In our ultimate guide to mudras we reveal everything you need to know about mudras, including over 60 different mudras. The Khechari mudra is one of the lesser known yogic mudras.
The Mudra also goes by the name “Tongue Swallowing” because it requires the practitioner to turn their tongue upwards, inside their mouse, moving it into the nasal cavity.
Why would you want to do that?
It is believed that by practicing the khechari mudra we access the sensitive organs in the roof of the mouth, organs which many religions believe to be very important to the flow of prana.
Daoism teaches that saliva is a vital substance. Increasing the flow of saliva can have a tremendous affect on the body. Read this guide to Taoist techniques to learn more.
So Khechari mudra stimulates the cavities in the mouth and, er, helps to get stuff flowing. But it also does much more (see “Benefits” below).
The Meaning of the Khechari Mudra
The Khechari mudra has various names. It is also called the Khecari mudra, Kecharimudra, which translates from Sanskrit to mean “Seal.”
The importance of the khechari mudra is as a part of the spiritual awakening process leading to enlightenment.
In the Pali canon the Buddha describes the Khechari mudra as the pressing of the tongue against the palate. It is said that this mudra helps to control hunger.
In the Kecarividya, one of the hathayoga texts, it is stated that the khechari mudra provides access to the amrita which is stored inside the head. This helps to flow amarita into the body.
The Mālinīvijayottaratantra, a tantric Saiva, states that if the practitioner begins to experience a taste like iron then they must spit it out. Eventually the liquid will become sweet, at which point it should be swallowed.
Many yoga texts state that the khechari mudra position and technique helps with the flow of prana around the body.
Khechari Mudra Benefits
The Khechari mudra is one of the most important mudras for increasing the flow of prana around the body and should be used regularly by yoga practitioners.
- Frees the mind from negative emotions (anger, hate, attachment, etc.)
- Improves vocal tone
- Brightens the face, making us more attractive
- Reduces abdominal fat
- Increases vitality
- Makes eyes sparkles
- Boosts prana flow
- Stimulates saliva
How to do khechari mudra.
- Roll the tongue, pointing it backwards inside the mouth such that the tip of your tongue touches the uvula (at the very back of the mouth).
- It is important that the tongue be placed in position without it becoming stiff and without the practitioner feeling any sort of tension (as with most mudras). Therefore, it is imperative that the practitioner only position the tongue as far back as it will go without any sort of stiffening or tightening of the tongue.
- The nasal cavity is above the soft palate. Roll your tongue so that it enters this area.
- Inhale while snorting at the back of the throat. Breathe out.
- As you gently release the mudra swallow saliva.
You may find it difficult to reach the specific areas of the mouth described in the instructions above. However, through routine practice you will gain more flexibility and be able to complete the Khechari Mudra.
Practice the mudra in the early morning. Be sure to speak with a healthcare professional before beginning use of this mudra.