Shambhavi Mudra is the 12th Kriya in this series of 20 Tantric Kriyas.
Shambhavi Mudra is first described in Letters from the Yoga Masters on page 132. It teaches how to focus the eyes softly to the mid brow area. Here we can build on that technique as part of these Kriyas, and is a beautiful practice.
Shambu is a name for Shiva, and Shambhavi is the feminine form of this name. Shiva is said to reside at the Ajña Chakra, and Shambhavi, the feminine Shakti energy or Kundalini, is being drawn up to the third eye to reconnect with Shiva.
As in the other Tantric Kriyas, we use our mind to visualize certain images or processes until we are able to actually “experience” the technique at a cellular or internal level.
- Sit in a comfortable seated pose for you. 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, gently directing your eyes with an inner gaze toward the Ajña Chakra.
- Visualize a pink lotus flower at the Sahasrara chakra at crown of the head, in the form of a flower bud.
- Visualize the green stem of the lotus flower going down the spine in a straight line all the way to Muladhara Chakra, where its roots are planted into the earth below.
- Inhale using Ujjayi pranayama and curling the tongue back into Amritpan Khechari mudra, and observe the Shakti energy traveling up the lotus stem in the spine, like a caterpillar, from Muladhara chakra all the way up to Sahasrara at the crown of the head.
- Retain the breath at Sahasrara and visualize the caterpillar kisses the closed lotus, and then the lotus bud slowly opens in all its glory.
- Try to see all the details of your lotus flower while you retain the breath comfortably.
- When ready to exhale, close the lotus flower back into a bud and, using Ujjayi pranayama, exhale the descending energy down the green stem of the lotus flower in the spine from Sahasrara down to its roots at Muladhara.
- Repeat this process eleven times.
Please note: We “see” our visualizations at the Ajña Chakra, the 3rd eye. So you are imagining the roots of the Lotus flower stem at the Muladhara Chakra, and the caterpillar crawling up the stem, and the Lotus flower opening at the Sahasrara Chakra at the crown of the head. All of this is “seen” at the Ajña Chakra, as though you are looking through a periscope. The Ajña Chakra is the mirror reflecting the images, just as the mirror in the periscope does. I hope this isn’t too confusing.
You can read about this Kriya on page 154 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 very lovely meditation.
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.