--> Skip to main content

Ashwini Mudra

Ashwini mudra is a term used in yoga. It is one of the 25 mudras mentioned in Gheranda Samhita, a 14th century text on Yoga incorporating sage Gheranda’s reply king Candahapali regarding tattvajnana. Literally, Ashwini means ‘mare’ and mudra means ‘seal’. Ashvini mudra involves the contraction and relaxation of anus muscles in a conscious and rhythmic way using the knee-chest posture (janu vakshasana). The horse does the same subconsciously when it defecates; hence the mudra is named after the hoofed animal.

While recaka (exhaling), the sadhaka (practitioner) contracts the anal orifice, concurrently drawing inside and upside the ring-like anal sphincters and the contractile tissues of the pelvic region for three-four seconds. The process is reversed while puraka (inhaling), by opening that anal orifice and pushing muscles in the said region downwards and towards the outside. During this practice, the body is stable; breathing is slow, steady but deeper than normal, and the mind focuses on the muladhara chakra, the four-petalled psychic center near the anus. This tones up the vital airs prana and apana which envelope pranamaya kosha (the etheric body) co-existing within the annamaya kosha (gross body). Yogis practice Ashwini mudra to rouse the kundalini shakti which lies coiled at the base of the spine (perineum) in every individual.

At the physical level, Asvini mudra provides vigor to the ano-rectal region and the pelvic muscles and organs. It is useful in piles, fistula, enlargement of prostate gland, sterility, sexual debility, nocturnal emissions, uterine disorders and post-delivery syndrome. Gheranda Samhita (III.78) states – this pre-eminent mudra cures all the diseases of the anus (and rectum), gives stamina and strength and saves one from untimely death.