Bhoochari Mudra – Aids in Meditation, Boosts Memory
The term “Bhoo” means “Earth” when translated to English. In the same context ” Chari” means movement. Thus Bhoochari as a term means ” movement on the earth” or the ground and actually stands for a certain power ,shakti, associated with the movement. It is believed that the person who succeeds in gaining the ultimate proficiency in practicing this mudra gains the ability to walk on earth with unbelievable speed, due to the impact of the power – associated with the practice of Bhoochari Mudra – gained by the practitioner.
Another explanation of the term associates the sense of smell with the practice of this mudra. Some yogis recommend concentrating on the tip of the nose (Nasikagra drishti) while practicing Bhoochai Mudr, instead of focusing on the little finger of the hand as prescribed in its standard procedure. This is known to give mastery, control over the sense of smell to the practitioner. As per Samkhya philosophy, the sense of smell evolves from the element Earth, out of the basic five elements, which evolve from Prakriti, of which the universe is made up of. Thus the term ” Bhoo” which means Earth is used in the name of this mudra. Even, when one follows the standard procedure, focusing on the tip of the little finger, the sense organ for smell, the nose, is involved, as the tip of the governing meridian ( one of the paths of flow of Qi energy or prana – the life energy within the body) against which the side of the thumb has to press passes through it.
In English Bhoochari mudra is also termed as ” gazing at nothingness”. This nomenclature is taken from one of the steps involved in practicing this mudra. Bhoochari mudra comes under the category of head ( Shirsh) mudras. The practice of this mudra is similar to the practice of Tratak ( steadying the gaze ), as both these practices involve arresting the mind by fixing the gaze on an object in order to enhance the focus. A focused mind is a calmer mind. This is why regular practice of Bhoochari mudra aids in steadying the mind for meditation, in fact this practice is a form of meditation in itself.
How to do Bhoochari Mura
- Sit in any meditative pose which can comfortably help hold the spine and the head upright, keep the hands placed in Jnana mudra, or chin mudra, slowly close the eyes and mentally relax all parts of the body, this mudra is best done facing a blank wall, open sky, or a body of water in order to minimize any possible attention gathering objects in the range of one’s vision
- Open the eyes and raise the right hand, fingers stretched out and touching each other, palm facing down and positioned horizontally in front of the upper lip, forearm extending the elbow towards the right side
- Hold the palm, the forearm, and the elbow all at the same level parallel to the floor
- The side of the thumb, especially the point located slightly above the inner, outer corner of the thumb nail ( known as Lu 11 point in acupressure) must be pressed against the center top of the upper lip
- Concentrate on the visible tip of the little finger, located at the opposite end of the palm, without blinking the eyelids for at least a minute to start with, keep the awareness constantly on the little finger tip for this duration
- Mentally register the position of the tip of the little finger in the blank space in front of you, gently lower the right hand, but maintain the unblinking focus of the eyes, mind at the position in the space where the tip of the little finger was located earlier, the tip of the little finger is used to just assist the gaze to become steady before it can be directed onto the blank space once it is removed from the sight, let the mind be completely engrossed in this space of nothingness as left behind by the lowering of the hand
- Maintain the thoughtless focus into this point into nothingness, in case the focus is lost, raise the palm back again and again concentrate on the tip of the little finger, lower the hand after some time and re attempt to maintain the focus on the point of nothingness where the finger tip was earlier, practice these steps regularly for 5 – 10 minutes during each sitting till the mind begins to remain focused for longer periods of time
Bhoochari Mudra – Contraindications, Precautions
One must practice Bhoochari mudra under the guidance of a competent teacher in case the following conditions are present.
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- Recent lens implants, cataract or any other surgeries
Bhoochari Mudra – Relation to Acupressure
As per the system of Chinese meridians are the pathways for the Qi ( energy which corresponds to the concept of prana in Yoga) to travel through the physical body. These are just the channels of the flow of prana without any physical structure which can ascertain their presence in the body. These are roughly the same as the nadis described in the science of yoga.
Each meridian links to its corresponding organ inside the body where the Qi, prana it carries is delivered to. In all their are fourteen main meridians which connect to all the organ systems of the body forming a hypothetical, but clinically proved network of energy channels which keep the organ systems alive with the prana. Each meridian has multiple points, regions which come closer to the surface of the skin placed throughout its length. These points ( acupressure points) can be affected externally by various techniques ( pressing, massaging etc.) in order to produce the desired effect in the flow of prana through a particular meridian. The Chinese have named these points present on the meridians with numbers for the ease of remembering their locations.
The practice of Bhoochari mudra impacts two such points which are located on the Governing vessel ( GV 27) meridian and the Lung meridian ( Lu 11). The GV 27 is located on the median tubercle of the upper lip, and Lu 11 is located on the side of the thumb which is the terminal point of the lung meridian. As the connection is established between these two points while doing Bhoochari mudra the upward flow of the energy is enhanced in the Governing and the Conception meridian. The head regions receives this abundance of universal energy – the prana- which helps improve concentration and memory functions of the brain along with facilitating introversion and calmness in the mind.
Lungs are anyway involved in regulating the flow of energy within the body, as they get connected to the governing meridian – which passes over the head and ends at the center of the upper lip – the flow of energy gets directed toward the head. Lungs also control the ability to interact with the environment and thus play a crucial role in withdrawing the mind from the external environment for the purpose of creating detachment from it. This explains the tranquilizing and introverting effects of Bhoochari mudra.
Advantages: Benefits of doing Bhoochari Mudra
- Regular practice of Bhoochari mudra boosts focus and the memory
- It helps abstract the mind and calms it down, and thus aids getting into the state of meditation
- Practicing gazing at nothingness helps relieve anger and dissipates stress, our students on yoga for relieving anger has found this mudra very effective
- It improves stability of the mind along with inducing thoughtlessness
- It stimulates the Ajna Chakra in order to awaken it
- The practitioner of Bhoochari mudra can easily traverse into the psychic and spiritual planes of consciousness
- This mudra is also known to help activate the Vishuddhi Chakra, or the Throat Chakra of the practitioner, and is thus a must include in our yoga for healthy vocal cords program
- Regular practice of Bhoochari mudra over a period of time can improve one’s subtle perception, one can even see the aura of the human body if the focus is turned to the person in front right after performing this mudra
- It is also known to relieve conditions like Hysteria, Depression, and Insomnia (benefits sleep), and is a potent technique for someone looking for yoga for treating Hysteria
- Regular practice of gazing on nothingness as in this mudra can enhance one’s awareness and reasoning ability since it works on the Ajna Chakra
Duration : Bhoochari Mudra
Practice Bhoochari mudra for a minimum of 5 – 10 minutes in order to reap its intended benefits.