Bandhas & mudras
These bandhas (locks) and mudras act as energetic valves and bridges to lock and guide the energy flow through the channels on it's path through the subtle body.
MULA BANDHA / ROOT LOCK
Squeeze the entire perineal region—front, middle, and back—inward and upward.
- Exhale completely. Notice that you do this pressing in with both your chest and abdomen.
- Do a mock inhalation using your chest, locking your glottis and restraining air from entering your lungs, and at the same time relax your abdomen. You should feel your chest lift.
- Holding the breath, try harder to inhale while keeping your abdomen relaxed. Your upper abdomen will form a deep concavity that extends up underneath your rib cage. This is uddiyana bandha.
- Relax your mock inhalation, letting your chest and abdominal organs drop and your abdomen release forward.
- Press gently in with your chest and abdomen, thus equalizing air pressure on the inside and outside of the body, and gently inhale without gasping.
- Firm your shoulder blades against your back torso to lift your sternum. Be careful not to push your front ribs forward.
- Full Jalandhara requires the chin to rest comfortably on the sternum (neck flexion). Many beginners make the mistake of only lowering the chin; in fact your chin should be met half-way by the elevated sternum.
- The focus of these complementary movements is the "crook" of the throat, where the underside of the chin meets the front of the neck. Draw this crook diagonally up and into your skull (toward the top of your spine). Your head should pivot and your chin should descend over this action, which simultaneously draws the top of the sternum upward.
- Work on lengthening the back of your neck, releasing your shoulders, and opening your chest. Never force your chin to your sternum.
Shambhavi is a powerful mudra used during meditation to still the mind and to experience higher stages of consciousness. Shambhavi mudra essentially involves gazing at the eyebrow center with open or closed eyes.
With our eyes we cannot actually see the place where the two eyebrows meet. But an attempt is made to focus the vision between the eyebrows. Roll both the eyes upwards and try to gaze at the eyebrow center.
Maintain this position for as long as you can. Initially, the eye muscles will start to pain after few seconds or within minutes. Relax the eyes and bring it back to the normal position. Rest for some time and try again. With practice one can maintain this gaze for longer period of time.
Kechari Mudra helps the practitioner to move in the blissful infinite consciousness of Brahman. Kechari is an advanced practice that enables the yogi to reach higher states of consciousness.
Roll up the tongue to touch the soft palate initially and then with due practice it is inserted into the nasal cavity behind the palette.