Disclamer: Please consult your doctor before doing any of these practices. All this is for educational purposes, and if you are stupid enough to do it, do not blame others if you harm yourself in the process. You had been warned.
November 1st, 2005: Written by Victor….
My own story is less dramatic yet also a deepening of practice.
After doing pranayama for over 20 years every day in the Iyengar tradition I felt a need to go farther. I had been curious about kechari for many years but found that although most serious yogis knew OF it, none had actually experienced it. After seeking this teaching online I finally found it on the advanced yoga practices website and began exploring. First of all I was able to get the tongue past the the uvula already (stage 2) but didn’t know anything beyond that. At this point I snipped the tongue once and stretched it every day. I found the ache of the snip to be uncomfortable for about a week and was reluctant to do it again. When that week was over I was able to get the tongue deep in trhe pharynx and decided that practice and stretching were all I needed. By holding the tongue with my hand (after drying it a bit) and just gently pulling out and left and right for awhile everyday (I did it while driving) I was able to easily get the frenum stretched to where I need it to be. Then I practiced keeping the tongue in the pharynx for much of my time exploring the inner geography there. It did feel that it completed a circuit like a 4th bandha that was misisng in my practice and has become an integral paret of my pranayma and meditation.
I also changed my practice. Previously I had done 20 minutes a day of sitting pranayama in lotus pose, now I added a practice at the end of the day and also changed how I practiced.
I now start with 5 minutes of nauli which is coming slowly. I can do the middle nauli but the rolling motion is a bit difficult and is taking time to master. I persevere with 5 minutes twice a day so I know it will come. This is followed by 15 minutes of pranayama is siddhasana as instructed by Yogani, the teacher on teh website. During this time I do “dynamic jalandhara” which involves head rotations while doing pranayama in kechari. The practice involves first taking the tongue into kechari and then letting the air out and as I slowly inhale I roll the head slowly in a circle. At the end of the inhalation I reverse the direction and retain the breath until i feel the urge to exhale, then exhaling I continue the same direction until empty, then retain with empty lungs to capacity with uddiyana and inhale. this is all done with the head rotating the same direction until I end the inhale and start to hold the breath, then I reverse the rotation. I do this continuously for 15 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of bastrika followed by 15 minutes of mantra meditation all in kechari. This powerful practice has energized me and I am very enthusiastic about its progress.
There is more about the inner details of kechari but I’ll finish this post here and maybe add some later. It is wonderful to see that someone else is practicing this and it i great to share experiences!
October 31st, 2005: Kavindra On Kechari Mudra (clipped from Google groups)
It is interesting to me to suddenly see discussion of kechari mudra appear on this NG at this time. I have occasionally deliberated whether or not to bring the subject up myself, and was fascinated to see that such a discussion appeared simultaneously with my own posting in reference to it to Keutzer. It is a relief to me to write about it, since kechari mudra is at the center of the main challenge I have been facing in my sadhana over the last couple of years.
Both my Guru, Swami sri Krpalvananda, and his designated successor, Swami sri Rajarshi Muni, have experienced this mudra. I know that the descriptions of it have puzzled (and probably horrified) many people when they have come across them in the Yoga Shastras.
For those who are interested in reading the Shastric writings on kechari mudra, brief (and very cryptic) references can be found to it in the Siva Samhita, Hathayoga Pradipika, and Gherandha Samhita. A more extensive description can be found in the Yogakundali Upanishad.
KIDS: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!!! Those writings are intended for those who have had initiation into the specific kind of Yoga they address. Without the “secret keys” of this initiation, these books cannot be fully understood. Attempting to cut the tongue with a knife, pull it with pliers, and insert it into the sinus cavity will not bring the effects these Shastras describe. Although they utilize these symbolic terms to represent what occurs spontaneously when one progresses far enough into surrender to shakti, anyone who tries to take them as literal instructions will destroy their chances of attaining Samadhi.
I myself was on the verge of making this terrible mistake when I first discovered the writings of Swami Krpalvananda. I had spent several years attempting to practice Yoga without the guidance of a Guru. I was under the misconception that the “secret” of Yoga was something I could deduce by reading and cross-referencing all the ancient texts I could get my hands on, and experimenting with what I thought were the instructions they gave. I thought that I was being intelligent by doing this, thus avoiding the Guru-disciple relationship, which appeared to me to be submissive and exploitative. I thought I was being smart, but I was almost too stupid to live.
My self-directed approach yielded many powerful experiences, but after a while I became aware that there was another level to which I was unable to attain. I tried to think of something (besides initiation) which would enable me to break through to this level. The only viable candidate which seemed to carry this possibility was kecari mudra, which I had avoided experimenting with for obvious reasons. I bought myself some tumeric and sea salt, and took a knife to the tendon beneath my tongue. Frightened of the pain, I managed to make only the slightest nick in the tendon after about an hour of anxiety and wincing. In spite of the pain, I was feeling pretty proud of myself for that little scratch when I was done.
I can only attribute it to the Grace of God that I acquired a book (now out of print) entitled “Krpalupanishad.” This was a translation of some of the more technical writings by Swami Krpalvananda, compiled and edited by one of his disciples. I got it later that very same day. I happened to have the opportunity to stop through an ashram some distance from where I lived, and wanted to buy a new book on Yoga since I had read & studied all the ones I had collected up until that point. The trouble was that the many books by various spiritual teachers were too expensive for my limited income. Krpalupanishad was on a “sale” rack, as its publication was being discontinued- most people find it to be far too technical to understand.
Which was largely the case for me. However, the sections that I did comprehend were able to immediately answer a number of questions I had been harboring- and most importantly, explained why one should never attempt to produce khecari mudra by willfully cutting themselves.
I will emphasize here that my personal experience of kechari mudra is limited. I have experienced the beginning of the process, up to and including the spontaneous (but in my case, partial) tearing of the froenulum. Because my life circumstances demand that I place limitations on the intensity of my sadhana at this time, I generally “put the brakes on” when prana begins to advance this process. What follows is a recapitulation of what the Masters in my lineage have described in regards to it.
There are ten mudras which develop in a specific sequence that are integral to the process or raising the awakened kundalini. They begin to occur when the currents of prana which normally progress downwards and outwards reverse their direction and begin to flow upwards along the shushumna. Khecari mudra is fifth in the sequence, following mulabandhamudra, uddiyanabandhamudra, jalandharabandhamudra, and shakticalalamudra in that order.
Khecari mudra specifically is preceded by three processes: Jhivana kriya, dolana kriya, and nabho mudra. Jhivana kriya are those spontaneous movements which cause the tendon under the tongue to become separated. The initial cut usually occurs when the tongue extends itself as to its limit, and moves back and forth across the lower front teeth in a sawing motion. When this began to occur to me, I was struck by how much this movement resembled movements made by psychiatric patients suffering from the neurological disorder called Tardive Dyskenesia (I have been employed in a number of different psychiatric settings over the years, which gives me some perspective on what may be happening on the neurological level with these processes).
I must again emphasized that these movements occur without any volition at all. When they begin, it is tempting to try to “help” the process along willfully, which is a disaster. Inventing exercises to strengthen the tongue may help, but are not necessary (there is some debate as to whether or not doing this will be a hindrance in meditation later on).
The fingers may form into a pincer-shape and further widen the initial incision. How such an operation can occur without the individual intending it may be a puzzle to some readers, so I will cite a parallel again from neuropathology: Certain types of Obsessive-Compulsive disorder in which the individual experiences a strong compulsion to pluck at or pick at a specific spot on the body. This urge develops out of a state of inner tension, which is then relieved by the compulsive behavior. What happens in the meditation of surrender to shakti is similar- with the exception, of course, that it can be controlled at any time, and does not have the compulsive quality once the meditation session has ended. It is fascinating, though, how the sensation of pain is experienced as a sensation of relief when the tendon is being cut; it is as if a vague itch is being scratched. Of course, the sense of relief is no longer there when meditation is concluded for the day, and the person may be quite uncomfortable the rest of the time.
Nabho mudra consists of curling the tongue towards the back of the mouth in a way that stretches the tendon. This minor mudra can occur as a part of other processes; here it of course occurs in order to further enlarge the incision.
When jhivana kriya frees the tongue from the bottom of the mouth, dolana kriya can then really begin to achieve its purpose: The lengthening and strengthening of the tongue to an extraordinary degree. Under the operations of prana, this is done in such a way that the connective tissues, tendons, etc. are kept strong and intact as they elongate. When people attempt to stretch it out willfully, these connective tissues are damaged. The consequence is that a tongue mutilated in such a way will never be able to complete khecari mudra.
Khecari mudra itself begins when the transformed tongue curls back as in nabho mudra, but is now able to slide its way up behind the soft palate. At this point, it locates a juncture of bone on the underside of the skull. This is referred to as the “Gate of Brahma” in the Yogakundali Upanishad, and it is said that “even the Devas (Gods) are unable to open it.” In other texts it is referred to as the “tenth gate.”
What now happens is that the elongated and strengthened tongue begins to apply extreme pressure to this juncture, and literally breaks it open. When this occurs, the tongue is then able to slide up into the cranial cavity and actually begin to apply direct pressure upon various parts of the brain.
Upon completion of khecari mudra, there follows a process called “melana” or “maithuna” which is one of the most closely kept secrets of Yoga, along with shaktichalanamudra (the means by which awakened kundalini is made to ascend). The tongue is metaphorically described as a phallus (lingam), while the cranial cavity is described as a womb (yoni).
This is more than just a metaphor, though. Sigmund Freud postulated that a newborn infant’s suckling reflex was essentially an erotically driven operation, and that the erotic sensation gradually descends to the genitals with development. There is a nadi which links the tongue with the swadhisthana chakra, or sex center. I have experienced the transference of erotic energy from the swadhisthana region to the tongue, and it is definitely what drives the tongue to make such powerful movements. Honestly, I don’t think I would have been able to overcome the fear and pain involved if it weren’t so intensely gratifying at the same time.
The fact that sexual metaphors have been utilized in various Shastras to describe kechari mudra and the processes that develop from it has had some unpleasant consequences. People who read these passages without understanding what they are really meant to be describing get the mistaken impression that they describe some sort of modified/ritualized sex act. Experimentation with this misconception has resulted in some pretty mind-blowing ways of having sex, which are then mistaken for awakening kundalini, samadhi, etc. Consequently, lineages of “Tantric Sexual Yoga” have been perpetuated that have obvious “marketing” advantages over those that understand & practice brahmacharya.
As Muniji describes it, the flesh of the soft palate actually turns into a sphinctre-like structure which closes up when the tongue comes down again. It is my own speculation that the tough, protective membrane called the dura mater remains intact, and sheathes the tongue when it protrudes upwards.
The region affected by this pressure is the center of the underside of the brain- the area known as the limbic system. Rajarshi Muni described how the tongue pressed upon what he called a “bundle of nerves” with the result that sensory experience was cut off completely. Due to it’s location and function, I believe this “bundle” that Muniji described was the upper section of a structure called the Reticular Activating System, through which all sensory information travels to get to the higher brain centers. This is the final and complete form of pratyahara- perfect sensory isolation. The full forms of dhyana and samadhi, with the subsequent effects described in the Shastras, are wholly dependent upon the completion of this process in its spontaneous form.
Note that the activity of kechari mudra on the pineal and pituitary glands has some very profound effects on the whole body- a kind of “reversal of puberty,” it would seem- part of the process of becoming an urdhvaretas Yogi. It should be noted that the “tasting of nectar” has something to do with this. Most people seem to think that “nectar” or “sweetness means the taste of snot from having the tongue in the sinus cavity. This is not amrta!
October 30th, 2005: “While practicing Kriya, when the mind becomes enchanted in listening to nada, the sound of Aum, a divine nectar-like current flows from the sahasrara. Through the performance of Kechari Mudra, touching the tip of the tongue to the uvula or “little tongue,” (or placing it in the nasal cavity behind the uvula), that divine life-current draws the prana from the senses into the spine and directs it up through the chakras to Vaishvanara (Universal Spirit), uniting the consciousness with Spirit. The entire body is thereby spiritualized and energized. As a result, a perceptible glow may emanate from the body.” — Paramahansa Yogananda
Lifted from the book entitled, “Mejda”, page 279
Here is a nice story:
Ahh what a blessing to see interest here at tribe about the divine practice of Kechari Mudra. I have a beautiful story about my initiation into Kechari with the Tribe.
Some time in early 2000 I went seeking higher teachings of yoga, convinced that my enthusiasm for perfecting asana yoga was leading me closer to auditions for the Cirque de Solei than to true illumination. Soon thereafter I was led to a teacher named Jon Peck in southern California who shared with me the path of the kundalina tantra. He shared with me the practices of udiyana bhanda, nauli, and related practices to activate manipura chakra. About nine months later after completing a four month winter retreat in an old growth forest in up in British Columbia, I finally began to develop the necessary internal abdominal muscle control to activate manipura and gained mastery of the practices.
I wondered what the further practices along the path awaited me and recalled Jon’s words that when I was ready the teachings would appear. And they did!
Late one evening as the drum circle at the 2001 Canadian rainbow gathering was dwindling, I entered a deep meditation. I emerged to meet the gaze of an Australian yogi who later introduced himself as Eric. He sat down and proceeded to relate the following story to me.
“There is an advanced yoga practice called kechari mudra. It is historically only taught directly from guru to disciple, but I am sharing this with you because I see that you are ready for to receive it. There will come a day when there will be a great battle, a conflagration across the land. Some will fight, some will flee and others will simply ascend. This practice will help prepare you for that day.”
He then proceeded to instruct me in the practice of Kechari mudra. Before he left he also told me that it would probably take nine months to a year to master the mudra.
I never saw the yogi again, but I began stretching my tongue and even nipped the frenulum to help increase tongue flexibility. A month or two went by and I was truly beginning to doubt the practice. I had told several yogis about the practice and they each grimaced or laughed. Then one day while driving up to the Little Slocan valley to a little cabin where my brother Desitino and I were heading to do a fasting retreat for the fall, I voiced, “ Wow I really wish I would meet that brother again to verify the teachings. A few minutes later we arrived at the cabin, I found in an old stack of books a small manual called, “The Kundalini Tantra” by the Bihar School of Yoga. I opened the book to page 72 and saw “Kechari Mudra” the secret of the ambrosial fluid.
I dove into the text, landed at the feet of the master, cried and gave thanks. My prayers had been answered almost immediately. According to the text, Kechari mudra had several stages. The first being to put the tongue on the roof of the mouth directly behind the front teeth, what Taoists would call completing the microcosmic circuit. The second stage is to press the tongue on the soft pallet and stretch it upwards, thus stimulating the many nerve endings. The third stage is to slip the tongue behind ‘the dangly thing’ and up the nasal pharanyx. Which stimulates nerve endings that lead to the frontal cortex, the part of the brain that scientists tell us we rarely use. The fourth stage was to stretch the tongue upwards and press on the underside of the pineal gland to help reactivate this sleepy organ.
It all made such perfect sense to me. Suddenly a flash of memory returned to me from my childhood when in the second grade in South Carolina, the school principal came to our class, warned us about stretching our tongues back into our mouths and told us a harrowing tale of a youth who had suffocated after swallowing his tongue. Of course, the reptilians were using scare tactics to prevent kids form discovering the path towards bliss.
I shared with my brother Destino the text on Kechari and we both began practicing.
According to the Bihar School of Yoga, once Kechari mudra has been mastered, it activates Bindu Visarga, (the sixth and a half Chakra located at the back of the head where the Krisnas leave their long braid) to produce ambrosial fluid, the elixer of life. The ambrosial fluid travels up from Bindu Visarga to the seventh chakra Sushumna and then drips down the throat enabling the yogi to enter samadhi and sustain breathless life. The book also stated, however, if Kechari mudra is attempted before the lower chakras are purified, rather than ambrosial fluid a poison will be secreted.
Kechari became a part of our daily practice and for the next couple of months we were on a mission to purify and cleanse through a diet of only sprouts, wheat grass and our own urin. (look for the Urin or You’re Out Tribe) As the weeks went by my progress in Kechari seemed dismally slow while Destino made rapid strides towards mastery. Then one day I returned from town to find him face down on his mat and deathly pale. He rolled over with barely enough energy to speak told me that the night before he had done Kechari mudra. He felt an electrifying sensation through his body when his tongue slipped up into the nasal pharanyx, a feeling that he was beginning to levitate, and then a terrible nauseating feeling that swept over him. For the next five days he laid in bed with barely the strength to stand up.
So I continued practicing Kechari on my own for the next half a year until I arrived down in Costa Rica where I wanted to do a 21 day breatharian fast and meditate in the jungle. I was invited to a magical community called Dolphin Quest and was given the opportunity to sit alone in a small house in the jungle while I fasted. For the first seven days I fasted on air, no food and no water. And on day three, finally I felt my tongue slip past the dangly thing in the back of my throat and slip into my nasal pharanyx. Sitting in meditation my entire being erupted in ecstatic waves of sensual excitement. I felt like a young virgin being penetrated for the first time by a lover. A light in my third eye illuminated like I was staring at the mid day sun. Along with the electrifying sensations in my forehead came waves of fear that my tongue would get stuck and I would suffocate. I struggled to overcome the fear and soon found that if I pressed my tongue forward that I could even breath! Riveted by a million new sensations in a part of my body that I had never even been aware of I sank into the bliss of kechari mudra…. Stage 3.
During those 21 days I practiced Kechari Stage 3 every day and each time my meditation turned instantly lucid and heightened. In addition to the explosive sensations I felt in my forehead I soon began to feel my pineal gland pulsing. The veil between my waking life, meditations and dream world started to lift and I began to catch glimpses of my true galactic identity.
Returning to life after my fast, I found that I could only do Kechari mudra when my body was empty and my mind was still, otherwise I would gag instantly. I vowed to continue practicing and could only imagine what Stage 4 of Kechari mudra might reveal. For that I had to wait almost another year until I entered a 20 day darkness retreat in Mexico. To read about my experience with kechari Mudra in the cave, please look for the new Heart of Darkness Tribe.
I in pursuit of eternal truths, love and infinite wisdom
Kechari Mudra is practiced by placing the tongue in the nasal cavity. The gold line symbolizes the nadi going through the center of the tongue. Kechari mudra is achieved by practicing talavya kriya. Students are advised against cutting the frenulum. Kechari can be achieved through dedicated practice of talavya kriya which brings about kechari naturally. Energy radiates through the tongue to stimulate the Ajna center and the 3rd ventricle of the brain. This kriya is taught in the original kriya of Babaji in the Lahiri Mahasaya Lineage. Some organizations omit this kriya, and Nabhi kriya in their instruction of 1st Kriya to their students. However, kechari mudra must be achieved for the higher kriyas taught in the Lahiri Mahasaya Lineage to be effective. Without the practice of talavya kriya or one similar to it, kechari mudra can not be achieved in a natural manner.
Some misguided practitioners of kriya yoga feel that kechari mudra is an unnecessary practice. But they are mistaken in their thinking. Even enlightened masters outside of the kriya yoga lineages have acknowledged that there is a gap between the top of the spine and the medulla oblongata (also known as the alta major center) which connects the spine with the brain. The Tibetan Master DK has stated the following:
“When the fires of matter have passed (united) still further along the etheric spinal channel they contact the fire of manas as it radiates from the throat center. ……………….The other fire of matter (the dual fire) is attracted upward, and merges with the fire of mind through a junction effected at the alta major center. This center is situated at the base of the skull, and there is a slight gap between this center and the point at which the fires of matter issue from the spinal channel. Part of the work the man who is developing thought power has to do, is to build a temporary channel in etheric matter to bridge the gap. This channel is the reflection in physical matter of the antahkarana that the Ego has to build in order to bridge the gap between the lower and higher mental, between the causal vehicle on the third subplane of the mental plane, and the manasic permanent atom on the first subplane. This is the work that all advanced thinkers are unconsciously doing now. When the gap is  completely bridged, man’s body becomes coordinated with the mental body and the fires of mind and of matter are blended.” Cosmic Fire, p. 138
The practice of kechari mudra bridges that gap. And it has other functions as well.
32. The Kechari Mudra is accomplished by thrusting the tongue into the gullet, by turning it over itself, and keeping the eyesight in the middle
33. To accomplish this, the tongue is lengthened by cutting the fraenum linguae, moving, and pulling it. When it can touch the space between the eyebrows, then the Kechari can be accomplished.
34. Taking a sharp, smooth and clean instrument, of the shape of a cactus leaf, the frenulum of the tongue should be cut a little (as much as a hairs thickness), at a time.
35. Then rock salt and yellow myrobalan (both powdered) should be rubbed in. On the 7th day, it should again be cut a hair’s breadth.
36. One should go on doing thus, regularly for six months. At the end of six months, the freanum of the tongue will be completely cut.
37. Turning the tongue upwards, it is fixed on three ways (esophagus, windpipe and palate). Thus it makes the Khachari Mudra, and is called the Vyoma Chakra.
38. The Yogi who sits for a minute turning his tongue upwards, is saved from poisons, diseases, death, old age, etc.
39. He who knows the Kechari Mudra is not afflicted with disease, death, sloth, sleep, hunger, thirst, and swooning.
40. He who knows the Kechari Mudra, is not troubled by diseases, is not stained with karmas, and is not snared by time.
41. The Siddhas have devised this Kechari Mudra from the fact that the mind and the tongue reach akasa by its practice.
42. If the hole behind the palate be stopped with Kechari by turning the tongue upwards, then bindu cannot leave its place even if a women were embraced.
43. If the Yogi drinks Somarasa (juice) by sitting with the tongue turned backwards and mind concentrated, there is no doubt he conquers death within 15 days.
44. If the Yogi, whose body is full of Somarasa, were bitten by Takshaka (snake), its poison cannot permeate his body.
45. As fire is inseparably connected with the wood and light is connected with the wick and oil, so does the soul not leave the body full of nectar exuding from the Soma.
(Note.–Soma (Chandra) is described later on located in the thousand-petalled lotus in the human brain, and is the same as is seen on Sivas’ head in pictures, and from which a sort of juice exudes. It is the restraining of this exudation which makes one immortal.)
46. Those who eat the flesh of the cow and drink the immortal liquor daily, are regarded by me men of noble family. Others are but a disgrace to their families.
(Note. Translation: Fortunate are the parents and blessed is the country and the family where a Yogi is born. Anything given to such a Yogi, becomes immortal. One, who discriminates between Purusa and Prakriti, purges the sins of a million incarnations, by seeing, speaking, and touching such men (i.e. Yogi).
A Yogi far exceeds a thousand householders, a hundred vanapraasthas, and a thousand Brahmacharis.
Who can know the reality of the Raja Yoga? That country is very sacred where resides a man who knows it. By seeing and honoring him, generations of ignorant men get moksa, what to speak of those who are actually engaged in it. He knows internal and external yoga, deserves adoration from you and me, what if he is adored by the rest of mankind!
Those who engage in the great yoga, once or thrice daily, are to be known as masters of great wealth (mabeshwaras) or Lords.)
47. The word (râsana[?]) means tongue; eating it is thrusting it in the gullet which destroys great sins.
48. Immortal liquor is the nectar exuding from the moon (Chandra situated on the left side of the space between the eyebrows). It is produced by the fire which is generated by thrusting the tongue.
49. If the tongue can touch with its end the hole from which falls the rasa (juice) which is saltish, bitter, sour, milky and similar to ghee and honey, one can drive away disease, destroy old age, can evade an attack of arms, become immortal in eight ways and can attract fairies.
50. He who drinks the clear stream of liquor of the moon (soma) falling from the brain to the sixteen-petalled lotus (in the heart), obtained by means of Prana by applying the tongue to the hole of the pendant in the palate, and by meditating on the great power (Kundalini), becomes free from disease and tender in body, like the stalk of a lotus, and the Yogi lives a very long life.
51. On the top of the Meru (vertabral column), concealed in a hole, is the Somarasa (nectar of Chandra); the wise, whose intellect is not over-powered by Raja and Tamas gunas, but in whom Satwa guna is predominant, say there is the (universal spirit) atma in it. It is the source of the down-going Ida, Pingala and Susumna Nadis, which are the Ganges, the Yamuna and the Sarasvati. From that Chandra is shed the essence of the body which causes death of men. It should, therefore, be stopped from shedding. This (Khechari Mudra) is a very good instrument for this purpose. There is no other means of achieving this end.
52. This hole is the generator of knowledge and is the source of the five streams (Ida, Pingala, &c.). In that colorless vacuum, Khechari Mudra should be established.
53. There is only one seed germinating the whole universe from it; and there is only one Mudra, called Khachari. There is only one deva (god) without any one’s support, and there is one condition called Manonmani.
Some western occultists have also discovered the benefit of kechari mudra. Frater DPAL, a member of a western occult school made the following comment on kechari mudra:
“The Kechari Mudra is the “king of all yogic mudras.” This is done thusly—Take the tongue and move it up to the roof of the mouth and back until it slips behind the soft palate. Push it further as it slips behind the nasopharynx. If you can accomplish this feat you can close off either nostril with the tongue from the inside!! As you push on up with the tip of the tongue, you will reach a bone protrusion that is just under the pituitary gland. The force which is rising upward flows off the end of the tongue, like flames under a pot on the stove. It is here that the final connection is made. By exciting the pituitary gland, the pineal
gland begins to vibrate, and the two forces are magnetically drawn to unite in the region of the Spiritual eye. This exercise requires some practice as it is not easy, but lights are experienced and a one-ness is felt—Ananda! ”
Editor Comment on Frater DPAL kechari mudra quote: A couple of points may shed light on the above quote. First, it is important to realize that the physical body consists of two parts, the gross physical body and its underlying energy body called by some the etheric double, vital body or pranamaya kosha. The energy body or pranamaya kosha is the principal and determinative component of the physical body. The gross physical body is an automaton that merely reflects in physical form the changes that have occurred in its energy body (pranamaya kosha). The vital body can be changed by thought. Most readers are familiar with the phrase energy follows thought. It is this principle that makes kriya, chi quong, acupuncture, Reiki, pranic healing, etc. effective. Eventually, when the medical world can measure the energy body, it will revolutionize medicine. The kriya yogi focuses his attention entirely in the pranamaya kosha and its network of channels known as nadis. The nadis are the channels in the energy body through which prana flows. Where 21 of these channels intersect, one of the major 7 chakras are found. Since the 7 glands are physical correspondents to the 7 chakras, when the kriya yogi, focused in the pranamaya kosha stimulates a chakra, the physical gland corresponding to that chakra will automatically be stimulated. In the case of kechari mudra, the energy flowing through the nadi of the tongue is directly stimulating the Ajna chakra and this stimulation is reflected in increased activity of its corresponding gland, the pituitary. The important point that I want to make is that at no time does the kriya yogi focus on the glands of the gross physical body, his focus is in the energy body and its chakras.
Now, the fact that the pituitary gland is stimulated has vast implications for the rejuvenation of the body. One of the secrets of the Gorakhnath yogi’s, who emphasized the importance of the practice of kechari mudra, was kaya siddhi, extreme physical longevity. The pituitary gland is called the “master gland” of the body because it controls the secretion of hormones. These substances have a dramatic and broad range of effects on metabolism, growth and maturation, sexuality and reproduction and other important bodily functions. As we age, we secrete less hormones. In the elderly, human growth human is reduced to trace amounts. Perhaps the Gorakhnath yogi’s ability to rejuvenate the body and extend longevity lies in their ability to stimulate the pituitary gland through the practice of kechari mudra. Today, many older people are attempting to rejuvenate the body by taking supplements to stimulate the secretion of human growth hormone or are using human growth hormone replacement therapy.
There is also another aspect to kechari mudra. We have been taught as above, so below. If dramatic changes can occur in the physical body as a result of the stimulation of the pituitary gland through kechari mudra, then you can be sure that equally dramatic changes are also occurring in the pranamaya kosha (subtle body) and the circulation of the pranas because the physical body only reflects changes in the subtle body. In fact, one the benefits of practicing kechari mudra is that the mind is quieted and it is easier to concentrate. In short, kechari mudra causes changes in the flow of prana, your consciousness, and your physical body. Through its practice, one may experience the elixir of life, amrita.
Listed below are the specific hormones produced by the pituitary:
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) – As the name implies, TSH stimulates the thyroid gland to release thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones control basal metabolic rate and play an important role in growth and maturation. Thyroid hormones affect almost every organ in the body.
Growth Hormone (GH) – This is the principal hormone that, among many other functions, regulates growth and metabolism.
Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH) – ACTH triggers the adrenals to release the hormone cortisol. This hormone, in turn, regulates carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism.
Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH), which increases reabsorbtion of water into the blood by the kidneys and therefore decreases urine production.
Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) – These hormones control the production of sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone) as well as sperm and egg maturation and release.
Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone (MSH) – Controls darkening of the skin.
Oxytocin – Stimulates contractions of the uterus during labor and the ejection of milk during breast-feeding.
Prolactin (PRL) – This hormone stimulates secretion of breast milk.
Vasopressin – Also called anti-diuretic hormone (ADH)- This hormone serves to allow the water to be reabsorbed by the kidneys.
Advanced yogis and yoginis use kechari continuously throughout their sitting practices, and often during the day when not engaged in conversation. In other words, kechari is home for the advanced yogi and yogini. We do not even know that they are in kechari. Only the subtle glow of divine light gives them away. Inside, they are in the constant play of divine lovemaking.
We will cover four stages of kechari here (see Image for sketches), all pertaining to the location of the tip of the tongue:
Stage 1 – To the point on the roof of the mouth where the hard and soft palates meet. This is the line of demarcation that must be crossed before stage 2 can be entertained.
Stage 2 – Behind the soft palate and up to the nasal septum. It is a short trip, but a momentous one. Initially this is done with help from a finger pushing back under the tongue, going to the left or right side of the soft palate where entry is easiest. This may require “breaking the hymen” of the membrane under the tongue. See
below for more on this.
Stage 3 – Gradually working to the top of the nasal pharynx and septum. This takes us to the bony structure containing the pituitary gland.
Stage 4 – Entering the nasal passages from inside and moving upward beyond the top of the pharynx toward the point between the eyebrows. It is not as far for the tongue to go as it seems. Put you thumb on the hinge of your jaw and put your index finger at the tip of your tongue extended straight out. Then pivot the fixed length to your index finger up on your thumb to the point between your eyebrows. See? It is not so far for the tongue to go straight up from its root.
Many years may pass between stage 1 and stage 4. Kechari is a long- term evolution, not an overnight event, though it certainly has its dramatic moments of transition, especially between stages 1&2 and stages 3&4. Now let’s look at the four stages in more detail.
Stage 1 puts us in contact with the bottom of the septum through the roof of our mouth. This has already been suggested as a goal to work toward in the lesson on yoni mudra kumbhaka. Some ecstatic response can be felt at the point where the hard and soft palates meet if the nervous system is rising in purity. Stage one is not easy, as it takes some effort for most people to keep the tongue on the roof of the mouth and work it gradually back over time. A habit gradually develops. Once the tip of the tongue passes the point where the hard and soft palates meet, and the soft palate can be pushed up with the tongue, then stage 2 is close at hand.
Stage 2 is very dramatic. The tongue is pushed back with a finger to the left or right side of the soft palate. These are the shortest pathways leading behind the soft palate. One of these will be shorter than the other. At some point you will experiment and see for yourself. The long way in is up the middle. The soft palate has an
elastic tendon running across the back edge. When the tip of the tongue gets behind it for the first time, the elastic tendon can slip quickly around the bottom of the tongue as though grabbing it. Then the tongue is suddenly in the nasal pharynx and touching the edge of the nasal septum for the first time.
The first reaction is surprise, and the tongue will probably come out quickly. It is easy to pull out. No finger help is needed. It is also easy to breathe through the nose with the tongue in the nasal pharynx. On the first entry, the eyes and nose may water, there could be sneezing, there could be sexual arousal, and strong emotions. All of these things are temporary reactions to the event of entering stage 2 kechari for the first time. Upon repeated entries, things settle down. In time, the finger will no longer be needed to get behind the soft palate. The elastic tendon across the edge of the soft palate stretches out and stage 2 kechari becomes quite
comfortable. In fact, it is easier to stay in stage 2 kechari than to stay in stage 1 kechari. The tongue rests very easily in the nasal pharynx with no effort at all, making it simple to use during pranayama and meditation. The tongue is obviously designed to rest blissfully in the nasal pharynx.
There are two practical matters to consider once in stage 2 kechari. First is lubrication in the pharynx. Second is the accumulation of saliva in the mouth.
The pharynx can be a little fickle. Usually, it is naturally moist and well lubricated for the tongue. Occasionally it is dry and not so well lubricated. In the former situation, kechari can be practiced practically indefinitely. In the latter situation, only sparingly. When the pharynx is dry there can be a stinging sensation when the tongue is in there. So, this is not the time to do kechari. We just go to stage 1 when that happens. Interestingly, the pharynx will almost always be moist during practices. But there is no telling for sure. We just go in when we are welcome, which is most of the time. And when we are not welcome, we honor the situation and refrain. Like
When we are up in stage 2 kechari, saliva will accumulate in the mouth down below. Since we can’t swallow what is in our mouth with our tongue going up into the nasal pharynx, and we don’t want to drool, then we come out of kechari as necessary to swallow the saliva in our mouth. In the early adjustment period to stage 2 kechari there can be a lot of saliva, so we will have to swallow more often. In time, the saliva goes back to normal levels, and coming out of kechari to swallow will become infrequent.
So, in stage 2 kechari, we are just letting our tongue rest easily on the edge of the nasal pharynx, and that sets spiritual processes in motion everywhere in our body.
In the beginning of stage 2 kechari we will be curious. We are in a new place and want to find out what is in the pharynx. There is the sensitive septum, the “altar of bliss.” We have no problem finding that, and realizing that the best way to do pranayama and meditation is with our tongue resting on the septum. It is like having a
powerful siddhasana working simultaneously on the other end of the spinal nerve, awakening our entire nervous system from the top end. When we are not enjoying bliss at the septum, we will no doubt explore, finding the prominent “trumpets” of the eustachian tubes on either side of the nasal passages. We also can’t miss the entrances to the nasal passages on either side of the septum, and quickly find the extremely sensitive erectile tissues inside them. Too much. Better stay away from those for a while. So, we go up the septum on our journey to the top of the pharynx, to stage 3. For some this is a short journey. For others, it can take a long time. In going there we expose the full length of the edge of the septum to our tongue, and prepare ourselves to eventually enter the nasal passages and go higher.
A practice that can help as we go beyond stage 2 kechari is the so- called “milking of the tongue.” It consists of gently pulling on the tongue with the fingers of both hands, alternating hands, as though milking a cow. A good time to do this is for a few minutes while standing in the shower each day. That way you can get the benefit of
it without slobbering all over your clothes. Over time, the tongue can be lengthened by this method. This is not a very useful practice for getting into stage 2. Dealing with the frenum is most important for that, as discussed below. Milking the tongue is helpful for going beyond stage 2 kechari, especially in stage 4.
Stage 4 is another dramatic step. It could be years away from stage 2&3. Everyone will be different in approaching it. There is a trick to it. The nasal passages are tall and narrow and the tongue is narrow and wide, so the tongue can only go into the nasal passages by turning on its side. But which side? One way works better than the other. The tongue can naturally be turned with the top to the center by following the channel on top of the trumpet of each eustachian tube into its adjacent nasal passage. This naturally turns the top of
the tongue to the center and allows it to slide up the side of the septum into the nasal passage. Turning the tongue inward to the center is the way up into the passages. Entering stage 4 is as dramatic as entering stage 2, because the tissues in the nasal passages are extremely sensitive, and connecting with them in the way
described takes the nervous system to yet a higher level. Stage 4 provides extensive stimulation of the upper ends of the sushumna, ida, and pingala, and this has huge effects throughout the nervous system, especially when combined with our pranayama and its associated bandhas and mudras.
Going to stage 4 is natural once stages 2&3 have been mastered and become second nature. Before then we are not much attracted due to the sensitivity in the nasal passages. Our opening nervous system and rising bhakti take us to stage 4 when we are ready.
Once the nasal passages have been entered, the tongue can be used to do “alternate passage” breathing during pranayama and yoni mudra kumbhaka. This provides alternating stimulation in the nasal passages, which produces additional purifying effects in the sushumna, ida, and pingala. Our pranayama and kumbhaka become
supercharged in stage 4 kechari.
The four stages of kechari foster major neurological openings in the head, and throughout the entire nervous system. Kechari is one of the most pleasurable and far-reaching of all the advanced yoga practices. Kechari represents a major transition in our advanced yoga practices to a much higher level.
Now let’s talk about the membrane/tendon under the tongue called the “frenum.”
For most of us, the frenum will be the limiting factor in moving through the stages of kechari. There is debate on whether the frenum should be trimmed or not. Some say that we are deserving or not deserving of kechari according to what kind of frenum we have under our tongue, and that the only way into kechari is by stretching the frenum. If we can’t stretch it far enough to get into kechari, it is “God’s will.”
In these lessons, we don’t subscribe to that limited point of view. The view here is that, “God helps those who help themselves.”
In these lessons we view the frenum as a tether to be trimmed back when the time is right. It keeps us out of kechari until we are ready. When we are ready, and each of us knows when that is, the frenum can be trimmed. It is like a “hymen.” When a woman is ready for sexual intercourse, the hymen goes. Until then it serves to provide protection. This breaking of the hymen can be a stressful and painful event if it is forced. Sooner or later the frenum will be forced open too, because going into kechari is as natural as going
into sexual intercourse. It is biologically preordained. It happens when the nervous system is mature enough. Advanced yoga practices bring us closer to the transition with each day of daily practices.
Kechari results from a second puberty in us – our spiritual puberty. As our nervous system becomes pure, our bhakti increases. More than anything else it is bhakti that sends us into kechari. When every fiber of our being wants God, then we will go there. The tongue will roll back and go up. Like that.
Once our bhakti is hurling our tongue back into kechari, breaking the hymen of the frenum does not have to be stressful and painful. It can be very easy and gentle. Above all, it can and should be gradual. It is done with very tiny snips. Tiny snips, each as small as a hair or a very thin string. A sterilized, sharp cuticle snipper (like a small wire cutter) can be used to do the job, bit by bit. When we lift our tongue up, we can see right away where the point of greatest stress on the frenum is. If we take a tiny snip there, not bigger than a
hair, it probably won’t even bleed. Maybe one drop. If more than one drop, we did too much. The tiny snip will heal in a day or two. The tissues of the mouth heal very quickly. Then maybe in a week or a month, whatever we are comfortable with, we will be ready to do it again. And then, in another week or more, do it again. If we are sensitive, a little ice can be used to numb the edge of the frenum, and we won’t even feel a little pinch when we snip. Don’t use ice to take a big snip though. That is too much, and brings in some risk of
infection. We should not snip if we have any kind of infection in the body. With tiny snips, the frenum will be allowing the tongue to go further back in no time, and before we know it we will be using our finger to push our tongue behind our soft palate.
We can continue with the tiny snips once we are in stage 2 kechari, and this will help us move on to stage 3. Then we can continue with the tiny snips once we have gotten to the top of the nasal pharynx,
and this will help us move on through stage 4. It will take years. There is no rush. We may go for many months, or even years, with no snipping at all, content to enjoy the level of kechari we have attained so far, and the steady spiritual growth that comes with it. Then we may become inspired to continue going up with the tongue, and do some more snipping.
As the snipping progresses past stage 2 kechari, it becomes very easy to do it. As the frenum gives way slowly, the edge it presents when stretched becomes like a callus. There is no pain snipping it, and no blood. It is not difficult to trim it back so the tongue can go further up into more advanced stages of kechari. It is a long journey in time, and a fulfilling one. It can take decades to complete stages 1 through 4. There is no rush. The nervous system knows what must happen. When it knows, we know through our bhakti.
Everyone’s frenum is different. A few will enter kechari with no snipping necessary. Others will need a lot of snipping. The rest of us will fall somewhere in-between. Whatever the case many be, we will know what to do when our bhakti comes up. No one else can tell us what to do when. Everything in this lesson is offered as information so you will have a better idea on what your options are as your bhakti comes up.
Some will have medical concerns about snipping the frenum. Most doctors will not be for it. Is there risk? There is always some risk when we undertake new things. That is life. The practice of trimming the frenum for kechari has been around for thousands of years – at least as long as circumcision, body piercing and tattooing. Not that any of these other types of body alterations are in the same class as kechari. They are not. Kechari is one of the most advanced yoga practices on the planet. When we know we are ready for it, we will be
willing to accept whatever risk may be associated with entering it. We each choose our own path according to the feelings rising in our heart.
This lesson is not to promote stage 2 kechari and beyond for everyone. It is to provide useful information for those who are experiencing kechari symptoms and finding themselves stretching naturally past stage 1. What you do with the information here is your choice. Remember to always pace yourself according to your capacity and experiences.
Disclamer: Please consult your doctor before doing any of these practices. All this is for educational purposes, and if you are stupid enough to do it, do not blame others if you harm yourself in the process. You had been warned.
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