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The Three Doshas: Understanding the Real Cause Of Your Health Problems

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According to Ayurveda, not only our emotional state, but also our physical state depends on our state of mind, and as a result, our life as a whole. Our mind is closely related to our сonstitution, the prevailing dosha, and the state of this dosha. In this article, we will share with you how to understand the real cause of your health problems based on the knowledge of the three doshas.

What is Prakriti?

Prakriti is genetically determined physical and mental constitution of an individual. Every person has his/her own unique constitution which determines the biological functions, response to environmental factors, drugs, and also susceptibility to diseases.

The knowledge of prakriti not only helps to understand the mental and physical nature of a person but also to know the susceptibility to diseases which assists in promotion of health, prevention and cure of diseases.

In simple words, prakriti is our original nature given to us from birth. When the Prakriti is balanced, you are healthy and satisfied with your life. However, for many different reasons (education, the influence of society, external environment, bad habits, etc.), most modern people violate the harmony of their inner nature, changing it for the worse.

This distracted human nature (imbalance) is called Vikriti and leads to diseases (both physical and mental), premature old age, and death. One of the main tasks of Ayurvedic treatment is to restore and maintain the balance of doshas corresponding to Prakriti.

Ayurveda teaches us that there are several ways to bring Vikriti closer to Prakriti: proper nutrition, meditation, pranayama, yoga, and panchakarma.

The main and final goal of Ayurveda is the perfect balance of the three doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The balance of the three doshas is a guarantee of good health and long life.

Focusing on the prevailing dosha, Ayurveda prescribes treatment with herbs and therapeutic effects, the nature of which is the opposite of the properties of this Dosha. For example, for Kapha, which tends to cold and humidity, drying and warming treatments are used, and so on.

To find your dosha take our Ayurvedic body type quiz!

Diseases Of The Three Doshas

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The disease shows the characteristic properties of the dosha that caused it. We can determine the nature of a disease by its characteristic properties, just as we can determine the type of body constitution. The disease can be cured by means that balance the dosha that caused it.

Kapha Diseases (water or mucus):

  • most respiratory diseases;
  • colds;
  • flu;
  • asthma;
  • bronchitis;
  • swollen glands;
  • edema;
  • benign tumors.

The main signs of Kapha disorders: excess moisture, excessive tissue growth, and cold.

Kapha diseases are characterized primarily by the presence of mucus or sputum.

Pitta Diseases (fire or bile):

  • most infectious diseases;
  • febrile conditions; liver disorders;
  • high acidity;
  • ulcers;
  • boils;
  • skin rashes.

The main signs of Pitta disorders: fever, redness, and oiliness.

Pitta diseases are characterized primarily by feverish states or burning sensation.

Diseases of Vata (air or wind):

  • most nervous disorders;
  • insomnia;
  • tremor;
  • epilepsy;
  • paralysis;
  • arthritis.

The main signs of Vata disorders: dryness, cold, motor disorders, and tissue depletion.

Vata diseases are characterized primarily by pain.

In general, all diseases can be divided into three groups: diseases of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha according to the prevailing signs of particular doshas. However, the same disease can be caused by different doshas or their combinations.

The common cold in most cases is the nature of Kapha, and its main symptoms are mucus and congestion. Sometimes the cold may be of the nature of Pitta dosha, then it has the accompanying symptoms such as fever and sore throat which make it more severe.

Any disease can occur in different ways, but treatment should always follow the same principles, that is, based on the increase in which of the doshas caused the disease.

The Three Doshas And Diseases’ Localizations

three doshas in Ayurveda image

Most diseases can occur as a result of an imbalance in any of the three doshas. For example, arthritis can be caused by an increase in Vata, Pitta, or Kapha dosha. However, the nature of any disease is usually more characteristic of one of the doshas than the other — and arthritis is mainly caused by an imbalance of the Vata dosha.

To better understand this point, keep in mind that any doshas that reach too high a level tend to cause imbalances of other doshas. Being the forces that underlie the existence and functioning of the body, doshas are not only the factors that cause diseases but also the places where these diseases are localized. As such, they relate to the tissues, organs, and systems they control.

For example, diseases affecting the nervous system indicate that the localization of the disorder is Vata dosha, which controls the nervous system. These diseases most often belong to the type of Vata. However, they may also be of the nature of Pitta or Kapha doshas, since both can cause Vata disorders when they are overactive.

Usually, dosha aggravates the factors that are under its control. For example, overactive Kapha (mucus) tends to affect the lungs — the Kapha organ. But when a certain level of redundancy is reached, the dosha can affect another dosha, causing its imbalance. This is usually a sign of a more severe condition when this dosha has already caused disturbances in its “own” localities.

For example, too much Kapha, causing lung disease, can then affect the nervous system, as is the case with asthmatic shortness of breath or epilepsy resulting from mucus blockage of the thin channels, and thus affect the Vata dosha. Doshas interact with each other, so in severe diseases such as cancer, the balance of all three doshas can be disturbed simultaneously, which complicates treatment.

According to Ayurveda, it is not necessary to know the names of diseases and their forms. It is more important to know the properties of doshas and symptoms of their imbalance, which allows you to find out the causes of various diseases.

As soon as the excited dosha and the place of its manifestation are established, Ayurvedic doctor can prescribe a treatment regimen that reduces the level of this dosha.

The Excess Doshas

3 doshas in Ayurveda Image

The symptoms of excess Vata:

  • sudden breakdown;
  • spasms;
  • numbness;
  • depression;
  • piercing, stabbing and beating pain;
  • aches;
  • constipation;
  • cracking joints
  • contraction, delay in the body of waste materials;
  • thirst;
  • trembling;
  • skin roughness;
  • dehydration;
  • stiffness;
  • astringent taste in the mouth.

In these manifestations, the desiccating and destructive effects of the wind can be seen.

The symptoms of excess Pitta:

  • burning sensation;
  • redness;
  • fever;
  • boils;
  • sweating;
  • pus formation;
  • bleeding;
  • exhaustion;
  • fainting;
  • intoxication;
  • sharp or sour taste in the mouth.

These symptoms show the searing and splitting effects of fire.

The symptoms of excess Kapha:

  • mucus;
  • the hardness of the tissue;
  • itching;
  • a feeling of cold on the skin;
  • heaviness;
  • congestion;
  • obesity;
  • edema;
  • indigestion;
  • excessive sleep;
  • white spots; a sweet or salty taste in the mouth.

All this reflects the weight of the water and its tendency to stagnate.

Decreased Doshas

Dosha Imbalance Image

The symptoms of decreased Vata dosha:

  • a weakness of the limbs;
  • lack of speech and enthusiasm;
  • confusion of perception;
  • an increase of mucus;
  • formation of toxins.

The symptoms of decreased Pitta dosha:

  • weak digestion;
  • cold.

The symptoms of decreased Kapha dosha:

  • a feeling of emptiness in the stomach;
  • fast palpitations;
  • weak joints.

Ayurveda treats diseases as conditions caused by elevated or excited doshas. A low level of a particular dosha is not considered a force that can cause disease.

Symptoms Of the Three Doshas Imbalance

Below is a detailed list of symptoms that are characteristic of the imbalance of each of the three doshas.

Pain

Vata dosha: strong, pulsating, drilling, stabbing, pounding, tearing, changing, moving.

Pitta dosha: moderate, burning, causing sweating.

Kapha dosha: weak, dull, constant.

Fever

Fever Image

Vata dosha: variable or fickle; moderate temperature; thirst, restlessness, anxiety.

Pitta dosha: burning sensation, thirst, sweating, irritability, delirium, high temperature.

Kapha dosha: lethargy, feeling of heaviness; temperature is constantly elevating.

Oral cavity

Vata dosha: astringent taste, dryness.

Pitta dosha: bitter or pungent taste, increased salivation.

Kapha dosha: sweet or salty taste, profuse salivation, viscous and thick saliva.

Throat

Vata dosha: dryness, roughness; pain in the esophagus, and its narrowing.

Pitta dosha: pain, inflammation, burning sensation.

Kapha dosha: swelling, expansion.

Stomach

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Vata dosha: low secretion, fickle appetite, burping, hiccups, feeling of compression.

Pitta dosha: excessive appetite, acidic or acute belching, burning sensation; ulcers, cancer.

Kapha dosha: slow digestion, sweet or mucus belching

Liver and gallbladder

Vata dosha: dry, hard; poor secretion, irregular activity.

Pitta dosha: soft; excessive bile production, gallstones, inflammation, abscesses, increased activity.

Kapha dosha: increased, heavy, dense; scanty bile, decreased activity.

Intestines

Vata dosha: dry, disorders of peristalsis.
Pitta dosha: abundant secretion, accelerated peristalsis, inflammation, ulceration, abscesses, tumors, cancer, bleeding, perforation.
Kapha dosha: mucus, delayed peristalsis, congestion, bloating, edema, tumors.

Urine

Vata dosha: scanty, colorless; frequent, or absent urination.
Pitta dosha: plentiful, cloudy, yellow, brown or red; increased frequency of urination, burning sensation.
Kapha dosha: abundant, pale or whitish, with mucus; infrequent urination.

Sweating

Sweating Image

Vata dosha: the sparse, irregular.

Pitta dosha: plentiful; sweat is hot.

Kapha dosha: moderate, permanent.

Mind and emotions

Vata dosha: delusions, fears, apathy, sadness, fainting, insomnia, craving for warmth, and aversion to cold.

Pitta dosha: weakness of the senses, intoxication, anxiety, short temper, delirium, dizziness, fainting, craving for cold.

Kapha dosha: slow perception, lack of desire, apathy, stupor, excessive sleep, craving for warmth.

Onset of illness

Vata dosha: sudden, changeable, intermittent.

Pitta dosha: moderate, with a feverish condition.

Kapha dosha: slow, continuous.

External stimulating factors

Vata dosha: wind, cold, dryness.

Pitta dosha: heat, sun, fire, humidity.

Kapha dosha: humidity, cold

Treatment Methods For The Three Doshas

Now let us share with you the treatment methods Ayurveda uses for balancing each of the three doshas.

Vata dosha treatment

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  • a moderate application of oils;
  • gentle sweatshop and cleansing methods;
  • sweet, sour, salty, and warm food;
  • oil massage;
  • staying indoors;
  • eye lubrication;
  • a wine made from grain or sugar;
  • warm oil enemas, moderate cleansing enemas;
  • life in favorable conditions;
  • natural medicines that stimulate the digestive fire;
  • all kinds of oils.

Pitta dosha treatment

Understanding of the three doshas image
  • laxative therapy with sweet and cold herbs;
  • sweet, bitter, and astringent foods and herbs;
  • application of cold aromatic essential oils;
  • wearing gemstones around the neck;
  • relaxation in the moonlight;
  • beautiful chants;
  • cool wind;
  • unrestrained enjoyment;
  • communication with friends, spouse, family members;
  • reservoirs with cool water;
  • houses with extensive gardens.

Kapha dosha treatment

Kapha dosha treatment image
  • strong emetics and laxatives, following the instructions;
  • dry food that is also hot and spicy, bitter and astringent in moderate amounts;
  • old wine;
  • sexual pleasure;
  • staying awake at night;
  • all kinds of exercises;
  • mental work;
  • dry and vigorous massage;
  • burning herbal incense.

Conclusion

As you can see that the Ayurvedic methods that are traditionally used to bring the doshas into balance are whole sets of measures. This is not how western medicine treats a disease: “Take this pill and come back in a week.” In Ayurveda, all aspects of life are taken into account.

In addition, we must remember that it is important not only what we do, but also how we do it. We can use the right methods, but if our attitude to them is wrong, we cannot expect that these methods will give a good result.

For example, representatives of Vata tend to do everything hastily, chaotically, randomly. The Pitta type has a tendency to fanaticism and violence, to a rigid and authoritarian way of acting. People belonging to the Kapha type may be too slow or conservative.

Therefore, taking into account your dosha type, also try to balance the way you practice Ayurvedic knowledge.

Disclaimer:

This article is not intended for use as medical advice. If you suffer from any health problems, ensure that you seek help from an Ayurvedic doctor.

Images via unsplash.com, instagram.com/anastasiya_dobrovolskaya/, solancha.com

Yoga

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

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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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Healing

What Is Betrayal Trauma? The Signs and Tips to Start Healing

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When someone you love and trust betrays you, it can make you doubt your sanity. Betrayal can be so traumatic you may even show early signs of PTSD. Think of the times a spouse discovers that their partner is cheating on them or into porn addiction. Or when a parent realizes a child is an alcoholic or drug addict. Such discoveries make you go through shock, denial, and other long-term emotional scars that strain the relationship. So, what is betrayal trauma? And, how can you manage and heal from it? Let’s have a detailed look.

Understanding Betrayal Trauma

Betrayal trauma occurs when people or systems we trust or rely on for survival violate that trust and emotional wellbeing. Ideally, we feel the urge to end a relationship with anyone who betrays us. Still, if you are in an attachment relationship where you rely on the betrayer to meet specific needs, walking away is not feasible.

It is this attachment to someone or an institution that you know is betraying you, that triggers deep emotional wounds. Typical examples of betrayal trauma include child neglect and abuse, sexual abuse, and infidelity between spouses.

6 Signs You Are Undergoing Betrayal Trauma

Betrayal trauma makes us question ourselves and our partners’ motives. It also triggers mood swings, irritability, memory loss, dissociation, isolation, lack of intimacy, and engaging in activities that distract us. Below are some additional tell-tale physiological, emotional, and mental signs of betrayal trauma: –

#1: Feeling Unsafe

When you identify the relationship with your spouse, friend, or workmates as a lie, the deception violates your trust. Moreover, you begin to question your judgment about other relationships you may have at the moment.

Emotional insecurity makes us: –

  • Struggle to open up on hard topics
  • Get defensive when criticized
  • Snoop around for clues or anything suspicious
  • Agreeing to everything
  • Blaming a partner for everything
  • Faking happy moments

#2: Gaslighting Partners

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Now, partners living a double life will do all they can to keep their other relationships a secret. At times, they may gaslight their spouses to make them question their perception of reality. For example, they claim you are overreacting when you ask about the numerous withdrawals from the family bank account. Likewise, they may blame you for triggering their short tempers, saying you changed after having kids.

#3: Self-Blame

Now, betrayal trauma makes us look inwards for answers. In hindsight, we end up blaming ourselves for being too busy and overlooking the red flags. You know, your partner’s sudden controlling behavior, deceit, gaslighting, verbal or physical abuse, and concerns by your friends or family members.

But since you love and trust your partner, wishful thinking and infatuation make you overlook all these tell-tale signs that something is amiss. Consequently, we blame ourselves, saying if only we were more attractive, loving, or had more money, the betrayal wouldn’t have happened.

#4: Overwhelming Secondary Guilt or Shame

If you hold a reputable leadership position in your community, church, school, or place of work, betrayal comes with overwhelming shame. Letting those around you know that you’re going through a divorce, or your child is a drug addict, or your parent is facing theft charges ruins the picture-perfect reputation you have. In addition, your feel ashamed for crying or not being strong enough for your kids during this challenging phase.

#5: Physical Distress

Typical physical signs of betrayal trauma include: –

  • Sudden panic attacks
  • Stomach distress
  • Sleep problems
  • Anxiety & depression
  • Easily prone to panic attacks by external triggers
  • Nightmares
  • Poor hygiene
  • Tiredness

Some physiological effects of betrayal trauma like tiredness and stomach upsets may resolve after a few weeks. Others like anxiety and depression can escalate into mental health complications unless addressed early.  

#6: Self-Destructive Impulses

narcissistic abuse survivor image

When undergoing betrayal trauma, you become vulnerable to negative impulses like: –

  • Having suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • Alcohol and drug misuse
  • Excessive smoking
  • Chronic self-injury like hair pulling, self-cutting, & nail-biting
  • Compulsive gambling, gaming, or shopping
  • Binge eating

Most victims know they are self-destructive. However, the urge to harm themselves is beyond their control.

Managing Betrayal Trauma

#1: Speak Up

Join community groups or online support forums and share your painful experiences with others. Doing so helps you know that you are not alone. Plus, you access valuable resources to help you cope with the trauma.

#2: Acknowledge Your Emotions

Start by forgiving yourself for being vulnerable to the abuser. Next, practice mindful meditation to help you release your negative emotions and begin your healing process. Journalizing how you feel each day will help you pinpoint the triggers in your self-harm behaviors or what you need to focus on in your healing journey.

#3: Practice Self-Love

Daily Self-Love Practices Image

Is your lifestyle self-destructive? Here are some self-love practices you can start right away: –

  • Practice clean eating
  • Quit smoking
  • Join your local gym
  • Go for a massage or forest bath
  • Take up a new hobby

Self-love helps us rediscover ourselves, boosting our self-esteem.

#4: Set Boundaries

Setting healthy boundaries after your spouse, friend, or colleague hurts you helps to achieve a sense of safety when around them. It is a necessary coping mechanism when you have no way of ending the relationship. Hence, you can: –

  • Review your expectations from the relationship
  • State what you can and cannot tolerate in the relationship
  • Discuss what you consider acceptable financial boundaries
  • Redefine how much friends and extended family can interfere with the relationship
  • Define what you consider as private

#5: Seek Professional Help

Betrayal trauma presents itself in a multilayer form that is best dealt with by an experienced professional. Indeed, an inexperienced family member may re-traumatize you by saying such things as “Did you stop getting intimate after having kids? Also, talk to an experienced family therapist or counselor about how the trauma affects your quality of life.

Conclusion

What is betrayal trauma to you? Well, if you experience an attachment injury when a friend, spouse, or colleague breaks the mutual trust you have, you may develop deep wounds that take time to heal. If your gut feelings tell your partner or parent is gaslighting you, they could be doing so to distract you from their deception. Likewise, if you feel unsafe, struggle with guilt, self-blame, or self-harm behaviors, seek professional help to heal from the trauma. Also, share your experience, rediscover yourself, and set firm boundaries to give you some peace of mind in this challenging time.

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Yoga

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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