Definition - What does Prithvi Mudra mean?
Prithvi mudra is a symbolic hand gesture or ‘seal’ used in yoga and Ayurveda to promote healing and spiritual balance within the body. Meaning "the vast one" in Sanskrit, prithvi is also the term used for the Earth element in Ayurveda. Otherwise known as ‘Earth Mudra’, prithvi mudra can be used to balance this element, which resides primarily within tissues, such as skin, hair and bones.
To practice prithvi mudra, the tips of the ring fingers should be pressed to the tips of the thumbs on each hand, whilst extending the other fingers straight. This mudra can be practiced in any comfortable and stable seated meditation posture, such as padmasana (Lotus Pose) or sukhasana (Easy Pose), ideally for at least 30 to 45 minutes a day.
Yogapedia explains Prithvi Mudra
According to Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, the physical body is made up of five elements; Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Space. Imbalance in any one of these five elements is thought to be the root cause of illness and disease, therefore, treatments tend to focus on bringing each element back into balance. When the earth element is in balance, we are both mentally and physically strong, confident and stable. Earth is a major part of the physical body, and so this element plays a vital role in health and wellbeing.
Prithvi mudra is primarily used to increase the Earth element within an individual as a means of healing. However, since the ring finger symbolizes earth and the thumb symbolizes fire, this gesture can also be used to bring balance between these two elements. It is considered to be a powerful mudra, capable of healing many ailments, such as chronic fatigue, osteoporosis, weight loss, convalescence or paralysis, burning sensations throughout the body, ulcers, and nail, hair or skin issues.
When used as part of a yoga practice, the prithvi mudra is thought to stimulate the muladhara chakra (root energy centre), governing an individual's sense of stability, rootedness and security. This chakra is also associated with instincts and one's primal nature. Practitioners may use this mudra during a chakra meditation, in which focus on the muladhara chakra’s red colour may help to amplify the benefits of prithvi mudra.
Prithvi mudra may also be combined with a pranayama exercise, such as three part breath, in order to increase its effects. Although it is highly recommended to use this gesture during meditation, it may also be practiced in tadasana (Mountain Pose) or whilst sitting in a chair.
Prithvi mudra is not recommended for pregnant women as they are more sensitive to any changes within the five elements. Those with excess kapha dosha should also avoid prithvi mudra, since this condition is characterized by increased earth element.