Fitness

Balancing the water element

Many ancient philosophies such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Yoga and Tarot talk of the classical elements which were believed to reflect the simplest components that constitute all physical matter, including the human body. These were water, air, earth, fire and a fifth esoteric element of ‘quintessence’ which was called ‘aether’ in ancient Greece and ‘akasha’ in India. An imbalance of these elements is said to be the cause of diseases and pain in the body.

For example, excessive fire in the body, brought on by a poor diet and eating habits, could cause acidity and heartburn. Another illustrative example is water, the most abundant element in the body and a necessary vehicle to maintain equilibrium in the body. It constitutes cells, lymph, blood, mucous, saliva, digestive juices, enzymes and cerebrospinal fluids. Excess or insufficient water element in the body causes a whole host of ailments and disorders and wears the body out at the cellular level. Yoga offers the following mudras which use the little finger (which controls the water element) to restore balance and health.

Jal Vardhak/Varun Mudra for Dehydration

Inadequate consumption of water sabotages the efficient functioning of cells and organ systems. In addition to drinking more water, this mudra increases the water element in the body. It rehydrates tissues at a cellular level and helps overcome associated disorders like constipation, cramps and skin ailments.

On both the hands, place the tips of the thumb and the little finger together.

Perform this mudra for 45 minutes at a stretch or 15 minutes thrice a day for ten days.

Jal Shaamak Mudra for Water Retention

Water retention is caused by an excess of water which doesn’t drain through natural methods like urination and sweating. This is usually caused by hormonal imbalances, lack of exercise and strong medication like steroids. Symptoms of this condition include bloating in the belly, hyperacidity, runny nose and clammy hands and feet.

In each hand, place the tip of the little finger at the base of the thumb and press the thumb onto the little finger applying gentle pressure. This amounts to suppression of the water element in the body.

Perform this mudra for 45 minutes at a stretch or 15 minutes thrice a day for ten days.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 9:54:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/fitness/yoga-to-manage-water-retention/article7565800.ece

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