Bhujangini Mudra (Cobra gesture): process, advantages

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Bhujangini mudra demonstration

Bhujangini Mudra is named after the snake shape the body assumes when practicing this gesture. "Bhujang" refers to "cobra" or "snake" and "mudra" means "gesture".

To practice Bhujangini Mudra, one has to bend forward, straighten the neck, and lift the chin. The air is then swallowed into the stomach. This practice mimics a cobra flaming its hood, hence the name. It is also known as the "cobra gesture" or "cobra breathing".

Bhujangini Mudra is a type of mana (head) mudra that is a main component of Kundalini Yoga Kriyas. In general, mana mudras involve sensory organs, eyes, nose, ears, nose, tongue and lips as means of meditation practice, as opposed to simple hasta mudras which only use hands.

The technology

Bhujangini Mudra is practiced by sucking air into the stomach through the mouth and then expelling it through belching.

The expulsion of air in the form of burps or burps in the Bhujangini mudra symbolizes the cleansing of the digestive tract. Also, the satiating effects it leaves are incredible for the practitioner on a physical, mental, and spiritual level.

Thus, it serves as a cleaning technique to flush in the internal contaminants using air as a medium. This practice is not only a mudra, but also includes focused breathing patterns and is therefore also classified as pranayama.

Ancient traditional texts like Gheranda Samhita refer to it as the destroyer of death and decay.

Bhujangini Mudra is very similar to an ancient purification practice in Shatkarma, Vatsara Dhauti. In Vatsara Dhauti, however, unlike Bhujangini, the air drawn in through the mouth is expelled through the anus.

Bhujangini Mudra Practice Steps

  • Sit in a comfortable meditative posture like sukhasana, padmasansa, etc.
  • Close your eyes and relax your body, especially your stomach.
  • Lean your torso forward at your hips and push your chin forward.
  • Stretch your neck up, lift your chin, and look at the ceiling.
  • Inhale and suck the air through your mouth in a series of gulps.
  • Fill your stomach with air instead of your lungs like you are drinking water.
  • Expand the stomach as much as possible.
  • Sit back in the normal position and hold your breath for as long as you want.
  • Then expel it by burping through your mouth.

Duration and order of the exercise

  • The above practice forms a round of Bhujangini Mudra. It is recommended to practice three to five rounds in a row.
  • As with most mudras, the best time to practice is in the early hours of the morning.
  • After completing the exercise, relax the body to the starting position and breathe normally.
  • For better results, always practice on an empty stomach.
  • It can be practiced at any time, but it is especially recommended after the Shankha Prakshalana technique.
  • Avoid the practice in polluted places or if you have respiratory problems.

variation

Image source: Canva

There is also a modified version of the Bhujangini mudra that differs in the position in which it is performed.

  • Instead of sitting in a meditative pose, this variant is practiced under the assumption of Bhujangasana.
  • The rest of the exercise, which begins with swallowing air through your mouth, remains the same.

According to this variant, "Bhuja" means arm. In this variation, arms are used to raise the head and then the mudra is performed, so it is called the Bhujangini mudra.

Bhujangini mudra benefits

1. Improves digestion

Bhujangini Mudra is known to increase the efficiency of the digestive organs. It stimulates the walls of the esophagus and the digestive glands and facilitates the secretion of digestive juices. Hence, it is beneficial in improving digestion.

2. Tones the stomach

This mudra has satiating effects on hunger and thus regulates eating habits. This benefits the digestive tract from the inside and strengthens the abdominal muscles, resulting in a firmer stomach and fitter appearance.

3. Heals indigestion

Bhujangini Mudra stimulates the wind element (Vayu). It offsets the Samana Vayu and Pachaka Pitta drives out Apana Vayu. It also stimulates a balancing influence on the Prana Vayu – Udana Vayu axis.

This leads to the fact that the stagnant air is removed from the system and indigestion such as gastritis is relieved.

4. Improves breathing

The Bhujangini mudra follows the phases of pranayama practice, i.e. H. Inhalation (Puraka), retention (Antara) and exhalation (Rechaka).

Both inhalation and exhalation are through the mouth, and retention is practiced by holding the breath in the stomach. It improves breathing in a way that allows the doctor to swim in the water longer.

4. Energetic benefits

This mudra has a lot going for it including activating two energy chakras. It stimulates the chakras of the solar plexus (Manipura) and the throat (Vishuddha).

Note: Combining the practice of Bhujangini mudra with Tadagi mudra strengthens the vocal cords. It is common practice for singers to have a melodious voice.

Conclusion

Bhujangini Mudra is a powerhouse that offers so many benefits in a single exercise. There isn't a single drawback or limitation that you can use as an excuse to skip this practice.

So the next time you sit down to meditate or do your daily yoga routine, don't fail to practice a few rounds of Bhujangini mudra.