Each of us began in the womb -- a place where our senses were protected and our attention drawn inward. But when we were born, we entered a world with an onslaught of sensory experiences. There are billions of things to see, touch, taste, feel and hear. Most of them are not worth our attention.
Allowed to move unchecked, our senses pull us around, making us do things that are not always aligned to our greatest good. But when we bring our attention inside, withdrawing the senses (the Yogic practice called pratyahara), we learn to turn away from cravings and desires.
The practice of pranayama supports pratyahara by teaching us to look inward. Using the breath, we move prana from the lower chakras up so we can experience the higher, more spiritual parts of ourselves. When prana flows, the mind is calm. It is no longer being pulled around by the senses and can say, “yes” or “no” to the appropriate things.
Yoni mudra (also known as shanmuki mudra) is a simple pranayama practice that draws your attention inward, bringing the senses back. Yoni mudra is like going back into the womb. Here, your senses are protected. There is no place to wander. Pausing here to breathe will restore your mind to its original place of peace.
Yoni mudra pranayama
1. Place your thumbs inside your ears to create a seal that blocks out the sound.
2. Place your index fingers just above your eyebrows so that your fingertips touch the bridge of your nose. Place your middle fingers on your eyelids. Place your ring fingers where the nostril meets your face and pinky fingers at the corners of your mouth.
3. Breathe here, slowly, deeply and evenly, for 20 to 30 breaths.