Yoga Mudrasana (Psychic Union Pose) - Steps, Benefits & Contraindications
By Vineet Kaul | Reviewed by Sonja Junková
Yoga Mudrasana (Psychic Union Pose) with step-by-step instructions.
Learn about the significance and purpose of this kaya mudra.
We also discuss the benefits, precautions, and two modifications.
Yoga Mudrasana or the Psychic Union Pose is a seated forward bending yoga pose. This deep bend is not an asana but a kaya mudra (yogic body gesture) done with specific points of awareness and breathing patterns. Kaya mudra is one of the five types of yoga mudras, namely –
Hasta mudra (hand gestures)
Mana mudra (head gestures)
Kaya Mudra (body gestures)
Adhara mudra (pelvic gestures),
Bandhas (body locks).
Yoga Mudrasana targets the entire body, especially the core, spine, and upper body. Of the five kaya mudras used in yoga, Pashinee and Yoga Mudrasana are the two most advanced body gestures. Approach them carefully and only after developing flexibility, says Sonja Lukovic, a Vinyasa yoga instructor.
Below, we discuss the steps and benefits of Yoga Mudrasana or the Psychic Union Pose.
What is Yoga Mudrasana
Yoga (योग) is Sanskrit for “union,” mudra (मुद्रा) translates to “seal” or “gesture,” and asana (आसन) means “posture.” When put together, Yoga Mudraasaana becomes the 'Yoga Seal' or 'Psychic Union Pose' - a body gesture to energize the Manipura Chakra and create inner harmony.
Yoga Mudrasana is described in Tantra and Hatha Yoga texts, purported to have many mental, physical and spiritual benefits. It can be viewed as a variation of the Lotus Pose or an extendion of the Bound Lotus Pose. Either way, it is an excellent hip and shoulder opener that demands a strong core and external rotation of the joints.
You can prepare for Yoga Mudrasana with the following yoga poses –
Ardha Padmasana (Half-Lotus Pose)
Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
Baddha Padmasana (Bound Lotus Pose)
Paschimottasana (Seated Forward Bend)
Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)
Balasana (Child Pose)
RELATED: A Beginner's Guide to Kaya Mudras and Yoga Body Gestures - COMING SOON
Purpose and Significance
Yoga Mudrasana is an essential part of Ashtanga-style Padmasana sequences to strengthen the core and abdominal region. Additionally, the Psychic Union Pose is also practiced in Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and Iyengar Yoga sequences using different hand gestures.
Generally, you should practice Yoga Mudrasana with breath awareness to improve the flow of prana and boost energy levels. You can also bring awareness to the Manipura Chakra (Solar Plexus) or visualize the flow of prana (and/or Kundalini energy) along the length of the spine.
1. Roll out your yoga mat and get into the base pose – Padmasana. Sitting in Lotus Pose, close your eyes, place both hands behind your back, and grab the right wrist with the left hand.
2. Take a deep breath and begin bending forward as you exhale. Lower your face till your forehead or nose-tip touches the floor/mat. Ensure the spine is neutral and not arched.
3. Bring awareness to the eyebrow center or Solar Plexus and touch the tip of the tongue to the upper palate. Stay in this position for at least two minutes or as per your capacity.
4. To get out of Yoga Mudrasana, exhale and slowly return to Lotus Pose. Release the hands and transition to Staff Pose to rest for a minute while breathing normally.
5. Get into Padmasana and repeat the process with a slight modification. If your left leg was on top previously, keep the right one on top. If you held the right wrist with the left hand, grab the left wrist with the right hand. Repeat steps 2, 3, and 4. This is one round of Yoga Mudrasana.
Time and Duration
You can practice Yoga Mudrasana at any time on an empty stomach after stretching and warming up. Early morning is ideal because the mind is fresh and the body is rested. Beginners should hold the body gesture for 1 to 2 minutes and gradually progress to five minutes.
“Yoga Mudrasana is not for beginners. Do not attempt it before you can comfortably stay in Padmasana for 5 minutes. Also, practice your forward bends and Baddha Padmasana (Bound Lotus) before you try the Psychic Union Gesture,” says Sonja.
“A deep forward bend should be followed up with a back bend to prevent injury or strain. I use a yoga wheel for back bends and back rolling but you can use counter poses like Camel Pose (Ustrasana), Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana), or Half-Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana),” she adds.
Benefits of Yoga Mudrasana
Yoga Mudrasana tones the abdomen and increases flexibility and mobility.
It is an excellent stretch for the entire body, particularly the spine, shoulder, and core.
Yoga Mudrasana may alleviate anxiety, stress, and depression.
It stimulates the parasympathetic system and improves autonomic nerve function.
This body gesture improves circulation in the spine and massages the core organs.
Yoga Mudrasana can prevent shoulder, back, and sciatic related problems.
It balances lower body Chakras and helps Kundalini energy move up the spine.
Safety and Contraindications
Yoga Mudrasana is a deep and advanced stretch that needs excellent flexibility. It is contraindicated in sciatica, pregnancy, menstruation, eye conditions, hip ailments, leg injuries, knee problems, and other ailments in the upper body. If you are unsure of your health condition, consult a yoga teacher and physician before attempting this yoga body gesture.
Do not try to rush into this kaya mudra as it can lead to injuries. Even for intermediate yogis, it can take a few days-to-weeks to incorporate Yoga Mudrasana in a routine. We advise learning it from an expert because of the complexity and risks involved.
Modifications and Variations
Yoga Mudrasana with Anjali Mudra
In the traditional version of Yoga Mudrasana, we grab the right wrist with the left hand or vice versa. You can practice a variation by changing the position of the hands and doing the Anjali Mudra (Namaste) gesture behind the back or in front of the head. Placing the hands in front of the head is easier that grabbing the wrists behind the back.
On the other hand, placing the hands behind the back while forming Anjali Mudra is more challenging. Either way, this slight modification can help a yogi achieve a sense of inner peace and harmony. You can also try this kaya mudra with Gomukhasana hands.
Yoga Mudrasana from Bound Lotus Pose
In this advanced variation, you follow the same steps as mentioned above with one modification of the hands. Instead of clasping the left wrist with the right hand behind the back, you place both hands behind the back and grab the toe of the opposite foot i.e., right toe with left hand and vice versa. This yoga pose is called Baddha Padmasana.
In simple words, we practice Yoga Mudrasana with the Bound Lotus as the starting position instead of Padmasana Pose. Everything else remains the same and you can switch hands and legs after one round.
We hope this guide to Yoga Mudrasana will help you approach this body gesture with clarity. We have also covered the steps, benefits, and precautions for the five other Yoga Kaya Mudras – Tadagi Mudra, Prana Mudra, Pashinee Mudra, Viparita Karni, and Manduki Mudra.
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