Mudra means gesture or seal. Basically, it is a way of directing energy and enhancing our asana practice, meditation or pranayama. Shambhavi mudra is a potent mudra used during meditation to still the mind and to experience higher stages of consciousness. Third eye mudra helps to transcend the mind and reach higher states of consciousness.
Shambhavi mudra, also called Bhairavi mudra and the Eyebrow Gazing mudra, is described in many texts, including Gherandha Samhita, Hathapradipika, Vijnanabhairava Tantra and Amanaskya Yoga. In laya yoga, this is defined as a pratyahara technique, i.e. it leads to sensory withdrawal.
Further, the practice is also known as bhrumadhya drishti. The word bhrumadhya signifies „eyebrow center” and drishti signifies „gazing”. This name describes the practice exactly – eyebrow center gazing.
Shambhavi mudra benefits:
- practicing this mudra stimulates the third eye (Ajna chakra);
- this mudra synchronizes the two brain lobes to create inner balance;
- this practice affords us deep peace in the midst of our hectic outer activities;
- physically, the mudra strengthens the eye muscles and releases accumulated tension in this area;
- eyebrow gazing mudra awakes the „agya chakra” lying in between the eye brows. Awaking this chakra enhances the brightness of the eyes.
How to practice third eye mudra?
- Sit in any comfortable meditation asana.
- Keep the head and spine upright and straight, and place the hands on the knees in either gyan or chin mudra (the gesture of knowledge). Close the eyes and relax the whole body.
- Relax all the muscles of the face, including the eyes, behind the eyes and the forehead.
- Gradually open the eyes and look ahead at a fixed point, keeping the head and the whole body absolutely still.
- Next, look upward and inward, focusing the eyes on the eyebrow center. The head should not move.
- When performed precisely, the two curved eyebrows will form a V- shaped image at the root of the nose. This point is the location of the eyebrow center.
- If the V-formation cannot be seen, the eyes are not converging as they should. Hold the gaze for only a few seconds at first.
- Release at the slightest sensation of strain. Close the eyes and relax them.
People suffering from glaucoma, cataract surgery or eye operations should not perform this mudra.