Maha Mudra – Alternative 1

Sitting position

The sitting position is siddhasana (for men) or siddha yoni asana (for women). These asanas are practised specifically to apply pressure in the perineum at the mooladhara chakra trigger point6. If you cannot sit in this asana you should practise maha mudra alternative 2 instead.

Technique

Sit in siddhasana or siddha yoni asana.

Make sure that one heel firmly presses the mooladhara chakra trigger point between the anus and the sexual organ.

Hold the spine upright.

Fold your tongue into khechari mudra; maintain it throughout the entire practice.

Open the eyes and exhale deeply.

Hold your breath.

Bend your head forwards.

Be aware of the mooladhara chakra and the pressure applied by the heel.

The first round starts here.

Repeat mentally three times: ‘mooladhara, mooladhara, mooladhara’.

Then inhale with ujjayi pranayama and let your awareness ascend through the chakra kshetrams in the frontal arohan passage (see figure 1).

Swadhisthana, manipura, anahata, vishuddhi, bindu.

There should only be awareness; no mental repetition.

As your awareness moves from vishuddhi to bindu, your head should slowly rise.

At bindu inhalation should be terminated and the head should lean slightly backwards (see figure 2).

Fix your awareness at bindu.

Hold your breath.

Repeat mentally: ‘bindu – bindu – bindu’ then practise moola bandha and shambhavi mudra while continuing to hold the breath.

Say mentally: ‘shambhavi – khechari -mool’ while moving your awareness through the centres of these practices (see figure 3).

When you say ‘shambhavi’ your awareness should be fixed at the eyebrow centre.

When you say ‘khechari’ your awareness should be fixed at the tongue and roof of the mouth.

When you say ‘mool’ your awareness should be fixed at the mooladhara chakra.

The rotation of awareness through shambhavi, khechari and mool should be done 3 times in the beginning; with practice this should be slowly increased to 12 times over a period of a few months or so.

Then release shambhavi mudra. Release moola bandha.

Become aware of the bindu again.

Then exhale with ujjayi pranayama and let your awareness descend through the chakra trigger points in the spinal awarohan passage: ajna. vishuddhi, anahata, manipura, swadhisthana’ (see figure 4).

There should only be awareness; no mental repetition.

As your awareness descends do unmani mudra.

When your awareness reaches the mooladhara chakra.

exhalation should terminate and your head should gently bend forwards.

Open your eyes.

This is the end of 1 round.

The whole process is summarized in the accompanying pictures.

Now start the second round.

Hold the breath.

While fixing awareness at the mooladhara chakra mentally repeat: ‘mooladhara – mooladhara – mooladhara’.

Then let your awareness ascend the frontal passage as already described.

Repeat 12 rounds.

Do not strain.

Breathing

Practise ujjayi pranayama throughout. One round is equivalent to one complete inhalation and exhalation. Hold the breath while repeating ‘mooladhara’ three times. Inhale while ascending the frontal passage. Hold the breath while repeating ‘bindu’ three times and while rotating awareness through shambhavi, khechari and mool. Exhale while descending the spinal passage.

Rotation through shambhavi, khechari and mool

Rotation of awareness through these centres must be done with retention of breath. A reasonably long retention is required in order to complete 12 rotations, therefore we suggest that beginners rotate their awareness through these centres 3 times. Gradually they can increase this by 1 rotation every week or so according to individual capacity, until they can do 12 rotations. Under no circumstances should you hold your breath for longer than is comfortable. In the practices of kriya yoga never force or strain the body in any way.

Also bear the following points in mind:

  • The eyes tend to droop during rotation of awareness. Take care to focus both eyes towards the eyebrow centre in shambhavi mudra.
  • Try to be aware of the three centres at the same time; this may be difficult in the beginning but it becomes easier with practice and effort.

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