Shanmukhi mudra is a simple yoga mudra that makes your conscious flow inward by closing the senses towards the outside. When you practice this mudra for a long time, you start getting clearer pictures of your thought patterns. These thought patterns are known as Vrittis in the language of yoga asanas and mudras.
There are various types of yoga mudras out of which Shanmukhi Mudra is part of the Manu mudra. In this type of yoga mudra, you have to actively involve your sensory organs such as lips, tongue, eyes, nose, and ears in various ways.
If you want to know more about your thought patterns, you should learn how to practice Shanmukhi Mudra. In this guide, we are going to cover the meaning of Shanmukhi Mudra, its benefits, and much more. Read till the end so that you do miss anything important about this yoga mudra.
What is Shanmukhi Mudra?
If you aren’t yet clear about the Shanmukhi Mudra, its literal translation might help you understand more. The name of this mudra comes from the Sanskrit language where “Shan” means “six”, “mukhi” means “faces”, and “mudra” means “position or pose”. Adding all these words, we get the name Shanmukhi Mudra.
The name Shanmukhi is also given to the six faced goddess who is also known as the serpent deity. But in the context of this yoga mudra, it refers to the six openings of our face that help in sensing the world. The Shanmukhi or the six openings here are two ears, two eyes, one nose, and one mouth.
While doing Shanmukhi kriya, one has to block these four openings in the following ways:
- When we block our ears, we block our sense of hearing the world.
- When we block our eyes, we block our sense of seeing the world.
- When we block our nose, we block our sense of smelling the world.
- When we block our mouth, we block our sense of tasting and touching the world.
What are the Steps to Do Shanmukhi Mudra?
Here is an easy step-by-step guide that will help you practice Shanmukhi kriya the right way:
- Find a quiet place where no one can come to disturb you for some time.
- Spread out a yoga mat and sit on it in a cross-legged position.
- If you are also practicing meditation during this time, you can sit in the Padmasana or the Veerasana.
- Keep your spine straight and breathe at a normal rate.
- Try to feel your surroundings once before you block your sense of it.
- Raise your arms, bring the palm to your face and keep the elbow to your shoulder level.
- Close every sensory organ i.e. nose, ears, eyes, and mouth with the help of your fingers.
- Block your ears by pressing your thumbs against the tragus.
- Close your eyes using your forefingers but don’t forget to roll them upwards before closing.
- Block the nose (only partially) with the help of your middle finger.
- Gently place your little and ring finger on your upper and lower lips.
- Now, start breathing deeply, try to focus on your breath as you get detached from the world.
- Dive a little deeper inwards every time you take a breath. After some time, you will start hearing the fine sound of your breath.
- If you try to focus on your Ajna chakra, you may also see a radiance of spectrum in the dark.
- After a few minutes of practice, return back to the position where you started the Shanmukhi Mudra.
- Breathe out, unblock your sensory organs, and lower down your hands to sit in the Padmasana or the Veerasana.
What are the Benefits of Shanmukhi Mudra?
Here is a list of some benefits that you get by practicing Shanmukhi mudra regularly:
- When you hold your breath after breathing in, it revitalizes the natural glow on your face and enhances your beauty inside out.
- This mudra is known to relax the nervous system and make the nervous motor work in a harmonious way.
- If you have vertigo or moving sickness, you can practice this mudra and reduce your discomfort through nervous relaxation.
- Add Bramari breathing to Shanmukhi Mudra, your body will start recovering from an age-related hearing loss problem called presbycusis. Some studies even suggest that it can help in dementia correction up to a certain level.
- Unlike many other types of mudra asanas, Shanmukhi Mudra is quite easy to practice. In fact, if you have some experience doing meditation and yoga for beginners, you can practice this mudra without any problem.
- This mudra has a certain resemblance to Bhramari breathing. Because of this resemblance, this mudra can enhance your attentional skills such as sensory integrations, and language difficulties. If you have joined any online yoga classes or meditation classes, you can ask your trainer to teach your Bhramari breathing for even better results.
What are the Safety Precautions for Shanmukhi Mudra?
Here is a list of some precautions and safety points to keep in mind while practicing Shanmukhi Mudra:
- If you are a total beginner, you should not do intense practice sessions of Shanmukhi Mudra for long periods of time. This mudra requires coordination between various organs at a single time which can consume a lot of mental energy.
- Never put too much pressure on your sensory organs with your fingers. Some beginners press the tragus of the ear forcibly which can prove to be harmful to the ears.
- If you have hypertension, you should not do breath-holding for a long time period. Otherwise, breath-holding can lead to fatal conditions like cardiac arrest and heart failure.
- Pregnant ladies are advised to do this mudra along with low pitch Bhramari pranayama instead of practicing it alone.
- If you have respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma, you should not hold your breath for a long time period.
Shanmukhi mudra is a powerful asana that pushes its practitioners inwards. It makes you more conscious of your body, mind, and the connection between the two. Since practicing Shanmukhi mudra steps is easy, you can simply add them to your meditation sessions or home workouts. Try to make the practice regularly so that your body and mind get habitual of blocking the world and turning inward.
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