Maha Mudra: Meaning, Benefits, and How to Do

maha mudra

Learn about the benefits of the Maha Mudra and how to do this yoga Mudra. It is a powerful Mudra that helps to calm your mind and lower high blood pressure.

Definition – What is Maha Mudra and its Meaning, References, and Mythology?

Maha Mudra is one of the Kaya Mudras or Postural Mudras/gestures or seals. Maha Mudra is depicted in ancient Hatha Yoga scriptures such as “Hatha Yoga Pradipika” and “Gheranda Samhita.” Sometimes people confuse it with Maha Bandha and Tadagi Mudra because of their similarities. Let us simplify its meaning which will help establish a better understanding.

Maha: The word “Maha has a Sanskrit origin. It means “Great.”

Mudra: The word “Mudra represents “a postural gesture or Kaya Mudra.”

Hence, this Mudra is also known as “The Great Gesture” or “The Great Seal.”

This Mudra practice involves assuming Maha Bandha (which includes all three Bandhas Jalandhar Bandha (the Chin Lock), Uddiyana Bandha (the Abdominal Lock), & Moola Bandha (the Perineum Lock)). This Mudra is believed to help the awakening of dormant Kundalini Energy.

This Mudra is helpful if anybody wants to practice complete Brahmacharya (or celibacy) and if anybody wants to manifest his sexual energies to achieve more positive things in life. This Mudra also helps to balance the sexual energies in the body. Our sexual energies are believed to be controlled by the Apana Vayu, located around the perineum. It helps to balance out that Apana Vayu, which in turn helps activate the Kundalini energy. Once we balance out our sexual energies then there’s nothing that we cannot achieve.

Practicing this Mudra helps us achieve a greater focus that helps us achieve our goals. Practicing Maha Mudra helps to achieve mental, physical, and spiritual benefits, which is one of the reasons why it is called Maha Mudra or Great gesture.

Alternate Names of Maha Mudra

The Great Gesture or The Great Seal.

How to Do Maha Mudra?

  • This Mudra is one of the Kaya Mudras or Postural Mudras, which means it involves assuming bodily Postures.
  • You can practice it by first sitting into any comfortable posture, then slowly starting to extend both of your legs. Bring them close to each other while maintaining a small gap.
  • Now, slowly bend one of your legs and bring it close to the perineum so that one of your heels should be slightly touching the perineum.
  • Take a deep breath in and bring your hands to your knees.
  • Then, with an Antar Kumbhak (Internal breath retention), apply Moola Bandha (or the Perineum Lock)
  • Followed by the Abdominal Lock and then finally, the Chin Lock.
  • You may also assume Nasikagra Drishti (That is, gaze between your eyes brows, the third eye Chakra).
  • Now, bend forward and try to catch the big toe of the extended leg with your fingers.
  • Retain the breath for a comfortable period without getting any sense of discomfort. Discontinue the practice when you can no longer hold your breath.
  • Exhale slowly and relax your stomach and the entire body. Breathe slowly and gently
  • Make sure to practice it with the opposite leg as well.

Maha Mudra Benefits

  • Practicing this Mudra helps to release the tension from the diaphragm muscle, which separates the digestive system from the respiratory system. This, in turn, helps improve the digestive and respiratory systems.
  • Practicing this Mudra helps to deepen the spiritual state of the practitioner.
  • It helps to awaken the dormant Kundalini Shakti.
  • It helps to stimulate the Apana Vayu located around the root (and perineum). The Apana Vayu is one of Prana Shakti’s vital life forces.
  • This Mudra also helps to release the tension from the pelvic region.
  • Practicing Maha Mudra helps to ease our stress and anxiety levels, making us feel lighter and relaxed.
  • Maha Mudra helps to balance sexual energies.
  • It helps to stretch the hamstrings muscles. The hamstring muscles are located around the rear thighs.
  • This Mudra increase Pranic energy in the body by stimulating the Mooladhara Chakra.
  • This Mudra helps to tone up the stomach region and legs.
  • It is one of the Mudras believed to delay the aging process.
  • This Mudra can help to reduce fat.

Maha Mudra Precautions and Contraindications

Similar to all other Mudra practices, it has no side effects.

However, there are a few things to consider:

  • Have patience and gradually build your practice to achieve good results.
  • For people dealing with spine-related issues such as but not limited to disc bulge or disc herniation, etc., we recommend practicing it under the guidance of a qualified teacher.
  • Make sure you do not experience any pain while practicing this, Mudra.
  • It shouldn’t be practiced during pregnancy.
  • Make sure not to strain yourself while retaining your breath.

When and how long to do Maha Mudra?

  • This Mudra can be practiced to improve your diaphragm muscle functioning.
  • This Mudra will help people with pelvic muscle-related issues.
  • If you feel you lack focus in your life due to sexual thoughts, then Maha Mudra is an ideal practice.
  • You can practice this to improve your digestive and respiratory systems.

Morning is the ideal time to do any yoga or Mudra. In the morning, during the daytime, our brain is at its best. So, you are more likely to be able to concentrate easily. Therefore, you should practice this Mudra from 4 am and 6 am to get the most effective outcomes.

If you are having difficulty with this during the morning hours, you can do this Mudra later in the evening too.

Based on research, the best way to practice an exercise for at least 5-20 minutes is to get the best benefits of that particular Mudra. Practicing this Mudra for a minimum of 3-5 times daily is recommended. It’s up to you whether you wish to complete it in one stretch or in two threes that last between 1 to 5 minutes.

Breathing in Maha Mudra

  • Antar Kumbhak (Internal breath retention), where you hold your breath for as long as you can after inhalation. However, make sure you are not straining yourself.

Visualization in Maha Mudra

  • Visualize that you are practicing this Mudra on a mountain ledge.
  • A calming wind is blowing, and you are witnessing a deeper state of relaxation.

Affirmation in Maha Mudra

While practicing this, Keep a positive intention. Start with:

A great divine power resides within me.”

Conclusion

The Maha Mudra is a great way to improve mental and physical health. It requires no equipment and can be done anywhere at any time. The benefits of the Maha Mudra are many, including reduced stress, improved circulation, and increased flexibility. If you want to learn more about mudras and how to use them effectively, we recommend our Mudras Certification Course. This course includes all 108 mudras and instructions on how to use them for specific purposes. With this course, you will be an expert in using mudras to improve your mind, body, and spirit health.

Divyansh Sharma
Divyansh is Yoga, Meditation & Kinesiology Teacher who has been practicing Yoga and Meditation Since 2011. The Idea of correlating Yoga with Modern Sciences fascinates him the most & to feed his curiosity, he keeps on exploring new things every day. He has accomplished a Master's in Yogic Sciences, E-RYT-200, and RYT-500.

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