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.
- 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.
- Now try to slide your tongue further into the mouth.
- Reach with your tongue at the bottom of your mouth where it touches the uvula.
- Once you reach this far, do it 3-4 times to get your tongue comfortable up to this point.
- Now as your tongue touching the uvula, open your glottis and mouth quickly to blow a bit of air inside the throat.
- This strong bust of air will push rolled tongue behind the uvula and your tongue will be ready to enter into the nasopharynx.
- 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.
- Keep breathing slowly, observe what’s happening inside your mouth.
- 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.
- Up to this point, the tongue has reached beyond the top of the pharynx.
- 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.
- 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.