Eastern healing uggests that the mudras used in Hinduism, yoga and Buddhism can help you weight loss and wellbeing.
These weight-loss mudras can also help with other aspects of wellbeing, such as motivation and stress. That’s why they are one of the best alternative ways of shredding pounds.
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Best mudras for weight loss
- You will also want to use mantras for healing.
Prithvi, which also goes by the names “Agni-shamak” and “Prithvi-vardhak”, is performed by touching the tip of the ring finger to the tip of the thumb, with the other fingers pointing straight out.
Prithvi is one of the best mudras for managing your weight and also helps with musco-skeletal problems and skin problems.
Prithvi is a symbolic gesture used in Ayurveda and yoga. It means “The vast one” and is the name for Earth. No surprise, then, that it increases the earth element to help heal the body. Plus, it enhances the root chakra (Muladhara), which improves mood and stability of mind to help you stick to a diet.
- Find a quiet, peaceful place to sit.
- Sit with good posture, either in Easy Pose or Lotus Pose, or stand.
- Curl the ring finger so that its tip touches the tip of the thumb. The remaining fingers should be pointing straight.
- Hold this position while meditating for ten to twenty minutes. Try it now.
Jnana And Gyan Mudra
Some of the most common reasons why people struggle to lose weight are insomnia, depression, and anxiety. Insomnia reduces energy and motivation so you’re less likely to exercise to lose fat, and depression and anxiety can lead to comfort eating.
It’s a lot easier to get in shape when we overcome these problems. One way to do so is with the Jnana mudra.
Also called Gyan Mudra, it is performed by touching the tip of the index finger to the tip of the thumb and having the remaining three fingers held straight out.
The fingers and parts of the hand represent different emotions and various parts of the mind. Therefore, the position of the hand and fingers influences the mind [READ: mudras for the mind].
In Jnana, the thumb and index finger are held together. This is important. The thumb is the physical representation of Brahman, the supreme reality. The forefinger is the representation of the god and the individual soul, and of Jiva, the inner reality.
When we bring the thumb and forefinger together in the Jnana mudra, we show the bond of Brahman with Jiva, the linking of the inner and outer worlds.
The remaining three fingers are the representation of the Gunas of nature.
- The little finger is Tama, which is confusion, inertia, and dullness.
- The ring finger is Rajas, which is movement and passion.
- The middle finger is Sattva Guna, which is purity and light.
Therefore, the Gyan mudra represents transcending the Gunas to bridge the inner and outer worlds and ascend to the supreme reality
- Hold your hand out straight with the palm facing upwards.
- Curl your index finger to meet your thumb.
- Lightly push the index finger down with the thumb.
- Hold your other fingers straight.
- Hold this position for 10 minutes.
(Water) Varuna Mudra for Dehydration
The Varuna mudra is performed by touching the tip of the little finger to the tip of the thumb with the remaining three fingers held out straight.
Varuna / Water mudra balances water and helps to prevent dehydration. This is important because dehydration has been linked to overeating, and water is important for breaking down fat. Vayu also helps to regulate air in the body. If you perform this mudra after eating it will also aid digestion.
- Curl the thumbs and little fingers lightly, so they touch
- Hold the remaining fingers straight
- Meditate while holding this position for ten minutes. Try it now.
Agni / Surya Mudra
The Surya Mudra is performed by placing the fourth finger underneath the thumb, the tip of the fourth finger touching the base of the thumb. The other fingers are held straight.
This hand position stimulates the fire element and is said to use the acupressure point in the hand to help stimulate the flow of prana through the body. This improves digestion and increases metabolism to help us lose fat.
Prana Mudra / Life Mudra
Prana Mudra is performed by pressing the tips of the ring finger and little finger to the tip of the thumb. The remaining fingers are held out straight.
Prana Mudra improves strength and mobility, helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and helps you to get active. Therefore, it is a fantastic way to increase your caloric output so that you lose weight faster and feel more motivated to exercise to get in shape.
- Sit in a comfortable meditative posture such as the Lotus Pose or stand.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breath
- Hold your hands up at your sides. Hold your second and third finger straight. Bend the fourth and fifth fingers to touch the tip of your thumb.
- Holding this hand position, take a moment to feel chi running through you.
- Continue this meditation for fifteen minutes. Try it now.
Apana Mudra (Digestion)
The Apana Mudra is performed by pressing the tips of the ring finger and middle finger to the tip of the thumb. The other fingers are held out straight.
Apana is the best mudra for digestion. Practice it for 45 minutes a day, and it will help regulate blood sugar, relieve constipation, gastroenteritis, and IBS. I
Here’s more on using benefits of Apan mudra.
Linga Mudra (Heat)
Linga improves the body’s metabolism. It produces heat to stop the grown of “Ama”, a toxic substance that causes fat.
The Linga Mudra is also called Lord Shiva’s mudra. Shiva is the destroyer of obstacles, meaning he is the one who will help you with the obstacle of losing weight. The Linga Mudra represents putting in positive energy to overcome negative situations, such as putting in the effort to exercise to lose weight.
- You may use the Linga Mudra while sitting or standing
- Intertwine the fingers of your hands and hold the hands in front of the body
- Point your left thumb upwards and wrap the index finger and thumb of your right hand around it.
- Hold for around thirty minutes while meditating.
With the Surabhi mudra, energy will flow freely through your body and mind, and you will feel the prana within yourself. This hand gesture is immensely popular in yoga courses and is used to improve the movement of energy/prana. Parana is essential for getting the body moving, so the more freely your prana flows the easier it will be to lose weight.
It also helps to promote inner peace, which can be helpful with the mental aspects of losing weight.
The Surabhi Mudra is complicated, so be sure to follow these steps slowly and carefully.
- Bring the tips of the index finger of one hand to touch the tip of the middle finger of the other hand. Do this for both hands.
- Bring the ring finger of one hand to meet the tip of the little finger of the other hand. Do this for both hands.
- Touch your thumbs together gently. This is the Surabhi Mudra.
- It is recommended that you hold this Mura for 30 – 40 minutes. Try it now.
The Chin Mudra / Gyan Mudra is a yogic hand gesture that represents wisdom, knowledge, and the unification of consciousness. It is one of the most important positions when learning meditation and has many benefits.
Chin mudra increases awareness and focus, so you are less likely to mindlessly eat. It also helps us get to sleep so we have more energy to workout the next day. And it can help with stress, anxiety, and depression, so your mood won’t interfere with your efforts to lose weight.
- Join your forefingers and thumbs together to create a circle. Hold the nail of the finger lightly to the thumb’s soft pad.
- The remaining three fingers should be extended with the palm facing upwards.
- When this pose is used with the palms facing downwards, it becomes the jnana mudra.
- Try meditating with the mudra with your hands on your knees. Try it now and notice how it feels. This meditation position stimulates Nadi.
Khechari Mudra also goes by the name “Tongue Swallowing Mudra” because it requires the practitioner to turn their tongue upwards, inside their mouse, moving it into the nasal cavity.
Why would you want to do that?
It is believed that by practising the khechari mudra, we access the sensitive organs in the roof of the mouth, organs which many religions believe to be especially important to the flow of prana.
Daoism teaches that saliva is a vital substance. Increasing the flow of saliva can have a tremendous effect on the body.
So Khechari mudra stimulates the cavities in the mouth and helps to get stuff flowing. But it also does much more.
The Khechari mudra has various names. It is also called the Khecari mudra, Kecharimudra, which translates from Sanskrit to mean “Seal.”
In the Pali canon, the Buddha describes the Khechari mudra as the pressing of the tongue against the palate. It is said that this is one of the best mudras for controlling hunger.
In the Kecarividya, one of the Hatha yoga texts, it is stated that the khechari mudra provides access to the amrita which is stored inside the head. This helps to flow amarita into the body.
The Mālinīvijayottaratantra, a tantric Saiva, states that if the practitioner begins to experience a taste like iron, then they must spit it out. Eventually, the liquid will become sweet, at which point it should be swallowed.
Many yoga texts state that this position helps with the flow of prana around the body. This in turn helps to provide positive energy, reduce abdominal fat, increase vitality, and stimulate saliva.
- Roll the tongue, pointing it back inside the mouth such that the tip of your tongue touches the uvula (at the very back of the mouth).
- It is essential that the tongue be placed in position without it becoming stiff and without the practitioner feeling any sort of tension (as with most mudras). Therefore, it is imperative that the practitioner only position the tongue as far back as it will go without any sort of stiffening or tightening of the tongue.
- The nasal cavity is above the soft palate. Roll your tongue so that it enters this area.
- Inhale while snorting at the back of the throat. Breathe out.
- As you gently release the mudra swallow saliva.
You may find it difficult to reach the specific areas of the mouth described in the instructions above. However, through routine practice, you will gain more flexibility and be able to complete the Khechari Mudra.
Practice this early in the morning. Be sure to speak with a healthcare professional before beginning.
One of the benefits of using yoga hand positions (hasta mudras) is that they help to balance the three temperaments of the body: Vayu (air), Kapha (fire) and Pitta (earth).
When we increase the kapha (fire) element we increase metabolism. In turn, this helps us to lose weight faster. The Pitta, or Earth, element, on the other hand, can cause weight gain.
To lose weight we want to balance Vayu and Kapha. We can use the Kapha-Nashak Mudra for this. This helps with digestion and increases metabolism.
- Sit comfortably with good posture
- Close your eyes and begin to meditate
- Bend your ring finger, little finger, and thumb, so that they meet on the palm. Squeeze these fingers together
- Hold this position for 40 minutes while meditating. Continue every day for two weeks.
Hasta mudras (literally “Hand gestures”) stimulate the flow of prana in the body. They are often seen in Indian Classical Dance and yoga class.
They use acupressure points in the hands to activate certain parts of the brain. Plus, they use elements of Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine. The elements are ‘Jal’ (Water), ‘Prithvi’ (Earth), ‘Akash’ (Space), ‘Vayu’ (Air), and ‘Agni’ (Fire))
By using accupressure points and the elements, mudras can increase our self control, motivation, and overall health. And that is how they help with weight loss. Although there is limited research to substantiate this.
Mudras work best combined with meditation, so make sure to read my huge guide to meditation for weight loss.
There are hundreds of different hand positions (108 in Tantric rituals + mudras in dance + over 250 in Mohiniattam and 200+ in Bharatanatam). The following are some of the best mudras to lose weight, control hunger, and get in shape.
You might like to complement these by reading my article on the best Buddhist mudras.
Paul Harrison BSc is a qualified meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in teaching meditation and mindfulness both to individuals and to corporations and is the author of four books on meditation. He has been featured in Psychology Today, Breathe Magazine, Healthline, Psych Central and Lion’s Roar.
Paul studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University.
Paul’s biggest inspirations include Thich Nhat Hanh, Jon Kabat Zinn, and Jack Kornfield.
“My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation” – Paul Harrison