Ashwini Mudra

Last Updated: February 5, 2018

Definition - What does Ashwini Mudra mean?

Ashwini mudra is a beginner yoga technique that involves contracting the anal sphincter in a rhythmic way in order to direct prana (life force energy) upward along the spine through the sushumna nadi, or the body's main energy channel. The name, ashwini mudra, comes from the Sanskrit, ashwa, meaning “horse,” and mudra, which means “gesture” or “sign.”

Ashwini mudra is often practiced in a comfortable seated posture such as padmasana (lotus pose), siddhasana (accomplished pose), sukhasana (easy pose) or vajrasana (thunderbolt pose), although it can also be practiced in an inversion, such as salamba sarvangasana (supported shoulder stand) with the knees bent and dropped forward.

Yogapedia explains Ashwini Mudra

To practice ashwini mudra from a seated asana, the yogi inhales and holds the breath, then contracts the sphincter muscles for a second or two, doing four (men) or five (women) contractions before dropping the chin and exhaling.

Ashwini mudra has many physical, emotional and spiritual benefits, including:

  • Stimulates the digestive organs and eases constipation
  • Eases hemorrhoids
  • Builds resistance to disease and slows aging
  • Tones pelvic muscles
  • Strengthens the uterine muscles
  • Improves sexual health
  • Calms the mind
  • Boosts mood
  • Increases awareness and energy

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