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The Gestures, or Mudras

(1) The Arch Gesture (maha mudra): "With the left heel press carefully the yoni place between the sex and the anus, following the instructions received from the guru. Then spread the right leg and hold the foot with both hands. Close the nine apertures of the body. Press the chin against the chest and, establishing the mind in the Supreme Consciousness, practice breath control. This Arch-gesture, according to all the Rules of Earthly Wisdom (Tantras), is to be kept secret. First it should be practiced on the left side, then on the right. The yogi, keeping his mind under control, should practice this breathing exercise an equal number of times on both sides." (Shiva Samhita 4, 27-30.)

"In this way even the less gifted yogi will realize his aim. Under the influence of this Arch-gesture all the inner channels will become active, semen will not flow and vitality will increase and all causes of decay will be destroyed. The coiled energy will then forcefully unfold; the life breath will reach the Principial aperture (Brahmarandhra) (behind the forehead), the fire of digestion will flare up and all diseases be destroyed. The body will then have a marvelous brilliance. Together with old age, death will be defeated and desired results easily gained. The senses will be controlled. All this with practice will of surety be attained by the adept (yogarudha) of yoga." (Shiva Samhita 4, 31-34.)

Having placed the left heel on the "seam" (sivana), the space between the anus and the sex-organs, and extended the right leg, placing the two hands holding the foot (or sometimes the knee), with both nostrils do five air "rubbings" (gharshana), i.e. very rapid in and out breathing. Then, inhale through the left nostril, hold the breath and with both hands catch hold of the big toe of the extended leg and place, or try to place, the head on the knee. While doing this, bear in mind the idea "my coiled energy is awaking and I am making her rise to the Principial Center (Brahmarandhra)." Having held the breath as long as possible, exhale very slowly through the solar channel or right nostril. Perform as many of these Arch gestures on this side as desired, then, changing round all the positions, do exactly the same number on the opposite side. Be very careful when doing the Arch gesture on the right side that inhaling takes place through the right nostril and exhaling through the left, and that the right heel be on the "seam".

The practice of this gesture destroys the five troubles (klesha) of man: ignorance (avidya), sense of individual existence (asmita=the subtle I-notion), attachment (raga), enmity (dvesha) and the fear of death (abhinivesha). It also cures phthysis, enlarged spleen, fistulas, leprosy and urinary diseases. It leads, further, to the eight Attainments. These Attainments, however, belong to the natural order and are the greatest obstacle of the yogi in his journey towards spiritual realization.

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