Shanmukhi Mudra

Definition - What does Shanmukhi Mudra mean?

Shanmukhi mudra is a yogic hand gesture that represents closing the six gates of perception – the eyes, ears, nose and mouth. The term comes from the Sanskrit, shan, meaning “six”; mukhi, meaning “face” or “gate”; and mudra, meaning “gesture,” “mark” or “seal.”

To practice shanmukhi mudra, place a hand in front of the face with the elbows pointing outward in line with the shoulders. With the thumbs, close the ears. Close the eyes and lightly touch the inner corners of the eyes with the index fingers. Place the middle fingers on either side of the nose. The ring fingers are placed above the mouth, and the little fingers below the mouth.

Shanmukhi mudra is usually practiced for five to 10 minutes, often in preparation for meditation.

Yogapedia explains Shanmukhi Mudra

Mudras are symbolic, ritualistic gestures used in yoga, Buddhism and Hinduism. “Mudra” is commonly used to describe a hand position in yoga and meditation that is believed to affect the flow of energy in the body and unblock chakras. There are numerous types of mudras, each thought to have a specific effect on the body and mind by clearing the psychic centers and energy channels.

Shanmukhi mudra is credited with the following benefits:

  • Calms the mind and nervous system
  • Prevents and reduces anxiety, anger and irritation
  • Relaxes the eyes and facial nerves
  • Creates a state of pratyahara (withdrawal of energy from the senses) that promotes a meditative state

Shanmukhi mudra is typically performed while in siddhasana, or accomplished pose, a seated cross-legged posture with the feet tucked. In this mudra, the yogi should listen to the inner sounds and look for whatever colors or figures appear in the darkness.

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