Ashwini Mudra How to Do and Benefits
Ashwini Mudra is one of the most beneficial yoga asanas and practicing it regularly can help you in several ways. Before we start talking about the mudra and start getting into the specifics, let’s understand the meaning of this asana.
Important Note: This article is medically reviewed by Nimish Deshpande Certified Yoga Professional.
The word ‘Ashwa’ is a Sanskrit which means horse and the word ‘Mudra’ basically means gesture or pose. The contraction taking place in Ashwini Mudra resembles the movement of a horse therefore it is called a horse gesture.
The yoga asana allows upward flow of the ‘prana’(Apana) through the spine which is the main energy channel and is called ‘sushuma’. Ashwini Mudra Yoga is a beginner’s yoga technique and is relatively easy. All the mudras are used along with bandhas to upgrade the practice of yoga (1).
Step by Step Process to do Ashwini Mudra
Here are a few easy and simple steps that will help you master the posture of this mudra and perform it with absolute finesse.
To begin with, you need to keep in mind about maintaining the posture throughout the process. Sit in an upright position and channelize all your energies and meditate in order to align the seven chakras of your body.
Once you’ve attained your posture relax the body and breathe normally to facilitate the easy flow of blood.
As you’ve relaxed your body, now prepare to contract the muscles of your anal sphincter and hold it for a good ten seconds.
Now slowly ease your body from your previous position and release the anal muscles and breathe normally for a few seconds. Use this step of the process as a break for your body.
Repeat this practice as long as you are comfortable.
These five steps can help you perform the mudra perfectly. The steps are easy and help the system in a positive manner. The easy steps make the mudra one of the minimalistic yoga postures.
It makes the blood circulation proper and eases the muscles of your posterior region. The steps have efficient benefits which can cater to a lot of proper working of organs and muscles in your body.
Here is an informative video from Agnistoka on Ashwini Mudra
Importance of Bandhas
In the ancient wisdom of yoga, there are three different types of bandhas explained. If you are practicing any sitting asanas mostly these bandhas will be a part of it. These three bandhas are
a) Mula Bandh
b) Uddiyan Bandh
c) Jalandhar Bandh
Once you take a deep breath in it is important to keep that breath inside you for a longer time. To achieve this purpose these three bandhs are practiced.
These three bandhas should be practiced in a sequence. Take a deep breath in and pull your rectum muscles up this is called the Mull bandh (3).
The next one is the Uddiyan bandh which is applied by pulling your stomach and chest muscles up.
Jalandhar band is in the area of the neck and it is also known as chin lock.
Effect on Gastric Health
Ashwini mudra is one of the most beneficial yoga postures. It helps in the contraction and relaxation of the sphincter, pelvic region, perineum, and most importantly buttock muscles.
It helps in the simplified sphincter movement while defecating. This mudra excellently helps in the process of increasing awareness and also provides peace of mind. The horse gesture pose sometimes is also referred to as the giver of energy.
Effect on the rectum and anus related issues
Practicing this mudra can help you in several ways. It can increase the strength of the muscles of the rectum and also help increase the perineum region. Moreover, a regular practice of this asana can make the walls of the large intestine firmer.
It is believed that it can prevent piles and help to improve health conditions like rectal prolapse. In rectal prolapse the rectum moves down below from its usual position, most found in women of the reproductive and postmenopausal age group (4).
Effect on the endocrine system
Ashwini mudra helps in keeping the normal functioning of the endocrine system. The endocrine system is a collection of glands that releases hormones to regulate vital functions of your body like growth and development, sexual functions and reproduction, sleep, metabolic activity, and overall health (5) (6).
The endocrine system made up of various glands like the pituitary gland, pineal gland, hypothalamus, thyroid gland, parathyroid, thymus, adrenals, pancreas, and ovaries/ testes.
The horse gesture pose aids the normal functioning of these glands which in turn results in good health.
Effect on the Pituitary gland
Hormones are an important aspect of our health. The pituitary gland maintains the proper functioning of releasing hormones in your bloodstream.
Ashwini Mudra is considered to contribute to the wellbeing of the pituitary gland. When pituitary functions well, it provides proper hormonal support to other glands like thyroid, adrenal, etc.
Effect on the Thymus
The thymus plays a vital role in maintaining the immune system. The horse gesture provides support in keeping the thymus healthy (7).
A healthy immune system helps you fight various infections and bacteria. In today’s time when the world is under the impact of COVID-19 it is advisable to boost your immune system.
Though Ashwini Mudra is one of the easiest yoga postures and comes under one of the preliminary stages of practicing yoga, there are certain steps or ways to practice the asana perfectly so that the practice results in benefits.
Practicing of Ashwini mudra for ten minutes every day provides unbelievable results. It is also one of the best yoga poses for back pain.
Benefits for Ashwini Mudra
Here are some key benefits of horse gesture yoga pose.
1. Slows down aging
By performing Ashwini Mudra, the level of blood oxygen goes up, as a result the process of aging slows down. Oxygen is provided to vital organs that support the overall wellbeing. Performing this mudra helps you to stay fit and healthy.
It keeps you away from aging problems like wrinkles, gray hair, baldness, joint pain, etc.
2. Tone up pelvic muscles
Ashwini Mudra helps your pelvic muscles to get good exercises and shape. The function of the pelvic muscle is to control the bladder and the bowel.
Further Reading: Yoga Asanas for Weight Loss
3. Better digestive health
Performing the horse gesture yoga pose boosts your digestive health. This certain practice helps you to get rid of constipation issues.
Ashwini Mudra pumps up prana to the internal organs to make them more resistant to the diseases and makes them stronger.
4. Improves your sexual health
Ashwini Mudra deals with the contraction and relaxation of the pelvic muscles, sphincter, perineum, and the whole of the pelvic region. If practiced daily, horse gesture pose can help you strengthen the sex muscle bringing in more force and stamina.
It also helps in providing proper blood circulation in the pelvic region which helps in increasing sexual pleasure.
Ashwini Mudra actually awakens the sexual energies that come from the earth and water chakras to rise up to the higher chakras. Sexual health is really important for both our physical and mental aspects (2).
5. Ashwini mudra for piles is effective
Ashwini Mudra for piles is very effective. It is really beneficial for all the rectum and anus related ailments, such as piles or prolapsed of the rectum.
During the practice, you contract the anal sphincter, improving the blood circulation in the area and around.
If you are suffering from piles or hemorrhoids, it is advisable to try yoga poses for piles.
6. Strengthens the muscles of the uterus
In some cases it is observed that practicing Ashwini Mudra has helped in improving the health condition related to the uterus. The uterus nurtures the fertilized ovum that develops into the fetus and holds the baby and keeps the baby safe in there till the birth.
Thus, core uterus muscle is really important not only during pregnancy but also during the menstrual cycle too. Ashwini Mudra when practiced along with Mul Bandha, strengthens the muscles of the uterus.
7. Relives constipation
Constipation is something that we all are aware of. Ashwini Mudra is one of the best yoga asanas for constipation and you will not have any side effects.
If constipation is not treated in time it can lead to various serious health problems like piles. The yoga asanas like Ashwini Mudra help in working out the pelvic muscle which is specifically helpful in avoiding the stomach and other health problems (10).
Further Reading: Shilpa Shetty Yoga for Weight Loss
8. Good for heart health
Practicing Ashwini Mudra can help you maintain good heart health. Hormones play a key role in maintaining cardiovascular health.
Horse gesture helps in controlling blood pressure and can be categorized as one of the best yoga asanas for blood pressure.
As this exercise does not include any jerks the heart patients can also perform this asana with ease.
9. Good muscle, bone health
Ashwini Mudra is an exercise technique that helps in maintaining the health of parathyroid that controls muscle and bone health. It also makes your body healthy and powerful enough to resist diseases or ailments.
Performing this yoga will keep you fit and fine and away from all the diseases.
Various yoga techniques work on improving the hormonal balance in your body. With the good amount of hormonal balance the nutrient absorption improves.
When you include nutritious food in your diet, your body should be able to absorb it to provide maximum benefit. Good absorption of calcium helps in improving bone health.
10. Awakens Kundalini energy
Kundalini energy is dormant energy that is present in the base of our spine, performing this yoga can awaken the dormant energy. This energy makes us more compassionate about things.
11. Fights stress and depression
Excessive stress has built up around us due to various reasons like work, health issues, family issues, etc. Continuous stress over a period can lead to depression. Yoga helps in fighting stress and depression.
Ashwini mudra helps in the proper functioning of the Adrenal gland that secrets cortisol, the stress controlling hormone.
12. Improves skin health
The Ashwini Mudra helps to maintain the endocrine system healthy that results in good skin health. Skin, pilosebaceous unit, eccrine, and apocrine sweat glands have hormonal receptors. With a healthy hormonal system these glands work well and keep you in pink of your health.
For healthy skin and young look, you can follow yoga asanas for glowing skin.
13. Helpful during pregnancy
Particularly Ashwini Mudra is helpful for women as during pregnancy it supports the gradual growing weight of the fetus.
It helps in the childbirth process by strengthening the core muscles that are involved during pregnancy. It also stabilizes the spine.
Ashwini Mudra has an option of breath retention (Kumbhaka), do not try to retain your breath during pregnancy. You can do this yoga pose without breath retention.
Weak pelvic muscles can lead to urinary incontinence and other intricacies. Thus, performing this yoga is really important to make your pelvic muscles strong. You can try kegel exercises for more benefit.
14. Improves lung capacity
As the horse gesture include practicing bandh, it helps in improving the lung capacity. When you breathe in and tend to retain it for a longer time it stretches the lungs and increases its capacity.
It tends to improve the condition of patients with Asthma, Bronchitis, and various other lung-related health issues. You can try yoga breathing exercises to increase lung capacity.
15. Effective on headache
The horse gesture has found to be effective on headaches. The breathing exercises like Ashwini Mudra brings calmness and relaxation, because of which they provide much-needed relief for frequent headache issues. Do not try this asana at the time you are suffering from a headache.
If you feel the headache increasing due to this pose, stop doing it and consult your doctor. We recommend seeing a doctor if you have severe frequent headaches.
Precautions to take
Though Ashwini Mudra has many health benefits it shall not be practiced by patients suffering from severe health issues.
Avoid doing the horse gesture if you have severe health issues related to uterus or anus. It is considered safe for pregnant women but if you have any pregnancy complication it is better not to practice this asana.
Patients with high blood pressure can practice this yoga asana, but if you feel the asana is creating health issues for you better stop doing it.
Anyone suffering from a critical illness-related to thyroid, spleen, liver, or slip disc shall consult a medical professional before practicing the Ashwini Mudra.
Few more words
Practicing Ashwini Mudra will not only make your pelvic muscles as strong and healthy as a horse but also your sexual life and stamina will improve.
Ashwini Mudra FAQs
Q: Is Ashwini Mudra effective in the treatment of piles and hemorrhoids?
Ans: Yes, Ashwini Mudra is quite helpful in the treatment of piles. You can regard this as one of the best yoga asanas for piles.
The contraction and relaxation of pelvic muscles help in treating the piles and reduces the burning sensation and pain. If you do this mudra daily you will start observing the effects pretty soon.
Q: What are Ashwini Mudra’s benefits for stress, anxiety, and depression?
Ans: Ashwini Mudra is effective in maintaining the health of the adrenal gland that secrets cortisol, which is helpful in managing stress, anxiety, and depression. This asana is a mixture of both yoga and exercise. The adrenal gland
The calmness involved while doing this asana will help in reducing the excess stress and contraction of muscles helps in improving health.
Q: Can Ashwini Mudra be done with Bandhas?
Ans: Yes, Ashwini Mudra itself contains the Mul bandha technique. This bandha is helpful in exercising the pelvic muscles and helps in improving sexual health. You can try different yoga asanas daily with all the three bandhas i.e. Mul bandh, Uddiyan bandh, and Jalandhar bandh.
Yoga is one of the most important ways to keep your physical and mental health calm and happy, and Ashwini Mudra is again one of the most important yoga of all. Thus, keep on practicing for a healthy and better life. Let the forces be with you!