Jul 192015
 

Registration Open for Mudra Vigyan – The Science of Yoga Gestures Level I

MUDRA VIGYAN

SAVY Yoga Studios Proudly Announce

 OPENING OF REGISTRATION

OF

SPECIALITY

Mudra Vigyan – The Science of Yoga Gestures Level I

30 HOURS PROGRAM

Learn and experience  the science behind Hand Gestures.

WILL BE COUNTED TOWARDS RYT 500 or YOGA THERAPY 1000 PROGRAM

World-Class Yoga teacher training in Canada

Under one of the top qualified faculty!

Join and immerse yourself in the sea of knowledge and practice!

 Open to anyone looking to become a

Yoga Alliance Registered

RYT 500 Yoga Teacher

Or

YOGA THERAPIST 1000

Or

Deepen their yoga practice and knowledge

SAVY International Inc. is an RYS 200, and RYS 300 Yoga School

Registered with Yoga Alliance, USA

(We provide YTT in Yoga Retreats all around the world also)

We also offer RYT 200, Yoga Therapy, Breathing Educator and many other course.

Your Teacher Trainer – Dr Jitender K Sahdev E-RYT 500, RCYT, RPYT, D.Sc. (Alternative Medicine), Ph.D. (Alternative Medicine),MD (Alternative Medicine), M.B.,B.S., Fellow in Surgery and Surgical Oncology, is a Yoga Therapist and Yoga Teacher in London ON. A Surgeon by profession from India, he utilizes Yoga as a stand-alone as well as complementary therapy for optimizing the health and wellness of his clients, for easing symptoms associated with disease, and more…. He trained under doyens of Yoga in India for almost four decades. He is a Yoga Therapist in Canada.

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Jan 172015
 

Yoga Science of Hand Gestures – Hasta Mudra Vigyan

Hand PosturesMudra‘ means a seal! In Yoga, one can make mudras with hands, eyes, whole body etc. All these mudras work in harmony with other healing methods and, done regularly, can have wonderful healing effects. Therapy with mudras offers very effective results. It works through the energy system of the body – nadis, chakras, marmas. Hasta Mudras are the gestures made with hands.

 

Our hands gestures express our inner feelings and deeper consciousness.We see mudra used, though in a crude form of common hand gestures, every day: we make an ‘o’ when things are OK, or give a ‘thumbs up’ sign, and we express peace by raising the index and middle fingers, which can express the opposite if the hand is reversed! This is one of the greatest secrets in yoga, right at the tips of your fingers! You can take your yoga practice and even your health to a completely new level by touching your finger-tips in some particular way. These particular finger positions are called ‘hasta mudras’, or hand gestures, or energy seals.

Hasta Mudras or hand  gestures allow you to direct the developed awareness of the vital energy (prana) within your body. By using mudras in your yoga and meditation practice, you can facilitate healing, balance your energy levels, focus your mind, and deepen your meditation. Holding a mudra, or hand position, during an asana practice brings a powerful and profound steadiness and focus to your practice. You can even control your breath through mudras. Mudras can generate a strong psychic effect upon the inner being and facilitate spiritual advancement.

The hand and finger positions of mudras or hand gestures make important connections in the nervous system and stimulate specific energy pathways (nadis). It is also said that mudras increase energy and blood circulation to different parts of the brain, to important nerve junctions and glands.

Early yogis mapped out the hand areas and their associated reflexes which relate to the different areas of the body and brain. These areas of the hands and fingers also affect emotions and behaviors. By curling, stretching, crossing and touching fingers to other fingers and areas of the hand we can effectively communicate with the body and mind.

Certain mudras in yoga control the involuntary physiological processes and the breathing. Mudras accomplish this by uniting various marma points in the fingers that in turn activate different areas of the brain as well as the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

One example is when you join your hands together palm-to-palm in Namaste or Anjali mudra; this brings marmas together and nerve circuits in the head and the upper part of the body in the vagus nerve system are united together. This produces a physiological response that induces calmness and a deeper breath.

Your hands are essentially an energy map of consciousness. Each finger has a quality that it represents and stimulates. In traditional yoga,

  • the little finger represents tamas (inertia)
  • the fourth or ring finger represents rajas (activity, action, passion);
  • the middle finger represents satva (purity, peace)
  • the index finger represents the atma or individual soul; and
  • the thumb represents the Parmatama or Supreme soul.

The fingers also affect the elements of the body, the chakras, the major organs, and even planetary energies.

Perhaps the most basic mudra in yoga is accomplished by touching the thumb and the index finger together to form Gyan Mudra, or the seal of wisdom. You can also say that this mudra symbolizes the union of the individual soul (index finger) with the Supreme soul (thumb).

There are hundreds of mudras in yoga, yet mudras are rarely taught extensively in yoga classes. You can facilitate healing, expand your consciousness, relax your mind, and improve psychological conditions by simply touching your fingers and hands together. Mudras are easy to perform at any time, although sitting in the lotus position and focusing on the healing is desirable. Although mudras can be used for healing certain ailments, regular practise of mudras will contribute to your overall good health and can be used as a preventive measure. Continuous practice of the mudras will produce changes in your body using pulse centres on parts of your hands, which trigger certain healing processes.

Mudras are performed with both hands at the same time, unless otherwise specified. ingers should remain comfortable during the procedure and not held stiffly or tight.

The science of Mudra Vigyan is amazing. Mudras can be quite effective in some illnesses like: Shunya Mudra for ear ache, Apan Mudra for urinary infections, Mritsanjiveni Mudra for heart attack are some of the examples.

Basis

Our body is composed of five elements – earth, water, air, fire and ether (space). These five elements also form cosmos. These five elements have assigned functions in our body to keep it healthy. After intensive research, Indian sages found that Hastamudras (hand gestures) are very important, for keeping a balance in the energy the flow among the five elements. All five fingers regulate the five elements of body.

 Hasta mudras

These are as follows–

(a) Thumb – Fire element

(b) Index finger – Air element

(c) Middle finger – Space or ether element

(d) Ring finger – Earth element

(e) Little finger – Water element

Fingers in Vedic Astrology

According to Vedic Astrology, the Jupiter (index) finger, when long, indicates a love of power and command over others; when short, it denotes a dislike of responsibility and lack of ambition.

The Saturn (middle) finger, when long, indicates prudence, love of solitude and a reserved, studious disposition; when short, it denotes frivolousness and a general lack of seriousness in all things.

The Sun (ring) finger, when long, indicates a love of the beautiful, a desire for celebrity status and fame; when excessively long, the tendency towards notoriety, speculative risk-taking, the love of money and gambling; when short, it denotes a dislike for all these things.

The Mercury (little) finger, when long, indicates mental power, a grasp of languages, and the power of expression, especially in speech; when short, it denotes difficulty in speaking and expression of thoughts; when crooked, with an irregular Head Line, it denotes a handicapped mentality.

Hasta mudras are helpful in maintaining good health and getting relief from diseases. Joining the tips of the fingers or pressing by thumb, regulate and balance respective elements in the body. Its daily practice can keep oneself healthy for life. It has tremendous healing power and if practiced properly, even major diseases can be cured. It also offers happiness and spiritual attainments.

How to perform hand mudras

Mudras in general are actions of hands and fingers that can be performed at any time in any way, like sitting, standing, walking or travelling though maximum benefit can be derived by doing them in sitting posture: especially in sukhasana (easy pose), vajrasana, or padmasana. If you have time constraints, you can even perform them in installments.

Timing and duration for mudras

Initially, mudras should be performed for at least 10 minutes and then can be extended to 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Here are some guidelines for performing Mudras:

  1. Balance, Decrease, Increase :
    • Touching the Tip of the Finger and Thumb Balances the Element represented by the Finger.
    • Touching the Finger Tip at the base of the Thumb Decreases the Element.
    • Touching the Thumb Tip to the base of the Finger Increases the Element.
  2. A light contact between the tips of the thumb and the fingers is sufficient, you need not apply pressure.
  3. Fingers not actively involved in the Mudra should be straight.
  4. Whenever possible, perform the Mudra with both hands. Mudra can be performed with one hand when there is problem on opposite side.
  5. Mudras can be Practised anytime, anywhere.
  6. Mudras can be performed by anybody, facing any Direction. Mudras are universal.
  7. Chanting of Mantras [eg: Aum, Gayatri, Om Namah Shivaya] with Mudras gives better results.
  8. Suitable dietary advice can reinforce the benefits of Mudras.
  9. For therapy, the specific Mudras are to be practised for 50 minutes, followed by Prana Mudra.
  10. Prana , Apana , Prithvi and Gyana Mudra can be practised for unlimted time . Other Mudras must be practised till the problem persists.

 

Here are some representative Hasta Mudras or Yogic Hand Gestures:

Gyan Mudra or Mudra of Knowledge

Gyan Mudra

Method:

Join tips of index fingers and thumb and keep three fingers straight. Keep your hand at your folded knee, remember to keep palm facing up. Put a little pressure on joined tips and rest of the hand would be in relaxed position.

Effect:

Mudra of knowledge – it connects you with universal knowledge. The tip of thumb correlates to the pituitary and endocrine glands. When you press these centers with the index finger the two glands work actively.

Time duration:

Practice it for 20-30 minutes every day.

Benefits:

Enhances memory, sharpens intellect, enhances concentration and prevents insomnia. When practiced regularly, it will relieve psychological disorders like hysteria, anger, depression etc. It also prevents headache, loss of sleep, tension, anxiety, depression and fears. It helps in spiritual attainments.

 

Prithvi Mudra or Mudra of Earth

Prithvi Mudra

Method:

Tip of the ring finger touches the tip of the thumb with the other three fingers stretched out.

Specialty:

Reduces all physical weaknesses.

Time duration:

Has no particular time duration. You can practice it any time you want.

Benefits:

  • Helps to increase weight for weak life-force people
  • Improves the complexion of skin and makes the skin glow
  • Promotes body functionality

 

Varuna Mudra or Mudra of Water

Varuna Mudra

Method:

Tip of little finger touches the tip of thumb with the other three fingers stretched out.

Specialty:

Balances the water content and prevents all diseases which come due to lack of water.

Time duration:

Has no specific time duration. Can be practiced according to convenience.

Benefits:

  • Retains clarity in blood by balancing water content in the body
  • Prevents the pain of Gastroenteritis and Muscle Shrinkage

Vayu Mudra or Mudra of Air

Vayu Mudra

Method:

Keep the index finger on the base of the thumb and press with the thumb keeping the other three fingers straight.

Specialty:

Prevents diseases that occur due to imbalances in the air.

Time duration:

The practice of this mudra for 45 minutes reduces the severity of disease in 12 to 24 hours. For better results practice for 40-60 days.

Benefits:

  • Relieves Rheumatism, Arthritis, Gout, Parkinson’s disease and paralysis without any medicine
  • Useful for Cervical Spondilytis, paralysis of the face, and pressure on nerves in neck
  • Relieves gas pressure in the stomach

Shunya Mudra or Mudra of Emptiness

Shunya Mudra

Method:

Keep the middle finger at the mount of Venus and press with the thumb.

Specialty:

Reduces the dullness in the body.

Time duration:

One can practice this for 40 to 60 minutes daily until relieved.

Benefits:

  • Relieves an earache within 4 or 5 minutes

Useful for the deaf and mentally challenged

 

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MUDRA VIGYAN

 

 

Note : You should check with your health care professional before starting this or any new exercise program or breathing routine. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing health conditions, such as high blood pressure, migraines or heart or lung ailments. Women who are pregnant or think they might be pregnant should consult their physician before performing any of the breathing or physical exercises.

The information contained in the program is not intended to serve as a replacement for professional medical advice. Any use of the information in these programs/ workshops is at the reader’s discretion, risk and responsibility. The studio, author and the publisher specifically disclaim any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use or application of any information contained herein. A health care professional should be consulted regarding your specific situation.

Jun 302013
 

Nabho Mudra in Dr Sahdev’s ‘Breathe and Heal’ Program

Nabho Mudra

Nabho Mudra

Nabho Mudra involves the tongue touching the palate and is somewhat similar to Khechari mudra in its action. Nabho mudra is mentioned in Gheranda Samhita and is practiced by meditators from various traditions. Nabho mudra is an easy form of Khechari Mudra, which is mentioned in Hatha Yoga Pradipika, and can be easily practised by anyone.

In Gheranda Samhita, Nabho Mudra is described as a practice where the practitioner turns the tongue upwards to meet the palate and then retains the breath. The text says that one can also do this during all activities like sitting, walking, etc.

Nabho Mudra or Simple/ Small Khechari – which Gheranda Samhita claims can remove all disease and suffering of the Yogi, forms an integral part of Dr Sahdev’s ‘Breathe and Heal’ Program, a scientifically and yogically correct and very effective breathing and meditation routine, full of possibilities. In Sanskrit, ‘Nabho’ means ‘space or heavens or sky’ and mudra means ‘posture’. So, literally it can be translated as ‘Space or Heavens or Sky Posture’. Mudras are the postures and act as smaller body locks for energy. Mahatma Budha also made use of Nabho mudra and Vipashyana, now more popular as Vipassana (Pali language), during meditation.

The breadth and depth of understanding and knowledge from the Vedas and other classical Yoga books from thousands of years ago is just astounding, overwhelming, breath-taking and divine! In this modern era, we have just begun to understand this unfathomable sea of knowledge, handed down from generation to generation in a few brief and concise verses, and experiential practices. The full potential of all this knowledge in physical, mental, metaphysical and spiritual dimensions can be comprehended by a devout, practising yoga practitioner through regular practice only.

Nabho Mudra is simple, more of a Raja Yoga practice. Khechari Mudra, a more profound, practice, done in Hatha Yoga, involves taking the tongue all the way back to reach the nasal cavity. Traditional Hatha Yoga is intended to lead to Raja Yoga, the ‘Royal Yoga’, the goal of which is the highest state of consciousness known as SamadhiKhechari is done with a lot of effort like milking the tongue and sometimes even cutting the frenulum of the tongue to free it. Once it is able to reach the nasal cavity, it can then be extended to the roof of the cavity. By stimulating certain regions of the cavity with the tongue, the yogi gets the benefit of amrita or nectar, as per Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Through this nectar, the yogi rejuvenates his body and attains long and healthy life. Whether this nectar is a physical secretion, or modulation of secretions from the master and other glands, is yet to be ascertained. 

Many masters say that cutting the frenulum for Khechari is unnecessary and the same results can be gained through constant practice of Nabho Mudra. It is said that during certain stages of meditation, the tongue automatically goes and touches the roof of the palate. By constant practice, the tongue can go further back towards the throat, till it touches the uvula at the back. Finally it can be made to enter the nasal cavity. This takes years of practice.

This mudra was kept a well-guarded secret for thousands of years, and very correctly so. Nabho and Khechari take the Yogi a step closer to gaining full control over the processes of the physical body. It is an old technique to achieve peace of mind and to facilitate a state of silent and deep meditation, and hence achieving the highest state of samadhi or contemplation.  Talavya or Talabhya Kriya (‘Talu‘ means palate; ‘Talavya‘ or ‘Talabhya‘ means related to palate) is the preparatory exercise to advance to a perfect Khechari Mudra. It must be learnt directly from a physical ‘Guru‘ and should only be practiced under direct supervision of the Guru. It takes a lot of practice to learn and to do accurately even when explained properly and correctly, and it must not be attempted except under expert guidance of a learned ‘Guru’ or teacher after understanding the procedure correctly. That is more because of what these mudras are capable of rather than just the procedures. Preliminary, preparatory procedures and training in Talabhya Kriya and other procedures are essential for serious exponents of Yoga.  Amateurish attempts at this may lead to many complications. However, very simple or initial versions can be explained and understood easily and can be taught even to non-yogis and not-so-advanced yogis.

Nabho Mudra can also be considered an easier option to the practice of full Khechari mudra. Though it remains to be documented medically, but clinically and in traditional Yoga practices, many different types of diseases, even intractable ones, have been found to resolve by the practice of this mudra. 

As a Sanskrit verse explains about Nabho Mudra:

यत्र यत्र स्थितों योगी सर्वकार्येषु सर्वदा।

उर्ध्वजिव्ह: स्थिरो भूत्वाधारयेत्मवनं सदा।

नभोमुद्रा मवेदुषा योद्विना रोग नाशिनी।।

Yatra yatra sthitom yogi sarvakaryeshu sarvada

Urdhvajivha sthiro bhutvadharyetmavanam sada

Nabhomudra mavedusha yogvina roga nashini

Meaning 

The yogi, who stays constant in all aspects at all times, controls the breath

by placing the frontal part of tongue on the palate inside the mouth.

It puts an immediate stop to all mental turmoil.

All the diseases of yogi are destroyed by the practice of this mudra.

Hatha Yoga Pradipika states:

अथ खेछरी
कपाल-कुहरे जिह्वा परविष्ह्टा विपरीतगा |
भरुवोरन्तर्गता दॄष्ह्टिर्मुद्रा भवति खेछरी || ३२ ||

atha khecharī
kapāla-kuhare jihvā praviṣhṭā viparītaghā |
bhruvorantarghatā dṝṣhṭirmudrā bhavati khecharī || 32 ||

एवं करमेण षहण-मासं नित्यं युक्तः समाछरेत |
षहण्मासाद्रसना-मूल-शिरा-बन्धः परणश्यति || ३६ ||

evaṃ krameṇa ṣhaṇ-māsaṃ nityaṃ yuktaḥ samācharet |
ṣhaṇmāsādrasanā-mūla-śirā-bandhaḥ praṇaśyati || 36 ||

कलां पराङ्मुखीं कॄत्वा तरिपथे परियोजयेत |
सा भवेत्खेछरी मुद्रा वयोम-छक्रं तदुछ्यते || ३७ ||

kalāṃ parāngmukhīṃ kṝtvā tripathe pariyojayet |
sā bhavetkhecharī mudrā vyoma-chakraṃ taduchyate || 37 ||

रसनामूर्ध्वगां कॄत्वा कष्हणार्धमपि तिष्ह्ठति |
विष्हैर्विमुछ्यते योगी वयाधि-मॄत्यु-जरादिभिः || ३८ ||

rasanāmūrdhvaghāṃ kṝtvā kṣhaṇārdhamapi tiṣhṭhati |
viṣhairvimuchyate yoghī vyādhi-mṝtyu-jarādibhiḥ || 38 ||

न रोगो मरणं तन्द्रा न निद्रा न कष्हुधा तॄष्हा |
न छ मूर्छ्छा भवेत्तस्य यो मुद्रां वेत्ति खेछरीम || ३९ ||

na rogho maraṇaṃ tandrā na nidrā na kṣhudhā tṝṣhā |
na cha mūrchchā bhavettasya yo mudrāṃ vetti khecharīm || 39 ||

When the yogi now curls his tongue upward and back, he is able to, close the place where the three paths meet. The bending back of the tongue is khechari mudra and closes the three paths in akasha chakra. The yogi who remains but half a minute in this position is free from illness, old age and death. He who has mastered khechari mudra is not afflicted with disease, death, laziness, hunger, thirst and swooning. (HYP 8: 32-39)

Hatha Yoga Pradipika states further:

गोमांसं भक्ष्हयेन्नित्यं पिबेदमर-वारुणीम |
कुलीनं तमहं मन्ये छेतरे कुल-घातकाः || ४७ ||

ghomāṃsaṃ bhakṣhayennityaṃ pibedamara-vāruṇīm |
kulīnaṃ tamahaṃ manye chetare kula-ghātakāḥ || 47 ||

गो-शब्देनोदिता जिह्वा तत्प्रवेशो हि तालुनि |
गो-मांस-भक्ष्हणं तत्तु महा-पातक-नाशनम || ४८ ||

gho-śabdenoditā jihvā tatpraveśo hi tāluni |
gho-māṃsa-bhakṣhaṇaṃ tattu mahā-pātaka-nāśanam || 48 ||

जिह्वा-परवेश-सम्भूत-वह्निनोत्पादितः खलु |
छन्द्रात्स्रवति यः सारः सा सयादमर-वारुणी || ४९ ||

jihvā-praveśa-sambhūta-vahninotpāditaḥ khalu |
chandrātsravati yaḥ sāraḥ sā syādamara-vāruṇī || 49 ||

Daily he may eat the flesh of the cow and drink wine. The word go (cow) in Vedic language means tongue; eating it is to thrust it into the gullet, which produces heat in the body causing nectar to flow out of the moon (chandra nadi) situated on the left side of the eyebrow centre, also called ida nadi, and that is called drinking wine. (HYP 8: 47-49)

Gherand Samhita states:

The body becomes beautiful; samadhi is attained, and the tongue touching the holes in the roof of the mouth obtains various juices – first he experiences a saltish taste, through alkaline to bitter then astringent, then he feels the taste of butter then ghee, then of milk, then of curds, then of whey, then of honey, then of palm juice, and lastly arises the taste of nectar. (GS iii, 30-32)

 

Procedure

It must be learnt and practised only under an expert guidance. It is explained here as a reference for the benefit of those who are learning under an expert teacher.

  1. Sit in any of the Yogic sitting postures such as Padmasana, Sukhasana, Vajrasana, sitting in a chair or in stand-at-ease position. Initially, it is prudent to choose one of the sitting postures.
    padmasana

    Padmasana

  2. A correct and easy way of doing Nabho Mudra is by putting the tongue up against the palate, with the tip of the tongue touching between back of your teeth and hard palate, and tongue pressing against the hard palate, and keeping it there for as long as you can do it comfortably. More advanced techniques give access to varied functions.
    palate

    Palate

    Nabho Mudra-Breathe and Heal

    Nabho Mudra-Breathe and Heal

    nabho

    Nabho Mudra

  3. A correct and easy way of doing first level of Khechari Mudra is to put the tip of the tongue against the soft palate, behind the hard palate. For this, the tongue has to be turned upside down, bringing the undersurface of the tongue up, and touching the tip of the tongue with the soft palate. Keep it there for as long as you can. If you feel uncomfortable or feel pain, unroll your tongue and relax for a few seconds and again resume. Build up your practice slowly. A low protein diet helps advancing in this process, as does singhasana (the lion pose).
     

    Khechari Mudra Level I

    Khechari Mudra Level I

    khechari

    Khechari

     

  4. Also, at the same time, you should be doing Shambhavi mudra – keep the eyesight in the middle of both the eyebrows, at Aagya Chakra. It’s more easily done with eyes closed. shambhavi

The correct and complete practice of Nabho Mudra is achieved only when your eyesight is between both the eyebrows, in Shambhavi Mudra, and your tongue is in contact with the palate. Both of these should be accomplished together at one time. 

Also, Nabho Mudra can be practiced with PranayamaGheranda Samhita also instructs about retaining the breath during this practice. That is optional during meditation. During meditation, the breath naturally slows down. During deeper states, one may experience natural suspension of breath for a few minutes. This is called Kevala kumbhaka. Forcing Kevala Kumbhak is unnecessary and undesirable.

Understanding the Action of Nabho Mudra

Though explanation of the full effects and the actions of this simple, and to many seemingly illogical and unscientific, yogic procedure or pose is beyond the scope of this article, yet we can make an attempt to understand basic mechanism of some of the leading physical effects of Nabho Mudra, and to some extent, Khechari Mudra.

During Nabho mudra the tongue is fixed in one spot touching the palate. When the tongue doesn’t move, the onslaught of thoughts also decreases naturally. Thoughts may still occur, but only minimally. This principle is of great help in meditation. Instead of fighting with thoughts, just use Nabho mudra to get substantial help to reduce thoughts per minute.

In Yogic terms, we understand that the cosmic or prana energy can flow through the Sushumna nadi and nourish the entire body. This flow may be interrupted at the region of the throat. The prana energy flows from Vishudhi Chakra to organs of speech.

chakras3

If the flow of prana energy is obstructed or is obliterated, this may cause or contribute towards the instability or distractibility of the mind. Nabho mudra connects that prana energy directly to the next energy centre, i.e., Aagya Chakra, through various marma points. Thus, it helps bypass the normal route and encourages freer flow of prana. Placing the tongue against the palate is one way to bypass this blockage. This reconnection tends to calm the mind and leads to attainment of eternal bliss. This depends on the point of contact – the alveolar groove, the hard palate, the soft palate, the epiglottis, the nares, etc.; the tongue gets connected to various nadis, or energy channels, by touching marma points. Just by putting your tongue up, you can use Nabho mudra to connect the front and back channels of your body which prevents build up of too much pitta or heat. Nabho mudra can also be used to passively conduct energy flow to various upper centers and marmas (bindu, sahasrara, aagya, sthapani, simanta, etc.).

When practising routines that arouse kundalini, it is one of three safety factors that prevent ‘burn out’ in the head region, while still allowing flow of cooler energy through the crown, the third eye, and all of the associated bindus. The other two safety factors are a fully relaxed jaw release, and a suspended head position, which is said to release krikatika marma.

krikatika

Medically speaking, our body responds to any kind of threat by the ‘fight or flight’ response.

autonomic-nervous-system

In either case, sympathetic nervous system kicks in and it leads to a rise in blood pressure, in addition to other phenomena.  Tension and stress of daily living are also perceived by the body as a danger signal and have the same physiology, and the body responds through the stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system.

stress

The sensory nerves from the tongue to the brain, are branches of the trigeminal, facial, glossopharyngeal and vagus nerves; all of these, except the trigeminal, are linked to the parasympathetic component of the autonomic nervous system.

nerve-supply-of-tongue

Thus, through the practice of Nabho or Khechari Mudra, we stimulate these nerves which are concerned with relaxation and also monitor taste, secretion of the different salivary glands, respiration, and so on. Through the parasympathetic nervous system, we also gain access to the hypothalamus and the endocrine glands. A side effect of using Nabho or Khechari mudra in the quest for higher consciousness is the regulation of the endocrine system, especially the pituitary gland. Nabho or Khechari allow us to control thirst and hunger. Through more advanced practices, Yogis learn to get conscious control over regulation of brain centres for blood pressure, temperature, respiration etc.

Also, body mechanisms including Carotid sinuses help to control and regulate blood pressure.

carotid-sinus

Carotid sinuses are two remarkable organs situated at the bifurcation of the carotid artery on each side, in front of the neck and just below the level of the jaws, at the level of the thyroid cartilage or Adam’s apple. The carotid sinuses contain numerous baroreceptors which function as a “sampling area” for many homeostatic mechanisms for maintaining blood pressure. The carotid sinus baroreceptors are innervated by the sinus nerve of Hering, which is a branch of the IX cranial nerve . The glossopharyngeal nerve makes synapses in the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS) located in the medulla oblongata of the brainstem. The NTS indirectly modulates the activity of sympathetic and parasympathetic (vagal) neurons in the medulla and pons through the hypothalamus. These neurons then regulate the autonomic control of the heart and blood vessels.

ans-reflex

The brain responds immediately to such a stimulus by adjusting the heart rate and contraction of the arterioles, thus correspondingly adjusting the blood pressure to keep it within normal range.

Thus, Nabho mudra, in very mechanistic terms, acts by virtue of the anatomical proximity of the root of the tongue to the carotid sinuses in the neck and through access to the parasympathetic nervous system through the nerves supplying tongue. The pull at the root of the tongue acts by applying a subtle drag on these sinuses in the neck, causing them to react as though they have detected high blood pressure, with the result that the heartbeat and the blood pressure decrease. This leads to relief in stress response and overall physical and mental relaxation.

These carotid sinuses as well as the sinus nerves were well known in ancient times. Shiva Samhita says: “Stop the flow of the vigyana nadis (sinus nerves) with the second fingers. This gives siddhi (power or control attained by a Yogi through practice) in the form of happiness and bliss.”

carotid-sinus

The implications of the above verses are obvious: if you gently press these carotid sinuses then you will become very relaxed and perhaps a little faint. This can help in various other yogic practices that lead to meditation. But all this must not be tried by an uninitiated person or except under  guidance and supervision.

Sira Matrika Marmas described in Sushruta Samhita correspond with the position of carotid sinuses. In the science of Marmani Chikitsa or Marma Therapy, there are five types of Marmas on the basis of consequences, in which one type is Sadyapranahara Marma, that means injury to these Marma leads to sudden death. Sira Matrika Marmas are eight in number, lie in the neck on either side of Kanthnadi between Nila and Manya Marmas, along the carotid artery. These are Sadyapranahara Marmas. 

Kalaripayattu is one of the oldest fighting systems in the world and is called the mother of martial arts. (Malayalam and Tamil, kalari: school or gymnasium, payattu: to fight or to exercise or to put hard work into. In Sanskrit, ‘Khalurika’ means parade ground or arena, and ‘payas’ means power or strength, or ‘pasi‘ meaning spear)  In this martial art, site corresponding to sira matrika is considered one of the death-causing marmani. 

In acupuncture, an offspring of Marmani Chikitsa, the point renying or Stomach 9 corresponds to the location of Sira Matrika Marma. The same point is used in acupressure also.

In Dim Mak or Kyoshu Jitsu, renying is considered one of the killer points. This point is also used to subdue the opponent in karate and krav maga

As explained in the video below, carotid sinus massage is a useful procedure in Medicine too:

Benefits

Nabho mudra is a very simple practice but it has many subtle influences on the health of body and brain. 

  • It helps modulate the parasympathetic system which leads to a state of relaxation, and results in immediate calmness of the mind and body.
  • Nabho Mudra has a profound effect on diseases of heart, lungs and brain and helps overcome insomnia, anxiety, high blood pressure, diseases of tongue, throat, eyes and is especially beneficial in all stress – related or psychosomatic diseases.
  • In conjunction with breathing exercises, mudras and procedures, this can influence health very positively and can help overcome diseases.
  • When the tongue is inserted into the nasal cavity in Khechari Mudra, many small nerves and glands are activated, thereby increasing the autonomous control of the body.
  • It is also said to decalcify the pineal gland, which plays an important role in spiritual awakening.

Join Dr Sahdev’s ‘Breathe and Heal’ Program today to learn this interesting, scientific and effective stuff, and much more! 

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Dr Jitender K Sahdev

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

President and Director of Teaching

 The Head of Faculty – Dr Jitender K Sahdev, in addition to being a Physician in Modern Medicine from India, is a Yoga Therapist, Yoga Teacher and Ayurveda Practitioner par excellence in London with over 51,000 hours of Traditional Yoga teaching experience and almost three decades of experience in Modern Medicine, Ayurveda, Yoga Therapy and other alternative treatment modalities. He utilizes Ayurveda and Yoga as stand-alone as well as complementary therapies for optimizing the health and wellness of his clients, for easing symptoms associated with disease, and more. He trained under doyens of Yoga in India for almost four decades.

Note : Yoga Therapy is best administered in an individualized manner though some generalized guidelines have been provided for all. You should check with your health care professional before starting this or any new therapy or exercise program or breathing routine. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing health conditions, such as high blood pressure, migraines or heart or lung ailments. Women who are pregnant or think they might be pregnant should consult their physician before performing any of the breathing or physical exercises or undertaking any therapy program.

The information contained in the program is not intended to serve as a replacement for professional medical advice. Any use of the information in these programs/ workshops is at the reader’s discretion, risk and responsibility. The studio, author and the publisher specifically disclaim any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use or application of any information contained herein. A health care professional should be consulted regarding your specific situation.   

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