To perform maha bheda mudra, sit on the floor with the legs stretched forward. Fold the left leg and bring the left foot toward the body. Press the perineum with the left heel. Exhale, bending forward to hold the big toe of the right leg with both hands. While bending, perform maha bandha, which is a combination of three bandhas. Begin with jalandhara bandha, followed by uddiyana bandha and mula bandha. Focus on the muladhara, manipura and visuddha chakras, alternating every few seconds. Continue to hold the exhale throughout the process. Also continue to alternate the consciousness from one chakra to another as long as is comfortable. Exit maha bheda mudra by unlocking the bandhas in reverse order and inhale, unfurling the back to seated position. Repeat the same series, starting with the right leg.
Maha bheda mudra strengthens the back and shoulders. It also tones the abdominal muscles, and stretches the legs and thighs. It channels prana and is thought to have anti- aging benefits. Mentally, maha bheda mudra improves focus, energizes the chakras, strengthens the mind and unites the self with the universe.
It is recommended that yogis new to this practice perform the mudra under able guidance.