Pashini or Pashinee Mudra combines the benefits of yoga asana with the concept of mudras and the philosophy of Kundalini. It is, at heart, an advanced variation of the yoga posture called Halasana. Nevertheless, the additional steps are more challenging to pull off.
Impact (Biology): Spine, Neck, Abdomen, and Nervous System
Kundalini: Mooladhara (Root) Chakra to Vishuddha (Throat) Chakra
Repetitions: 3 to 6
Pashinee mudra has the highest forward bending degree compared to any other yoga pose. That fact should act as a preface for this post - Do not attempt it if you don't have a longstanding yoga asana practice. Or, unless you can get both legs behind the neck as one would in Halasana.
Halasana - the Plow Pose - is the base pose for this yoga mudra. It would be wise to master the Plow pose and its variations before you try Pashinee Mudra. If you are eager to try it, do so under supervision or take responsibility for your bodily limitations and flexibility.
Pashinee Mudra: Meaning and Etymology
Pashinee Mudra is an advanced postural gesture (called Kaya Mudra in Sanskrit) in Hatha Yoga. It uses Halasana or Plow Posture as the base pose. To perform Pashinee mudra, a yogi must bring their awareness to the Vishuddhi (throat chakra) in the Plow Pose and extend the knees until they are close to the ears. It can be held for as long as comfortable.
The Sanskrit word Pasha translates to “a noose”, and Pashinee refers to being ‘bound by a noose’. Therefore, this mudra is also known as the Noose Seal, Bound in a Noose, or the Noose Gesture. In some schools of yoga, it is called the Folded Psychic Pose.
Regardless of what you call it, Pashinee mudra has three variations, all of which are advanced and physically demanding. They mandate a high amount of flexibility and proficiency in yoga asanas to practice them safely and successfully.
Pashinee Mudra Step by Step
Get into Halasana (Plow Pose) with the legs one and a half feet apart.
Plow Pose is the base pose for Pashinee mudra.
Bend the knees and lower them by bringing your thighs towards your chest.
Ideally, the knees should touch the ears.
If you are starting out, bring them as close to the ears or shoulders as possible without straining. At this point, one knee will be on either side of your head.
Wrap your arms around the back of your legs to complete the pose.
Focus your entire concentration on the Vishuddha (throat) chakra.
Close your eyes and relax with slow and deep breathing while you hold the Pashinee Mudra. Gently return to the base pose (Plow Pose) when you are done.
Move into Corpse Pose (or any relaxing yoga posture) and rest for a few minutes. Breath normally and continue to focus your attention on the Throat Chakra.
This is one round of Pashinee Mudra.
Time and Duration
Perform the Pashinee mudra on an empty stomach after sufficient warm-up. Early morning is the ideal time of the day. You may hold it for as long as you find it comfortable. It can be done up to three times in one session if you are a beginner.
Benefits of Pashinee Mudra
Since this mudra builds upon the Plow Pose, it also possesses the same physical benefits one may get from the yoga posture. Additionally, Pashinee mudra is said to have a positive impact on Udana and Prana Vayu – two sub-currents of the breath in yoga theory.
In Tantra Yoga, Pashinee Mudra is used because it benefits the process of sense withdrawal. It also stimulates five chakras starting from the Root (Mula) to the throat (Vishuddhi). The following is a summary of the Pashinee Mudra benefits in the context of yoga –
Improves strength of the back and neck muscles.
Improves spinal flexibility,
Revitalizes the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
Kindles all the chakras from the Root to the Throat.
Liberates an individual from the fears of mortality.
Invigorates the nervous system and abdominal muscles.
Purifies the “lower-self” and helps us emerge from our compulsive nature.
Safety and Precautions
Do not attempt Pashinee mudra if you suffer from cardiovascular problems, hypertension, spinal or neck injury, and during pregnancy and menstruation. It is also be avoided temporarily if you have any short-term digestive issues such as indigestion and hyperacidity.
One should only attempt the Pashinee mudra after a high level of proficiency in yoga poses, especially Halasana - the base pose. Preferably, this should be done under the guidance of a teacher or yoga expert.
Is Pashinee mudra a variation of Plow Pose?
Kaya Mudras such as Pashinee mudra are categorized as body gestures or postural mudras. They are similar to a yoga asana or pose, but are performed with a different intention. Two aspects - duration and awareness - distinguish a kaya mudra from yoga postures with a similar form. In a regular yoga pose during our daily flow, we bring out awareness to the breath or keep it tuned to body movements. We don't typically hold them for more than a few seconds.
Yoga mudras are done in conjunction with deep breathing and awareness at a particular point. In Pashinee Mudra, we hold it for as long as comfortable. Over time, we can hold it for a prolonged duration. Awareness is another crucial aspect of yoga mudra. Always link awareness to the Throat Chakra during your practice to attain the full benefits of the practice.
Practicing Pashinee Mudra regularly is one of the ways to awaken Kundalini - the creative energy. It can seem intimidating, as it should be due to the complexity, but it can be mastered with perseverance. Plus, it has several health benefits that make a strong case to add it to your routine. After all, it bears testament to ultimate spinal flexibility, and that's no low-hanging fruit.