Yoga: A mudra a day keeps the doctor away Aakaash Mudra

Popularly known as Aakaash mudra, this mudra increases the (inactive) Aakaash (ether or space) element within the body.

Method: This mudra is formed by joining together the tips of the thumb and the middle finger.

Effects: Aakaash-vardhak mudra increases the aakaash (space) element within the body. Since the space within the body is a part of the outer space (aakaash or cosmos), practice of this mudra enables the individual (aatmaa) to reunite with the collective consciousness (Paramaatmaa or God). Negative emotions like fear, anger, sorrow, etc., are replaced by positive emotions and thoughts. The above-mentioned increase in internal space is effected by the elimination of metabolic wastes from the body. Thus Aakaash-vardhak mudra is a detoxifying mudra.The increased internal space enables the rest of the four bodily elements: vaayu (air), agni (fire), jal (water) and prithvi (earth) to increase, affording them a room to act. Thus, Aakaash-vardhak mudra can be beneficially combined with mudras that increase the other four elements (i.e., Vaayu-vardhak mudra, Prithvi-vardhak mudra, Agni-vardhak mudra and Jal-vardhak mudra). In general, Aakaash-vardhak mudra is an excellent mudra that stimulates noble thoughts and helps the practitioner to take rapid strides along the path to moksha (salvation). It also helps a person who wishes to scale great heights in the art of meditation. The element Aakaash is also a component of bodily humor Vaata. Therefore, Aakaash-vardhak mudra reinforces the Vaata humor of the body. It should be done in moderation by people of Vaata constitution.

Benefits of Aakaash-vardhak mudra:
Helps -to develop noble & elevated thoughts
To develop intuition and extra sensory powers (ESP)
To detoxify the body by the elimination of metabolic wastes (through exhaled air, sweat, urine and stools)
To overcome a feeling of fullness / heaviness in the body or body-parts
To overcome discomfort caused by over-eating
To relieve congestion (and pain) in the head (due to migraine or sinusitis), ear/s (due to infection), chest (due to infection / asthma )
High blood pressure
Irregular heart-beats
Angina pectoris

Duration : 30 to 45 minutes every day, either at one stretch or in three parts (i.e., for 10 to 15 minutes, thrice a day).

Ideal time: Though Aakaash vardhak mudra can be performed any time of the day, practicing it at any­time between 2.00 to 6.00 am/pm gives better results.

Precaution : People with a pronounced Vaata prakruti (constitution) should perform this mudra in moderation, if at all.