Prithvi (earth) + mudra (gesture)
Ayurvedic Element – Earth
According to Eastern philosophy, everything in nature is composed of five main elements – earth, air, fire, water, and space. The same is true for our bodies, and through the ages, many methods were developed to harmonize these elements within us. One of them are mudras.
The mudra we are discussing today is named after earth, as it balances this element in the body. Prithvi literally translates to the “Vast One” which signifies earth in Sanskrit.
The earth element has a huge impact on both our physical and mental state, and it plays a crucial role in our everyday life. Balancing this element will make us strong, confident, and stable.
Due to this vital importance of the earth element, it is not surprising we can find many old images and sculptures of Buddha showing his hand in this gesture. Interestingly, we can also find depictions of Greek Orthodox priests and even Jesus Christ holding hands in the Prithvi Mudra.
On a deeper level, Prithvi mudra aids those who are looking for grounding in their meditation. In this manner, it may help one reach a deeper level of meditation, which in turn improves their way of thinking and aids them to reach a sense of bliss and fulfillment.
Ayurvedic Element – Earth
Prithvi mudra balances the earth element in our system, which is represented by the ring finger. The earth element has a vital significance for our health, as it is responsible for tissues, minerals, and vitamins in the body.
Therefore, this mudra may supplement any healing practice that works on the tissues, including hair, bones, muscles, nails, tendons, internal organs, and skin. Both physically and mentally, it can help one build strength, stability, endurance, and stamina.
This mudra doesn’t only increase the earth, it also suppresses the fire element, represented by the thumb. It brings balance within two elements and can reduce any symptom of excess fire, such as inflammations, infections, intense anger, impatience, and frustration.
Chakras – Root Chakra
As one would expect, the mudra which balances the earth element in the body also balances the Root chakra. A balanced root chakra brings similar effects as a balanced earth element – a greater sense of stability, grounding, and security.
If you want to heighten this effect, practice Prithvi mura along with a meditation dedicated to Root chakra. It can be a guided meditation, or you could simply envision red color, which represents this energy center.
Meridians – Triple Burner Meridian
When looked through the lens of Chinese medicine, this mudra activates the Triple Burner meridian, which stems from the ring finger.
Just like the earth element, this meridian also plays an important role for our health. It regulates and reduces excess heat in the three chambers within our bodies. These chambers refer to all internal organs in our bodies.
Working on this meridian aids in digestion, detoxification, and elimination of fluids and solids in the body. In turn, that will support the free flow of QI, or our vital energy.
Mentally, this burner is responsible for our ability to manage stress and other intense emotions, and its activation will bring us to a more balanced emotional state.
Prithvi Mudra Benefits
- Increases energy in the body, and reduces weakness, lethargy, and laziness.
- Unblocks the flow of prana or QI, which calms the nerves and brings our body to greater harmony.
- Builds endurance and stamina, both in a physical and mental sense, boosting our physical performance, and aiding us to think more clearly.
- The earth element is related to the tissues in the body, which means this mudra can bring harmony and healing to our muscles, tendons, skin, hair, internal organs, bones, and cartilage.
- By reducing heat in the body, Prithvi mudra may help combat all inflammatory-based issues, including ulcers, skin infections, and muscle and joint pain.
- May help those who struggle to gain body weight and strength, both by increasing earth and reducing fire.
How-To Perform Prithvi Mudra
1. Sit in any seated yoga pose.
2. Place your hands on your thighs, palms facing up. If you are able, practice the mudra with both hands.
3. Fold the ring finger and lightly press the tip of this finger to the tip of the thumb.
4. Keep the other three fingers as extended as you can.
5. Hold the mudra for five minutes, or for the whole duration of your meditation. You can also practice it multiple times a day.
Don’t press the fingers too hard, rather only tap the tip of the thumb lightly with the ring finger.
When to use Prithvi mudra
- Prithvi Mudra may help keep you energized and grounded in your meditation practice.
- You can practice the mudra in any meditation posture, including Easy Pose and Lotus Pose.
- The mudra is a fantastic choice for any meditation practice dedicated to balancing the Root chakra.
- One of the mantras that are traditionally practiced with this mudra is Om Namah Shivaya, which translates to “I Bow down to Shiva”, and is used to reach inner stillness and a sense of calm that allows deeper introspection.
- The Prithvi mudra is often practiced with Three Part Breath (Dirga Pranayama). This grounding pranayama.
Where & When
- Traditionally, Prithvi mudra is done in the morning on an empty stomach for 30 to 45 minutes. However, you may also choose to divide it into several sessions throughout the day.
- The best time to practice Vayu mudra is in the morning, on an empty stomach.
For more in-depth asana resources, check out our free Mudra Library. Here you’ll find complete guides to each and every yoga mudra to deepen your yoga knowledge.
Each mudra page features high-quality photos and illustrations, insights into the meridian, chakra, and ayurvedic element systems, as well as tips on how, why, and when to practice each mudra.