Ashwini Mudra, often referred to as the horse pose, is a body mudra that strengthens the pelvic area and offers numerous benefits, especially for the intestines and the urinary tract. As a practice involving repeated contractions of the anal sphincter, Ashwini Mudra improves the apana vayu or downward air, reinforcing the anal muscles. In this article, we explore how to perform the Ashwini Mudra, along with its wide-ranging benefits and important precautions.
What are Mudras?
Mudras are hand gestures that activate a certain element or energy in the body. The five fingers represent the five elements. The energy activation point lies on the fingertips. When the fingertips are connected, the subtle energy in your body gets activated. The thumb represents the fire element. This element represents agni within the body, and it serves to activate all the other elements.
The index finger represents air, middle finger ether, ring finger earth and the little finger represents the water element.
When different hand formations, or mudras, are formed, the combination of subtle elements has a powerful effect on the mind and body.
How Can Mudras Heal?
There is a spiritual force that mediates our mind-body connection. Ayurveda says that when the elements in our body are balanced, our bodies and minds are healthy. Whenever imbalance arises, we can attain balance by activating specific elements using various mudras. Acupuncture is another method that involves activating specific points in the body and improving the flow of energy. Mudras act in a similar way. The tips of our fingers act like electrical potential points, and when the mudras are formed, they create an electrical circuit that circulates energy throughout the body. As this energy circulates, we feel a healing effect. The most astonishing fact is that our brain uses about 60% of its surface area to process the movements and sensations of the hands.
RECOMMENDED: For a complete guide to the many mudras and their benefits, check out Healing Mudras: Yoga of the Hands by Yogi Nataraj.
How to Perform the Ashwini Mudra?
Start by finding a comfortable meditation position. Close your eyes and allow your body to relax. Initially, focus on your natural breath, then shift your awareness to the area around the anus.
Without straining, consciously contract the sphincter muscles of the anus for a few seconds, and then release them. Keep your focus on the anal region throughout the exercise.
Try to maintain this practice comfortably for as long as possible, ensuring that the contractions and relaxations are smooth and rhythmic. Over time, you can gradually increase the speed of the contractions.
The Ashwini Mudra specifically targets the lower abdominal area and anus, helping balance the earth element and alleviate constipation. By balancing the outlet for apana vayu, this mudra can promote a feeling of lightness in the body.
Benefits of Ashwini Mudra
- It strengthens the anal muscles and alleviates rectal disorders such as constipation, piles, and prolapse of the uterus or rectum.
- This mudra is often combined with inverted asanas, like sarvangasana, for optimal results.
- Ashwini Mudra can prevent the escape of pranic energy from the body, redirecting it upward for spiritual purposes.
- It serves as a preparatory practice for moola bandha.
- By removing energy blockages, this practice can rapidly eliminate mental depression.
Precautions When Practicing Ashwini Mudra
If you have an anal fistula, this practice should be avoided.
What Chakras Does Ashwini Mudra Activate?
Ashwini Mudra specifically activates the root chakra, located at the base of the perineum. This chakra is the seat of the apana vayu, the downward air responsible for eliminating toxins from our body. Activating the root chakra can enhance digestion, improve energy levels, and help open up other chakras, thanks to improved endurance. In turn, this could alleviate health issues related to dryness in the body and cold feet.
Related Mudras and Yoga Poses
Ashwini Mudra, when paired with other mudras like Rudra Mudra and Shakti Mudra, can enhance spiritual consciousness and the flow of spiritual energy. Yoga poses like Paschimottanasana, Padangusthasana, and Padahastasana can also yield similar results. Practicing Ashwini Mudra along with yoga mudra followed by a gyan mudra meditation is very beneficial for detoxifying the body and improving sensory faculties.
Remember, it’s best to practice this mudra in the early morning on an empty stomach. Those with an anal fistula should avoid this practice to prevent any potential complications.
List of Mudra Guides
Mudras are very beneficial when performed with proper understanding. Mudras deal with individual elements, combinations of elements, the vital airs, the vital functions and even moods and feelings. Regular practice of each mudra based on our needs and present condition can help us achieve the specific results we are looking for. Please explore our various mudra guides and try out the practices that suit your needs
- Mudras for the Root Chakra
- Mudras for the Sacral Chakra
- Mudras for the Navel Chakra
- Mudras for the Heart Chakra
- Mudras for the Throat Chakra
- Mudras for the Third-eye Chakra
- Mudras for the Crown Chakra
Individual Mudra Guides
- Abhaya Mudra
- Adi Mudra
- Agni Mudra
- Akasha Mudra
- Anjali Mudra
- Apana Vayu Mudra
- Bhumisparsha Mudra
- Dharmachakra Mudra
- Dhyan Mudra
- Ganesha Mudra
- Gyan Mudra
- Kundalini Mudra
- Lotus Mudra
- Musti Mudra
- Prana Mudra
- Prithvi Mudra
- Rudra Mudra
- Shakti Mudra
- Shankha Mudra
- Shunya Mudra
- Surya Mudra
- Udana Vayu Mudra
- Varada Mudra
- Vayu Mudra
- Vitarka Mudra
- Yoni Mudra