Shambhavi Mudra, otherwise called the Eyebrow Gazing Mudra, is arguably the best way to open your third eye / Ajna chakra.
When you open your third eye chakra you gain insight into the true nature of things. You will tap into your intuition. And that is what it is all about.
Let’s discuss the benefits first, and then we will look at how to do it.
Benefits of Shambhavi Mudra
The main benefit of Shambhavi is that it opens the third eye or “Ajna Chakra”.
As PersonalTao states,
“…Your third eye can be used in many different ways. Seers use their third eye to understand hidden connections and answer questions. Energy workers ‘feel’ the energies around them and then consciously manipulate that energy. And every time you have empathy, you are using your third eye to touch and feel the emotions of others.”
- Helps you tap into your intuition [READ: Meditation for Intuition].
- Improves interpersonal communication skills
- Creates oneness
- Cleans the eyes.
- Helps with communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
- Increases theta and delta brainwaves (which relaxes the brain).
- Helps us reach higher states of consciousness
- Helps us reach Samadhi, the highest state of concentration. In Hinduism and yoga, this is the state at which we achieve union with the divine.
- The Gheranda Samhita (a Sanskrit text of Yoga in Hinduism) says that one who masters the technique becomes equal to Lord Siva, Vishnu, and Brahma.
- Strengthens eye muscles
- Sadhguru tells us that the Cortisol Awakening Response (a distinct facet of the circadian cortisol rhythm) is higher in people who have practised Shambhavi mudra. This means that people who practice it are more awakened.
- Develops psychic power
For more on the effects of this mudra, I recommend reading this study by Christine Tara Peterson, PhD et. al from the University of California: San Diego.
You might like to read my beginners guide to mudras before starting.
- When practising we use Jnana mudra. To do this, touch the tips of your index fingers and thumbs together.
- Sit comfortably with good posture and place your hands on your knees.
- Briefly shut your eyes then reopen them and focus your gaze on a fixed spot.
- Look up high but without moving your head. In his commentary on Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Swami Muktananda Paramahamsa, the founder of Siddha Yoga, said that the technique involves the eyeballs rolling back in the head.
- Focus your gaze on the spot in the middle of your eyebrows and concentrate on this area. Meditate on it. Let go of thoughts, as you would in regular meditation. You should see your eyebrows as a V shape, with your gaze fixed in the middle of the V.
- While maintaining focus, chant OM. Meditate on the sound of OM reverberating around the spot you are gazing at.
- Do not strain your eyes. They should be relaxed at all times.
- Continue for five minutes.
- Close your eyes but keep your gaze on that same spot in the middle of the eyebrows (the Ajna chakra).
- Chant OM slowly while meditating on the sound.
- Begin to make each individual OM last longer. You should be breathing deeply through your nose.
- Continue for five minutes.
The Gherand Samhita stanza 59 states: “Direct your eyes toward the middle of the eyebrows and meditate upon your own self. It is Shambhavi Mudra, the most secret practise of all the Tantra scriptures.
The secret is to be gentle.
The tantric scripture Sochanda Tantra, stanza 13, reads: ‘Touching eyeballs as a feather, lightness between them opens into the heart and there permeates the cosmos.’
One of the potential side-effects of Shambhavi Mudra is that it can give you a headache. You will not get a headache if you keep your gaze relaxed.
My own experience of Shambhavbi mudra is mixed. The very first time I tried it, I ended up with a headache, which is one known side-effect. However, that was because I was holding too much tension in my eyes.
The next few times I was more relaxed. This helped a lot. No more headache. However, I also didn’t really gain any great insight, or at least no more insight than I get when I practice insight meditation (Vipassana).
The secret is being consistent. If you want to get the full experience you have to commit to it. After prolonged use, you will open your third eye and awaken your higher self.
I also asked our Facebook fans if they had tried it, and many said that they had.
Sarah Robertson said she got a really bad headache.
James Saunderson said he enjoyed the practice but didn’t really get a lot out of it.
Penelope Smith said she tried it for twenty minutes and, afterwards, she learned something she had never learned before and that the insight the mudra gave her was invaluable. I asked if there was anything different about the way she practised it. She said she did it in a very quiet room with mute light in front of her Buddha statue and early in the morning. This makes sense because the mind is still half in sleep mode early in the morning, and that relaxed state can make it easier to access insight.
What about your own experience? If you haven’t tried it, take ten minutes to practice it. You never know what insight you might uncover.
Precautions & Side Effects
- Remove contact lenses and glasses before starting.
- Do not hold your gaze too stiffly as this could cause problems for your eyes.
- Do not practice if you have Glaucoma.
- If you have had any kind of eye operation, speak to an expert such as myself.
- Overuse could cause headaches and dizziness
- Make sure you fix your gaze without strain
- It is possible to experience phantasmagoric visions while practising. If this occurs, stop.
Numerous spiritual texts mention this technique. For instance, the “Vijnana Bhairava Tantra “, “Amnaska Yoga, Hatha Yoga Pradipika (chapter 4), Gheranda Samhita (chapter 3), and the Shiva Samhita (Sanskrit text on yoga).