What is Shambhavi Mahamudra Meditation?

Have you ever come across the word “Shambhavi Mahamudra”? Well, it is one of the most effective meditation types, but not many people know about it. Mostly because it did not gain as much popularity in the common world as in the world of Yogis - the practitioners of Yoga. It is a simple yet powerful meditation type which tries to create a balance between our mind and body by bringing all our focus to the centre of the eyebrow.

All over the internet, you will find various mentions of its significant impacts in terms of bringing focus, determination and self-awareness. Therefore, it is essential that people worldwide must know how to practice Shambhavi Mahamudra. It is a powerful yogic practice that combines breath control and the body’s internal energy.

It involves focusing the eyes on a specific point while simultaneously engaging in deep rhythmic breathing and mantra repetition. Taught by enlightened masters, it is rooted in the belief that by harmonising the body, mind, and spirit, one can access great levels of spiritual growth. Sounds intense, right? Let’s read ahead and explore its transformative potential.

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History and overview

Shambhavi Mahamudra Meditation, also known as Shambhavi Mudra Kriya, is mainly taken from the Sutras of Patanjali, an ancient textbook. It is one of the books that form the basis of all meditation types in India. Working effectively on those lines, Shambhavi Mahamudra has been fruitful in clearing all the toxins the body carries physically and mentally. The mudras, postures or activities included in this eye-gazing meditation open doors to a lot of benefits related to the body, mind and soul.

Moreover, the word Shambhavi meaning has its reference to the life of Lord Shiva. Shambhavi means energy, and it was one of Goddess Parvati’s names. Also, “Shambhavi” refers to the feminine aspect of Shiva, representing the strength to bring change and nourishment. And 'Mahamudra' means 'the great gesture' or 'the ultimate posture,' signifying the practice that leads one to a state of supreme awareness.

Talking about history again, its origins can also be traced back to other yogic scriptures and teachings that have been passed down through generations. The practice is mentioned in various yogic texts, including the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the Shiva Samhita.

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika, a classic yogic text composed in the 15th century, describes Shambhavi Mahamudra as a technique that involves focusing inward and upwards towards the 'third eye' or the space between the eyebrows. It emphasises the union of breath control, inner silence, and the awakening of higher awareness.

Similarly, the Shiva Samhita, an ancient scripture from the 17th century, explains the practice of Shambhavi Mahamudra as a means to attain self-realisation and experience the meeting of individual and universal awareness. These texts provide instructions and guidance on the technique and serve as valuable resources for practitioners seeking to deepen their understanding and practice of Shambhavi Mahamudra.

Technique

The Shambhavi Mahamudra technique is a powerful activity for aligning your body with the mind and becoming one with the universe. Here are Shambhavi Mahamudra steps:

Preparation: Find a comfortable sitting position with your spine straight. This makes your head and neck aligned. Now, close your eyes and take a few moments to relax and settle into the present moment.

Eye Movement: With your eyes closed, gently focus your attention on the space between your eyebrows, also known as the 'third eye' or the Ajna Chakra. This focal point helps to stimulate the pineal gland, which is considered a seat of higher consciousness in yogic philosophy.

Inner Calm: As you maintain the eye position, allow your mind to become still and observe your thoughts without judgment or interference. Develop a sense of inner silence and spaciousness, letting go of any mental distractions.

Breath Awareness: Direct your awareness to your breath. Observe the natural flow of your breath without trying to control or manipulate it. Simply be aware of the inhalation and exhalation, experiencing the breath as it is.

Togetherness: Bring your attention to the entire body, feeling a sense of presence and awareness throughout. Allow yourself to fully embody the practice, integrating the eye position, inner stillness, and breath awareness.

Duration: Start with a few minutes of practice and gradually extend the duration as you become more comfortable and experienced. Aim to practice Shambhavi Mahamudra for at least 21 minutes, ideally twice a day.

It is important to note that learning the technique from a qualified teacher or through a formal initiation process can greatly enhance the practice. A teacher can provide personalised guidance, address any doubts or concerns, and support your progress in the practice.

As with any practice, consistency and sincerity are essential. By incorporating Shambhavi Mahamudra into your daily routine and cultivating regular practice, you can unlock the journey of self-discovery and inner exploration. Let us read about some of the key Shambhavi Mahamudra benefits ahead.

Benefits of Shambhavi Mahamudra Meditation

Shambhavi Mahamudra meditation offers benefits that positively impact various aspects of an individual's well-being. Here are some main Shambhavi mudra benefits:

Health Benefits

  • Regular practice of Shambhavi Mahamudra can help reduce stress levels by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation, and reducing the production of stress hormones. This makes body hormones work efficiently for our body and not cause any discomfort.
  • The practice involves restoring the body's energy system, which can lead to increased stamina and overall energy levels. In addition, Shambhavi Mahamudra enhances the ability to concentrate, leading to improved mental clarity and focus.
  • Some practitioners report improved immune function and resilience against common illnesses through regular practice. By calming the mind and reducing stress, the practice may also improve the quality of sleep and help relieve insomnia and repair body tissues for a healthier morning.

Physical Benefits

  • Regular practice of Shambhavi Mahamudra helps activate and channel prana (life force energy) throughout the body, offering strength and movement to all its parts. This means a more active body which doesn’t get easily tired.
  • The practice involves sitting with an upright spine, promoting proper alignment and posture. Consistent practice can improve flexibility and contribute to better posture, reducing the risk of musculoskeletal issues.
  • Shambhavi Mahamudra incorporates conscious breathing, leading to deeper and more efficient breathing patterns. This can enhance lung capacity, oxygen intake, and overall respiratory function. Hence, there is an easy flow of air in and out of the body.

Spiritual benefits

  • Shambhavi Mahamudra aims to bring about a profound inner transformation by bringing together the body, mind, and energy. It provides a pathway for self-exploration which in turn gives us a better understanding of our existence and the reason to exist on Earth.
  • The practice develops a heightened sense of awareness and mindfulness, allowing practitioners to experience a deeper connection with themselves and their surroundings.
  • Shambhavi Mahamudra helps to quiet the mind, leading to a sense of inner peace and joy. Some practitioners report experiencing grown consciousness and a greater sense of interconnectedness with the world.

Emotional Benefits

  • Shambhavi Mahamudra may assist in developing emotional stability, enabling practitioners to respond to challenging situations with greater calmness. In addition, it brings more power and stability to the emotional aspect of an individual, which helps one make better decisions for themselves.
  • Regular practice may enhance self-awareness and emotional intelligence, facilitating better understanding and management of emotions. This benefits a lot when you have work to do on priority.
  • The practice is said to promote a deep sense of satisfaction and peace within your mind and body. And If your are happy, it shows in your body language and your performance at work. You behave better, and you also focus better on any activity.

Shambhavi Mahamudra can be concluded as a powerful meditation type that combines breath control, visualisation, and meditation. It offers potential benefits such as stress reduction, improved focus, enhanced physical health, spiritual growth, emotional well-being, and inner peace. Practice under proper guidance for optimal results.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Shambhavi Mahamudra is a powerful yogic practice that involves a combination of breath control, meditation, and visualisation techniques. It is a part of the Shambhavi Kriya, a comprehensive spiritual practice. Shambhavi Mahamudra aims to bring about a state of deep inner balance and awareness, leading to enhanced clarity, focus, and well-being.
Shambhavi Mahamudra kriya is typically practised in a seated posture with the eyes closed. The practice involves a specific sequence of breath control techniques, including alternate nostril breathing, coupled with mental focus and visualisation. The practitioner directs their attention inward, towards the space between the eyebrows, known as the 'third eye.' The practice is usually guided by a trained instructor and is recommended to be done for a specific duration each day.
Regular practice of Shambhavi Mudra offers several advantages. It helps to get rid of anxiety and unwanted stress, improve thinking ability and focus, enhance overall health, and promote a sense of inner balance and harmony. The practice also supports the development of increased awareness and deeper states of meditation, enabling individuals to experience a greater understanding of connection and inner fulfilment.
Shambhavi Mahamudra is generally suitable for anyone above the age of 14, irrespective of their physical fitness or prior experience with yoga or meditation. However, it is always advisable to consult with a qualified instructor or healthcare professional before starting any new practice, especially if you have any specific health concerns or conditions.
People may cry during Shambhavi, a meditation practice, due to the release of emotional and physical tension. The deep relaxation and increased awareness brought by the practice can unlock suppressed emotions, leading to relieving experiences, tears, and a sense of emotional release.
It is not recommended to take a bath just after performing Shambhavi Mahamudra meditation. Shambhavi Mahamudra Meditation is believed to release a lot of heat from the body. Exposing it to water without a break of an hour or two can adversely affect the impact of the practice.
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