Mudra Mantra: Here's how Indra Mudra can help combat heat stroke

Heat stroke results from prolonged exposure to high temperatures

Prof G B LuthriaUpdated: Saturday, March 26, 2022, 08:03 PM IST

Summer is back, and in many parts of India, with a vengeance called heat wave. Even otherwise, summer brings with it a whole host of physical and mental trials. We are prone to dehydration, short temper, fatigue and lack of appetite as we brave the travails of daily life - including traffic and a long day of work. With virtually all nations deciding to opt with the policy of “living with covid”, wearing a mask and protective clothing does not make bearing summer any easier. For the privileged, consuming cold beverages, and switching on air-conditioning may be a way of beating heat, but this solution is short term - actually worse, as stepping into intense heat from a body comforting state can be quite harmful - to the point of causing one to suffer from a heat stroke.

Heat stroke results from prolonged exposure to high temperatures — usually in combination with dehydration — which leads to failure of the body’s temperature control system. Heatstroke occurs when the core body temperature rises above 40.5 degrees Celsius, and the body’s internal systems start to shut down. Normally, sweating helps to maintain a healthy body temperature by increasing heat loss through evaporation. When a person becomes dehydrated, they do not sweat as much, their blood becomes concentrated and organ functioning is impaired.

Heatstroke is the most severe form of heat injury and is considered a medical emergency. Heat stroke can kill or cause damage to the brain and other internal organs. Although people over the age of 50 are more susceptible, it can also takes a toll on the healthy young. Heat stroke often occurs as a progression from milder heat-related illnesses such as heat cramps, heat syncope (fainting), and heat exhaustion. But it can strike even if you have no previous signs of heat injury.

Many organs in the body can suffer tissue damage and the body temperature must be reduced quickly. Most people will have profound central nervous system changes such as delirium, coma and seizures. As well as effects on the nervous system, there can be liver, kidney, muscle and heart damage. Other common symptoms include nausea, seizures, confusion, disorientation, and sometimes loss of consciousness or coma.

Heatstroke may appear similar to heat exhaustion, but the skin may be dry with no sweating and the person’s mental condition worsens. They may stagger, appear confused, fit, collapse and become unconscious.

Warning signs of heatstroke vary, but may include:

  • Very high body temperature

  • Red, hot, dry skin (no sweating)

  • Dry swollen tongue

  • Rapid pulse

  • Throbbing headache

  • Dizziness, confusion, nausea

  • Collapse

  • Eventual unconsciousness.

While it is imperative to keep the body hydrated in summer, regular practice of the Varun (water) or Indra Mudra can certainly guard against heat strokes by regulating the water within. Research has shown that yoga mudras provide a means to access and influence the unconscious reflexes and primal, instinctive habit patterns that originate in the primitive areas of the brain around the brain stem. Yoga mudras create a subtle, non-intellectual connection

Besides there are other benefits:

  • All diseases produced by even a slight deficiency of water are cured by this Mudra.

  • It produces glow to the face and body, keeps body soft and wrinkle free, youthful look.

  • It cures all skin problems such as Itching, eczema, dry skin.

  • It is very good to avoids oral rehydration system (ORS), therefore children and older people who are more prone to dehydration should do this Mudra more frequently.

  • It is also helpful to patients having kidney problem and diabetes, high fever, etc.

  • It improves bitter taste.

To Perform the Varun Mudra
Sit in a comfortable position. Put both of your hands on the knees and touch the thumb with the little finger with the palm facing above.
Hold the rest of the fingers straight together. It has to be performed for 15 to 45 minutes but for best outcome practice for 30 to 45 minutes while breathing naturally. This posture helps when the water element is in access in the stomach or the lungs. This Mudra is also useful if there is any swelling in the body. It is also very beneficial for Elephantiasis tropical or lymphatic filariasis.

Sense of Taste: The element water is also closely associated with taste. Loss of taste is usually a side-effect of chemotherapy and this mudra can help bring the taste sensation back

Circulation and Anemia: Fluid circulation is essential for the human body, that involves the easy flow of blood, lymph drainage, and water. This circulation is important as it keeps the body hydrated, and with the practice of Jala Mudra (Mudra of Water) the circulation of blood throughout the body is improved and with better circulation of blood to the organs, the symptoms of anemia are reduced.

Women's Health: Women usually experience hormonal imbalance during mensuration (commonly known as PMS - Premenstrual Syndrome), and during menopause which can cause various issues like cramps, irregular flow, fatigue, heavy flow, moodiness etc. Other hormonal imbalances in the body may cause weight gain or loss, mood swings and metabolism disorders. It can bring the hormones in balance and keep the body and mind in harmony.

Seniors and Arthritis: One of the common causes of arthritis is degeneration of joints, tissues and cartilages. And typically this is seen in old age. It helps in lubricating the joints and keep them supple. Thus this can tremendously help those, who suffer from arthritis, symptoms related to rheumatoid arthritis, or even osteoporosis.

Stimulation and Organs: improves the blood circulation throughout the body and healing many organs and their functionalities. The kidneys are responsible for maintaining healthy fluid levels in the body and this practice aids the same, helps in healing Oliguria, which is urinary incontinence disorder that is usually caused by dehydration or medication side-effects etc.

It improves lack of vitality, dryness, lack of flow, rigidity, etc. leading to better flexibility of the joints and muscles. It also helps in improving the circulatory system, lymphatic system, urinary system, reproductive system, and together they help in keeping the body vibrant and vital. It brings creativity, encourages emotional balance, reducing anger and fear, bringing peace with improved relationships with others, and with awareness one can feel spiritually inclined.

In effect, the Mudras help increase the Vata and Pitta doshas in our body.

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