Ashwini Mudra Practice and Its Benefits

Ashwini Mudra Meaning

Before we talk about the ashwini mudra practice, lets define its meaning. Ashwa means “horse” in Sanskrit, and mudra is a “gesture” or “sign” but this doesn’t say much about what ashwini (asvini, ashvini) mudra is. The real meaning of it lies in its definition: the practice of a rhythmic contraction of anal sphincter, which allows directing the prana (apana) flow upward the spine through the main energy channel called sushumna. In yoga ashwini mudra is a beginners technique, which means it’s relatively easy, and precedes some other techniques such as mula bandha or vajroli mudra.

Mudras are used along with bandhas to enhance the practice of yoga.

The basic technique for the mudra is pretty simple, but it nevertheless is powerful and makes the mudra one of the essential parts of many internal yoga practices, such as mula bandha or viparita karani mudra; it is not uncommon to see practice of ashwini mudra and vajroli mudra done together. The very similar technique is used in Qigong – Iron Shirt to fill the internal organs with prana to make them healthier and more resistant to the external influences and damages.

How to Do Ashwini Mudra

Ashwini Mudra PracticeFirst of all you need to take an asana or yoga pose. While the best pose for such practices is considered to be the lotus pose or padmasana, you can also do well with some simpler poses. For example, it can be siddhasana or vajrasana; you can even use sukhasana as an ashwini mudra asana.

Once you got into the posture, relax for a minute, breathing freely and deeply. Then inhale fully (especially filling the lower part of the lungs), hold your breath, and contract the anal sphincter muscles with a 1-2 seconds interval. For men there should be 4 contractions, and for women – 5. This is due to the differences between men and women physiology. These numbers designate the average quantity of anal muscles contractions required to push the prana from the pelvis to the head. Try to completely relax the anal muscles between the contractions.

Why you need doing this and what benefits you can get from this horse pose, I’ll describe later. Now we’ll be talking more on ashwini mudra breath and other details.

OK, you are holding your breath, and have made the required number of contractions; now, press your chin against the bottom of the neck, touch the palate with the tip of your tongue and start releasing your breathe (exhaling), then release the mudra, and after that slowly raise your head. The success in this practice comes when your feel like shivering wave goes through your body. This wave is actually the prana which has been stimulated by your practice. You can repeat it 3-5 times or as much as you want – just don’t overstress yourself, as the balance is the key to success in everything.

Ashwini Mudra Benefits

How important ashwini mudra in yoga? How can you benefit from it?

The mudra works both externally and internally, or, in other words, on the level of the physical body and on the energy level.

In a physical plane the asana stimulates the abdomen and pelvis area including reproductive and digestive organs. This simple practice can help you get rid of constipation, deals with diseases of the rectum and hemorrhoids, and can improve your sexual health. Since it stimulates the prana flow toward the upper part of the body, it slows down the aging process and improves the health in general. It also makes your body more resistant to diseases if you practice this yoga mudra regularly.

On a more subtle level, it increases the awareness, makes your mind more peaceful, gives more energy, and can even improve your mood.

If you are thinking about doing ashwini mudra during pregnancy, then it is possible to some extent, but I cannot give you a clear advice here, since it may require the personal attendance and a conclusion of your doctor on your current condition.

Anyway, the practice of ashvini yoga mudra is simple, safe and very effective so there is no reason why you cannot do it or start learning this wonderful yoga technique.

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45 thoughts on “Ashwini Mudra Practice and Its Benefits

  1. Thank you very much for providing a important details on Ashwini Mudra.
    It will help a lot in our daily life.


    Viral Shah

  2. Hi there,
    thank you very much for this article.
    May I ask you if there’s any other yoga exercises for the pelvic floor and where I can find them?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi, Joe,
      Well, there are yoga poses and techniques for the pelvic floor, such as Mula Bandha (a natural extension of Ashwini Mudra), Vajroli Mudra, Salabhasana (the Locust pose), Navasana (the Boat pose), Brahmachariasana (the Celibate pose), Bhadrasana or Baddhakonasana (The Bound Angle Pose, or Cobbler Pose), and some other. I plan to cover them later on this website, but you can find them easily, searching these names on the Internet. If you want to get more info on these and other yoga practices, you can have a look at some great books on yoga.

  3. Hello sir,
    wonderful helping info but I have a little confusion …pl clarify.
    you have said “releasing your breathe (exhaling), then RELEASE THE MUDRA, and after that slowly raise your head. ”
    I cant understand what does “RELEASE THE MUDRA” mean…. is it the tounge position or the asan we are sitting in?
    ALSO pl guide to
    any mudra for healing & strngthenin the intestion, colon, rectum?

    waiting eagerly for the reply…

    with regards,

    1. Well, by ‘releasing the mudra’ I mean the relaxation of the anal sphincter muscles, which should be done after you start exhaling (just a couple of seconds after). At that time you also need to start lifting your head, since it is not advised to breathe while holding the Jalandhara Bandha. Your tongue also returns to its normal position once you raise your head.

  4. release = relax = not contracted…right ??

    Does this help to cure Piles bleeding & in rectal prolapse too?

    with regards

    1. Hello, Hema,

      release = relax = not contracted…right ??

      That’s right. After releasing the mudra you simply need to relax your body, especially the anal sphincter muscles. Then you can repeat Ashwini mudra once again up to 3-5 times (or if you got some experience in it, you can do it more).

      Does this help to cure Piles bleeding & in rectal prolapse too?

      Technically it can. You need to be careful though, not to over strain yourself. To enhance Ashwini mudra you can combine it with the inverted poses such as Viparita Karani Mudra, but again, you can do so only if there are no contradictions for the inverted poses (such as varicosity, thrombophlebitis, thrombosis, etc.)

    2. Namaste Hema …
      I read various comments at the end.
      The cure you are seeking for piles , and bleeding one, may not be through any Yogic exercise, since physiology is ‘degenerated’ due to piles and bleeding, it needs to be restored by ‘Operation and Medicines’ which sets right the disorder.
      second : the root cause of piles is ‘disorder in body set in due to constipated system which again is caused due to Hectic Life, stress of work profession, wrong foods, lack of exercise.
      Triangular attack on piles will ensure , after surgical operation ( ayurvedic one is called ‘ksharsutra’ , or allopathic one ) that patient is healthy and fit to lead healthy life :
      Stress should be removed through “Cathartic meditation called Dynamic Meditation’ or any other similar techniques.
      Stress also builds due to ‘unfinished business’ at they call it in Psychological world. Stress release is must for relaxed mind and body.
      secondly Food: spicy, oily pastry and cold drinks butter, etc are longs list of food that hampers digestion and vitiates the intestinal track leading to rupturing inner wall of rectum in the form of hardened waste.
      Exercises: play vital role , Yoga, Or One Hour Exercise which involves four stages of 15 Minutes each , : Spot Jogging, Swaying , Eye rotating, Shavasan. Spot jogging is easy where one jogs with knee raised as high as possible. Swaying : Sit down wit cross leg. put hands on waist, bend from waist, bring head up to right knee and keep moving towards left. straighten the back. repeat. third one is Eye rotating, : where lie down and keep rotating eyes in circle 360 degree keep head static, move eyes imagiging big size clock on ceiling and at boundary of clock eyes are running in circle. last fifteen minutes are for relaxing .. Observing the body. Ensure to avoid cool breeze which may create ‘cold and cough’ with perspiration cooling down body too fast…

  5. Does Ashwini Mudr cure Piles & in rectal prolapse too? If so what is minimum period required to cure this problem as i was suffering since 10 years.

  6. sir , thanks for the info … i have two questions. 1. we have to do 4 contractions while holding the breath? 2. does it solve problem of erectile dysfunction.

    1. 1) To say the truth, there are different ways or techniques to do ashwini mudra, but as for this method – yes, you need to inhale, hold your breath and do the 4 contractions for men (5 for women), then release your breath slowly along with releasing the mudra.

      2) Yes, it does. But it is the initial stage. Then you need to add vajroli mudra and mula bandha, and practice them regularly to get rid of the erectile dysfunction.

      1. Sir ,
        what do you mean by releasing the mudra. i mean what is process involved in releasing the mudra. and sir please can you tell me the detail method for ashwini mudra , vajroli mudra and mool bandha. and which one should be done first and which should follow it. can you give proper instruction sir?

        thanks and regards

        1. what do you mean by releasing the mudra

          I mean relaxing. Basically, the essence of the mudra is the contraction of the anal sphincter muscles. The releasing of the mudra means the relaxation of these muscles, and you should do it after you start exhaling (not immediately, but few seconds after exhaling).
          As for the vajroli mudra and mula bandha, I guess I’m going to write a separate post(s) on them.

  7. U said to touch the tip of the tongue with palette. Now can u explain what is palette
    What is palete??? The thing which should be touched by tongue?

  8. firstly very thank you for your kind info.

  9. the ashwini (horse) mudra is to contract the anal muscles like a horse(or cow) when it excretes. its a series of contractions which can be observed if we go to a cowshed or stable and be watchful.

    1. It may do so, but you also need to adjust your diet and eating habits, as well as physical activity. It’s difficult to tell, how long it may take to cure the piles with the Mudra.

  10. Hi,
    Can you please explain the difference between mulabandha and ashwini mudra… because I end up doing the same thing when I try to practice either of them. Thanks..

    1. Hi, Alice,
      Well, Ashwini mudra can actually be a part of Mula bandha (depending on the particular technique). Ashwini mudra means anal sphincter contraction, while the main technique for Mula bandha includes the contraction of the specific area in the perineum (but in addition to it, it may also include Vajroli and Ashwini mudra).

  11. Hi,
    I would like to know, if contraction of anus is done for 10 seconds and 20 times(as doctor suggested) and 3 or 4 times a day , will that cause pain in buttock muscles and bone ? Please help, since I am taking pain medication for that.

    1. Hello,
      You shouldn’t urge the practice if you have no previous experience in Ashwini Mudra. Start low and increase gradually to prevent any health problems or pains. But normally such practice will not cause any serious pain; the latter may appear due to anal muscle over-tension.

  12. I have a doubt in doing ashwini mudra.Do we have to contract the anal sphincter with which a person urinate or the anus which person poops.
    Some or telling me to contract the anus ( back )and some to contract the anal sphincter (front).Till now i thought that contracting anus which helps in pooping is ashwini mudra and contracting the anal sphincter which helps us to urinate is vajroli mudra. Am i right or wrong?
    Could you please describe the difference between vajroli and ashwini mudra .
    According to the above post they both look similar to me

  13. sir m suffring from constipatience and bcoz of this prob m also facing the stage of anal fissere… n i could not done this pranayam …what should i do..

    1. Hello, Priya,
      Well, first of all you need to eliminate constipation and the fissures. The constipation can be relieved through the adjustment of your diet: eat more fresh vegetables and fruits, drink more water, chew your food more thoroughly, have a regular walk, do some other yoga asanas such as Pavan Muktasana series, Surya Namaskar, maybe even Basti kriya from time to time. The fissures should also be addressed but it’s better to approach a doctor for that purpose. Once you got rid of the fissures, you can start doing Ashwini Mudra carefully.

  14. Thanks for good suggestion .pl mention aswin mudra number wise.

    2 contact and release anus mussel 4 times.
    3 exhale.

    I am right .im a beginner sir. Thanks and regards

    1. Yeas, Sanjay, you’re right. But that’s only one variation of Ashwini mudra; there is another one, when you inhale, contract just once along with inhalation, hold it for a few seconds, then release with the exhalation.

  15. Hi There,

    I have been facing a problem since last 9 months that is whenever I have chicken or Masala food from the very next day I am experiencing pain in the Anus and then unbearable itching sensation for next one week or so. Please let me know is this a symptom or Hemorrhoids if so please tell me the best way to cure it permanently

    1. Well, Rajan, I have no idea if that was Hemorrhoids or not, but to deal with similar problems you need to practice Ashwini Mudra and other yoga asanas that strengthen the pelvic muscles. And maybe you should drop eating chicken then? 🙂

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