Too Sweet: Where Hinduism Meets Pro-Wrestling

Is too sweet too healthy? Zohaib Hussain/Getty Images

Yoga and professional wrestling have an interesting relationship. A growing number of performers turn to yoga to help maintain their physical well-being -- most of them gravitating towards the secularized DDP Yoga created by former grappler Diamond Dallas Page. But I can't help but ponder the more subtle connection between the worlds of suplex and shavasana...

(Dylan Pech/Creative Commons)

If you're a fan of pro-wrestling, you've probably seen the pictured hand gesture thrown up as a "too sweet" sign. The NWO and DX stables popularized the gesture in the WWF and WCW back in the 90s, while the NJPW/Ring of Honor Bullet Club faction continues the tradition today. I understand North Carolina State University sports fans have been throwing up this "wolfpack" sign for years, but I can't possibly comment on that.

In Hinduism and Buddhism, however, the "too tweet" gesture is a mudra known as the Apan mudra or the Bharatanatyam, depending on who you ask. A mudra is a ritual hand gesture that invokes traditional iconography and energy manipulation -- particularly in yogic practice. According to author Gertrud Hirschi, the Apan mudra supports the removal of waste materials and toxins. It helps urinary problems, contributes to liver function and balances the mind. Suggested dosage is 5-45 minutes a day, or 15 minutes three times a day.

That's the yogic take on the hand gesture. There's not a lot of science to discuss here, but a 2015 study presented at the 143rd American Public Health Association looked at the use of traditional Japanese Jin shin Jyutsu mudras by advanced-stage cancer patients (who were also undergoing traditional cancer treatments). Study author Sally Jane Algiere reported that "patients escaped most debilitating side effects of cancer treatment, experienced emotional and physical wellness and demonstrated exceptionally fast response rates and textbook notable shrinkage of tumors." So take that for what its worth.

So when Kevin Nash or one of the Young Bucks throws up a quick "too sweet" sign, are they actually harmonizing their energy? Are they exorcising toxins, strengthening the liver and balancing the mind? Until medical science properly studies the Young Bucks, we can only guess.

About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.