Maha Mudra

FIVE*

Maha means great or noble. Mudra means shutting, closing or sealing. In this sitting posture the apertures at the top and bottom of the trunk are held fast and sealed.

technique

1. Sit on the floor with the legs stretched in front. (Plate 35)

2. Bend the left knee and move it to the left, keeping the outer side of the left thigh and the left calf on the floor.

3. Place the left heel against the inner side of the left thigh near the perineum. The big toe of the left foot should touch the inner side of the right thigh. The angle between the extended right leg and the bent left leg should be a right angle of 90 degrees.

EFFECTS

This asana tones the abdominal organs, the kidneys and adrenal glands. Women suffering from a prolapsed womb find relief as it pulls the womb up to its original position. Persons suffering from spleen ailments and from enlargement of the prostate gland will benefit by staying in this pose longer. It cures indigestion.

This Mahamudra destroys death and many other pains. 'There is nothing that one cannot eat or has to avoid (if one has practised it). All food regardless of taste and even when deadly poisonous is digested.' 'He who practices Mahamudra, overcomes consumption, leprosy, piles, enlargement of the spleen, indigestion and other complaints of long duration.' (Hatha Yoga Pradipika, chapter 3, verses 14, 16 and 17.)

4. Stretch the arms forward towards the right foot and hook the big toe with the thumbs and forefingers.

5. Lower the head to the trunk until the chin rests in the hollow between the collar bones just above the breast-bone.

9. Relax the abdominal tension, exhale, raise the head, release the hands and straighten the bent leg.

10. Repeat on the other side, keeping the left leg straight and the right one bent for an equal length of time.

7. Inhale completely. Tighten the entire abdomen from the anus to the diaphragm. Pull the abdomen back towards the spine and also up towards the diaphragm.

6. Keep the spine fully stretched and do not allow the right leg to tilt to the right.

7. Inhale completely. Tighten the entire abdomen from the anus to the diaphragm. Pull the abdomen back towards the spine and also up towards the diaphragm.

8. Relax the abdominal tension, then exhale, again inhale and hold the breath, maintaining the abdominal grip. Hold this posture as stated above from one to three minutes. (Plate 61)

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