Why is ‘Khechari Mudra’ called the King of Mudras?

In response to some recent queries on Online Yoga Classes from people in Perth and Washington and also queries on Yoga Mudras, I invite you to read this article and click on these relevant links (Online Yoga Classes in Perth and Online Yoga Classes in Washington) which will lead you to information about my Online Yoga Classes.

Now onto the topic of ‘Mudras’ – Yoga ‘Mudras’ are relatively unexplored practices, probably because its tough to accurately test their effectiveness. Yet, ancient Indian rishis have spoken very highly of these powerful practices and considering the deep wisdom of the rishis, we should value their words and give ‘Mudras’ a try.

The word ‘Mudra’ means a gesture or a seal. Yoga Mudras are usually formed by manipulating our fingers and thumbs in different ways to effect the flow of energy in the subtle body with the aim of bringing balance and health at all levels. Our fingers and thumbs represent the five elements of which we are composed. The thumb represents the Fire element the index finger represents the Air element the middle finger is Ether or Sky; the ring finger is Earth and the little finger represents Water element.

Using an analogy, let me try and help us understand why people have such an obscure perception of Yoga ‘Mudras’. Think of any building or a house; outwardly it’s impossible to see the quality of material and the amount of reinforcement and concrete structures that have been used in constructing it. Two structures may look identical from outside but one may have been built with the best quality material and more than adequate reinforcing structures; wheres the other may have been built using shoddy inferior material and insufficient iron and steel reinforcements and a poor architectural design. Outwardly they may both look aesthetically appealing and glossy and new and inviting but how will they both hold up to the storms of life? To harsh weather conditions, to earthquakes? Time will bring out the truth. In a similar vein it is difficult to observe the effect of practicing ‘Mudras’ outwardly but they are silently redirecting the flow of our life energies, strengthening weak areas and shaping us into more steady, strong and balanced, energetic beings.

A Brief Overview

Depending on our problem area, a specific ‘Mudra’ is recommended. Some talk of 25 basic ‘Mudras’ in yoga and others mention 108. The Indian system of classical dancing has a huge number of their own ‘Mudras’ but these are used for the purpose of evoking a particular mood.

A Yoga Mudra should initially be held just for a few minutes. With practice, a ‘Mudra’ can be held for 10 to 15 minutes, then further upto 45 minutes at a stretch and performed daily. With this dedicated practice, the effect of the ‘Mudra’ will be observed. Since holding ‘Mudras’ is a time consuming process, one should identify just a few ‘Mudras’ which suit our needs and then practice those with discipline.

The topic of the blog is ‘Khechari Mudra’ and we will examine this ‘Mudra’ as an exercise to widen our realm of knowledge on this fascinating subject. ‘Khechari Mudra’ is called the king of Mudras because it works on the Pituitary gland. The Pituitary makes, stores and releases hormones. Hormones are the very basis of human health. They impact every aspect of human functioning. The Pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain, below the hypothalamus. A ‘Mudra’ which can impact this powerful endocrine gland should indeed be called the king of ‘Mudras’.

While giving an overview of ‘Khechari Mudra’ I am also advising you that let this just be an interesting read. Do not practice this ‘Mudra’. Omit it completely. It is only for very seasoned and advanced yogis.

The meaning of ‘Khechari’ is an amalgam of two words ‘Khe’ meaning sky and ‘Chari’ means one who moves. Thus the deeper meaning is that, one who practices this mudra dwells in the sky, or this persons astral body is detached from his or her physical body.

To perform the ‘Khechari Mudra’ we fold our tongue back so that the lower part of the tongue curls back and touches the back of the upper palate. The tongue is actually required to go back much deeper so in ancient days, yogis would perform a daily massage on the tongue ligaments, to try and elongate it. Some extreme practitioners would also slowly cut the under attachment of the tongue, the ‘lingual frenulum’ with a clean, oiled blade which resembles the leaf of a Sunni plant. The severed elongated tongue could move back deep into the throat, into the Pharyngeal cavity and reach the Uvula. Please be cautioned that once the tongue is elongated in this way, it becomes difficult to speak clearly, as well as the added danger of the tongue falling back into the throat while sleeping and consequently choking to death. However once elongated and once the tongue can reach here, it can catch the nectar which drops from the mysterious energy centre, called the ‘Bindu Chakra’, which is located at the top and rear of the head. The ‘Bindu Chakra’ is closely connected with the Pineal Gland. The Bindu emits a ‘fountain of youth’ nectar, which works on the body and mind. Ancient rishis called it ‘Amrit’ or ‘fountain of immortality’ The more active our Bindu Chakra becomes the more fully does this ‘Amrit’ flow. Yogis explain that this nectar drips and falls straight down to the pit of the stomach, the region of the fire centre and the nector is burnt away. To be able to catch this nectar in the throat before it falls down further one works at elongating the tongue. The long tongue can weave its way back deep inside and catch the nectar as it falls.

The intricate connection between the tongue and the brain makes ‘Khechari Mudra’ a potent tool for enhancing concentration and mental clarity. By stimulating the brain’s frontal cortex, this ‘mudra’ can sharpen cognitive functions, improve memory, and foster a sense of inner calm. This makes it particularly beneficial for those seeking to deepen their meditation practice or enhance their creative abilities.

So in ending, it’s fascinating to learn about such ‘Mudras’ but we should turn our attention to the more easily practiced ‘Mudras’ such as ‘Gyan Mudra’, Sshambhavi Mudra’ ‘Apan Vayu Mudra’ ‘Prana Mudra’ etc, which reap many many physical and mental benefits. These are dynamic yet easily achievable.

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