Yoga Practices for OCD: Shanmukhi Mudra

ShanmukhiMudraThis mudra is so called because the aspirant looks within him or herself to find the very source of being.


1.  Sit in Padmasana. Keep the spine erect and the head level.

2.  Raise the hands to the face. Lift the elbows to the level of the shoulders; place the thumbs on the ear-holes so as to cut off external sounds. If the thumbs in the ear-hole cause pain, push the tragus (the small prominence at the entrance of the external ear) over the ear-holes and press it with the thumbs.

3.  Close the eyelids, but turn the eyes up. Place the index and middle fingers on the closed lids so that the first two phalanges only press the entire eyeball. Do not, however, press the cornea. Pull the eyelids down with the middle finger. Push the upper part of the eyelids below the eyebrow upwards with the index finger. Gently press the eyes at both the corners.

4.  Equal pressure should be maintained on the ears and the eyes.

5.  With the tips of the ring fingers press both nostrils equally. The nasal passages fare thus narrowed for slow, deep, steady, rhythmic and subtle breathing.

6.  Stay in this position as long as you can, drawing the vision inwards.


The senses are turned inward and the rhythmic breathing calms the mind’s wandering. This brings a feeling of inner peace and one hears the divine voice of his self within, ‘look here! Look within! Not outside, for the source of all peace is within yourself.’ The posture thus prepares the practitioner for the fifth stage of Yoga, Pratyahara, where you attempt to free yourself from the thralldom of the senses and to prevent them from running after their desires.

Some of the other asanas which also help  in OCD are Sirsasana; Sarvangasana; Paschimottanasana; Uttanasana; Bhastrika; Nadi Sodhana & Suryabhedana Pranayama without retention, Sanmukhi Mudra & Savasana.

SOURCE: This article has been written by Dr. R. Nagarathna, Dean, Division of Yoga & Life-sciences, SVYASA.
This article is published online courtesy and Arogyadhama

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