Shanmukhi mudra can be translated as ‘the attitude of the seven gates’. Before attempting naumukhi we suggest that you practise shanmukhi mudra for a few days.
The sitting position for naumukhi mudra is siddhasana for men, and siddha yoni asana for women. These two asanas are most suitable since they apply a constant pressure at the mooladhara chakra trigger point in the area of the perineum.
If you cannot sit in one of the above asanas you can choose any other comfortable sitting pose as an alternative. If necessary you can use a cushion.
Sit in siddhasana or siddha yoni asana.
Keep the back straight but relaxed.
Close the eyes and keep them closed throughout the practice.
Do khechari mudra.
Place the hands on the knees and let the arms relax.
Exhale deeply and bend the head forwards slightly as shown in the accompanying figure 1.
The first round starts here.
Fix your attention on the mooladhara chakra.
Repeat ‘mooladhara’ mentally 3 times: ‘mooladhara – mooladhara -mooladhara’ while holding the breath.
Inhale with ujjayi pranayama and simultaneously move your awareness up the arohan (frontal passage) as illustrated in figure 1.
Be aware of each kshetram as you raise your awareness: swadhisthana, manipura, anahata vishuddhi.
Do not say the name mentally – only awareness of each centre.
Raise your head as your awareness passes from vishuddhi to bindu (figure 2).
Inhalation should be completed when your awareness reaches bindu.
Hold the breath.
Raise your head as your awareness passes from the face.
Practise shanmukhi mudra by closing the ears with the thumbs, the eyes with both forefingers, your nostrils with the two middle fingers and the lips with the fourth and fifth fingers (figure 3).
Do not apply too much pressure with the fingers – just enough to firmly close each ‘gate’.
Practise moola bandha, without jalandhara bandha.
Practise vajroli mudra.
At this stage all the gates are closed.
Be aware of the awarohan (spinal passage).
Try to visualize a shining copper trishul (trident) in the spine with the root in mooladhara chakra and the 3 prongs extending upwards from vishuddhi chakra (figure 4).
Continue to retain the breath.
The trident will move upwards slightly of its own accord so that the central prong pierces bindu.
As it pierces bindu, mentally pronounce the mantra ‘bindu bhedan’ (literally: ‘bindu piercing’) once.
Feel that there is an explosion of the mantra in all directions from bindu (figure 5).
Then the trident will drop downwards again to the starting position shown in figure 4.
Again it will rise; once more pronounce the mantra ‘bindu bhedan’ as the bindu is pierced.
Then it will drop again. Feel this alternate rising and falling of the trident for as long as you can comfortably hold your breath.
Then release vajroli mudra.
Release moola bandha.
Release the pressure of the fingers and thumbs and lower the hands to the knees.
Exhale with ujjayi pranayama and khechari mudra while simultaneously moving your attention through the centres in the awarohan as follows: bindu, ajna, vishuddhi, anahata, manipura, swadhisthana, mooladhara.
Be aware of each centre in turn (figure 6) – no mental repetition.
Exhalation should end at mooladhara.
Hold the breath.
Bend the head slightly forwards.
This is the end of the first round.
Start the second round immediately.
Inhale and let your awareness pass through the centres of the frontal passage and so on.
Practise 5 complete rounds.