Amrit Pan is the 13th Kriya in this series of 20 Tantric Kriyas.
Amrita (अमृत) literally means “immortality”. It relates to the nectar the Greeks called “ambrosia”, which is the nectar or food that gave them immortality. This Rig Veda tells us the nectar is flowing from the Soma Chakra, thus it is also referred to also as “Soma nectar”. The Soma Chakra lies in the head above the Ajña Chakra and below the Sahasrara Chakra. No one yet knows if this nectar is an actual physical secretion from one of the endocrine glands in the brain, or if it is a more subtle energy found only in the astral body. As science evolves we may learn more about it, just as we have learned that the Chakras in the astral/energy body have the equivalent nerve ganglia in the physical body. According to the Masters of Yoga, everything in the physical body has an equal in the astral/energy body, since the energy body is the life force that brings movement to everything physical. So perhaps we have simply not yet discovered this.
I describe “Amritpan Khechari Mudra” as taught by Mr. Madhavananda on page 124-125 in Letters from the Yoga Masters. This is taught as an alternative method for Khechari Mudra, where some lineages of yoga would stretch or cut the frenum under the tongue – a technique I strongly disagree with. I have learned that the Amritpan Khechari is a very suitable and less aggressive “tried and true” alternative.
A couple of things to note:
Remember the “Lalana Chakra?” Lalana is just above the soft palate at the back of the throat. When the tongue stimulates the soft palate it stimulates the flow of the nectar.
Also, some lineages have the mouth open during the inhalation and or the exhalation during Amritpan Khechari in order to vocalize a hissing sound. It is not recommended to do this if you have COPD or Asthma. You may want to try it with the mouth open and the mouth closed, on just the inhale or just the exhale, or both. I leave these options up to your discretion.
The flow of the nectar is visualized in the mind’s eye in the same fashion as we did in the first Tantric Kriya, Viparitakarani Mudra, except we do this sitting. Many Kriyas progress from lying down to sitting as we advance our attention skills.
- Sit in a comfortable seated pose for you where the spine can be erect. If you can sit cross-legged as in easy Sukhasana, Siddhasana or Padmasana, it closes circuits of energy moving in the body.
- Close the eyes and breathe in Ujjayi with the tongue curled back into the throat in Amritpan Khechari Mudra.
- With each inhalation, bring a warm stream of the Amrita nectar through the Sushumna (central channel within the spine) from the Manipura Chakra (navel) to Anahata Chakra (heart), to Vishuddhi Chakra (throat), to Lalana Chakra (above the soft palate).
- Hold the breath briefly at Lalana Chakra while the nectar cools, then exhale with Ujjayi this stream of cool nectar to the Ajña Chakra, the Bindu, and to Sahasrara at the crown of the head.
- From Sahasrara, move right back down to the Manipura Chakra for the next inhalation to repeat the process, increasing the flow of nectar with each repetition.
- Repeat this process nine times.
You can read about this Kriya on page 155 in Letters from the Yoga Masters. I have recorded this Kriya for you here on the SOYA youtube site to make it easier for you to practice. I hope you enjoy this technique and can become more comfortable with the position of the tongue.
Marion Mugs McConnell is the author of Letters from the Yoga Masters: Teachings Revealed through Correspondence from Paramhhansa Yogananda, Ramana Maharshi, Swami Sivananda, and Others, published by North Atlantic Books copyright © 2016 ISBN 978-1-62317-035-6. This is an excerpt of the book, and reprinted by permission of North Atlantic Books. All photos are used with permission.