Shanmukhi Mudra is a simple and effective way to calm your mind, relieve stress, and restore your nervous system.
With regular practice of this beautiful mudra, it is possible even to improve vision and hearing. It also promotes the development of internal concentration and the ability to detach from external stimuli and objects of the surrounding world.
In this article, we will share with you what Shanmukhi mudra is, what its benefits are, and how to properly practice it.
What Is Mudra?
‘Mudra‘ can be translated as ‘gesture’. Hence mudras are symbolic gestures practiced with the hands and fingers.
Connecting the fingers in certain combinations, we can activate the meridians and direct energy throughout the body. Different positions of the fingers have the ability to close or clear the energy channels. In addition, performing this or that mudra, we affect the biologically active points of the palms and fingers.
Mudras help us to correct the direction of energy in the body, to control prana, and to improve the psycho-emotional state. Also, with their help, we can eliminate problems in the body and in the mind by pressing on particular acupuncture points.
What Is Shanmukhi Mudra?
Shanmukhi mudra is a yogic hand gesture that represents closing the six gates of perception – the two eyes, two ears, nose, and mouth. In Sanskrit, Shan means “six”; Mukhi means “face” or “gate”; and mudra, means “gesture”. Thus, Shanmukhi mudra means the ‘six-gated mudra’.
The purpose of the Shanmukhi Mudra is to symbolically shut the mind from the five senses so the mind can maintain an inward focus and get ready for meditation.
The Shanmukhi mudra practice helps the practitioner look within himself to find the very source of his being.
When all the senses turn inward and the breathing becomes harmonious, the mind calms down. As a result, you feel inner peace and now you are able to hear the voice of the Divine Self within you.
The Shanmukhi mudra practice helps you to free yourself from the domination of the senses and find the strength to take your desires, instincts, and emotions under control.
Shanmukhi Mudra Benefits
There are lots of amazing benefits the practice of Shanmukhi mudra can provide. Here are some of them:
- Balances internal and external awareness;
- Enhances focus and introspection;
- Calms the mind and nervous system;
- Clears energy blocks, giving room for easy flow of prana;
- Relaxes and rejuvenates the eyes and facial muscles;
- Creates a state of pratyahara;
- Ensures the smooth functioning of the facial nerves;
- Reduces anxiety;
- Helps to deepen the meditation practice;
- Alleviates vertigo problems and brings a calming effect to the head;
- Helps to remove negative thoughts and worries;
- Promotes clear thinking;
- Helps Kundalini awakening.
For maximum benefit, this mudra should be accompanied by pranayama or bandhas (energetic locks). Shanmukhi mudra is commonly practiced with brahmari pranayama, also known as Humming Bee Breath. In this pranayama, the mudra enables the practitioner to focus on the inner vibration created by the humming breath.
How to Perform?
Shanmukhi mudra is usually performed in a stable, seated meditation posture such as padmasana (Lotus Pose) or sukhasana (Easy Pose).
To practice Shanmukhi mudra, follow these simple steps:
- Sit in the Lotus Pose or Easy Pose. Straighten the spine and align the position of the head.
- Bring your palms up to your face. Raise your elbows to shoulder level and place your thumbs in the ear canal, muffling external sounds.
If you feel pain, place your fingers on the tragus of the auricle (small protrusions at the base of the auricle) and press them against the ear canal.
- Close your eyelids and rise your eyeballs up. Place your index and middle fingers on your eyelids so that the first two phalanges completely cover the eyeball area. Do not press on the cornea. Use your middle fingers to point your eyelids down, and use your index fingers to lift the upper parts of your eyelids up. Gently press on the outer and inner corners of the eyes.
- The pressure on the ears and eyes should be equal.
- Use your ring fingers to apply pressure evenly to your right and left nostrils. This will narrow the nasal passages, which will promote slow, deep, even, rhythmic, subtle breathing.
Practice the mudra for five to ten minutes.
The Bottom Line
As a result of turning all the senses inwards and concentrating on deep and slow breathing, the mind becomes calm. When performing this mudra, it’s common to experience:
- a distinct sound in the ears;
- the appearance of flashes of light and various images on the internal “screen”;
- vibrations, thrusts, tingling, heat, or other sensations inside the body.
All these feelings are quite normal.