Shanmukhi Mudra (closing the seven gates) is a mana mudra (head mudras).
How To Do Shanmukhi Mudra (Closing The Seven Gates)
- Sit in siddha/siddha yoni asana if possible. Otherwise take a comfortable meditation asana and place a small cushion beneath the perineum to provide pressure in this area. Hold the head and spine straight.
- Close the eyes and place the hands on the knees.
- Relax the whole body.
- Raise the arms in front of the face with the elbows pointing sideways.
- Close the ears with the thumbs, the eyes with the index fingers, the nostrils with the middle fingers, and the mouth by placing the ring fingers above and little fingers below the lips.
- Release the pressure of the middle fingers and open the nostrils. Inhale slowly and deeply, using full yogic breathing.
- At the end of inhalation, close the nostrils with the middle fingers.
- Retain the breath inside for as long as is comfortable.
- After some time, release the pressure of the middle fingers and slowly exhale.
- This is one round.
- Inhale again immediately to start another round.
- To end the practice, lower the hands to the knees, keeping the eyes closed, and slowly externalize the mind, becoming aware of external sounds and the physical body.
Breathing pattern while doing Shanmukhi Mudra – Closing The Seven Gates
- This technique gives greater benefits when the practitioner can retain the breath for extended periods.
- Practise for 5 minutes to begin with. Gradually build the duration up over a period of months to 30 minutes.
- Physical – on synchronizing the hand mudra with the breath.
- Spiritual – hindu, ajna or anahata chakra may be used for concentration. The important point is to introvert the senses.
Time of practice
- Shanmukhi mudra is best practised early in the morning or late at night when there is maximum quiet. Practising at this time awakens psychic sensitivity.
Precautions while doing Shanmukhi Mudra – Closing The Seven Gates
- People suffering from depression should avoid this practice.
Shanmukhi Mudra Benefits
- Physically, the energy and heat from the hands and fingers stimulate and relax the nerves and muscles of the face. Mentally, it introverts the awareness. Spiritually, it induces the state of pratyahara or sense withdrawal.
- Shanmukhi mudra is a practice used in nada yoga to hear any internal manifestation of sound in the region of hindu chakra. There may be many sounds or none at all;just listen. Do not expect to hear subtle sounds immediately; practice is necessary. At first there may be no sound or a confused jumble of sounds. Upon hearing one distinct sound, focus the awareness totally upon it. This may take a few weeks of practice. As sensitivity develops, subtler sounds will be heard.
- Shanmukhi mudra is also used to enhance visualization in other branches of yoga such as swara yoga, tattwa shuddhi and kriya yoga.
- The word shanmukhi has two roots: shat means ‘six’ and mukhi means ‘gates’ or ‘faces’. Shanmukhi mudra involves redirecting the awareness inside by closing the six doors of outer perception: the two eyes, the two ears, the nose and the mouth. This practice is also known as baddha yoni asana, the locked source pose; devi mudra, attitude of the great goddess; parangmukhi mudra, the gesture of inner focusing; and shambhavi mudra, the gesture of equipoise.