Smile, Breathe Right, and Keep Your Tongue Up: Why the Strange Salutation – Three Tantric Meditation Secrets
Similar questions from two readers:
“my dear TAO SEMKO, it is nice and excellent to find you in my life. i was looking for the same. keep in touch and please tell how
to keep my tongue up ? are you talking about NABHO MUDRA? i am an adept student of yoga from lucknow city of india.
“Please explain ‘ KEEP YOUR TONGUE UP ‘
— Rae Pic
Anyone subscribed to these tips knows that they frequently end in the words ‘Smile, breathe right, and keep your tongue up!’
My traditional email sign-off refers to three yogic meditation secrets, which among those taught at the very beginning of all our courses:
1) The inner, or secret smile.
2) The complete, healthy, or baby’s breath
3) Nabho Mudra and Kechari Mudra, performed with the tongue.
1) The Inner/Secret Smile: In both Hindu Raja Yoga, Buddhist Tantra, and Taoism, the practice of secretly smiling inwardly during meditation accomplishes three things:
a) It causes the thymus gland to release beneficial hormones that alleviate the damaging cortisol released by the adrenals during periods of stress, including when kundalini begins to rise.
b) It allows for the realization of bliss (ananda) and the full opening of both the crown and heart centers in meditation.
c) Through resonance, it attracts good experiences in meditation and in daily life…
Now, this is not a forced “social smile” we’re talking about! This is genuine happiness, which can be brought about through recalling good memories, previous experiences in meditation, goals, dreams, or any form of previous compassion, laughter, joy, bliss, even security, or comfort, and then keeping the feeling while releasing the memory or
What is fascinating, is that in the Hindu tradition, many ‘gurus’ keep the knowledge and simple power of the “Secret Smile” from their students to slow down the students’ path to realization. This is both selfish, and potentially dangerous for the student! Without the Inner Smile, any student doing concentration practices (dharana) can over-stimulate his/her kidneys, becoming increasingly agitated, narrow-minded, and paranoid, not to mention overly ‘sharp’ to their friends and family – the opposite of enlightenment!
2) The Complete Breath:
The Complete Breath means breathing like a baby does… As you inhale, the pelvic floor opens, then the abdomen, then the rib cage, then the collarbones… all while completely relaxed! Then you exhale from the pelvic floor first. If this seems hard, then you’re holding in so much stress and tension that you’ve
“forgotten” how to breathe!
Watch a baby in its crib… Baby’s chest barely moves, but its “buddha belly,” even its lower back, move with the breath. Among adults, shallow chest breathing correlates to high levels of cortisol in the blood serum, and heart failure, in study after study. It also correlates to lower orgasmic potential in men and women, and to premature ejaculation in men. If you are a shallow chest breather, do something about it!
So breathe right! First for a few minutes, and eventually, all the time! Start by practicing in bed for a few minutes when you first wake up… Gently fill your pelvis, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and release all the way. Repeat! Your whole day will feel better for it. In meditation, this breathing should be maintained until, through steadily developing one-pointed, relaxed mental focus your body naturally suspends breathing in samadhi… without thinking about it… until it needs more oxygen…
3) Nabho Mudra:
Nabho Mudra is touching your tongue to the roof of your mouth, either with the tongue tip, or folded back on itself. Anybody can do
Nabho mudra. Kechari mudra is a more extreme version, requiring special practice. Depending on the point of contact (the alveolar
groove, the hard palate, the soft palate, the epiglottis, the nares, etc…) the tongue connects to various nadis (acupuncture meridians) by touching nerve points. Just by putting your tongue up, you can use Nabho mudra to connect the front and back channels of your body, serving as a switch/ safety device to prevent too much heat from accumulating in the brain during yoga, qigong, and meditation.
Nabho mudra can also be used to passively conduct energy flow to various of the upper centers and marmas (bindu, sahasrara, ajna, sthapani, simanta, etc.). When doing practices that arouse kundalini, it is one of three safety factors that prevent “burn out” in the skull region, while still allowing cooler energy through the crown, the third eye, and all of the associated bindus… The other two safety factors are a fully relaxed jaw release, and a suspended head position (what the taoists call opening the
“jade gates,” or releasing ‘krikatika‘ in ayurveda and yoga)
If you want to learn these life-enhancing techniques, and many more, get
Santiago Dobles’s ‘Secrets the Guru’s Will Never Show You…’,
or enroll in UmaaTantra’s The Online College of Tantric Yogas to learn new secrets each class session!
Smile, Breathe Right, and Keep Your Tongue Up!