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Do the 5 Tibetan Rites Really Work? Here Is What You Need to Know!

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For many centuries, the Tibetan monks kept the 5 Tibetan Rites a secret from the rest of the world. Only in 1938, with the publication of the book “The Eye of Revelation” about the teachings and five exercises of Tibetan monks written by Peter Kelder, this amazing technique became available for people all over the world. Millions of people have learned about the existence of 19 energy centers located in the joints along with discovering the ability to circulate energy throughout the body that was previously muted by diseases and improper lifestyles. All of this helps to improve well-being and rejuvenate the body.

What are the 5 Tibetan Rites? How do you practice this technique? Is this set of exercises suitable for everyone and is it really effective? We will answer all these questions in this article!

5 Tibetan Rites: What Is It?

The Five Tibetan Rites is an ancient system of exercises reported to be more than 2,500 years old. This system consists of a sequence of five exercises performed 21 times a day.

This Tibetan system has a beneficial effect on the physical and energy state of the human body. This is a unique method of healing and recovery, a method of rejuvenation of all systems and organs of the human body that is focused on improving the work of energy meridians.

Practitioners report that this system has many physical, mental, and spiritual benefits. This practice is aimed to restore a person’s vitality and strength. Due to these benefits, the Five Tibetan Rites are also known as the “Fountain of Youth.”

The exercises included in the 5 Tibetan Rites system work out all muscle groups and main joints, as well as activate the circulatory, lymphatic and hormonal systems.

Each exercise has its purpose:

  1. Activates energy channels, develops the vestibular apparatus, strengthens the cardiovascular system, improves venous outflow.
  2. Has a healing effect on the kidneys, thyroid, digestive organs, genitals; strengthens the muscles of the spine, legs, improves the blood supply and nutrition of the intervertebral discs and the entire spinal canal.
  3. Effective for irregular menstruation, menopause, back pain, neck pain, congestion in the sinuses; stretches the muscles of the front surface of the body.
  4. Strengthens the deep back muscles that straighten the spine.
  5. Improves the work of the circulatory system and strengthens the vessels of the brain, shoulder joints.

Although the Rites have circulated amongst yogis for decades, skeptics say that Tibetans have never recognized them as being an authentic Tibetan practice. Therefore, it is important to take a closer look at what is known about the origin of this practice.

The Origin

Peter Kelder, the author of the book “The Eye of Revelation”, seems to be the only link to this system. But nothing is really known about Peter Kelder. Some sources report that he was raised as an adopted child in the United States and left home when he was a teenager in search of adventure. In the 1930s, Kelder claims to have met a retired British army colonel in southern California, who shared with him stories of travel and the discovery of the Five Tibetan Rites.

The Eye of Revelation Image

The results of the conversations with the colonel were published in the 32-page booklet.

Despite the existing disputes about the origin of the Five Tibetan Rites between practitioners and skeptics, a comparison of illustrations of the postures shows a remarkable similarity between the Rites and authentic Tibetan ‘phrul ‘khor exercises from a system rendered into English as Vajra Body Magical Wheel Sun and Moon Union.

However, it has been noted, that even though these comparisons are compelling, a closer examination reveals that these similarities could be misleading. 

Chris Kilham, the author of the book The Five Tibetans says, “As the story has it, they were shared by Tibetan lamas; beyond that, I know nothing of their history.”

Even though the historic lineage of the 5 Tibetan Rites before the publication of Kelder’s booklet remains to be ascertained, this practice has nevertheless been affirmed by a lama and scholar of the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism as being a genuine form of yoga and was originally taken from an authentic Indo-Tibetan tantric lineage, namely a cycle of yantra-yoga associated with the Sadnadapadadharma.

However, it has been argued that the Five Rites predate yoga as we know it today by as much as seven hundred years or more and, therefore, could not have derived from either Tibetan or Indian forms of yoga.

Some experts assume that the 5 Tibetan Rites could be originated from a system of Kum Nye which, like the Rites, date back 2,500 years. However, Chris Kilham states that “the issue at hand, though, is not the lineage of the Five Tibetans. The point is their immense potential value for those who will clear 10 minutes a day to practice.”

Benefits of the 5 Tibetan Rites

Five Tibetan Rites Benefits Image

Regular practice of the 5 Tibetan Rites is very beneficial for the four body systems:

#1: Musculoskeletal system

Tibetan yoga helps to cope with scoliosis and osteochondrosis. When performed regularly, there is a decrease in pain caused by arthritis.

#2: Reproductive system

In women, who regularly engage in this practice, the menstrual cycle is normalized and the probability of conception increases. In men, the erectile function gets normalized.

#3: Gastrointestinal tract

The digestion is normalized. The absorption of useful substances from food improves.

#4: Immune system

Increases resistance to colds and viruses. Congestion in the sinuses and bronchi is eliminated.

Other benefits:

  • reduced anxiety;
  • relief from joint pain;
  • better circulation;
  • improved strength and coordination;
  • better sleep;
  • improved energy;
  • a youthful appearance.

Moreover, regular practice of these exercises contributes to the development of willpower. Therefore, it is recommended for people who are fighting addictions. After 2-3 weeks of regular practice, the addiction decreases.

The complex is based on the balanced combination of physical actions, purification of one’s own thoughts, and harmonization of the energy flows. To achieve harmony, which becomes the main goal of almost any Eastern teaching, we need to learn how to correctly combine all of the above.

How to do the Five Tibetan Rites?

Though each rite is meant to be practiced 21 times a day, you can start with doing this practice less frequently. During the first week, practice each rite 3 times a day. During the second week, add 2 more repetitions per rite. Continue adding 2 repetitions per rite each week until you’re doing 21 rounds of each rite every day.

Rite 1

The purpose of the first rite is to speed up the energy movement in the chakras. It’s common for beginners to feel dizzy during this exercise.

Instructions:

  1. Stand up straight.
  2. Stretch your arms outward until they’re parallel with the floor.
  3. Face your palms down.
  4. Slowly spin your body in a clockwise direction. Don’t bend your head forward. Keep your eyes open.

Repeat for 1-21 times.

Tips:

  • Keep spinning until you feel slightly dizzy. But don’t overdo! Excessive spinning may overstimulate your chakras.
  • When performing this rite, not only physical sensations are important, but also the internal feeling. Listen to the movement of energy vortexes and set the mindset that your body is cleansed, becomes healthier and stronger.

Rite 2

The second rite has two opposite effects on energy flows. On the one hand, it significantly increases the speed of rotation of energy vortexes. On the other hand, it is intended to stabilize them.

Instructions:

  1. Lie flat on your back.
  2. Place your arms at your sides, and your palms on the floor.
  3. Inhale and lift your head, moving your chin toward your chest. Simultaneously raise your legs straight up, keeping your knees straight.
  4. Exhale and slowly lower your head and legs to the starting position.
  5. Lie still until your muscles relax.

Repeat for 1-21 times.

Tips:

  • If you have difficulty straightening your knees, bend them as needed. Try to straighten them each time you perform the rite.
  • As you do this exercise, try to feel the energy flowing through you with each breath you take. In the interval between repetitions, imagine how, as the muscles relax, the body is filled with vitality.

Rite 3

The third of the five Tibetan rites is aimed at working out the Central energy axis. The ascending energy flow passes along the vertebral column, and the descending energy flow — in the area of the sacrum.

Instructions:

  1. Kneel on the floor, knees shoulder-width apart and hips aligned over your knees.
  2. Straighten your trunk and place your palms on the back of your thighs, below your buttocks.
  3. Inhale and drop your head back, arching your spine to open your chest.
  4. Exhale and drop your head forward, moving your chin toward your chest. Keep your hands on your thighs during the entire rite.
  5. Return to the starting position, slowly filling your lungs with air.

Repeat for 1-21 times.

Tips:

  • You can also practice this rite while closing your eyes, which helps you focus inward.
  • Focus on your breathing. With every exhale, imagine that you’re releasing all your blocks, negative emotions, and worries that are accumulated inside.

Rite 4

The fourth rite involves creating the effect of “energy swings”. By tensing your muscles during the exercise, you start the movement of energy through your body. By relaxing, you mute this activity.

Instructions:

  1. Sit on the floor and extend your legs straight ahead, feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Put your palms on the floor at your sides, fingers facing forward.
  3. Straighten your trunk.
  4. Drop your chin toward your chest. Inhale and gently drop your head back.
  5. Simultaneously lift your hips and bend your knees until you’re in a tabletop position, with your head gently tilted back. Contract your muscles and hold your breath.
  6. Exhale, relax your muscles and return to starting position.

Repeat for 1-21 times.

Tips:

  • Combine performing this rite with rhythmic breathing.
  • Your hands and heels should stay in place during the entire exercise.
  • If the body is weakened, do a simplified version of the exercise. Just lift the pelvis off the floor. Each time, try to lift your body higher and higher above the floor.

Rite 5

The 5 Tibetan Rites train not only the spirit but also the physical body. The last exercise is the most difficult and requires maximum concentration.

Instructions:

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs crossed.
  2. Plant your palms in front of you.
  3. Extend your feet behind you, toes curled and shoulder-width apart.
  4. Straighten your arms and arch your spine while keeping the tops of your legs on the ground.
  5. Drop your head back into Upward-Facing Dog.
  6. Then, inhale and lift your hips, moving your body into an upside-down “V” shape.
  7. Move your chin toward your chest and straighten your back into Downward-Facing Dog.
  8. Exhale and move back into Upward-Facing Dog.

Repeat for 1-21 times.

Tips:

  • This rite requires a steady breathing rhythm.
  • Despite the fact that the exercise is static, it takes a lot of energy. Return to the starting position and catch your breath. To repeat, proceed only when the breath is restored.

General Recommendations

Like all exercise programs, the Five Tibetan Rites should be done with care. Start with gentle movements and a low number of repetitions. Consider five key points:

#1: Don’t make breaks in your training

If you are thinking about practicing the 5 Tibetan Rites, be prepared for the fact that you will always have to practice it. Exercises produce a cumulative effect, but when canceled, it doesn’t stay at the same level. After cancellation, the energy flows can degrade even more than they were in the beginning state.

Despite the fact that training can not be canceled or paused, circumstances do not always allow us to complete the practice. Therefore, it is allowed to periodically take breaks of one or two days.

#2: Relax in the end of the practice

After completing the last rite, lie down for a while with your eyes closed, so that the energy flows are harmonized. To help yourself relax, you can turn on meditation music.

#3: Take a shower

After the practice, it is recommended to take a warm bath or shower. If you don’t have time for this, just rub your skin with a damp towel.

#4: Do not overdo

Do exactly as many repetitions of the rites as your body allows.

#5: Pause

Before you start a new rite, make sure you take a pause. Stand up straight, put your hands on your waist, and wait for your breathing to recover.

Can Anybody Practice the Five Tibetan Rites?

Despite all the benefits that this practice provides, if you have certain health problems, these exercises can cause harm to your body.

Some coaches and yoga practitioners are convinced that the Five Tibetan Rites practice is not intended for women. They explain this by the fact that the complex was developed by male monks taking into account their physiological characteristics. However, experimentally was proven that this practice if equally beneficial for both, men and women.

It is not recommended to practice the 5 Tibetan Rites if you:

  • have a fever;
  • are pregnant;
  • have high blood pressure;
  • are on a risk of a heart attack;
  • have hernia of the spine;
  • have menstruation;
  • are breastfeeding.

Precautions:

  • If you’re prone to dizziness, talk to a doctor before trying this practice. The spinning motion may aggravate various conditions, including vertigo, circulatory issues, or nausea.
  • The practice may cause complications if you’ve had surgery within the last 6 months.
  • Disorders like Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis can cause poor balance. If you have one of these conditions, this practice may not be safe for you.
  • Before trying these exercises, talk to your doctor to find out if they’re safe for you to practice.

Disclaimer:

If you have a health condition or are new to exercise, be sure to check with your doctor before trying these moves.

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Raja Yoga: The 8 Steps to Self-realization and Liberation

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There are two types of spiritual teachers. Those that tell you, “I have experienced God and for you to tap into this experience you must follow me.” And those that say, “I have experienced God and you can have this experience too.” The latter is where you need to belong. And Raja Yoga aims at facilitating you to experience this higher realm. 

Naturally, human beings are meant to be in a state of higher consciousness to function optimally. See, the human brain is rather restless and therefore we do not see the truth. To experience the higher realm, we need to be focused and concentrate. And we cannot argue with personal experience, can we? So let us share with you how to tap into this path. 

But first;

What is Raja Yoga?

Raja Yoga is one of the oldest yoga systems practiced in India for centuries and now in other parts of the world. It’s simply the path of experience. 

Raja Yoga proposes growing your spirituality without prior faith or belief. This means you can experience God at any time and place without mantras or rituals irrespective of your age or ethnicity. However, this is a branch of yoga that requires a really strong personality as we will discuss below. 

The Eight Stagesto Self-realization and Liberation  

When you practice Raja Yoga, you free the soul (atma), from the bondage of illusions (maya) and unite with your prime soul (paramatma). Below is a step by step experience:

Stage 1: Yama

Meditation in Solitude Image

Yama is a set of ethical norms that teach us to communicate with others in the right way. To be brief, it means one thing: treat people the way you want them to treat you.

There are five Yamas:

  1. Ahiṃsā (अहिंसा): Nonviolence, non-harming other living beings.
  2. Satya (सत्य): truthfulness, non-falsehood.
  3. Asteya (अस्तेय): non-stealing.
  4. Brahmacharya (ब्रह्मचर्य): chastity, marital fidelity, or sexual restraint.
  5. Aparigraha (अपरिग्रहः): non-avarice, non-possessiveness.

Stage 2: Niyama

This step of forming the self-discipline and uplifting spirituality. Niyama involves regular visits to temples, meditative practices, a study of nature, thinking, and walks.

Five Niyamas are:

  1. Śaucha (शौच): purity, clearness of mind, speech, and body.
  2. Santosha (सन्तोष): contentment, acceptance of others, and of one’s circumstances as they are, optimism for self.
  3. Tapas (तपस): austerity, self-discipline, persistent meditation, perseverance.
  4. Svādhyāya (स्वाध्याय): a study of self, self-reflection, introspection of self’s thoughts, speeches, and actions.
  5. Īśvarapraṇidhāna (ईश्वरप्रणिधान): contemplation of the Ishvara (God/Supreme Being, Brahman, True Self, Unchanging Reality), attunement to the supreme consciousness.

Stage 3: Asana

Asana means ‘posture’ or ‘pose’. So by saying ‘asanas’ we mean body poses. In any Yoga, we need to maintain a steady pose to be able to concentrate and control external and internal energies. By performing certain asanas, a person learns concentration and self-discipline.

Stage 4: Pranayama

Next we engage breathing exercises that directly affect the mind or what we call control of prana (vital energy). See, in today’s hustle and bustle, most people have forgotten how to breathe properly. We simply breathe because our body demands of the oxygen to function. It’s important to always remember that life is breath. And when we exercise control over breath, we can control the subtle Prana inside us. That means having control over all the forces in our universe, both physical and mental. 

Pranayama practice allows you to rejuvenate the entire body and prolong your lifespan. We can practice pranayama as a separate type of yoga technique, or use it as a component of the complex of yoga practice.

Stage 5: Pratyahara

Deep Meditation Benefits Image

Pratyahara means ‘gaining mastery over external influences’.

At this stage, we have to withdraw our senses from objects consciously.

If you have ever engaged in the Savasana (Corpse pose) you must have unearthed your five levels of mental sheaths. These are: 

  • The physical body (food sheath)
  • Prana sheath (subtle energy channels) 
  • The emotional reactions level (mental sheath)
  • Consciousness sheath (the ego)
  • And the causal sheath (the karmic record of your soul’s experiences). 

These mental levels are in order of increasing layers of consciousness. The second stage represents pratyahara. You’re basically leaving the external world but still maintaining contact with it. At this stage, describing from personal experience, you feel trapped in the bottom of a well. You can identify with the surrounding sounds, yet these noises don’t bother you (mentally or physically). You’re in a state of non-reaction. Some Yogi teachers will explain this stage as being in the world yet not of it.

The purpose of this stage is to achieve a state of the distraction of the senses from the surrounding reality and the circulation of the gaze and consciousness inside of you. In other words, pratyahara is the ability to concentrate and not be distracted by various external stimuli. This step gives you the vision of the internal systems, understanding what can stop your personal and inner growth.

Stage 6: Dharana

Dharana means ‘concentration’ or ‘single focus’. Once we eliminate object attachment, we progress in concentration. This is at the mental sheath stage. You can practice this stage in your daily tasks by choosing to perform just one task at a time or achieve the same during meditation by focusing your thoughts at one particular object, idea or place.

By concentrating, we get distracted from external ‘noise’.  This is how we can calm down our minds, which distracts us from knowing more than we are able to understand. It helps us to see the limitless of our possibilities. At this stage, we gain a skill to slow down the thought process by focusing on sound, image, energy, or body.

Stage 7: Dhyana

Dhyana means ‘contemplation, reflection’ and ‘profound, abstract meditation’. 

It’s the meditation practice where you come face to face with your ego. You tap into your self-awareness or soul. This stage is similar to Dharana, however, here you go in deeper. You choose to concentrate on your point of reference until this thought becomes a part of your consciousness.

Conscious inhibition of thought processes allows to calm the mind, to feel serenity, not to give rise to new thoughts. To reach this stage, you need endurance and strength. For achieving this, you have to put in a lot of effort and time.

Stage 8: Samadhi

Japa meditation image

Finally, at this stage we achieve a super conscious state. See, once you go past your ego, past your senses and past the wandering mind, you can transcend to any levels you imagine of, with complete control over your mind. In other words, you, your mind, and your chosen object of meditation merge together into one. However, most people experience this level based on their soul’s past.

The Benefits of Raja Yoga

Medical benefits

Recent research has seen Raja Yoga as an important therapeutic and prophylactic modality in several health conditions.

Happiness

Raja Yoga enhances positive thinking which increases self-satisfaction and consequently happiness in life. This applies irrespective of your age or the period of time you have been practicing this yoga.

Positive inner transformation

Well, this is obvious since Raja Yoga works on the principle of meditation with an aim to free the soul.

Physical and mental relaxation

With continued practice, Raja Yoga will change your attitude and transform your lifestyle. Eventually, you experience great transformation in your overall wellbeing.

Better control over addictions

Remember we mentioned before that this yoga aims at freeing the soul from the bondage of illusions. Addiction is simply an illusion that clouds your judgment and takes control of your mind. Once you free the soul and experience a higher realm, you will be the only one making your life decisions. 

Conclusion

In Sanskrit texts, Raja yoga was both the goal of yoga and a method to attain it. Nowadays, many people on spiritual path choose to integrate this practice into their lives. By doing so they are able to silence their minds, deepen the meditation practice, take control over their thoughts, and achieve the higher level of consciousness.

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Kriya Yoga: The Benefits and Principles of Practice

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Are you on a spiritual path to self-realization? If so, what meditation techniques do you practice? In this guide, we will introduce you to Kriya Yoga, a sacred technique that requires both leading an ethical life and practicing yoga and meditation. That way, you can improve your focus and concentration and live a calm and joyous life. So, what does Kriya Yoga entail? Let’s start with the definition.

What is Kriya Yoga?

Kriya Yoga is a yogic practice that focuses on the spiritual benefits rather than the physical benefits of yoga. Hence, it is a spiritual practice that aims at developing your spirit into leading a more conscious and fulfilling life. That is, you aim at enhancing your current life in such a way that your physical, emotional, and psychological survival is no more a concern to you. 

Moreover, unlike hatha yoga that requires hard work and physical exercise, Kriya Yoga relies on growth and expression. 

The Origin and History of Kriya Yoga

“Kri refers to action, and “ya” means indwelling soul. Hence, the term Kriya stands for becoming aware of the power of the inhaled soul. It is about gaining self-realization while also appreciating the mechanics of human life.

The practice of Kriya Yoga dates back to ancient times when advanced Himalayan yogis practiced it in meditation caves. Still, its first mention in modern times is in 1861 when Mahavatar Babaji, the yoga master, passed the practice to Lahiri Mahasaya. More so, it is the spiritual master Paramahansa Yogananda who later brings Kriya Yoga practice to the west, sparking a spiritual revolution. Kriya Yoga continues to impact the lives of millions of people seeking spiritual enlightenment

The Philosophy and Principles of Kriya Yoga

Gyan Mudra For Deep Meditation Image

The practice of Kriya Yoga is split into three key components as follows: –

#1: Meditation

Kriya Yoga advocates for a life of discipline. It requires setting sometime every day to allow your consciousness to clear. Indeed, society bombards our minds with lots of distractive thoughts. It could be from social media, local politics, or family demands. Whatever the source of the cloudiness, Kriya yoga requires us to practice breathing awareness meditation every day to refine our nervous system. 

It also requires that we change the functioning and structure of our brains for clarity of thought. In turn, meditation gradually changes the energy system within our body (Kundalini) and makes us attune to higher consciousness and vibrations. Only then can we become aware of our true selves.

#2: Self-Inquiry/Self-Study

The second stage in Kriya Yoga is Vichara or self-inquiry. Here, we examine our current lifestyles against the true self that we strive to become. It is a journey of introspection and discernment, letting go of false perceptions of self and people’s biased opinions. In turn, we ask ourselves questions such as: –

  • Who am I?
  • What is my true purpose in life?
  • What are my values?
  • How do I define my energy level? What affects it?
  • Can I express the boundary between self and the world?
  • What comes to mind when I inhale and exhale during meditation?
  • Which yoga pause feels most expansive?
  • What inspires me, brings me joy, or matters to me the most right now?
  • How do I feel when I nourish my body with healthy food?
  • What grounds me?
  • What is my definition of success beyond money?
  • From what do I want to detach?
  • How do I express my creativity?
  • Where is my favorite spot for practicing yoga? Why is this spot special to me?
  • What does surrender mean to me?
  • How do I feel when I clean out or de-clutter my workspace?

Self-study makes us contemplate on ourselves. We inquire about our perception of reality versus the true reality. That way, we seek to understand our sole purpose in the world. 

#3: Surrendered Devotion, Isvarapranidhana

Finally, Kriya Yoga is about ethical living, a life of devotion to seeking spiritual enlightenment. The practice helps us make sense of that unease we have when things don’t turn out the way we want. You know that feeling of groundlessness that goes against our societal norms. 

Our communities require us to hold on to a career, family, or leadership to feel in control. Yet, in Kriya Yoga, we let go of our desire for dominion and surrender all effort.

Benefits of Practicing Kriya Yoga as Part of Your Spiritual Journey

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#1: Attaining a Spiritual Awakening

The ultimate goal of Kriya Yoga is experiencing a spiritual awakening. This awakening takes place by doing four fundamental actions: –

  • Daily Spiritual Meditation – Kriya Yoga relies on the techniques in Raja Yoga to activate higher consciousness. It is a highly individual experience where the participant can hear voices, see visions, lose or absorb a sense of separateness and have a sense of awe or transcendence.
  • Spiritual Contemplation – Here, we observe our thoughts without being judgmental. The practice helps us discover that our feelings reflect how our minds interpret those beliefs. Likewise, we notice that negative emotions arise from our interpretation or judging of thoughts with negativity. 
  • Spiritual Reflection  Spiritual reflection refers to studying and reflecting on the Vedic scriptures. Here, we aim to unlock the secrets of leading a peaceful and prosperous lifestyle. Hence, we want to live our lives with sincerity, knowledge, and compassion.
  • Spiritual Exploration – Finally, Kriya Yoga allows us to explore different spiritual practices to discover what works for each one of us. 

#2: Physical Benefits

Apart from a spiritual awakening, anyone practicing Kriya Yoga shall experience the following benefits: –

  • Improves our moods and overall well being
  • Assists in dealing with depression 
  • Improves our tolerance to pain
  • Helps in managing stress and anxiety
  • Lowers high blood pressure and hypertension levels
  • Soothes, stimulates, and clarifies the mind and soul
  • It helps us regain our self-confidence
  • Improves our concentration and memory power

Conclusion

Kriya Yoga believes that when we enhance our roots, we will see the fruits in the form of a spiritual awakening. In turn, this spiritual practice emphasizes coming to an ideal state that determines the quality of our lives. It is about growing beyond our needs and concerns and becoming a karma yogi.

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Khechari Mudra: Yogic Secret Tool for Immortality

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Khechari mudra is one of the mana mudras (head mudras). This powerful mudra is designed to awaken spiritual energies in the body and activate the kundalini. In this article, we will share with you what Khechari mudra is, what its benefits are, and how to properly perform it.

What Is Mudra?

Mudra‘ can be translated as ‘seal’ or ‘gesture’. When we do a mudra, it acts as a seal or bond which brings our whole body in alignment with the energy associated with the mudra.

Mudras help us correct the direction of energy in the body, control prana, and improve the psycho-emotional state. Also, with their help, we can eliminate problems in the body and the mind by pressing on particular acupuncture points.

What Is Khechari Mudra?

Kechari mudra is considered preeminent among the mudras, particularly because it is an advanced technique meant to assist the practitioner in reaching a higher state of consciousness.

The name for this mudra comes from Sanskrit. Kha means ‘Brahman‘ or ‘Space’ which is infinite. Chara means ‘Obstacle free moving’ or ‘flying’.

Khechari mudra is mentioned in the fundamental treatises on yoga, for example, in Swami Sivananda mentioned in his works that Khechari mudra is the best of all mudras. Kashmiri philosopher Abhinavagupta, in his works on Kashmiri Shaivism, said that all mudras originated from Khechari.

To put it simply, Khechari mudra is a tongue lock. It is not difficult to make it: you just need to bend the tongue so that the tip rests against the upper palate. And keep your mouth closed while practicing it.

The described technique is suitable for beginners. Those who have mastered the described technique and can hold the tongue in this position for a long time can slowly move the tongue deeper into the larynx as if trying to swallow. According to the treatises, the yogis of the past were able to penetrate their throat with their tongue.

According to the yogins, there is a source in the throat that grants immortality. In addition, the yogis of the past, having “swallowed” the tongue, were able to block their right and left nostrils to perform alternate breathing. However, do not try to do it, especially at the initial stage of the practice.

Khechari Mudra Benefits

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika is one of the most authoritative sources on yoga, in the 40th sloka says:

“He who knows the Kechari Mudra, is not troubled by diseases, is not stained with karmas, and is not snared by time”.

Indeed, there are certain points on the back of the palate that are responsible for our health. When we’re pressing on these points with a tongue, the release of secretions occurs, which leads to general health improvement.

Yogis of the past believed that those who master this mudra perfectly will “accelerate the onset of deep states.” We are talking here about the possibility of changing consciousness with the help of practice and directing energy to the upper chakras. Also, Khechari Mudra balances the mind and helps to achieve a state of calm.

The regular practice of Khechari Mudra provides the following benefits:

  • opens up blocked salivary glands and prevents painful symptoms of salivary gland disorders;
  • activates the parasympathetic nervous system;
  • relaxes the body;
  • reduces the thoughts;
  • draws the mind inwards;
  • removes symptoms of aging;
  • balances the secretion of the thyroid gland;
  • improves metabolism;
  • contributes the third eye chakra awakening;
  • activates/increases psychic abilites;
  • clears the tongue gag and prevents bad breath;
  • helps to activate kundalini;
  • improves the tone of the voice;
  • reduces abdominal fat;
  • clears the mind of anger, attachment, and ego;
  • increases vitality and energy.

How to Perform?

The instructions listed below have a purely informative purpose. We DO NOT recommend you to practice this mudra without any guidance from an expert teacher.

Instructions:

  1. Extend your tongue up and then roll it back to reach as far as you can. Initially, the tongue may barely reach to the hard palate. Do fake swallowing to slide tongue up to the soft palate. Do it 3-4 times until your tongue rests comfortably at the soft palate.
  2. Now try to slide your tongue further into the mouth.
  3. Reach with your tongue at the bottom of your mouth where it touches the uvula.
  4. Once you reach this far, do it 3-4 times to get your tongue comfortable up to this point.
  5. Now as your tongue touching the uvula, open your glottis and mouth quickly to blow a bit of air inside the throat.
  6. This strong bust of air will push rolled tongue behind the uvula and your tongue will be ready to enter into the nasopharynx.
  7. Once tongue makes its way behind the uvula, now its turn to find a place behind uvula from where the tongue doesn’t come to its previous position. This part will come naturally, the tongue will begin slipping but at this moment there would be a strong urge of throwing out tongue.
  8. Keep breathing slowly, observe what’s happening inside your mouth.
  9. Eventually, your tongue will start slipping into nasopharynx behind the soft palate. This will take tongue to the upmost where it touches a bony structure called the pituitary gland.
  10. Up to this point, the tongue has reached beyond the top of the pharynx.
  11. When the tongue pressed against this, it gets stimulated. Some fluid will start accumulating in your mouth but saliva wouldn’t be swallowed as long as your tongue remains up.
  12. Slowly, bring your tongue down to natural position and you will find the taste of saliva accumulated inside your mouth. In the beginning, the taste of it will be bitter. This is a sign of detoxification of your bodily system. But with practice, you will notice that the bitter taste becomes sweet like honey. It’s called ‘Amrita‘ – the nectar of immortality in Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

Duration of the Practice

Start with performing the mudra for 3-5 minutes. Gradually increase the time, bringing it to 1-1.5 hours.

The Bottom Line

Khechari mudra is a powerful mudra that helps us to reach a higher state of consciousness and leads us to immortality. However, if you are a beginner and are not able to do full khechari mudra, a small khechari mudra (nabho mudra) brings many benefits at the physical level. For doing this, simply put your tongue to the soft palate. Give yourself a few months to prepare your tongue for the full mudra practice. Keep in mind that your tongue can be stretched like any other muscle. All you need to do is to be disciplined enough to practice nabho mudra regularly.

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