Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
Mental and physical health is equally important components of overall health. For example, depression increases the risk of many types of physical health problems, particularly long-lasting conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Similarly, the presence of chronic conditions can increase the risk of mental illness.
It's important to remember that a person’s mental health can change over time, depending on many factors. When the demands placed on a person exceed their resources and coping abilities, their mental health could be impacted. For example, if someone is working long hours, caring for a relative, or experiencing economic hardship, they may experience poor mental health. Education and restrictions on free-thinking are becoming major contributors to mental health problems.
Fortunately, our ancestors discovered a yogic hand gesture called “Uttarabodhi (enlightenment) mudra” that gives us a degree of relief from mental health issues. This mudra fuels energy within oneself to get rid of a sense of fear. Uttarabodhi mudra strengthens the metal element. According to Chinese philosophy, the metal element is associated with the lungs and large intestine. It also affects the nervous system and is related to energetic impulses. The metal element allows the universal force Chi or Prana to enter from the outside to the inside of the body. It replenishes the internal energy reserves of the body.
All five fingers are involved in holding Uttarabodhi Mudra. These correspond to the following elements and energy chakras:
Thumb: The tips of both thumbs are joined at the tips or they are overlapped together. It stimulates the fire element which corresponds to solar plexus chakra (manipura)
Index finger: The index fingers are extended upwards and are joined at the tips stimulating the air. It governs the heart (anahata) chakra
Middle finger: It represents the sky (ether) and stimulates the throat chakra (vishudda)
Ring finger: It is for the ear element that stimulates root chakra (muladhara)
Little finger: This represents water influencing the sacral chakra (svadhisthana)
In this way, all the energy chakras are balanced and synchronised holding Uttarabodhi mudra. Hence, it promotes energy levels within the practitioner.
How to practice the mudra
It is performed by entangling all the fingers together. Only the index fingers and thumbs are extended and joined together at the tips pointing upward and downward respectively.
Draw your awareness towards the tips of your index fingers pointing vertically up and the flow of your breath
Keep your hands near your Navel on Manipura Chakra (Solar Plexus)
Performing Uttarabodhi Mudra while lying down is completely acceptable. Just make sure that in this reclined pose the tips of the thumbs rest on the lower end of the sternum
Try practising it for at least 15 minutes one to three times each day
Uttarabodhi Mudra can be practised anywhere, at any time. There is no such specific restriction on how to do this mudra. There is no harm in doing it any length of time.
(There are over 350 health problems that can be prevented/cured with mudras. To know more visit www.artofselfhealing.in)