By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Gheranda Samhita and Hatha Yoga Pradeepika treatises explain Maha Bheda Mudra – . the Great Piercing Gesture. It is also called as great psychic attitude or great separation seal. It is a gesture highly recommended for Yogis. It needs to be practiced along with Maha Mudra and Moola Bandha. It is the seventh of 20 kriyas. It is a combination of a gesture and a lock i.e. mudra and bandha.
Maha = great
Bheda = piercing
Mudra = gesture / seal / mark / pose
Here the word ‘pierce’ means ‘piercing the seven chakras’. In this gesture, the awareness is taken from the root chakra to the crown chakra. While doing so, the practitioner pierces through various levels of consciousness. This is because each chakra is related to a different level of consciousness. It is one of the practices that should be mastered by a yogi so as to achieve the ultimate state of Dhyana.
Read – Dhyana – Meaning, Classification, Benefits, Research
- Sit comfortably on a mat. Stretch out your legs.
- Fold and draw in your left leg and press the perineum with the left heel.
- Keep your right leg stretched in front of you throughout the practice.
- Bend forward and hold the big toe of the right leg with the hands. While bending forward, make sure to breathe out.
- Now perform Maha Bandha. It comprises of three bandhas or locks i.e. Jalandhara, Uddiyana and Mula Bandha. All three locks are done together.
- Perform Nasikagra Drishti i.e. gazing of nose tip.
- Gradually begin to rotate the consciousness between the three chakras i.e. root, solar plexus and throat chakras. At each chakra keep your consciousness for few seconds. The breath is held out during the entire round.
- Keep continuing the rotation of consciousness as long as you are comfortable of holding your breath out.
Read – Chakra – Kundalini: Introduction, Meaning, Types, Location, Ayurveda View
- First release the locks one by one. First release Mula bandha followed by Uddiyana and lastly Janandhara. Inhale now.
- Now release the mudra. To do this, inhale slowly. Unfurl the back to seated position. Straighten out the body by releasing your grip on the right toe. Unfold your left leg and straighten it. Keep both legs parallel to each other as in the starting position. Place your hand on the knees. Breathe easily.
- Repeat the same procedure with the right leg folded. Some experts believe that it can be performed by stretching out both legs.
- Practice this gesture 3 times with left leg folded towards perineum and 3 times with right leg folded and 3 times with both legs outstretched.
Time and Duration
This gesture bestows best benefits when practiced early in the morning and on empty stomach.
It is good to do the purification of the body through Shatkarmas before taking to practicing this mudra.
Read – Hatha Yoga and Shat Karmas: Benefits, Precautions
Before practicing this gesture, the practitioner should be familiar with the techniques of all the three bandhas. One should not practice this gesture without proper guidance under an expert.
It should be done after practice of asana and pranayama and before meditation.
- People with hypertension and heart complaints should seek advice before taking on to this gesture
- Other contraindications are cervical spondylosis, colitis, vertigo, hernia, abdominal disorders, ulcers in stomach and intestine
- Since this gesture produces lot of body heat, it should not be practiced during hot summer months
- Should not be practiced during active menstruation or pregnancy
Read – Ayurvedic Diet And Lifestyle During Menstruation (Periods)
- Bestows both physical and spiritual benefits
- Gives all benefits of Maha Bandha i.e. the great lock
- Positively affects the Kundalini energy located at the root of the spine, helps combine prana and apana vayu to move through the sushumna so as to activate kundalini
- Harnesses the energy at the level of three chakras mentioned above and thereby induces immense concentration of the mind
- Prepares the mind for meditation
- Improves focus, energizes the chakras, strengthens the mind
- Enables unification of self with the universe in the yogis
- Provides siddhis and perfection to the yogi when performed along with maha mudra and mula bandha
- Bestows siddhi, destroys old age and graying of hairs (Hatha Yoga Pradeepika)
- Increases appetite
- Gives steadiness to the body
- Wards off the fear of death and decay (Gheranda Samhita)
- Channelizes prana energy and enhances it
- Has anti-ageing benefits
- Strengthens the back and shoulders
- Tones the muscles of abdomen,
- Stretches the legs and thighs
Read – Muladhara Chakra – The Root Chakra, Features, How To Activate?
Effect on Chakras
This gesture helps in awakening consciousness in all the chakras. It carries awareness from the root to the crown chakra. It has a specific influence on the energy levels and functions of the root, naval and throat chakra. It manipulates the energies within these energy centers. This induces concentration of mind which in turn helps in meditation. It also positively affects the Kundalini energy. In this gesture, the chakras and psychic channels penetrate the consciousness.
Read – Dhatu – 7 Body Tissues As Explained In Ayurveda
Impact on Doshas and Tissues –
Since it is a higher form of gesture, energizes all chakras, builds up consciousness and is advised for yogis, it should have a soothing effect on all the doshas and a balancing effect on all tissues. To be specific, it activates and balances all vayus, mainly prana, samana and apana vayu based on the specific impact it has on the chakras. It stimulates pachaka pitta and aids proper digestion of food. Among the tissues it is exclusively contributory in proper formation of rasa tissue and strengthening the muscle tissue.
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