Ashwini Mudra (Horse Gesture)

An integral part of kriya yoga techniques is the practice of moola bandha’. To do this bandha correctly one must have sensitivity in the region of the anus and the perineum (the area between the anus and the sexual organs). An excellent technique for developing this sensitivity is called ashwini mudra. Without first of all mastering ashwini mudra it is very difficult for most people to practise moola bandha correctly. It is for this reason that we have introduced ashwini mudra at this stage.

Ashwini mudra also gives many benefits in its own right as we will shortly explain.

The word ashwini means ‘horse’ and in this context the word mudra means ‘attitude’. Therefore, this practice can be literally translated as ‘the attitude of the horse’. It does not take much imagination to understand the reason for the name; if anyone has ever watched the anus of a horse, he will see that the horse very often does the yogic practice of ashwini mudra. That is, the horse rhythmically contracts and relaxes the anal muscles.


Ashwini mudra can be done in almost any asana, including any of the meditational asanas previously described. You can integrate it with any asana that you do in your asana program. However, since we have introduced sarvangasana3 in this lesson, we suggest that you definitely perform it in the final pose of sarvangasana. Not only does this mean that you can do two practices at the same time, but this combination happens to be very beneficial, as we will explain later.

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