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Benefits of Shambhavi Mudra (Eyebrow Centre Gazing Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

By Dr. Ankit Sankhe +2 more

Introduction 

Mudra is a term which means ‘gesture’. Each mudra has an effect on the body, mind, and energy. Yogis describe the mudras as postures that regulate energy flow, that can connect the individual body’s energy with the universal or cosmic force.  

shambhavi mahamudra

Mudras are classified into five varieties: hasta (hand), mana (head), kaya (postural), bandha (lock) and athara (perineal). The lips, head, eyes, ears, and tongue are used when performing a mana mudra. For example, shambhavi mudra belongs to the category of mana mudras that uses the eyes. It is also categorized as mukha mudra. It is an essential aspect of kriya yoga which may help improve our spiritual life.1 Let’s read about the interesting features and benefits of shambhavi mudra. 

Menstrual issues are considered to affect 75% of women, which has a significant negative influence on their physical, psychological, social, and economic well-being. Yoga has recently gained a lot of popularity as one of the basic alternative therapies for numerous illnesses. Studies on the advantages of yoga and meditation for treating these conditions have been ongoing and are very encouraging. According to the studies, before beginning the Shambhavi Mudra kriya and after using it for at least six months, respondents reported significant improvement in various menstruation illnesses such as dysmenorrhea, premenstrual syndrome symptoms, heavy menstrual flow and irregular menstrual cycles.

Dr. Smita barode, BAMS

What is Shambhavi Mudra? 

Shambhavi mudra is also called ‘eyebrow centre gazing pose’ or ‘bhrumadhya drishti pose’. This mudra can be performed with the eyes open. It is also incorporated in asanas such as simhasana or the lion pose. Shambhavi mahamudra and internal shambhavi mudra are two variations of shambhavi mudra. With your eyes closed, you can perform the internal shambhavi mudra. Sadhguru of the Isha Foundation is the inventor of the shambhavi mahamudra kriya. This variation consists of a variety of yoga exercises and meditation levels to achieve a variety of advantages.1 This article talks about shambhavi mahamudra in detail. However, for the sake of simplicity, we have used the term shambhavi mudra to describe it. 

Did you know?

  • Shambhavi Mahamudra Kriya, a breath-based yogic practice, reduces perceived stress levels. [source: PubMed]
  • Yoga and pranayama techniques like Shambhavi Mahamudra Kriya can be effective in treating mood disorders and stress. [source: PubMed]
  • Yoga practices like Shambhavi Mahamudra Kriya can improve performance anxiety and mood disturbance in musicians. [source: PubMed]
  • Yoga breathing techniques have been found to improve quality of life in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. [source: PubMed]

Researchers believe that the regular practice of Shambhavi meditation may improve the quality of sleep. I suggest one should get into the habit of regularly practising the Shambhavi Mudra gradually and not overdo it for best outcomes.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

How to do it? 

The shambhavi mudra steps are as follows:1 

  • Sit comfortably in any meditation asana. 
  • Maintain a straight spine and head, and place your hands on your knees. Make a gyan mudra with both hands. The upper portion of the thumb and the index finger can be joined to form a circle in the gyan mudra. Keep the other fingers straight and place your palms on the knees. 
  • Then, close your eyes and relax. 
  • Relax all facial muscles, including those in the forehead, eyes, and behind the eyes. 
  • Slowly open your eyes and focus forward at a fixed spot, keeping your head and entire body calm and quiet. 
  • Then, focus on the centre of your eyebrow as you look up or inward. 
  • Inhale slowly while raising your eyes. 
  • There should be no movement of the head.  
  • Hold your breath while you continue to do the mudra. 
  • When done correctly, the two curved eyebrows will make a V-shaped image at the nose. This is the centre of the eyebrow. 
  • If the V-formation is not visible, the eyes are not focusing correctly. 
  • Maintain the focus only for a brief period at the start, and if you feel discomfort, release it. 
  • During the whole process, eyes should be closed and relaxed. 
  • Exhale slowly as your focus moves. 
  • Slowly come to the original position and open your eyes. 

The Shambhavi Mudra is well-known for its benefits. Although, it can cause more harm than improvement in your health if not done correctly. Reports say that Shambhavi Mudra may even cause headaches. I suggest the practice of Shambhavi Mudra should be done under an experts’ guidance, and not for more than 10 minutes in a day.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Do You Know? 

Some fun read facts about shambhavi mudra are as follows: 

  • According to Hindu mythology, Shambhu and Shambhavi are forms of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Once Shambhavi asked Lord Shiva about yoga exercises which could elevate the state of consciousness and bring happiness. It was then that Lord Shiva taught her the shambhavi mudra. 
  • It is mentioned in some of the most well-known scriptures, including the Shiva Samhita, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, and the Gheranda Samhita. 
  • It is supposed to activate feminine energy (Shakti) within the practitioner. So, the only goal of Shambhavi Mudra is meditation. 
  • The technique is also known as “bhrumadhya drishti”; bhru means ‘eyebrow centre,’ and drishti means ‘eyebrow gazing,’. Therefore, it is the practice of looking at the centre of the eyebrow.  

Benefits of Shambhavi Mudra: 

Following are the benefits of shambhavi mudra: 

1. Benefits of shambhavi mudra for mental health:  

In a 2017 study, Peterson et al. investigated the effects of shambhavi mudra on diseases linked to stress. The research found that shambhavi mudra is a low-cost natural therapy that assists in stress reduction in individuals. In addition, it may calm the mind. As a result, it might be helpful in illnesses like depression and anxiety related to stress.1,2 More research, however, is required to demonstrate the impact of shambhavi mudra on mental health. Therefore, please see your doctor for better health outcomes. 

2. Benefits of shambhavi mudra for the heart: 

Systolic blood pressure is the pressure exerted on the walls of blood vessels when your heart pushes blood out to all the organs. Improvement in systolic blood pressure may enhance the heart function. Parthasarathy et al., 2019, studied the effect of shambhavi mudra and yogasana on systolic blood pressure. It showed that after six weeks of yoga, there was an improvement in systolic blood pressure. However, more studies may be necessary to determine the exact impact of shambhavi mudra on the heart.3 Therefore, before performing the shambhavi mudra, you should seek medical advice for diagnosis and treatment of any heart related condition you may have. 

3. Benefits of shambhavi mudra for eyes:  

Shambhavi mudra may help strengthen the eye muscles. It may also help release the pressure in the region of the eyes. As a result, it might help to avoid eye problems.1 However, you must consult the physician as it might cause complications and should be done under the guidance of your trainer. 

4. Benefits of shambhavi mudra in children: 

Regular practice of shambhavi mudra may stop the degeneration of the pineal gland. The pineal gland is essential in maintaining the function of the brain and hormonal balance. It may also help in emotional development in children above the age of eight years.1 However, you must consult your child’s pediatrician or a specialist before starting this practice. 

5. Other benefits of shambhavi mudra: 

  • It might improve mental stability and concentration.1  
  • It might be a meditative practice and a way to activate the ajna chakra (third eye chakra). Ajna chakra is located in the midbrain, behind the centre of the eyebrows.1 

Yoga practice may help develop the mind and body; however, it is still not an alternative to modern medicine. You must not rely on yoga alone to treat any condition. Please consult a qualified doctor who will be able to assess your condition correctly and advise accordingly. Moreover, it is necessary to practice and learn yoga under the supervision of a trained yoga teacher to avoid any injuries.  

Risks of Exercise 

Like every exercise, Shambhavi mudra has the following risks and contraindications: 

  • The position is related to the eyes which a sensitive part of the body, so if you feel any pain while doing this mudra, release the position. Please consult a doctor for better health results.1 
  • People with glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy must visit a doctor before performing shambhavi mudra.1 
  • If you have had any eye surgery, a lens implant or other eye operations, you must consult a doctor and perform this mudra under the guidance of a yoga trainer.1 

With the guidance of a qualified and experienced yoga teacher, we can assess and analyse the risk factors and continue to practice the exercise with precautions.  

Also Read: Eye Yoga Exercise: The Comprehensive Guide to Improved Vision

Conclusion  

Shambhavi mudra is also called mukha mudra since it is performed with the eyes. It has multiple benefits, like strengthening the eye muscles and reducing stress and depression. Even so, you may avoid this mudra if you feel pain in the body while practising it. You should consult the doctor before performing the shambhavi mudra. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is shambhavi mudra beneficial for the skin?  

No, However, more research is needed to determine the effects of shambhavi mudra on the skin. 

Is shambhavi yoga mudra effective in Alzheimer’s disease?  

No, but more research is needed to prove the effects of shambhavi mudra on Alzheimer’s disease. 

Is Shambhavi mudra advised in children? 

Yes, shambhavi mudra is advised in children as it may be helpful in emotional development and improve brain function. It may also maintain the hormonal balance. However, please consult the doctor for best results in children. 

State the benefits of shambhavi mudra on the liver. 

No, but additional studies on the eyebrow centre gazing pose is needed. Please consult a physician. 

Is shambhavi mudra effective in cancer?   

No. However, further research is required to prove whether the shambhavi mudra affects cancer. 

References: 

  1. Saraswati SS, Hiti JK. Asana pranayama mudra bandha. Bihar, India: Yoga Publications Trust; 1996. Available from: https://cdn.website-editor.net/749ffac5dc394e8c811205a3fd72ff17/files/uploaded/Asana%2520Pranayama%2520Mudra%2520Banda.pdf 
  1. Peterson CT, Bauer SM, Chopra D, Mills PJ, Maturi RK. Effects of Shambhavi Mahamudra Kriya, a multicomponent breath-based yogic practice (pranayama), on perceived stress and general well-being. Journal of evidence-based complementary & alternative medicine. 2017 Oct;22(4):788-97. Available from: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/epub/10.1177/2156587217730934 
  1. Parthasarathy D, Dhanaraj S. A scientific study on combined effect of yogasana and shambhavi mahamudra practice on systolic blood pressure. Indian Journal of Applied Research. 2019;9(11):45-6. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/337792953_A_SCIENTIFIC_STUDY_ON_COMBINED_EFFECT_OF_YOGASANA_AND_SHAMBHAVI_MAHAMUDRA_PRACTICE_ON_SYSTOLIC_BLOOD_PRESSURE 

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