Performing repetitive tasks with your hands, like typing or writing, or having physical conditions like arthritis might leave you suffering from stiff finger tendons more often than not. Performing certain yoga stretches and practices can offer benefits to help get your fingers moving comfortably and with ease. Certain hand injuries can also cause stiffness, such as an injury to your flexor tendon. If you’ve jammed your finger and can’t bend it or if finger stiffness is accompanied by additional troublesome symptoms, like numbness, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
At the Patanjali Research Foundation, research on the effects of yoga on hand grip function in people with rheumatoid arthritis indicated that there was an improvement in hand and wrist mobility after a one-week intensive yoga course. The participants practiced a variety of yoga poses for five hours daily, with at least 25 percent of the exercises focusing on shoulders, arms, wrists and hands. At least 50 percent of the time was spent on breathing exercises and the rest of the time participants learned yoga postures benefiting the whole body.
The hand mudras connect various energy channels in your body to allow the free flow of energy and remove blocks that cause physical health issues. The flexibility of your hands is directly related to the flexibility in your entire body.
The natural sciences of Mudra therapy believe that the five fingers correspond to the five basic elements viz. Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth.
- Thumb – The fire (Agni)
- Index finger – The air (Vayu)
- Middle finger – The ether (Aakasha)
- Ring finger – The earth (Prithvi)
- Small finger – The water (Jala)
Gyan Mudra or the Mudra of Knowledge
Touch the tip of the thumb and the tip of the index or 1st finger together. The other 3 fingers have to be kept straight. Thebenefits include enhanced meditation and concentration and reduction in negativity of the mind..It improves memory and with regular practice students can improve grades and intelligence.It aids in alleviating headache, insomnia and hypertension and reduces anger
Vayu Mudra or Mudra of Air
In this Mudra, the tip of the index or 1st finger is touched to the base of the thumb and the thumb comes over the finger with a slight pressure of the thumb being exerted. Rest of the fingers remain straight. By the practice of this mudra, all vayu ,that is, air related affections, like Arthritis, Gout, Sciatica, Knee pain, and Gas are relieved. It especially benefits in neck pain and spinal pain.
Shoonya Mudra or The Mudra of Emptiness
The tip of the middle finger is put at the base of the thumb and the thumb comes over the finger with slight pressure of the thumb being exerted on the finger. The other 3 fingers are kept straight. Regular practice of this Mudra helps in reducing ear pain and watering of the ears. If this Mudra is done for 1 hour daily it can benefit in hardness of hearing.The bones become strong and is beneficial in heart disease. It strengthens gums and is helpful in throat problems and thyroid disease.
Prithvi Mudra or the Mudra of Earth
In this Mudra, the tips of the thumb and the ring finger are touched together. The other fingers are kept straight. Regular practice of this Mudra is helpful in body weakness, thinness and also obesity.It improves the functioning of the digestive system and reduces the deficiency of vitamins.It gives energy and lustre to the body.
Prana Mudra or the Mudra of Life
In this Mudra the tips of the thumb, ring finger and the little finger are touched together while keeping the other 2 fingers straight. It awakens the dormant power of prana, gives energy, health. It is beneficial in diseases of the eye and improves eyesight, raises body resistance to disease, reduces deficiency of vitamins, removes tiredness. During fasting it reduces hunger pangs and thirst.In insomnia, doing this hand posture, along with Gyan Mudra, helps in bringing on sleep.
Apan Mudra or the Mudra of Digestion
This mudra is made by joining the tips of the thumb, the middle finger and the ring finger keeping the other fingers straight. Toxins are removed from the body and the body becomes pure. It also relieves constipation, piles, diseases caused by vayu or air, is helpful in diabetes, stoppage of urine, kidney defects and dental problems. It is beneficial in stomach and heart diseases and brings out perspiration.
Apan Vayu Mudra or the Mudra of Heart.
This Mudra is a combination of Vayu Mudra and Apan Mudra. The tips of the thumbs, the middle finger and the ring finger touch each other while the index finger touches the base of the thumb with a slight pressure. The little finger remains straight. It is helpful in Heart and Vayu diseases and gives health. People with a weak heart should do it daily. It is very beneficial for people who have suffered a heart attack in the recent past. .It removes gas from the stomach, aids in asthma, headache and high blood pressure. If it is performed 5 to 7 minutes before climbing stairs, it aids in easy climbing.
Surya Mudra or Mudra of the Sun
This Mudra is performed by touching the tip of the ring finger to the base of the thumb and exerting pressure on the finger with the thumb. It balances the body, reduces body weight and obesity. It increases body heat and helps in digestion. It reduces hypertension and cholesterol and builds strength. It is beneficial in diabetes and liver defects. Weak persons should not perform this hand posture and DO NOT do this hand posture for a long time in hot weather.
Varun Mudra or Mudra of Water
This Mudra is made by touching the tips of the thumb and the little finger. It reduces dryness of the skin and improves skin lustre and softness. It is useful in skin diseases, acne and blood defects. It improves facial beauty. Persons suffering from Asthma and respiratory problems should do this Mudra for a short duration only.
Ling Mudra or the Mudra of Heat
Clasp all fingers of both hands together keeping your right thumb erect. Put a little pressure and sit relaxed. Practice it for 20-30 minutes every day. This mudra increases heat in the body and can cause sweating even in winter if done for a long time. This mudra helps in cold, coryza, asthma, cough, sinus problems and low blood pressure.It dries phlegm. When doing this Mudra please increase intake of water, fruit, fruit juices, clarified butter (Ghee) and milk.
The joining of fingers creates a calming effect on the human body.