Shanmukhi Mudra

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Shanmukhi Mudra Mean?

Shanmukhi mudra is a sacred hand gesture or "seal," used during yoga and meditation practice as a means of channeling the flow of vital life force energy known as prana. This gesture represents closing the six gates of perception – the eyes, ears, nose and mouth. The term is derived from three Sanskrit roots; shan, meaning "six"; mukhi, meaning "face" or "gate" and mudra, meaning "gesture," "mark" or "seal."

Shanmukhi mudra is typically performed in a stable, seated meditation posture such as siddhasana (Accomplished Pose), padmasana (Lotus Pose) or sukhasana (Easy Pose).

To practice shanmukhi mudra, first raise both hands in front of the face with elbows pointing outwards, in line with the shoulders. With eyes closed, gently press the index fingers to the inner corners of the eyes, place the middle fingers on either side of the nose, the ring fingers above the lips and the little fingers below the mouth. Use the thumbs to gently close the ears. The spine should remain upright and the shoulders relaxed.

Shanmukhi mudra is usually practiced for five to ten minutes, often in preparation for meditation.

This mudra is also known as Yoni mudra.

Shanmukhi Mudra


Yogapedia Explains Shanmukhi Mudra

Shanmukhi mudra involves closing the ears, eyes, nose and mouth with the fingers, helping the practitioner to withdraw the senses and turn the awareness inwards. As such, it can be considered a practice of pratyahara (sense withdrawal), which is the preliminary stage of dharana (concentration) and dhyana (meditation) according to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

For maximum benefit, this gesture should be accompanied with pranayama (breathing techniques) or bandhas (energetic locks). Shanmukhi mudra is commonly practiced with brahmari, a pranayama otherwise known as Bee Breath, in which the exhale is used to make a humming sound. In this technique, the mudra enables the practitioner to focus on the inner vibration created by the bhramari breath.

In addition to heightening awareness and serving as preparation for meditation, shanmukhi mudra is credited with the following benefits:

  • Calms the mind and nervous system

  • Relaxes and rejuvenates the eyes and facial muscles

  • Balances internal and external awareness

  • Creates a state of pratyahara

  • Enhances focus and introspection

  • Helps in managing anxiety

In the practice of Kundalini yoga, shanmukhi mudra is also used as a means of awakening the kundalini (serpent) energy which lies dormant at the base of the spine. In order to achieve this, shanmukhi mudra is accompanied with internal holding of breath, though this is an advanced practice and should only be undertaken with the guidance of an experienced teacher.

During These Times of Stress and Uncertainty Your Doshas May Be Unbalanced.

To help you bring attention to your doshas and to identify what your predominant dosha is, we created the following quiz.

Try not to stress over every question, but simply answer based off your intuition. After all, you know yourself better than anyone else.


Share This Term

  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter

Related Reading

Trending Articles

Go back to top