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Udana

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MIYUKI, MY beautiful Japanese alternative medicine healer friend from Osaka, phoned me a week ago asking for a practice that she could teach her clients to improve their respiratory condition. She wanted to equip them with natural tools as a prevention precaution from the existing and upcoming different sicknesses which trigger disorders, particularly to the lungs and the mind.

Though they eat healthy vegetarian meals, exercise, practice pranayama (breathing techniques), my friend wants to integrate another school of thought in her existing program. She said something that will trigger the mind peace, encourage stronger lungs, deliver holistic betterment to her clients.

After listening to this beautiful healer’s heartful request, “udana mudra” immediately came to mind. Udana means breathing upward, while mudra means hand position. It is one of the yogic hand gestures I perform every day. I use it to improve the flow of my prana (life force energy) throughout my body. I know it restores my brain health, for my creativity kicks in after each session and so is mind clarity. When I have a presentation, udana empowers my speech and voice control. But most of all, since I was an asthmatic, it ensures me of a smoother breath.

Those with breathing difficulties and weak respiratory systems highly benefit from this mudra. It is noted to increase oxygen levels, thus presently, Ayurvedic doctors advise everyone to practice this discipline. Other benefits: Relieves depression and mental tension, strengthens the limbs, and addresses thyroid glands trouble.

Udana was first introduced to me by my yoga teacher Santosh, then later taught in its deeper spiritual essence by my mystical master from Rajasthan, Bhuvanrath Vijayi.

How to do Udana mudra?

First, find a cozy sitting position. You can sit on a chair spine straight or on the floor, in sukhasana pose (cross-leg sitting position). Rest your hands on your lap or on top of your knees, with palms open, facing upward.

Next, close your eyes and take a deep yet gentle breath, five times, focusing your attention to your breath rhythm.

Afterwards, bring together your right and left hand’s index, middle and ring fingers. Bend them over to touch the tip of your thumb. Your pinky or little finger must be pointed straight.

Keep still and stay in this position for 15 minutes, or more, as you wish. You will feel some warmth on your upper body and notice other changes. Just go with the flow and relax. When discomfort arises or distractive thoughts, take long deep breaths and proceed.

To end, take 3 calm breaths and relax your hands, while you slowly release your fingers from the pose. Stay seated for a minute or two before getting up.

Morning before breakfast and before sleeping are the best times for udana. You may do more as you wish. Everyday practice delivers best results. My best wishes.

Namaste.

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