Nabho Mudra is significant among the 25 yogic seals or gestures, commonly known as Mudras, outlined in the Gheranda Samhita—an essential Hatha Yoga text. Remarkably, this basic ancient text places this yoga practice as the second Mudra, next to Maha Mudra. This stresses its reasonable importance in the domain of yogic practices. Through the alignment of this authoritative text, it becomes evident that this practice is accorded a notable place in the context of traditional yoga, calling on the attention given to this practice by ancient yogic traditions.
Mudras in Yoga encompass distinct yoga seals or gestures that impact the performer’s physical, mental, and spiritual aspects. Besides, they denote symbolic practices within yoga that yield the intended outcomes. A mudra can manifest as a hand gesture, eye position, bodily posture, or breathing method. Nabho Mudra manifests as the gesture of tongue. It is similar to Khechari Mudra.
In this investigation, we undertake an extensive examination of this yogic practice.
Nabho Mudra Meaning
The Sanskrit word Nabo (नभो) means ‘sky’ and Mudra (मुद्रा) means a ‘seal’ or ‘gesture’. Hence, Nabo Mudra means Yogic Seal of the Sky or Yogic Gesture of the Sky. The sky here refers to Chitakasa which is the space of consciousness. It is the seat of visualization. Moreover, it is the inner mental space behind the center of the eyebrows. When the tongue reaches the space behind the eyebrows, the Yogi achieves Khechari Mudra. Nabho Mudra is the gateway to Khechari Mudra.
How to do Nabho Mudra?
Gheranda Samhita describes the steps to practice this Mudra.
Verse 3.9 of the text prescribes the procedure for the Yogic Seal of the Sky in detail. The text emphasizes the versatility of this practice. It highlights that the performer can engage in it during any activity, whether walking, sitting, or any other pursuit. The key instruction is for the performer, regardless of their current activity or location, to turn the tongue upwards towards the soft palate and engage in breath retention.
The Yogic Seal of the Sky transcends situational constraints; it is not confined to a specific setting or activity. Whether the individual is indoors or outdoors, occupied with work or leisure, the practice remains within their reach and beneficial. This stresses the pliancy of this mudra and inspires performers to seamlessly include it in their daily lives.
The symbolic act of turning the tongue upwards coupled with breath retention initiates a great impact on the performers’s well-being. The text indicates that this practice has the potential to destroy various diseases, stressing its holistic healing qualities.
In short, Verse 3.9 of the text promotes the Yogic seal of the Sky as a dynamic and inclusive practice. This invites people to include it in their daily routines, no matter what their current activity or location is. This adaptability highlights the accessibility and transformative nature of this mudra. Also, it offers a path toward improved health and spiritual well-being for performers in a diverse set of situations.
Khechari Mudra Vs Nabho Mudra
The practice of Khechari Mudra involves a profound method of turning the tongue backward and skillfully inserting it beyond the uvula, reaching into the nasal canal. On the other hand, the Yogic Seal of the Sky is a simpler variation, where the tongue is turned upward toward the soft palate without the intricate nasal insertion. In essence, the Yogic Seal of the Sky serves as a more accessible and basic form of Khechari Mudra.
Khechari Mudra is an advanced yogic practice that requires specific conditions for its execution, such as a serene and secluded environment, and it is typically performed in a seated position. The intricate nature of Khechari Mudra sets it apart as a discipline that demands a higher level of mastery and commitment.
In contrast, the Yogic Gesture of the Sky offers a simpler approach. This variation lacks the nasal canal insertion part, making it accessible to performers without the need for specific environmental or positional requirements. Unlike Khechari Mudra, the Yogic Seal of the Sky transcends time and space constraints, allowing people to seamlessly include them in their daily lives without any limitations.
It’s noteworthy that the Gesture of the Sky serves as a beneficial preparatory practice for Khechari Mudra. The simplicity and universality of the Yogic Gesture of the Sky make it an excellent starting point for those who may eventually aspire to undertake the advanced methods of Khechari Mudra.
In short, while Khechari Mudra stands as an intricate and advanced practice, demanding specific conditions and a seated posture, the Yogic Gesture of the Sky emerges as its accessible counterpart, free from such constraints. The former serves as a passion for dedicated Yogis. While the latter paves the way for a gentle progression in the journey of yogic practices.
Nabho Mudra as per Goraksha Paddhati and Gheranda Samhita
In the domain of yogic practices, the link between these two Mudras is a subject of interpretation and variation across different yogic traditions.
Goraksha, a revered yogi and sage, presents a viewpoint suggesting the equality of both practices. In his teachings, he lists Nabho Mudra among the Mudras and, while elaborating, details the practice as Khechari Mudra. According to Goraksha, both practices are identical.
On the contrary, the Gheranda Samhita provides a different viewpoint. In this yogic text, Nabho Mudra is the second Mudra, while Khechari Mudra is the eighth. This suggests that, within the Gheranda Samhita tradition, these are separate and distinct practices. Here, the order and classification imply unique qualities and applications for each Mudra.
Moreover, this difference in the descriptions of these methods across yogic texts highlights the richness and diversity within various yoga lineages. Different traditions may highlight specific aspects, leading to variations in the understanding and classifications of these practices.
Finally, the discrepancy highlights the richness of yoga teachings, proving that interpretations may vary among different yoga lineages. Performers are inspired to explore these variations. Also, recognize that the essence of the practices may remain consistent even as their presentation varies across traditions. This diversity reflects the varied nature of yoga and the profound ways in which its teachings have been passed down through different lineages and yogic sages over the centuries.
Nabho Mudra holds profound significance in Hatha Yoga, detailed as the second Mudra in the Gheranda Samhita. Its accessibility and adaptability make it a versatile practice applicable to various activities and settings. Serving as a gateway to the advanced Khechari Mudra, Nabho Mudra’s symbolic connection to the space of consciousness behind the eyebrows adds a spiritual dimension. Contrasted with Khechari Mudra’s intricate nature, the Yogic Gesture of the Sky stands as a basic and accessible counterpart. Divergent interpretations in Goraksha Paddhati and the Gheranda Samhita highlight the diversity within yogic traditions. This exploration invites Yogis to appreciate the unity amid variations, contributing to the evolving nature of yogic wisdom.