Updated: Aug 22, 2020
Like acupuncture and acupressure, mudras are said to influence the flow of energy through the body. The Pushan Mudra has become one of my favorites. It was my own digestive issues that inspired me to learn more about nutrition. This mudra has supported my digestion and I use it when I get car-sick. If you wonder how that is possible...read on!
About Pushan Mudra:
Pushan is the Sanskrit name for "one who nourishes". When you perform this mudra, it stokes your internal digestive fires, which helps your body optimize the nourishment it receives from the foods you eat. (1) The Pushan Mudra is also called the "gesture of digestion". It influences the energy currents that are responsible for absorbing and utilizing food. It has a relaxing effect on the solar plexus which is the area of the stomach, liver, spleen and gallbladder. It helps to regulate energies in the autonomic nervous system. It mobilizes elimination and it helps with detoxification. It reduces flatulence and eases the sensation of being too-full after big meals. It stimulates deeper breathing and therefore the absorption of oxygen and the release of carbon dioxide in the lungs. This has a beneficial effect on general or acute nausea, seasickness and car-motion-sickness.
This mudra symbolizes the accepting and receiving with the gesture of one hand, and letting things flow and let go with the gesture of the other. By coordinating both gestures together, this mudra support the natural acceptance, flow and letting go process of digestion. (1)
How to Practice Pushan Mudra:
This mudra is one that can be practiced for 5 minutes as a remedy after eating if you develop bloating, flatulence or are experiencing fullness in the stomach (2).
This mudra is unique (and initially a little tricky to remember) because each hand holds a different posture. Plus there are 2 version options for the right hand, depending on where you feel the most digestive upset, but I have some tips to share for remembering the positions.
Left hand mudra (this is the easy hand because it stays the same):
Turn your palm up, touch and press the tips of the middle and ring finger to the thumb tip. The index and small fingers remain gently extended. One way to remember this position is to use the mnemonic “left looks like a llama” (3)
Right hand mudra for upper-GI-tract issue (like reflux and belching) as well as nausea:
With your palm up, press the tips of the index and middle finger to the tip of the thumb. The ring and small fingers remain outstretched. You can remember UPPER GI by thinking of the index and middle fingers being in an upper-position in being held higher and closer to the thumb.
Right hand mudra for lower-GI-tract issues (like gas, bloating or constipation):
Also with palm up, press the tips of the ring and small fingers to the tip of the thumb. The other 2 fingers are gently extended (index and middle). You can remember LOWER GI by seeing the ring & small fingers as being in a lower-position further way from the thumb.
With the backs of the hands resting on top of the thighs, increase the pressure from the fingertips on thumb with your inhalation and release pressure a bit on exhalation for a relaxing effect.
If you’d like to try adding visualization you can coordinate it with your breathing. During inhalation, take in energy in the from of light moving into your hands, up your arms, into your chest and down into your solar plexus (belly-center). Let your belly expand with the inhalation and pause briefly before exhaling to let the energy spread within you and become transformed. During exhalation, let the expended energy flow down into your legs and releasing into the ground. With every breath, fill yourself up with more light and clarity.
May the practice of Pushan Mudra calm your mind and nurture your digestion!
1) Hirschi, G. (2000) Mudras: Yoga In Your Hands. (pp 86-76). York Beach, ME. Red Wheel/Weiser.
2) Kapoor, H. (January 30, 2013) “Pushan Mudra – mudra for digestion and for relieving nausea/sea sickness”. learningdays.tumbler.com
3) Spindler, B. “A Hand Mudra For Digestion”. yogainternational.com
4) Frazier, K. “Pushan Mudra”. yoga.lovetoknow.com