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Rediff News  All News  » Getahead » Joint pain? Try these yoga mudras for relief

Joint pain? Try these yoga mudras for relief

Last updated on: November 12, 2009 17:40 IST

Photographs: Jahnavi Sheriff Shameem Akthar

Using yogic practices for pain relief is now recommended even by conventional medicine. While incorporating yogic poses from the joint-relieving series for pain management and healing you may accelerate by adding on the practice of yogic hand gestures or mudras.

In this feature, we look at some practices that may be done anywhere, through the day, for healing. Though mudras are most effective when you hold them meditatively, you can hold these during other activities such as watching TV, a film or while commuting. Increase the duration to up to 45 minutes daily, by spreading it over the day or doing it all at one go while meditating. It is advisable to stop practicing these mudras once your problem has been brought under control.

Here, Shameem Akthar, yoga acharya trained with Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, instructs you on five mudras that can help you deal with chronic joint pain.

Catch more of Shameem's yoga writings or upcoming workshops from

(This column only seeks to share the author's enthusiasm towards yoga. Yoga is best learnt under expert guidance.)

Jal vardhak (Water increasing mudra)

To do this mudra, also referred to as the Varun mudra (or rain hand gesture) sit in a meditative pose. Lightly touch the tip of your little finger to your thumb.

Do this for each hand. Hold for five minutes, thrice daily. This may be done anytime through the day.

Avoid: If having excess water element in the body (oedema or water retention, for instance).

Benefits: Improves the water element, removing conditions of dehydration, dryness that cause indigestion. Helps treat anemia or weak iron absorption. This is useful in joint pains caused by joint dryness, like osteo-arthritic pain.

Vata naashak mudra (Controlling air hand gesture)

Sit meditatively with your eyes shut. Press down your index and middle fingers firmly with your thumb. Do this for each hand. Hold for three to five minutes and release.

Benefits: Controls nervous tension; relieves dryness of eyes, skin and hair. Promotes metabolism. Sweetens voice. Used as therapy for pain caused by dry joints, arthritis and degenerating tissue.

Kapha kaarak mudra (Promoting earth element hand gesture)

Sit meditatively with your eyes shut. Touch the tips of your little finger and ring finger with the tip of your thumb. Do this for each hand. Hold for three to five minutes. This may be done several times during the day.

Benefits: Reduces excessive dryness of skin, hair and eyes. Reduces fever. Controls premature aging. Useful in arthritis and degenerating tissue.

Apan mudra (Hand gesture of downward energy)

This mudra is to be done while seated. Shut your eyes. Press your middle finger and ring finger to your thumb. Stretch out the other fingers. Do this for each hand. Hold for three minutes for proper impact.

Benefits: An instant energiser. Boosts the efficiency of systems dealing with digestion, excretion, and toxic removal to make you feel fresh and alive. Useful in controlling inflammatory conditions of the joints.

Apan vayu mudra (Heart mudra)

This hand gesture is also called the Hridaya mudra and Amritsanjeevani mudra (mudra for immortality).

Press your index finger to the base of your thumb. Touch the tip of your thumb to the tips of your middle and ring fingers. Your little finger should be stretched out. Do this for each hand. This may be done anytime but is ideal during the kapha period of 6 am to 10 am.

Avoid: If having excess congestion.

Benefits: The most powerful mudra for all circulatory and heart problems. Regular practice is said to have near-miraculous impact on the heart. It is calming. Helps control high blood pressure. Useful in dealing with degenerating tissue.