An interview with Sujit Sukumaran, HR professional, TEDx Speaker, Graphology (handwriting analysis) and mudra therapy coach.
A simple, chemical-free and non-intrusive complementary method of healing is the relatively unknown mudra therapy (an ancient Indian therapeutic discipline). In layman’s terms – mudra is a hand position, created by ancient yogis to balance the flow of energy in the body and mind. Mudras are practiced to restore physical health, calm the mind and optimize the flow of energy. The seemingly simple exercises have the potential to promote mental and physical wellbeing, says Sujit Sukumaran, graphologist and mudra-therapy coach, based in the UAE. Challenged with CP Diplegia as a child, Sujit who is fluent in 4 languages says, ‘my condition took me from disability to capability to opportunity’.
“A lot of people with half-baked knowledge relegate mudra therapy as a ‘poor cousin’ or sub-branch of yoga,” explains Sujit. “However, though mudras have their origin in yoga, it is entrenched in other disciplines as well. While yoga works if the aspirant is serious, mudra acts if the aspirant is even more serious, since they require a certain stillness of the mind too. It is slow but subtle and powerful. Applications wise, mudras work on the fundamental philosophy that the five elements – fire, earth, space, water and air are there in the five fingers of your hand. If the imbalances in our bodies can be balanced, we will have long and healthy lives. Each part of our hand corresponds with a particular area of our brain and body. Mudras stimulate our glands, nerves, and organs.”
Describing his journey as a disabled child, Sujit says: “Being born as a person with cerebral palsy, I was always visiting yoga studios as part of my treatment. In my early years, I met late Dr. Suman Chiplunkar, one the doyens of mudra therapy (her book on mudra science has been published 52 times in 3 languages and has broken records). After her initial guidance, I started my research by applying the mudras on people with cerebral palsy, after taking permission from their doctors. On receiving encouraging results with bedridden patients in our pilot programs, I was motivated to expand this healing therapy to people suffering from other ailments as well.”
Mudras have been used in the East for thousands of years and were practiced by spiritual leaders. Nowadays, mudras are used in yoga and meditation practices.
Sujit has been conducting 2-day workshops for beginners and week long courses for advanced students. “To graduate to the advanced course, the participant should have logged in 8-9 months of consistent practice before becoming eligible for the advanced course. As of today, we have trained over 250 people, across different nationalities, age groups and professions. The advanced course is one-week long, over four months. So, 4 weeks in total. On a day to day basis, a person needs to invest 15-30 minutes, at least 3 times a week for improved health and as a preventive measure.”
According to Sujit, mudra therapy has benefitted people with diverse health issues – from insomnia, depression, anxiety and panic attacks, spastic people and those having cerebral palsy, arthritis, students having examination fear, for improved memory, heart health among others.
There are hundreds of mudras, some for general healing, some are restorative while others are preventive. There are more than 2,500 nerve receptors per square centimeter in each one of our hands. By practicing these simple mudras, we can stimulate holistic healing in our bodies.
I met Sujit through a Toastmasters program and joined his 2-day Mudra course out of curiosity. It was really very nice and informative. Though I did not have any specific health complaint while doing the course, I am now using the mudras in combination with yoga and pranayama to deal with lower back pain, stress at work and forgetfulness that comes with multi-tasking. Regular practice and consistency is important for any person who wants to benefit from this chemical-free healing therapy. The gyan mudra and hakini mudra has helped in increasing my concentration levels, become calmer and more focused. Though my back is not fully healed, but the mudras have helped me cope with pain. They can be used for preventive as well as symptomatic relief. Sujit usually recommends 3 cycles of mudra practice for 8-10 minutes each, so an investment of 25-30 minutes is required for any person desirous of benefitting from this practice.Sumita Narayan – working with DHL Global Forwarding
“I attended the Mudras course conducted by Sujit Sukumaran in 2017. The course was for 2 days, around 3 hours each day. I had joined the course because I suffer from bronchial asthma. I had tried medication but allopathy never suited me and being a strong believer of yoga and alternative medicines, I decided to give mudras a try. I am very picky when it comes to my teachers but was aware of Sujit's work and the way he taught, and so trusted him completely. After practicing it for around 41 days, my asthma reduced by 30%. I can feel the difference now and the fact that I am using my lungs more.
I am an extremely emotional and often hold on to emotions which leads to stress. Sujit explained that mudras can help let go of such pent-up emotions and that made me feel rejuvenated and focus more on the present. I always knew that our palms have some nerve endings and mudras help you heal. I do practice mudras even today. My all-time favourite is the de-stress mudra for whenever I feel anxious especially when my boss is having a go at me or have an interview to attend or if I receive some bad news.”Meesha Kapoor, 30, Content Developer
“I have known Sujit as a friend and mentor, and I always attend his workshops whenever possible. I attended the 2-day mudras course in 2007 and we learn over 40 mudras in a span of 2 days. The course appealed to me. I am a yoga enthusiast and an Art of Living aspirant, and therefore wanted something concrete and portable that I could do anywhere, and at any time. I am a banker by profession and you know how the pressure in my profession is? I had breathing issues, faced stress and lack of clarity in thoughts because of multiple issues in office. Sujit’s approach of customizing a mudra plan based on specific ailments helped. The dilemma would then be about which mudra to apply for ourselves? Sujit outlined Adi, Hakini and Gyan Mudras for me for the issues of confidence, clarity and stress management. As a result of the practice, I have become more aware and mindful. I practice the mudras 3 times a week as part of my health plan, often using idle time like when I am stuck in traffic. The two specific areas of medical issues and their remedies, along with relationship mudras were the best ones for me. I recommend everyone to try it - skeptic or practitioner or aspirant. Sujit has a wealth and depth of knowledge. His no-nonsense and disciplined approach to the practice struck a chord with me immediately.”Bala Mudaliar - Banker HSBC