifies vata dosha (as per Ayurveda).
It speeds up recovery from fatigue and debility after an illness.
It is good for heart health and blood pressure.
Vyana Vayu Mudra can regulate body temperature and improve tolerance to heat.
There are no dangerous downsides to yogic gestures because they are simple arrangements of the fingers. People with anxiety, hypertension, or high blood pressure are advised to avoid this hand gesture as it enhances blood circulation. That said, we do not advise using this or any other mudra as a substitute for ongoing medical treatment.
As ever, it is in your best interest to consult with a certified Ayurvedic practitioner if you wish to use this hand gesture as a healing modality. Furthermore, therapeutic mudras are beneficial when combined with a holistic diet, healthy lifestyle, daily exercise, and sufficient sleep/rest.
Hatha Yoga Pradipika lists Vyana as one of the ten sub-energies of prana. It is associated with the mental functions of creative thinking, being proactive, and living life with enthusiasm. Imbalanced Vyana can lead to feeling moody, lazy, and procrastinating important activities.
Such qualities can be detrimental to your yoga practice. Besides Vyana mudra, you can strengthen and balance Vyana with any yoga flow to improve blood circulation. For instance, you can do a few rounds of moderate-paced Sun Salutations every morning. Other commonly used yoga poses are -
Chair Pose - Utkatasana
Pigeon pose - Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
Triangle Pose - Trikonasana
Downward Dog - Adho Mukha Svanasana
Forward folds & seated twists
You can follow up your Vyana mudra session with Anulom-Vilom Pranayama (alternate nostril breathing), Nadi Shodhana, and chanting the one-syllable mantra ‘vam’ out loud. VAM is the bija (seed) mantra for the Sacral Chakra.
Stay the Course: Related Articles
A special thanks to Dr. Alok Sharma (BAMS) for providing an Ayurvedic perspective on the healing modalities of hand mudras.
Recommended Reading (Links):
Mudras of India - Cain Caroll on Amazon
Yoga in Your Hands - Gertrud Hirschi on Amazon