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Mudras and Bandhas could be classified as certain postures or positions of the body via which “Kundalini” could be awakened successfully. Majority of the “exercises” mentioned will be interrelated for they would require combining 2 or more Mudras and Bandhas. Although in totality, there are 25 Mudras and Bandhas mentioned in the Gheranda Samhita, the following 12 are considered the most important:-

1. Mula Bandha

Squeeze the Yoni with your left heel and keep your right heel squeezed into the space that is just above the organ of generation; contract the anus and draw the Apana Vayu upwards. This is known as the Mula Bandha. This practice enables one to keep up with perfect Brahmacharya, relieving constipation, increasing Jatharagni and giving Dhatu-Pushti (nerve-vigour).

2. Jalandhara Bandha

Dwindle the throat and press the chin firmly against your chest. This Bandha is performed during the Kumbhaka only. The nabhi region that holds the gastric fire, consumes the nectar that exudes out of the Sahasrara Chakra. This Bandha, thus, prevents the nectar from being consumed.

3. Uddiyana Bandha

Vacate your lungs with a strong force. The lungs shall become thoroughly empty when you exhale forcibly using your mouth. Now dwindle and draw up your intestines below and above the navel towards the back, such that your abdomen rests against the back of your body, high up in the thoracic cavity. This is Uddiyana Bandha. It gives beautiful health, vigour, strength and vitality to the practitioner.

4. Maha Mudra

Maha Mudra is considered to be the most important of all mudras. Squeeze the anus carefully with your left heel and stretch out your right leg and then catch hold of your toe with both the hands. Inhale and then retain the breath. Press the chin against your chest and fix the gaze between your eyebrows. Retain this posture for as long as you can and then exhale gradually. Practice on the left leg first and then with your the right leg. It helps in curing haemorrhoids/piles, indigestion, leprosy, constipation, and many other diseases.

5. Maha Bandha

Maha Mudra is the preparatory exercise for this Bandha. Squeeze the anus with your left heel and place your right foot on your left thigh. Dwindle your anus and muscles of the perineum and draw the Apana Vayu upwards. Inhale slowly and then retain it for as long as you can and then exhale slowly. Practice first on your left side and then on the right. This Bandha destroys death and decay. The Yogi shall achieve all his desires and obtain Siddhi.

6. Maha Vedha

Obtain the Maha Bandha posture. Inhale slowly and retain the breath. Press your chin against your chest and place your palms on the ground. Rest your body on the palms and then raise your buttocks slowly and then strike them gently against the ground. This asana helps in destroying death and decay.

7. Yoga Mudra

Sit in Padmasana and then place your palms on your heels. Exhale slowly and then bend forwards such that you are able to touch the ground with your forehead. Hold this pose for long and breathe as usual or come to the former position and inhale. You can also take your hands to the back, if you like and then hold your left wrist with your right hand. This mudra helps in removing all abdomen related disorders.

8. Viparitakarani Mudra

Lie on the ground and then raise your legs up straight and then support the buttocks with your hands. Rest the elbows on the ground and remain steady. The Sun resides at the root of the navel and the Moon at the root of the palate; and the process via which the sun is brought upwards, and the moon downwards is called the Viparitakarani Mudra. Practice this mudra for a minute the first day and gradually increase the duration to up to 3 hours. The Yogin who practices this for three hours on a daily basis, conquers death.

9. Khechari Mudra

This Mudra shall be performed only if the man has run through with the preparatory exercise under the personal guidance of a Guru who practices Khechari Mudra. This portion includes making the tongue so long that it’s tip might touch the space between the eyebrows. The Guru cuts the lower tendon of the tongue using a knife, little by little every week, for six months. The cuts do not join by sprinkling salt and turmeric powder.
After the above preliminary exercise, turn your tongue upwards and then backwards while sitting in Siddhasana, such that, you can touch the palate and close the posterior nasal openings with your reversed tongue. Now, fix your gaze on the space between your eye-brows and leave Ida and Pingala. Thus, Prana moves in the Sushumna Nadi and the respiration shall stop. The tongue will fall on the mouth of the well of nectar and you will have succeeded in performing the Khechari Mudra.
This mudra enables one to be free from hunger, thirst, fainting, laziness, decay, old age, and ultimately death.

10. Vajroli Mudra

A special silver-tube (catheter made) is passed into the urethra (12 inches inside). After a lot of practise, one can draw milk, oil, honey, etc. and later on they may be able to draw liquids directly via the urethra without the help of the silver-tube. This Kriya is immensely useful for keeping up the perfect Brahmacharya.

11. Shakti Chalana Mudra

Sit in Siddhasana and draw in air forcibly and then join it with Apana. Do the Mula Bandha till the Vayu enters the Sushumna. By retaining the air, the Kundalini, feeling suffocated, awakes and finds its way through Sushumna to Brahmarandhra. The practice of this Mudra helps one in becoming Siddha.

12. Yoni Mudra

Sit in Siddhasana and then close your ears with your thumbs; eyes shall be closed with your index-fingers; nostrils with your middle-fingers; upper lips with your ring-fingers; and the lower lips with your little fingers. Meditate and dive deep on the Shat Chakras and Kundalini.

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