Definition - What does Apana Mudra mean?
Apana mudra is a sacred hand gesture or ‘seal,’ used during yoga and meditation practice as a means of channeling the flow of vital life force energy known as prana. Also referred to as the "purification mudra," apana mudra is specifically used to detoxify and purify the body, while balancing the elements of fire, space and earth within it. It is a hasta mudra, which means it is performed using the hands.
Apana mudra increases the vata and kapha doshas whilst helping to decrease pitta, thereby helping to balance all three doshas in the body. Those with excess vata and kapha dosha should practice this mudra in moderation.
In particular, apana mudra effectively controls apana vata and balances its functions in relation to excretion, menstruation and ejaculation.
Apana mudra may be practiced in any stable seated posture, such as sukhasana (easy pose) or padmasana (lotus pose). It is performed by bringing the tips of the middle finger, ring finger and thumb together. The index finger and little finger remain extended, with the palm facing up.
Apana mudra is usually practiced on both hands, and should be held for 30 to 45 minutes for maximum benefits. This can be done all at once, or broken up into three shorter practices of 10 to 15 minutes.
Other names for apana mudra include apaan mudra, (or apan mudra,) purification mudra, cleansing mudra and energy mudra.
Yogapedia explains Apana Mudra
Apana mudra is named after the apana vayu, one of the five subdivisions of prana. Apana vayu is active in the pelvic and lower abdominal areas, and is responsible for digestion, elimination and reproduction. It has a downward motion of energy, and can lead to conditions such as constipation, irregular menstrual cycles and premature ejaculation when blocked or imbalanced. Apana mudra stimulates and brings balance to apana vayu, thereby providing a remedy for such conditions.
Additional benefits of apana mudra include:
Enabling easy childbirth
Strengthening pelvic organs
Relieving back pain
Strengthening the immune system
Maintaining intestinal health
Relieving urinary problems
Due to the strong downward force this mudra generates, apana mudra should not be practiced by women in their first 8 months of pregnancy. If practiced in the final month however, it can help to ensure a smooth and easy childbirth. Those with diarrhea, cholera and colitis should also avoid this mudra.
During These Times of Stress and Uncertainty Your Doshas May Be Unbalanced.
To help you bring attention to your doshas and to identify what your predominant dosha is, we created the following quiz.
Try not to stress over every question, but simply answer based off your intuition. After all, you know yourself better than anyone else.