Tag Archive: Mudra


muscles engaged by khechari

It amazes me that a simple repositioning of your tongue can have such a profound effect on the body and mind. I’ve already covered a lot of the effects Khechari mudra has on the mind in previous posts, so in this post I’m going to share with you the effects of khechari mudra on the body’s posture and tell you why those effects are important.

When the tongue is curled back in the mouth and stretched up towards the uvula, and beyond into the nasopharyngeal cavity, a number of muscles are engaged. As these muscles contract they generate a cascade of subtle adjustments within the body.

postural changes caused by khechari

  1. The jaw moves back.
  2. The sternum pulls up, to slightly concave the chest.
  3. The thyroid gland also pulls upward (and is stimulated into activity).
  4. The head rotates ever so slightly forward and the spine elongates and aligns. This also causes the pelvis to rotate forward and the knees to bend slightly.
  5. The scapula rotate forward.

So what makes all of these postural effects so interesting? To keep it simple, the body opens up and relaxes, becomes powerful in its movements and gains poise, hormones become balanced and the mind settles. There’s a definite strengthening of the connection between mind and body, which leads to enhanced balance and refined mind body coordination.

galea

Another interesting effect of these muscular contractions is a bit more esoteric. As these muscles contract they pull on and tighten the Galea (the tendinous cap that covers the skull). This tightening of the galea brings the practitioner’s attention and energy up to the top of his head (AKA: crown chakra) allowing him to open the energy centre in the crown centre. Yogis achieve a similar effect by tying their hair up into a knot on top of their head (Rishi knot).

There’s quite a bit more to discuss on this, but time isn’t something I have a lot of right now so I’ll leave you with those main points to think about and maybe take a closer look at the specifics in other posts.

Khechari mudra diaries

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There is a sense of deep peace and clarity after the practice. When my eyes open I feel like a new born baby looking at the world and seeing everything for the first time. There are no labels. There is no prejudice. Everything just is.

The following are notes taken from my personal diary. They offer a first hand account of my experience with the practice of khechari mudra and give some insight into what goes on in the body and mind when the tongue is repositioned into the nasopharyngeal cavity.

At first there’s a burning sensation under the base of the tongue and in the pit of the throat (like the beginning of a sore throat) accompanied by tension that spreads from the front of the neck up into the jaw and temple area.

When the tongue first touches the nasal septum there is a light electrical sensation in the tip of the tongue and a sensation in the nasal septum that is so intense it’s as if you’ve snorted a pint of fizzy soda up your nose (think of the sensation you get in the back of your nose just before you sneeze and multiply it by 10). After some time there are various tastes that become noticeable on your tongue, as if a very delicate liquid is trickling into your throat. It’s salty at first but becomes increasingly subtle in it’s taste and consistency. Some of the tastes are metallic (almost like blood), and sweet (but not like sugar, there’s a delicate intensity to the sweetness).

The breath becomes very shallow and slow, almost imperceptible. Breathing out is particularly strange. The out breath is long ( just when you think there’s no more air in your lungs more comes out. It’s like wringing water out of a sponge). When all the air is emptied from the lungs there is no feeling of wanting to inhale. At this point the soft pallet begins to go into spasm and lightly pulsate around the base of the tongue.

There’s a warmth that moves up from the back of the throat, through the head to settle behind the eyes. The warmth grows in intensity until it feels as if your eyes are glowing like hot ambers under your eyelids – it’s not an unpleasant feeling, in fact it’s quite comforting.

The forehead feels as if it’s being sucked into one point between the eyebrows. It’s a strange muscle tension – difficult to recreate without the help of Khechari, but not impossible (I think it’s a naturally occurring form of shambhavi mudra). This is accompanied by a light in the head (that grows in brightness) and a strange warm breeze that constantly blows against the forehead along with a tugging sensation from inside the head that is somehow synchronized with a pulsation of the perineal muscles. The feeling generated by this is similar to a genital orgasm (there is no ejaculation, rather it’s as if the ejaculation becomes internalized and continuous), but it spreads, like an intense warmth, instantly up the spine.

The heart and chest area feel as if they are filling up with excitement (as if you’re about to hear the best news you’ve ever been told, like exciting anticipation). This culminates in the feeling of the heart wanting to explode with love and happiness. In this state there’s love for everything.

There’s a sense of being in your head, as if the rest of your body is separate. This progresses into a feeling of your head expanding like a balloon being pumped up, as if there is infinite space inside your head. And finally, all barriers dissolve to give a sense of infinite expansion and being inseparable from everything- in this moment it’s as if you are one with everything, you are the universe.

There is a sense of deep peace and clarity after the practice. When my eyes open I feel like a new born baby looking at the world and seeing everything for the first time. There are no labels. No prejudice. Everything just is.

FREE YOGA MANUAL

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PDF Download: YOGA MANUAL

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I finally got around to “kind of” finishing this (still a few bits not done, plus the entire thing needs revision and editing). Anyway, if you’re into yoga, meditation, and/or self development this might be something you’d be interested in. Email me any questions you have about the practices 😉 Enjoy

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Many years ago, when I first became interested in the esoteric elements of yoga, I remember looking through dozens of texts and noticing a strange recurring theme. Throughout the texts I saw paintings of yogis depicted as being in a deep state of Samadhi, with their eyes crossed and directed up towards the centre of their forehead.

It turns out that the yogis in those images weren’t just pulling funny faces, they were applying a simple yet powerful consciousness expanding technique known as shambavi mudra. Applying this simple technique of turning the eyes up towards the centre of the forehead allowed these explorers of consciousness to open their mind’s eye and see the unity and the oneness of everything.

Shambavi mudra can be looked at on two levels; they are the external, physical level, and the internal, mental level. In this post I’ll describe the physical level, as understanding and learning how to apply it lays the foundation for practising on the mental level.

The Physical level of Shambavi

In the same way that Yogis noticed the other bandhas and mudras occurring spontaneously throughout their body as their mind began to awaken, they also observed how, when they entered a deep state of meditation, their eyes would naturally roll up and in towards the centre of their forehead. It seems that this natural movement of the eyes, in response to the mind entering deeper states of awareness and expansion, has the affect of bringing the two hemispheres of the brain into harmony with each other, creating a unity and synergy between all parts of the brain.

With this understanding of shambavi mudra, it’s interesting to see how an awakened mind is often symbolised by closed eyes turned up towards a single, opened eye in the centre of the forehead. Symbolically, this represents the neurological integrative affect shambavi has upon the brain, and the subsequent awareness of unity and oneness that arises in the mind.

Practice:

  1. Sitting or lying in a comfortable position, bring your index finger to a central point in front of your face, level with your eyes.
  2. Focus your eyes on the point of your finger.
  3. Keeping your eyes focussed on the tip of your finger, slowly move your finger to touch the point just above the bridge of your nose, where the third eye is often depicted as being situated.
  4. Once you have reached the position described in step 3, maintaining your eyes in that position, close your eye lids as your remove your finger and bring your hand to rest in your lap.

The effects of this practice, although happening mostly in the background, manifest in a specific way. Over time, as the eye position of shambavi integrates the brain’s hemispheres and begins to stimulate and activate specific areas of the brain, the practitioner begins to see a light in the centre of his/her forehead. The longer the practice is used, the stronger the new neurological connections become. The affect of this neurological strengthening is a growing intensity in the brightness of the inner light in the head.

Integration

When we integrate shambavi mudra into our bandha and meditative practices we are greatly enhancing their affects on the awakening body and mind. Eventually, when we practice our meditation in conjunction with shambavi, the mind becomes completely absorbed in the light in the head. When we reach this point in our practice, the mind expands and we see ourselves in everything and everything in us.

One Love ❤

A digital sketch I made to illustrate the flow of Prana induced by certain yogic and martial practices. In yoga they’re called bandhas (seals). I’ll share my understanding of these internal practices during the coming weeks.

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When reading the ancient yogic texts, many references to khechari mudra can be found. All of which indicate that its practice leads to a state of immortality, in which the yogin no longer fears death, disease or suffering, and enters a state of Samadhi.

Disease, death, and sleep do not trouble him who knows khechari mudra, nor hunger and thirst, nor swoon.

-Yoga Chudamani Upanishad

Immortal liquor is the nectar exuding from the moon (pineal gland). It is produced by the fire, which is generated by inserting the tongue into the nasopharyngeal cavity.

-Hathayoga-Pradipika

Always practicing it (kechari) let him drink the ambrosia daily. By this he obtains Vigraha-siddhi (perfect body), and conquers death even as a lion overpowers an elephant.

-Shiva-Samhita

In my own experience of Kechari mudra I’ve yet to experience the absence of hunger, thirst or disease. However, as with many ancient texts, these words aren’t to be taken literally.

Personal experience

For me, in the first few weeks of experiencing kechari mudra, each time my tongue entered my nasopharyngeal cavity, to touch my nasal septum, it felt like an explosion in my brain. If you’ve ever had snuff, it’s a similar sensation, although, at the same time, very different. The thing is, with snuff, you sneeze once or twice and the explosive feeling passes. With Kechari it doesn’t pass, it intensifies until it reaches a point where your brain feels like it’s bubbling over with ecstatic energy. Over time I got used to this sensation and it became a new state of being.

In those early days of my Kechari experience, when my tongue entered the nasopharyngeal cavity, there was a salty taste (probably from post nasal drip). However, to my surprise, this soon changed. Over the following months, various tastes began to manifest. They went from salty to bitter, then mildly sour,  but eventually stabilised to become sweet. This new intense sweetness was accompanied by the sensation of a very light liquid, almost like liquid air, flowing onto my tongue. This is a sensation comes and goes to this day. And I believe it is what the texts refer to as soma, or the liquor of the gods, although I’m not sure if its effects should be taken literally. Such as invulnerability to poison, and conquering death within 15 days. Yet, again, there is some truth to be found in these claims.

Kechari induced realisation

To understand what the yogic texts mean when they refer to kechari as being a means for gaining immortality and overcoming all disease, we need to look at the effects it has, not on the body, but on the mind.

Referring back to my first experience of Kechari mudra, during my initial awakening, the expanded state of mind initiated by the kechari mudra led me to a sense of being beyond, or before, time. It made me realise, through direct experience, that I am not the body or mind; these things are simply manifestations of my LARGER SELF. In having these realisations, the fear of death completely died. The experience of kechari mudra expands the mind and wakes the yogin up to the realization that he/she in his/her pure state, is immortal and impervious to illness. One who’s mind is absorbed in such a state can never die.

Liquor of the gods

In relation to the sweet nectar like liquid that begins to trickle down the tongue we need to think about the process of meditation. With meditative practices, the idea is to train the mind to become one-pointed and focused to the point where it completely dissolves in its object of focus. At this stage we enter Samadhi.

Because of the intense sweetness, I can say from personal experience that absorbing the mind becomes an easy process when focusing on the taste of the body’s very own ‘nectar of immortality,’ the body’s own fountain of youth.

The martial connection 

In Bushido the aim of the warrior is to become one with his/her opponent, blending with his/her thoughts and actions, dissolving any attack before the thought to attack even arises. Similarly, the aim of Yoga is to unite the body and mind and dissolve into the oneness of everything. One method of achieving this is through the practice of Kechari mudra, which generates a deep feeling of love and connectedness to all beings, with the barriers that seperate the yogin from the rest of the world (identifying him as an individual) dissolving in the advanced stages of the practice, resulting in a sense of oneness with all things.

Interestingly, a variation of Kechari mudra is used in many of the warrior traditions, where the tongue is placed in an alternate position, pressing on the point just behind the teeth, on the hard pallet. In Yoga this is called Nabo mudra, which has a much milder effect than Kechari, but is very beneficial all the same.

Have a look here to read about some other experiences I’ve had with Khechari mudra.

FREE Accidental Yogi’s manual/course will be available to read/print on February 3rd 2014. Here’s the link: FREE MANUAL/COURSE

A very short video I just made, to demonstrate kechari mudra (since I’ve been talking so much about it). I’ll post a bit more about it over the weekend, and then move on to other interesting practices 🙂

Awakening the serpent fire

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Just as my awareness reached the point where it seemed as if nothing existed, I felt my head explode and as it did, my awareness spread outwards in every direction. I felt as if I was both everything and nothing, simultaneously existing and not existing.

 – From my personal diary

Kundalini (coiled serpent) is the spiritual power that, in most people, lays dormant at the base of the spine. When she awakens, she makes her way up through the spiritual centres, called chakras, until she reaches the highest spiritual centre, the sahasrara chakra, where she unites with her consort, shiva. As Kundalini and shiva unite, the Sadhak (spiritual aspirant) enters a deep meditative trance where he/she becomes one with the universe.

The path of kundalini, also called the path of fire, is filled with many dangers and for that reason is only suited for certain Sadhaks (spiritual aspirants). If Kundalini rises through the wrong channel, even though various siddhis (yogi powers) arise, many physical and mental illnesses manifest in the practitioner, sometimes ending in death.

What follows is my story of how Kundalini woke me up to the world.

The Awakening

Five years ago, in late Spring, I had just finished my morning practices, which consisted of breathing and Meditation. As I lay down on my back to allow the energy generated by my practices flow through me, a sudden panic set in as I realised my body was completely paralysed. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t even move my eyes; every part of me was frozen.

Soon after the paralyses set in, I began to feel something moving just beneath the surface of my skin. It felt like dozens of worms wriggling and moving upwards, starting in my lower legs and making their way towards my upper thighs and sacrum (tail bone). As they progressed up my legs, they grow in size and reduced in number, as if they were merging into one.

My dying breath

Once the worms, which were more like two snakes at this stage, reached my upper legs, they merged into one large snake. This powerful snake entered my sacrum and began moving up my spinal column, one vertebrae at a time. As she moved through my spine, each vertebrae she moved through, completely disintegrated.

As the snake ascended, I became increasingly panicked. And by the time she reached the level of my heart, I thought I was going to die. At this point, I completely surrendered to the process; I accepted my impending death.

Once I accepted my death, the process became much smoother and almost enjoyable, although still scarier than anything else I had ever experienced.

As she moved into my chest, she forced her way into my heart, which felt as if it exploded into a billion pieces. As this happened, I released a deep sigh, after which my breathing became completely suspended. I thought it was my dying breath, but strangely, I was still conscious, still existing in this thing, this body I call my self. From this stage on, my mind became completely serene. Even though I thought I was dying, I was absolutely at peace with the process.

The grand finale: my orgasmic brain

As the serpent emerged from my heart, she continued moving up through my spine until she reached the point at the base of my skull. She paused there for a few moments as if preparing for her final ascent. Then as she penetrated my skull, my tongue physically rolled back and pushed up behind my soft palate, penetrating my nasal cavity, with the tip of my tongue touching a soft spot directly above my nasal septum. As this happened, it was like having a thousand orgasms all at once, in my brain. In this moment, everything around me disappeared as my awareness was turned completely inward.

Just as my awareness reached the point where it seemed as if nothing existed, I felt my head explode and as it did, my awareness spread outwards in every direction. I felt as if I was both everything and nothing, simultaneously existing and not existing.

The sense of being everything and nothing at the same time seemed to go on for an eternity.

Re-entry: My descent into a world of illusion

After a period of time, I’m not sure how long, my awareness re-entered the physical body. It felt as if the universe was breathing me into physical existence. Moments after entering my body, my lungs expanded as I took my first breath in this new state of expanded awareness.

For about three months after this experience, I felt as if I was floating around in a world of illusion. Everything I looked at had a glow emanating from it. Living things had auras of vibrant colour that expanded further than I could see. Each aura was connected to the things around it. Watching the world in this way was like living in a dream. I watched waves of energy dancing across the sky, witnessing scenes that I could never hope to describe in a physical sense.

Gradually, over the next six months, I settled back into a more normal state of perception, mostly because I stopped my practices, in fear of leaving my body and not returning 

The after effects

Although, five years later, I still experience many after effects from this kundalini awakening, I am for the most part able to function as a “normal human being.” But in saying that, there are two after effects that are of deeper significance than the others. One is the ability to apply something called Kechari mudra. This is the name used to describe when the tongue is pushed up behind the soft palate, into the nasal cavity. Doing this has many powerful effects upon the body and mind, effects I’ll discuss in my next post. The second after effect is called Shaktipat, the ability to initiate the awakening of another person’s kundalini. This is something I’ll also look at in a later post.

A visual journey

I made some drawings soon after my kundalini experience to visually illustrate the process of awakening I went through. I’ll upload them, hopefully tomorrow 🙂

 

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Our brains are in a constant state of change, with their neural circuitry being rewired with every experience we have. In fact, neuroscience tells us that the simple act of turning on your laptop/Pc, typing on your keyboard, reading these words, and even scratching your nose,  has physically changed your brain’s structure and function, in a process called neuroplasticity.

While this process is entirely natural, using the right techniques, we’re able to guide it in a way that can positively influence our state of being and the way we live our lives.

The Basic Concept

  • Neurons that fire together, wire together.
  • Neurons that fire apart, wire apart.

What does this mean? In simple terms, every time we process an experience, an area of the brain associated with that experience becomes active. So neurons in that area light up with activity. When we have more than one experience at a time, separate parts of the brain become active at the same time. If, for example, I hear a bell ring just as I have an experience that excites me, the areas of my brain that process the ringing of a bell and the emotional reaction of excitement will both light up at the same time.

Normally this wouldn’t have any unusual effect on us. However, if we have those two experiences at the same time, over and over again, the two areas of the brain that activate together will begin to form a relationship. This relationship links these two experiences, writing them into our neural circuitry. This means if, after this relationship has been formed, I hear the ringing of a bell, not only will the area of my brain associated with that particular sound become active, but so will the area associated with excitement. So, simply hearing the bell ring will excite me.

The second part of this rule says we can break this neural relationship. This basically works in the opposite way. So, using the same example, if I ring a bell over and over again without stimulating an experience of excitement, the relationship between the two areas of my brain begins to deteriorate, until, finally, hearing the sound of the bell has no effect upon me.

These relationships are constantly forming and deteriorating, usually without our conscious awareness, as we move through life. But the key to using this biological process to our advantage is to, firstly, become aware of it, and, secondly, consciously begin forming new relationships, in our brain, that benefit us. Traditionally, this has been achieved through the use of mantra and mudra, in both Yoga and the esoteric schools of the martial arts, techniques I’ll explore in a later post.

Reality

In my interview with Joe Dispenza, he said the following about reality: “Your personality creates your personal reality. So if you want to create a new personal reality, then on a fundamental level, you would have to change some way you think, act or behave, otherwise you’re trying to create a new personal reality as the same personality.” This is why so many of us get stuck before getting off the starting blocks on our journey of personal transformation.

The process of conscious change recommended by Joe Dispenza is achieved in two stages.

  • Firstly, we need to become aware of what we want to change. This is where we take an honest look at the relationships we’ve spent a lifetime forming in our brain.
  • Secondly, we need to think about who we wish to become. In this essence, we need to think about the new relationships we would like to form in our brain.

The Key to Change

Joe explains the key to lasting change. “If you fully allow yourself to participate in this two-step process, to the exclusion of everything else, your frontal lobe begins to quieten down all the circuits in the rest of the brain, and your present thought becomes your experience. The moment this happens, the experience produces an emotion and you begin to feel like that new ideal of yourself. As you begin to feel differently, your body becomes conditioned to a new mind.” This is where the magic happens: where our thoughts become reality.

The Bottom Line

Your brain is physically changing and rewiring itself every time you have an experience. We can, if we choose to, guide this biological process in a positive direction by making small changes to our lifestyle and how we use our mind. “Decide who you want to be. If your personality creates your personal reality, and you are clear about who you want to be, you will move into a new state of being; a new state of being means a new personality, and a new personality creates a new reality,” says Joe Dispenza.

Have fun creating a new reality with every new experience you choose to have.

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